Monday, 24 November 2014

Caught Live: 21 Today: The J4T21 Memorial Concert 20/11/14

#802: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The 21 Today: Justice 4 The 21 Memorial Concert at Birmingham Town Hall last Thursday 20th November far exceeded the expectations and hopes of lead campaigner Julie Hambleton and organiser Phil Hatton as a plethora of renowned Midlands artistes and celebrities came together to give their talents freely to not only remember the tragic victims of 21st November 1974 but also celebrate their lives and honour the sacrifice and efforts of the emergency services, many taxi drivers and Salvation Army volunteers on that fateful night.

Hosted by the effervescent Historian compere Carl Chinn, the event commenced with a poignant rendition of the same portion of Tchaikovsky symphony by acclaimed violinist Shi Ling Chin accompanied by pianist Charles Matthews, the same piece of music as that which was performed at Birmingham Town Hall on that very night back in 1974. Former ELO members Dave Scott-Morgan and Martin Smith were next up as they performed the event anthem "21 Today" with the assistance of Hossam Ramzy, Mandy Scott-Morgan and classical musicians from Birmingham Conservatoire, followed by a solo demonstration of the tabla prowess of the Egyptian percussionist.

Steady Hands then impressed with their duo of compositions including "Mulberry Bush", a song born out of the ashes of one of the bomb sites. The legendary Steve Gibbons, initially solo before being joined by Dave Pegg (Fairport Convention), then continued proceedings with a Dylanesque selection of songs (and a dedication to the late Mike Burney) capped by a nice cover of The Beatles' "Abbey Road" classic "Come Together" to complete the first act.

The second half of the concert began with an informative and educational presentation before the moving and emotional public acknowledgement of the emergency services on that night. King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys then arrived on stage - with former Wizzard drummer Charlie Grima in tow providing percussion - to deliver another trademark energetic set before Jasper Carrott introduced Quill and long time pal Bev Bevan, who enchanted the audience with their trio of Celtic tinged originals. A second stage-filled performance of "21 Today" completed the night with the ensuing applause a perfect finale.

Set list: "21 Today" ~ "Abide With Me" (Dave & Mandy Scott-Morgan, Martin Smith with musicians from Birmingham Conservatoire) ~ "Mulberry Bush" ~ "The Company Of Wolves" (Steady Hands) ~ "Lamb To The Slaughter" ~ "Hey Buddy" ~ "The Chain" ~ "I Shall Be Released" ~ "Come Together" (Steve Gibbons & Dave Pegg) ~ "Say It Ain't So" ~ "Life Is Life" ~ "England" (Quill) ~ "21 Today" (All)
Compere Carl Chinn in full flow
Violinist Shi Ling Chin with pianist Charles Matthews beyond
Acclaimed percussionist Hossam Ramzy in teaching mode
"21 Today" with Dave & Mandy Scott-Morgan, Martin Smith et al
Steady Hands
The superb Steve Gibbons with Dave Pegg
King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys with Charlie Grima
A brief cameo by Jasper Carrott
Classy Quill enchanted the audience
All together now ... "21 Today" reprised
Thank you and goodnight!
You can further support the Justice 4 The 21 campaign and also help raise funds for two deserving causes by purchasing the song "21 Today" by Four Twenty One (421) via this link thus:

Yours Truly KJS and ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) endorse the Justice 4 The 21 campaign. Please visit the J4T21 official web site for further information.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 24-Nov-2014

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