Date(s) - 09/06/2018
8:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Darwen Library Theatre
Steve Ellis, one of a select group of outstanding of British soul singers and Mod icons, has joined creative forces with Blues Hall of Fame® British Legend Norman Beaker, both in recording and live performance in the finest collaboration of soul and blues.
Steve had no idea of the effect he would have on the Mod/Northern Soul genre when The Love Affair was first heard with the classic “Everlasting Love”, featuring a teenage singer whose voice was so rare and powerful that the band had hit after hit with songs that have remained as fresh and popular as when they were released and put them in the same company as Mod icons The Small Faces and The Who.and establishing Steve as one of the Voices of British Soul.
After leaving the band, in late 1969, Steve and Zoot Money formed Ellis. They toured and recorded two albums, before disbanding, which led Steve to become the vocalist in the hard rock band, Widowmaker. Following a gruelling tour of the U.S.A., Steve parted company with Widowmaker and embarked upon a solo career that has continued to this day.
In January 2017 Manchester native Norman Beaker became only one of eight 20th-century British artists to be officially recognised and inducted as a Legend in the American Heritage Society’s Blues Hall of Fame®, alongside his colleagues Jack Bruce, Peter Green, John Mayall, Jeff Beck, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton. It was a long-overdue honour not only to a man who’s loyally served the genre for several decades, but to the land and town of his birth as well, and never more honestly earned.
His legendary status should come as no surprise; Norman is one of those very first artists who with such iconic colleagues as Chris Barber, Alexis Korner, Graham Bond and Victor Brox helped to create the unique British Blues, R&B and Rock genre that captivated the world. Despite later trends in Blues Norman kept its classic ageless sound alive throughout his distinguished career, whether playing solo or with a Who’s Who of blues, soul and rock from both sides of the Atlantic, including Chuck Berry, Jack Bruce, Van Morrison, Peter Green, Buddy Guy, Ruby Turner, Herbie Goins and B.B. King. He’s often on tour both as bandleader and frontman for The Norman Beaker Band, described by Jack Bruce as “the greatest R&B band in the UK”, or with Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame artist Larry Garner and toured and played with Chris Farlowe for over 20 years.
Like Steve and his contemporaries in the Hall of Fame®, Norman’s stayed active and cutting-edge since the early days, tirelessly songwriting, producing, arranging concerts and events as music director, and performing live. Though Blues is the foundation of his music and career, he’s always been in demand to accompany esteemed Soul, Rock, and Pop artists such as Ruby Turner, Jack Bruce and Cliff Bennett, both in recording and performing. Though these two of the hardest-working musicians will continue to do the shows they’re best known for–Steve with 60’s tours and Norman with his own performances in the UK and Europe–Steve and Norman have teamed up and joined creative forces in recording and to perform full individual live shows in addition to their usual acts, combining their talents in Soul-Blues-R&B songs done to perfection, and of course some of the classic Love Affair favourites. They have also collaborated on a song destined to be a Soul classic, the Beaker-penned “Time and Tide”. The track will be featured on both Norman’s new album and Steve’s, which also features his old friends Mike D’Abo and Paul Weller, who’s also doing the producing.
Like Steve and his contemporaries in the Hall of Fame®, Norman’s stayed active in music since the early days,
and though blues is the foundation of his music and career, he’s always in demand to accompany esteemed soul,
rock, and pop artists such as Ruby Turner and Jack Bruce, both in recording and performing.
Coming from the same tradition of great British musicians that include colleagues they’ve both worked with,
(including Chris Farlowe, Peter Green, Dave Berry, Graham Bond, Zoot Money, Georgie Fame, Cliff Bennett,
P.P. Arnold and Maggie Bell, this is a remarkable collaboration.