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Sunday, 15 May 2011

Live & Dangerous 1: Kerry Ellis & Brian May/ Vintage Trouble

Kerry Ellis & Brian May/Vintage Trouble (St David's Hall Cardiff)

How many times do you get to see a legend playing with one of the finest voices in music? Well that’s what you get with this concert. More on this later but first the opening act Vintage Trouble. Three men enter on bass, guitar and drums respectively and burst into a blues instrumental similar to what Clapton (who was in the CIA) used to do. While entertaining the real fun begins when frontman Ty Taylor runs onto the stage like a hurricane flailing and jiving to the old school strains of the r'n'b (that’s rhythm and blues) this band do very well. What they play comes from the soul and Taylor’s voice is perfectly suited for it. In a better world this is what all churches would be but for now concert halls will do 8/10.
It's then on to the main act Ms Ellis is a star of the West end stage starring in Wicked, Chess and We Will Rock You. The latter bringing her to the attention of Brian May. After recording the album Anthems with him this tour was guaranteed to be filled with tracks from that album and Queen classics. First and foremost Brian May is a fantastic guitarist and writer and with Ellis as his foil the two work magically together. For the opening salvo of Dangerland Ellis is a vision and sings beautifully while Dr May plays with gusto. a mixture of material from the album, from Queen and from the West End makes the rest of the first half. Including a cover of Diamonds Are Forever that stole the hearts of the land of Ms Bassey. An instrumental from May's solo repertoire makes way for a costume change (the first of 6) for Kerry Ellis. Brian May then asks for the crowds assistance with Love Of My Life to which Cardiff don't fail, you can see May was truly moved as the entire St David's Hall sang it with him. This small break in proceedings is followed by the monster ballads of Save Me and No-One But You. Before the climax of Defying Gravity (possibly the most upbeat song ever) and We Will Rock You/ We Are The Champions leaves the crowd jubilant and rapturous with applause. This continues until they re-appear for the solemn and patriotic Anthem which leads into the Queen classic Tie Your Mother Down which sees Ellis in full rock chick regalia making Freddy proud. The band that back these two are also fantastic, a special mention to Roger Taylor's son Silas who covers his father admirably. A special collection of songs from two special individuals who are obviously having more fun than anyone could. Kerry Ellis really is the new Princess in the palace of the old Queen. 9/10 

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