Star returns to his music roots (with video)

James Walsh used to be a a music-mad teenager scouring the racks at Preston's Action Records.

A decade on, the 28-year-old former Chorley schoolboy stepped back in time for an intimate performance in front of 100 lucky fans.

The Starsailor frontman played acoustic versions of tracks from the band's fourth album, All The Plans, released on Monday, to fans at Action Records in Church Street.

Walsh said he wanted to celebrate the record going on sale in his home town.

The tiny gig was a repeat of one he performed at Action Records in 2005 to mark the release of their third album, On The Outside. Doors opened at 5pm and Walsh played solo for around 40 minutes and was happy to take requests from the crowd.

He was then joined by the rest of the band for a signing session, during which they autographed records and other memorabilia and chatted to fans.

Among the tracks played was an arrangement of their new single, Tell Me It's Not Over which was released last Monday.

He also played Starsailor's classic hit, Good Souls.

The new record was said by Walsh to have been completed by 2008, but the release is believed to have been delayed by reorganisation at their label EMI.

Walsh grew up in Chorley, where his parents still live, going to St Michael's School before meeting his band mates at Wigan and Leigh College.

Walsh said it was good to be back in Preston.

He said: "It's changed quite a lot since I was last here. Obviously we did an in-store here at Action before and we played 53 Degrees, but this time we got into town early so we could have a bit of a look around.

"It's quite nice and more cosmopolitan than when I was last here. We went for lunch in some place called Forum which was nice."

Action was the place where Walsh bought records as a teenager.

Asked if he had chosen the venue for this reason, he said: "I think that's definitely a factor. Action Records is good at putting on in-stores and he (owner Gordon Gibson) has always supported the band so it seemed like a good idea."

Walsh's mother and father, who still live in Chorley, were at the gig.

Walsh said beforehand: "My mum will probably queue up with everyone else to get her album signed, even though she could just come and see me afterwards.She's like that."

Starsailor signed to EMI in 2000 and released Love Is Here to huge acclaim in 2001.

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