By David Parker
The tender age of 15 is a bit young to start off in the show business world in a band whose average age was only 17, anyway.
But that’s how Steve Ellis lost his milk teeth when he became a member of Soul Survivors, playing at private parties, clubs and other venues by just turning up and pretending they had been booked. And it was not just locally: they moved around the country quite a bit. Despite having a long conversation with Steve, we did not have time to go back to those days because there was so much to talk about that’s going on now.
Basically, he is ready for the Sensational 60s Experience tour which begins in September. He’s with The Marmalade, Hermin’s Hermits, The Swinging Blue Jeans, Chris Farlowe, and he is billed as Steve Ellis’ Love Affair. The 52-date tour starts on September 20 in Crawley and runs round the UK to end at Billingham on March 22, with only one stop in December, three in January, and four in February. So the promoters must be looking for more date, perhaps.
The show is hosted by Alan Mosca, from a Freddie & The Dreamers connection. Earlier this year, Steve was covering for Chip Hawkes who is recovering from a medical condition but is still making great progress and hopes to be back on the road himself, soon. Just last month, he finished working on a new release to follow his October 2011 album entitled ‘Ten Commitments’. His new solo album is on Decon Records, entitled The Best of Days. Steve’s biggest successes were with Love Affair – Everlasting Love”, “A Day Without Love”, “Rainbow Valley” and “Bringing On Back the Good Times”.
Born in 1950, and at the still tender age of 19, Steve wanted a change of direction because he felt perhaps Love Affair had run its course. He left to go solo. In the early 70s he performed with the band “Ellis” with keyboard player Zoot Money. The group made two albums, Riding on the Crest of a Slump in 1972, and Why Not? in 1973. Then Steve tried for chart success with rock band Widowmaker and the album Widowmaker in 1976. He also sang on the soundtrack of Loot, a 1970 film based on the Joe Orton’s play, directed by Silvio Narizzano. More recently he can be seen on stage performing live with The New Amen Corner. Steve Ellis has had a few knocks in his life since he was a younger-than-most teenage idol in a pop band. The pictures tell the story, but his music is at its best and should be heard live and through whatever means we can receive it.
Best of Days has songs he’s written, his best friend Paul Weller’s Brand New Start – and, of course – Everlasting Love as a new acoustic version, with contributions from Paul, and Roger Daltrey.