Starsailor frontman James Walsh is coming to Glasgow – and donating an entire gig to The Catherine McEwan Foundation!
James will play an intimate gig at 18 Candleriggs on Weds 19th of April, with all proceeds from ticket sales donated to the Foundation.
Former Scotland manager Alex McLeish is an ambassador for the charity and his son Jon is a close friend of both Derek and James. Jon also runs his own charity, United For Colitis.
The cause hit close to home because one of his bandmates has Colitis – so James offered to stage a solo show with all income going to the Foundation.
James said: “I first met Jon McLeish when Starsailor played at T In The Park and we’ve been good friends since. I remember singing Billy Joel’s New York State Of Mind at his Dad Alex’s 50th in Birmingham while he was manager at Birmingham City. They’re a great family all round.
“Obviously the more you get to know someone, the more you get to know about their life and the challenges they face like Colitis which Jon and his brother Jamie suffer from. The drummer in Starsailor, Ben Byrne, also suffers from the same condition so we’re aware of how debilitating it can be when a flare-up occurs.
“However I wasn’t aware that the effects of Crohn’s and Colitis could be quite so devastating until I heard Derek’s story about his mum Catherine. I think it’s amazing that he’s keeping her memory alive and helping others whilst dealing with his own grief.
“I think both United For Coltis and Catherine McEwan Foundation already do an incredible job of spreading the word about the great work they do. If I can help on some small way to raise awareness of this to my audience and everyone has a great night in the process then I’ll be happy.”
James is touring both with Starsailor and solo, but hadn’t planned a Glasgow date on the initial solo run – so when he talked with Jon about the Foundation, the perfect opportunity came up.
“I’ll do a few Starsailor songs, a few songs from my solo catalogue and a few covers. The shows usually start off pretty laid back and easy going and reach a crescendo at the end of the crowd is up for it.
“When I released the solo tour dates a lot of people were particularly disappointed that Glasgow wasn’t on there initially. I thought why not put that right and raise some money and awareness for a great cause in the process? I have to work like everyone but the other shows can put food on the table so to speak.
“The show will be unique. It’s the only one on the tour that’s for a charity so it’s special.
“It depends on the crowd really. If there’s more of a mix of my usual audience and supporters of the charity who maybe aren’t as familiar with all the material then I can adapt the set to have more familiar songs in. I think the occasion and everyone being there for a joint purpose will make it a unique and special occasion.”
Starsailor have their own band shows coming up too, including celebrating 20 years of ‘Silence Is Easy’ with a U.K. Tour in November including a stop off at SWG3 in Glasgow on 26th November.
James added: “I’ve got loads more solo gigs through the year too. The reaction to the new solo album ‘Coming Good’ has been great.”
Catherine McEwan Foundation’s Derek McEwan said: “We are thrilled to welcome James to our Foundation family, and the fact this has come about through Jon McLeish is no surprise as he’s been a stalwart supporter for so long.
“We can’t thank both James and Jon enough for making this happen and we hope we can raise a lot of money as well as put on an amazing event for everyone lucky enough to get a ticket.”
Tickets go on sale Weds 19th of April