Nick Ellis: Speakers’ Corner – album review
Heavyweight vinyl LP / CD / Download
Nick Ellis returns with another formidable release with his latest long player Speakers’ Corner which is the artist’s third album release in as many years, and was conceived in the heat of the historic, explosive Spring and Summer of 2017. His previous album Adult Fiction was my first introduction to Nick’s music which reminded me of John Martyn’s tones, with exquisite guitar playing and a voice sent directly from the gravelled tones of Mr Martyn, this is a winning formula from Nick, which is showcased stunningly with the new release.
I Get Love gets things off to the familiar chords of Solomon Burke’s Everybody Needs Someone to Love, with perky shout back vocals intertwined with the resplendent guitar. Impractical Ideas has Nick singing about a ‘rich man’s purse’ with a solo bass drum and guitar. Is Nick busking on this one? If he is it’s the best ever busking session you’ll ever hear. On Nick’s last album Adult Education there were some delightful instrumental numbers, this album is no exception. Sally Go Round the Roses has a maypole type skipping beat feel with the album final track Laurence Road Breakdown has stand out solo blues harmonica. Further highlights include Jesus of twine ‘he did not have a nickel, he did not have a dime’ Nick starts off the song. Is he singing about The Messiah? Have a listen to make up your mind. Further highlight Micks Walk fades in with the a quicker McCartney Blackbird type tempo guitar plucking. The production is warm, earthy and surrounds you in Nick’s melodic world, something that grips hold of you naturally, without force and delicately entices you to keep listening to the pied pipers songs.
Is Nick on the cusp of something truly special here, you betcha. I’m shocked Nick’s music hasn’t been opened to a much wider audience. Forget your ginger haired acoustic beatbox lunatic. Get hold of the acclaimed releases from one of Liverpool’s great singer song writers of the modern age.
Speakers’ Corner is available from Mellowtone Records on heavyweight vinyl LP and CD. It was released on Saturday 6th October with a special launch event at the Leggate Theatre, Victoria Building, Liverpool.
All words by Matt Mead. Further articles by Matt can be found at the Louder Than War author archive pages.