Friday, 11 October 2013

Caught Live (3): Quill @ Lichfield 09/10/13

Photograph courtesy of Sir Jeff Cooper
#599: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The long awaited theatrical bow of Quill was, indeed, well worth the wait as the Joy Strachan-Brain fronted Midlands based Celtic rock outfit thrilled a packed audience at The Garrick, Lichfield on Wednesday night (9th October).
Impressive support: Ben Cowcill & Amy Sharp
The evening commenced with the twin debuts of Ben Cowcill and: Amy Sharp, who each delivered their own stunning four song set. The highlights of which (for me) were Ben's versions of "Come Together" and "Mrs. Robinson" as well as Amy's renditions of "I Feel The Earth Move" and "Skyfall" before they combined for their fantastic encore.

This was my third Quill gig and having seen the band in acoustic mode and full electric mode previously, this was the most impressive of their performances to date as they captivated those in attendance and went about owning the stage upon their arrival on the provincial scene.
Quill in full effect!
With a set list of superb interpretations interspersed with their own compositions, the evening was not only entertaining, it was also moving and truly energetic from the opening chords of "Tumbling Years" all the way through to their exhilarating encore "Whiskey In The Jar". The inspired, soaring vocals of Joy Strachan-Brain and the guitar work of Paul Sargent was again of particular note but the cohesiveness of the band meant that they were all worthy of the extended applause.
Acoustic Quill
The memory and presence of the much-missed Ben Brain was perfectly conveyed with the show stopping vocal delivery of Joy Strachan-Brain during the song "Life Is Life". Not for a long time have so many tears trickled down my face. It was a moment to never forget for Yours Truly KJS.
Quill with special guest Bev Bevan
The set list also included the bands own patriotic "England" and anthemic "Say It Ain't So" as well as instrumentals "Duelling Banjos" and "Jig-A-Jig". Quill take on classics including "The Chain", "Drops Of Jupiter", "Stairway To Heaven", "Hotel California", "Galway Girl" and "Take It Easy" was innovative, professional and enthralling. I particularly enjoyed the freedom with which violinist and vocalist Kate McWilliam traversed the stage in a fashion reminiscent of the antics of one Mik Kaminski but with added feminine grace! It was nice to see the image of a young Phil and Jo Bates (former Quill members) projected against the stage backdrop during the proceedings.
Quill take a bow
Penultimate song "The Celtic Experience" saw the guest arrival of The Move and ELO co-founder Bev Bevan on stage to add his percussion skills to the proceedings before his announcing that we can look forward to seeing an extended "Made In Brum" and The Move tour in 2014 as well as announcing that Joy had joined Bev's other musical combo The Bev Bevan Band too - more to follow on ELOBF soon! Of note also was that earlier in the evening, Joy had announced that Quill were embarking on their own theatre tour during 2014 thus:
Quill are: Joy Strachan-Brain (Lead Vox/Percussion) ~ Paul Sargent (Guitar/Vox) ~ Kate McWilliam (Violin/Vox) ~ Dave Bailey (Keyboards/Guitar/Vox) ~ Christian Nokes (Bass) ~ Tim Tandler (Drums) ~ Bev Bevan (Percussion)

Their official web site includes the up-to-date band information including: News, Discography, Merchandise, Gig Guide, Gallery and Links thus:

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends Quill to those enlightened folks who also like ELO/Jeff LynneRoy Wood'Brum Beat'The Idle RaceThe MoveThe Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 11-Oct-2013

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