Sunday, 3 April 2016

Caught Live (11): Quill @ Kidderminster 02/04/16

 #1,089: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The short trip to see the latest incarnation of Quill at the cosy Rose Theatre last night (Saturday 2nd April) was deemed necessary by ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) to see how the legendary Midlands Celtic rock outfit would present themselves after a reshuffle in personnel, in the second of two consecutive weekend dates in Kidderminster. My curiosity was rewarded as Joy Strachan-Brain's talented sextet delivered a stunning set that delivered the familiar with an injection of new, original material and quite inspired interpretations of classic songs that literally amazed Yours Truly KJS.

But first a mention for local musician Dave Onions, who provided an entertaining and impressive supporting set beforehand consisting of six songs including "Train Of Fools", "WIP". "Busking" and my personal fave "Aftershock". In fact, Dave has an interesting ELO connection in that the track "Global Man" on his second album "Six Degrees Of Separation" was produced by none other that ELO keyboard maestro Richard Tandy!

The new look Quill arrived on stage not longer later and from the first moment, they were full of pleasant sonic surprises. This was the first time that I'd seen and heard the ultra-talented Abby Brant, new bassist Matt Worley and ex-Robert Plant percussionist Andy Edwards perform together with the established trio of leader Joy, violinist Kate McWilliam alongside ace guitarist Tony Kelsey and their delivery of Pete Seeger's "The Bells Of Rhymney" revealed not only a new song but that new sound. If that didn't grab the healthy attendances attention, then the three new songs from their forthcoming new studio album, namely "Black Dog Day", "Better Late Than Never" and "Say Goodbye" most certainly did! They blended effortlessly with the reinvented "Matador", "Say It Ain't So", "Nine Mile Camp" and "Life Is Life" - so different and yet almost completely new. Abby's fantastic delivery of Steve Winwood's ethereal "Can't Find My Way Home" was wonderful as was the sublime new Quilltastic rendition of Mike Scott's "The Whole Of The Moon". I also loved the 'new' medley that took the place of "The Celtic Experience" but the biggest smile on my face was generated by the transformation of Jeff Lynne's wonderful power ballad "Telephone Line" into a sultry, bluesy masterpiece. The band saved another surprise until they launched into a new encore incorporating The Beatles "Abbey Road Medley" finale of "Golden Slumbers", "Carry That Weight" and "The End" to send those watching into animated rapture.

This concert revealed a paradox regarding the band who are Quill. The names and faces of two thirds of the band have changed since I first saw them perform live yet, even with the dramatic change in set list and the transformation of their sound to that of smooth Americana, they were still Quill. A newer, polished Quill who promise much as they start recording their new album this week. Much credit is due to Joy Strachan-Brain, who continues to wow audiences with both Quill and her growing reputation as one of Britain's most adaptable and best female singers. Quill will next be performing on Friday 22nd April at The Robin 2 in Bilston. Tickets are priced from £12.50. See you there?

Quill are: Joy Strachan-Brain (Lead vox/percussion)Kate McWilliam (Violin/vox)Tony Kelsey (Guitars/vox) ~ Abby Brant (Keyboards/vox)Matt Worley (Bass/vox) ~ Andy Edwards (Drums/percussion)

Quill performed: “The Bells Of Rhymney” ~ “Black Dog Day” ~ “Matador” ~ “A Showman’s Life” ~ "“Better Late Than Never” ~ “Telephone Line” ~ “Can’t Find My Way Home” ~ “Life Is Life” ~ “Say It Ain’t So” ~ “Falling Slowly” ~“Nine Mile Camp” ~ New Jig Medley ~ “The Whole Of The Moon” ~ Say Goodbye ~ England Medley: Wild Mountain Thyme” ~ England” ~ Jerusalem” ~ Encore: “Golden Slumbers” ~ Carry That Weight” ~ The End”

Find out what Quill are up to by visiting their official website via this link thus:

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

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 03-Apr-2016


  1. Is Bev Bevan no longer involved? Last interview on Radio WM he talked about writing new songs for an album.

    1. Colin ... My understanding is that Bev is continuing to write and record with Quill but he is not playing gigs in the short term ... KJS@ELOBF

  2. Hi, I also believe tha Bev has been ill as that is what Joy said at the Solihull gig when we spoke to her.