DVD review: BRIAN MAY & KERRY ELLIS – The Candlelight Concerts: Live At Montreux 2013

Eagle Vision [Released 31.03.14]

Queen’s Brian May and West End singer Kerry Ellis have been doing a series of well received concerts by candlelight (their 2012 UK tour makes up the CD part of this DVD/CD set) and they played the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival in July last year.

Now I love all things Queen and the various band member’s offshoots, but I approached this with some trepidation as I was not sure the pairing would work. Happy to report this is a great pairing, as Kerry Ellis has the vocal power that comes from appearing on West End stages and of course in Brian May you have a highly talented musician. The concert is very relaxed, both are seated for much of the show and Jeff Leach joins them on keyboards as and when required.

They perform ‘Born Free’, almost their signature tune as it sets out their concert with a wildlife conservation message nicely. Excellent version of the Kansas classic ‘Dust In The Wind’ and the Beatles ‘Something’. There are the Queen classics – in their acoustic glory – including ‘Somebody To Love’ and ‘No-One But You (Only The Good Die Young)’. The duo also update Queen’s ‘Life Is Real’ from the ‘Hot Space’ album and a definite highlight of the  set.I must admit though on ‘Tie Your Mother Down’ I was hankering for the drums of Roger Taylor and some May-esque power chords!

The bonus material is a video ‘Nothing Really Changed’ (penned by Virginia McKenna) shot on location at Shamwari Game Reserve.

The CD collects a similar set list to the DVD but recorded around the various venues that made up their UK tour in 2012. The CD also features four songs not available anywhere else including ‘I Loved A Butterfly’ a new song written by Brian May and ‘I Can’t Be Your Friend’, which May co-write with famed lyricist Don Black.

Queen fans will want this for the previously unavailable songs and as a memento for those lucky enough to see them live. Plus this has a wider appeal as the Queen songs will be known to many and anyone who enjoys acoustic based music with a very powerful female vocal will be in seventh heaven with this DVD and CD.

****

Review by Jason Ritchie


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