Looking back: 60s pop star Steve Ellis, Love Affair
Looking back: 60s pop star
Steve Ellis, Love Affair
There I’ve said it. From a No.1 single in 1968 with the iconic tune ‘Everlasting Love’, singing with his then band, Love Affair, to other Top Twenty hits like ‘Rainbow Valley’ and ‘Bringing on Back the Good Times’.
In one form or the other, Steve Ellis has continued to record and tour since those glory years, and that continues right up to 2017.
A recent studio stint with his long time pal, Paul Weller in the control booth, means a new Steve Ellis album will be with us very soon. I caught up with him down in Brighton recently, over a cup of hot strong builders tea.
Del: Thanks for taking time out to join us Steve
SE: Pleasure, sir.
Del: What were you listening to when you were growing up?
SE: Well, I was in a gang who grew up together; the Finchley Boys and we loved Motown/soul/R&B/ska/some blues and surprisingly, a bit of Beach Boys.
Del: What age were you when you joined your first band?
SE: Fifteen. Nigel who was in the said gang, put me up for an audition, in Melody Maker or NME, for a laugh, but it backfired, as I got the job! I still blame him, all these years later!
Del: Were you always a Mod?
SE: Oh yes definitely – “A Mod is for life not just for Christmas” – I read that, written in graffiti somewhere and it made me laugh.
Del: You have a very distinctive voice: have you always sung?
SE: Nope. I actually started off playing drums, but it evolved from that, somehow.
Del: Name your five favourite singers of all time?
SE: Ouch! Unfair question, that. Too many really. Up there would be Ray Charles, (my mum bought me his albums from the Co-Op when I was 13/14) then Snooks Eaglin and David Ruffin. Got to have Aretha Franklin in there. I used to sing along to her albums, to learn to hit the high notes. And also my old mucker, Terry Reid. And then possibly 100 more.
Del: Another toughie: Name your fave five albums of all time?
SE: Oh leave it out. Another unfair question! Far too many. Ok here goes, here’s a random five. Leo Kottke ‘6&12 String Guitar’, James Brown ‘Live at the Apollo’, Howlin Wolf ‘The London Sessions’, ‘Truth’ by Jeff Beck – but
just that one album! And Mr Weller`s very first solo album, it comes from the heart. Oh, er, I almost forgot ‘Otis Blue’ by Otis Redding. Bad boy!
Del: A little bird (nice girl) tells me you have worked with Paul Weller recently. How has that been? New album coming our way?
SE: Yes. He’s been my mate for 30-odd years now, as The Woking Wonder, he he! It was a great time we had with The Moons, Cow, Mike d`Abo, Dream Foundry, and more, joining on some days. Paul is a good soul, with a big heart and a great sense of humour. Not a lot of people get that.
Anyway, we wrote a couple of tunes and threw ideas around. He is 100% into his music. That is the link, I think, so I trusted him to lead the charge and it turned out great, I think. Out Autumn/ Winter time this year, with a 30-date tour, that just fell into place quite coincidentally.
Del: Have you always been interested in fashion too?
SE: Yes, a good pair of shoes, a good watch and a pair of Levi 501s, and you can get away with anything. I still love the original Mid 60s styles. My pals, with shops in Brighton, find them for me.
Del: You mentioned the upcoming 30-date tour there. Do you still love the live work?
SE: Yes definitely, but it hurts the bones a bit now! I have been singing for 52 years and that is a lot of gigs and miles. Last tour was in 2015/6 and took in 30,000 miles alone and that is not counting the one-nighters.
Del: Finally, we are asking everyone this. What is your favourite Delicious Junction shoe?
SE: I like quite a few of them, actually, and think you guys do a great job. Actually I’ve got a question for you before you go. Where are my Brogues you promised me? You’re a cad sir!
Del; Thank you, and guilty as charged!