Hosted by the effervescent Historian compere Carl Chinn, the event commenced with a poignant rendition of the same portion of Tchaikovsky symphony by acclaimed violinist Shi Ling Chin accompanied by pianist Charles Matthews, the same piece of music as that which was performed at Birmingham Town Hall on that very night back in 1974. Former ELO members Dave Scott-Morgan and Martin Smith were next up as they performed the event anthem "21 Today" with the assistance of Hossam Ramzy, Mandy Scott-Morgan and classical musicians from Birmingham Conservatoire, followed by a solo demonstration of the tabla prowess of the Egyptian percussionist.
Steady Hands then impressed with their duo of compositions including "Mulberry Bush", a song born out of the ashes of one of the bomb sites. The legendary Steve Gibbons, initially solo before being joined by Dave Pegg [Fairport Convention], then continued proceedings with a Dylanesque selection of songs [and a dedication to the late Mike Burney] capped by a nice cover of The Beatles' "Abbey Road" classic "Come Together" to complete the first act.
The second half of the concert began with an informative and educational presentation before the moving and emotional public acknowledgement of the emergency services on that night. King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys then arrived on stage - with former Wizzard drummer Charlie Grima in tow providing percussion - to deliver another trademark energetic set before Jasper Carrott introduced Quill and long time pal Bev Bevan, who enchanted the audience with their trio of Celtic tinged originals. A second stage-filled performance of "21 Today" completed the night with the ensuing applause a perfect finale.
Set list: "21 Today", "Abide With Me" [Dave/Mandy Scott-Morgan, Martin Smith and musicians from Birmingham Conservatoire]; "Mulberry Bush", "The Company Of Wolves" [Steady Hands]; "Lamb To The Slaughter, "Hey Buddy", "The Chain", "I Shall Be Released", "Come Together" [Steve Gibbons/Dave Pegg]; "Say It Ain't So"; "Life Is Life"; "England" [Quill]; "21 Today" [All]
|Compere Carl Chinn in full flow ...|
|Violinist Shi Ling Chin with pianist Charles Matthews beyond ...|
|Acclaimed percussionist Hossam Ramzy in teaching mode ...|
|"21 Today" with Dave & Mandy Scott-Morgan, Martin Smith et al ...|
|Steady Hands ...|
|The superb Steve Gibbons with Dave Pegg ...|
|King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys with Charlie Grima ...|
|A brief cameo by Jasper Carrott ...|
|Classy Quill enchanted the audience ...|
|All together now ... "21 Today" reprised ...|
|Thank you and goodnight ...|
Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 24-Nov-2014