Enjoy Celebrity Radio’s Kerry Ellis Tour & Album Review….
In 18 years of reviewing and interviewing West End Stars, so few stick out. It’s a tsunami of blandness. Thank God I first got to see Kerry Ellis perform Live over a decade ago.
Having Starred in Oliver, Les Mis, We Will Rock You & currently back in Wicked where she has made her name as ‘Elphaba’ on Broadway and in the West End as a true leading lady powerhouse performer!
Ms. Ellis has everything – looks, personality and a voice that tonight proved she can equally wow with the rock chops of Joplin, the silk tone of Streisand and the balls of Adele!
Kerry’s ‘KE’ tour has more diversity, light and shade and texture than any other Live show I’ve seen in years. A true testament to her talent. The fact Kerry didn’t win ‘The Voice’ proves my long standing belief that the BBC wouldn’t know true talent if it bit them on the arse.
Enjoy Celebrity Radio’s Audio / Visual Review via YouTube:
Firstly, I confess I’m a fan, even more so after tonight. The first time I heard Kerry sing ‘No One But You’ in WWRY I fell in love with her hugely moving voice. It’s absolutely no surprise that Queen’s Brian May quickly signed her up and endorsed her with his seal of approval, a personally produced album and several Live tours together.
Already this week Kerry has performed 6 shows in Wicked at the Victoria Apollo. Ellis’ opening night of her 2014 tour in Leicester attracted as mixed & eclectic audience as her remarkable playlist.
Ellis understands theatricality, drama, mood and her show embodies these qualities magnificently. The show opens with a Bond medley and she then merrily makes her way through show tune classics charting her West End rise to fame and then on to Adele, Ed Sheeran, Katie Perry, Take That, Cilla and more.
Kerry’s new album ‘KE’ opens with Idina Menzel’s mega-hit ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen. It’s easy to compare Ellis and Menzel as they’ve both made Wicked their own and gained a ridiculously huge following, both have become Stars through musical theatre and they’ve a God given gift of a voice.
In the battle of the over copied ‘Let It Go’ franchise – Kerry wins! The orchestration is divine. An epic arrangement that crescendo’s beyond brilliant. Ellis also nails the vocals with warmth, charm and stunning power and control. Her Live version tonight closing the second act was even more impressive joined by the MADD choir.
I’ve only ever seen a handful of people who make their sound appear so effortless. Ellis is the epitome of a leading lady.
Much of Ellis’ material tonight is featured on her brand new album KE. Hits Include ‘Dreamed a dream’, ‘I could have danced all night’, ‘As long as he needs me’ & ‘The Way We Were’.
This album couldn’t be more safe and predictable in terms of track choice. What wasn’t expected though was the stunning arrangements and unique take on each song. This album is not your average ‘cash in’ & ‘sing the hits’ guff. It is made with heart, huge creativity and has a very 2014 treatment.
Like the album, much of the tour praise should go to Craig Adams who from what I’ve seen tonight is nothing short of a musical genius. His style is incredibly engaging and some of his harmonies & orchestrations are nothing short of spectacular. From Pharrell to Lionel Bart it just works! Bravo big-man, you’ve done Kerry proud.
KE (the album) is funded by her fans through ‘Pledge’. This form of sponsorship makes me uncomfortable but I guess it is a sign of the times and the only way artists like Kerry can get published. Unlike many others this year, Kerry’s money was very well spent.
I could have done without the karaoke track with Joe Mcelderry which in my view ruined the credibility of this unique album. Nevertheless, I guess I’m not ‘target audience’ and I’m sure his and her audience will love it.
Kerry is very real on stage. It’s not polished, pre-rehearsed scripted intros like so many do. Ellis has a conversation with her audience and looks totally at ease on stage. Why not? She was born to do it and be there.
It is very rare an artist comes along who amazes me. What Kerry did for 2 hours tonight was nothing short of inspiring. Her voice has so many colours and textures and she’s mastered the art of storytelling through her music.
KE live 5*****
KE The Album 4****
CHECK BACK NEXT WEEK FOR AN EXCLUSIVE NEW INTERVIEW WITH KERRY ELLISS @ CELEBRITY RADIO
Review by Alex Belfield for Celebrity Radio 27th September 2014