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Celtic Folk-Rock Band Still Going Strong After 40 Years
It's got to be four decades since me and my mate first heard Quill perform at a pub in the West Midlands while we were enjoying a drink in the bar next door, not realising the music was coming from a live band. Very little has changed since that first introduction in the 1970s - me and my mate Bob still meet up for a beer - or cup of tea - and Quill continue to prove what a great live band they are.
Quill during a recent live performance
On this occasion, Quill were performing their delightful Celtic folk-rock style of music at the Lichfield Garrick theatre, having started their first ever theatre tour at the same venue last year. Sadly, this will be their last but one gig after a date at the Birmingham Town Hall on April 23 for a few months. But the good news is that they will be taking time out from touring to record a long-awaited and much anticipated new album.
Fans of the group - and there are many like me and Bob who have stayed loyal for the last 40 years or so - will be pleased to know that the new songs due to appear on the album are high pedigree. The six-piece outfit, as always featuring Joy Strachan-Brain on lead vocals, were soon performing one of their new songs at the Lichfield Garrick, namely "Pretty Ribbons", about a girl's revenge on her errant boyfriend, after opening with the classic Pete Seeger folk song, "The Bells of Rhymney".
Kate McWilliam performed a great instrumental medley
Buddy Miller's "A Showman's Life" was next up before another new song, "Black Dog Day", also about relationships, again demonstrated the songwriting talent within the band's current line-up, which includes Kate McWilliam on fiddle and Tony Kelsey on guitar. Other new offerings included "Elephant in the Room" and the particularly enjoyable "Perfect Skin", while their varied repertoire ranged from covers of ELO's "Telephone Line" the Beatles' "Carry That Weight", and The Waterboys' more recent "The Whole of the Moon" to the still beautiful folk stand, "Will Ye Go Lassie Go".
Tony Kelsey on guitar
Quill were well supported by their original guitarist Phil Bates, who later rejoined the band and later excelled in ELO: Part ll. Catch Quill at Birmingham Town Hall on Sunday 23 April.