Album review: SPACE ELEVATOR – S/t plus interview with the Duchess

DY Music  [Released March 2014]

Debut album by a band formed by guitarist David Young, who plays in the West End musical ‘We Will Rock You’ house band along with female vocalist called the Duchess. The band is completed by Elliott Ware (keyboards), Brian Greene (drums) and legendary bass player Neil Murray (who also plays in the ‘We Will Rock You’ band).

They set out to create an album inspired by Queen, Kate Bush and Genesis and they have hints of those artists in this album. There is also a West End musical feel to the production of some songs as you’d expect given the background of the musicians. Listen to ‘Oils And Bubbles’ and it sounds like Queen and the Darkness written for the stage. Great harmonies, Brian May approved guitar solos and a tongue in cheek lyric make this a winner.

The Duchess has a fine vocal, one minute like Kate Bush fronting Queen on ‘I Will Find You (Gallifrey Dreams)’ – a real pomp rock delight and a love for Dr. Who nonetheless  – then coming all over Fleetwood Mac on ‘We Can Fly’.

Fine musicianship as you’d expect given the calibre of the musicians involved and a good set of tunes, a few take a few listens to click, but there are no fillers. The only problem I can envisage for this band is they need a decent support to get them noticed and a band like the Darkness would be perfect.  Onwards and upwards with this fine musical elevator…  ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

August 2014: Quick Five Q’s with the Duchess…

1. How has your debut album been received so far by reviewers and fans?

It has been overwhelmingly positive and that has really blown us all away. Fans from all over the world are really “getting us” and picking up the ethos of the album and running (or flying!) with it and with us. It’s a great warm feeling to be supported by people we have never met but who love the same music that we love: good honest unashamed classic rock!

The reviews have been incredible too, Dave Ling who we respect greatly has become a champion of ours, Prog magazine said we “might just be huge” of course you guys gave us a thumbs-up  (thanks Jason!) and even Malcolm Dome, whilst we’re not quite heavy enough for him, conceded that we could be the biggest hard rock band of the year. We have 4 months to prove him right and it’s all moving in the right direction!

2. Do you find Space Elevator have been a little like the Darkness in that rock fans either love or dislike the band, you can’t really be neutral on the band?

Absolutely. You put a Doris out front in a skintight catsuit strutting about like she’s Freddie Mercury and you’re inviting some strong opinions! That has definitely happened. Our video for Elevator appeared on the Classic Rock website and Geoff Barton was pretty scathing in his dismissal of us without having listened to the album. The video got the most views anything has had on that website for a long time but divided rock fans completely.

It isn’t heavy heavy rock. But you’ve got a heavyweight bassist from Whitesnake and Black Sabbath in the band! It’s a bit of a dichotomy! I get it! We are the lighter Queen/Darkness end of rock with some pop elements and even theatricality but it’s more Kate Bush than West End. The We Will Rock You tag has put some rock fans (and Geoff Barton) off. But to play in We Will Rock You authentically you have to be a proper rock musician, who has done rock gigs and earned their stripes and the WWRY show is another rock gig for them. It’s not about a bunch of theatre types deciding they want to play at being a rock band. The Classic Rock guys appear to have dismissed us on face value but that’s ok. We’ll win them round in the end! The songs rock and you can’t argue with good songs for ever! Plus we would rather be inspiring some strong opposite opinions than being so forgettable that we go by unnoticed!

3. You’re releasing the single ‘I Will Find You (Gallifrey Dreams)’ just in time for the new series of ‘Dr Who’. How did this song come about and are the Dr Who team aware of this song?

The song started out as a classic love song. A song about unrequited love. Then I thought about who is the most unobtainable man in the universe? A time lord who has two hearts and is regenerated at regular intervals! I mean I know us women like complicated men but that’s ridiculous! Also the Gallifrey theme fitted in with the spacey themes running through some of the other songs on the album, plus our name of course! I am not aware if anyone on the show is aware of us yet, but momentum is gathering with that song, Doctor Who fans, rock fans and fans of a good old-fashioned bombastic love-song are digging it so it’s only a matter of time!


4. How did the gig in July at the 100 Club go? Are more live shows planned and if you had the chance in an ideal world who would the band love to tour with?

The 100 Club gig was awesome! We had such a blast. The songs rock out live and it was such a buzz to see people singing along with the lyrics to every song! I absolutely love performing live, that’s what it’s all about! Live music! We’re planning some dates in Germany then definitely will be touring the UK. Next, the world! In an ideal world? We’d be supporting Kiss, Aerosmith, The Darkness, Whitesnake or Queen!

5. You’ve released the album recently on vinyl. Do you see a growing demand again for vinyl and does the album have any extras like a gatefold sleeve?

There is definitely a growing demand for vinyl. Nothing beats he experience sonically for me of listening to a whole album that way. Also to hold the album in your hands and read the lyrics, look at the can a compressed download ever begin to compare? It’s heartbreaking if you think about it! That’s why we were so adamant that the album has to be bought physically on cd or vinyl. It’s a journey, with side one and side two!  The signed vinyl comes with some lovely postcards featuring myself and the band!

Message for your fans…

Thank you all for your continuing support, it’s been incredible and overwhelming. We are so thrilled that you love the album and we can’t wait to meet you all on tour around the world!

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 17 August 2021.

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