The northwest of Britain relocated to California for an evening, as Manchester's
Charlatans UK and Wigan's Starsailor rolled into San Francisco for this
leg of their US tour. The Tim Buckley-influenced Starsailor warmed up
the crowd with a selection from their excellent debut Love Is Here. The highlight
of the set, other than the house exploding finale "Good Souls" was an interaction
between frontman James Walsh and a member of the crowd. The heckler
screamed out "Last Nite," in reference to The Strokes jam, and Walsh
chuckled in his UK Beavis manner and relayed this story to the onlookers. 'This
bloke is talking about a show we had in Birmingham where we played 'Last Nite' by
The Strokes. But I'm not playing another Strokes song until they cover
one of ours. Could you imagine?" He then did a bit of pantomime with his guitar
strapped really high on his chest, a la Albert Hammond, Jr. of the
aforementioned NYC faves, and spit repeatedly as he drawled the lyrics to his song,
"Lullaby," in a Julian Casablancas fashion. All in good fun and definitely an amusing moment.
The stage was now set for the Mancunian groove merchants to bring the house down and
they did not disappoint. The new material was relatively weak live, but it's relatively weak
recorded, as well. However, unearthed gems like the classic "The Only One I Know,"
reintroduced to the playlist after a multi-year hiatus, and other older tracks such as
"Weirdo," "How High", and show closer "Sproston Green" were definitely met with the
most fervor. It was unfortunate that the greatest hits aspects drew the most rave reviews, but
fortunate that the band was strong enough to rock them in the first place.