Sailing into Saddleworth – Stars in alignment for Cotton Clouds Festival

HOT on the heels of their headline appearances at Vicar’s Picnic in Maidstone and Penn Festival in Buckinghamshire, Starsailor will be headlining the Cotton Clouds Festival on Saturday, August 18, writes Louis Stowe.


The ‘Silence is Easy’ performers will be appearing alongside Sister Sledge, Toploader, and The Orielles at the Cotton Clouds festival at Saddleworth Cricket Club.

Starsailor rose to fame after their debut album ‘Love is Here’ reached number two in the UK charts back in 2001.

Their follow-up album ‘Silence is Easy’ sold over 50,000 copies in its first week of release in 2003, hitting the number two spot in the UK charts.

Wigan-born lead singer James Walsh, who just finished touring alongside Sting and Shaggy, spoke to the Independent about Starsailor’s upcoming appearance.

Walsh said he was looking forward to coming to Saddleworth, praising Cotton Cloud’s diverse line-up of artists appearing this year.

“It’s a pretty big line-up, so it’ll be a nice mix of people,” he said. 

Sister Sledge

“It’s good when a festival has a varied line-up because you get a good age range of people instead of everyone being the same age and into the same music. It should be a good family day out.”

Still as enthusiastic as ever, Starsailor are planning to continue touring and playing for their fans, with plenty more tours on the way for the rest of 2018. 

“In some ways it’s more unbelievable because there are some bands which go out in a blaze of glory in their twenties and then never be seen again,” he said.

“So to still be able to play these nice gigs at 38+ is a big buzz – we’re really excited to still be around.”

Starsailor are playing in South Korea at the Incheon Pentaport Rock Festival on August 12 are also appearing alongside Liam Gallagher in Istanbul for its Blue Night Festival on August 14. 

Walsh remembers his feud with Liam’s brother Noel, and the subsequent confrontation between Walsh and the Gallagher brothers at T in the Park.

“It was blown out of proportion slightly,” he recalls. “[Noel] just said something rude in an interview, so I decided to pull him up on it, but he kind of just ignored me and that became the story. 

Lightning Seeds

“But I’ve seen Liam a few times since and I’ve got on with him.”

Having grown up listening to the Gallagher brothers, Walsh is looking forward to playing with Liam in Turkey.

“I’ve grown up with him, like a lot of people my age, and I’m excited to play with him. It should be really good.”

You can book tickets for Starsailor’s upcoming tours online:

This year, for the first time, Cotton Clouds is being staged over two days. 


The line-up on Friday includes Lightning Seeds, The Pigeon Detectives, and Badly Drawn Boy.

Alongside Sister Sledge, Starsailor, and Toploader, those attending Saturday’s showing will see The Allergies, Scarlet, Hyde Park Brass, and Billy Bibby and The Wry Smiles.

Tickets are available online at just under £50 for the Saturday, with a ticket for children aged 6-13 costing £27.50, and children under 6 going free. 

Tickets for the Friday are £27.50, but don’t allow any children under 14.

This year, Cotton Clouds has also introduced a new free app which will be the easiest place to see the Festival line-up, and will feature a ‘favouriting’ function so you can make your schedule bespoke. Download the app here: iPhone: or Android:

Tickets are available online:

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