Album review: Kerry Ellis & Brian May, Acoustic by Candlelight


Acoustic By Candlelight

26 June 2013
Rating 9/10

There are many things that are worth repeating in life so soon after first experiencing them; your first passionate kiss, the first book that spoke to you and awoke something deep about yourself, the first play that made you laugh so hard you forgot you were in a different set of company and a gig that delighted and entranced you.

On the back of their tour in 2012, Kerry Ellis and Brian May recorded songs from various venues and have released them in time for the 2013 Born Free Tour on a delightful new album, Acoustic By Candlelight.

Even though live recordings can be so much hit and miss, in some the quality of the event is missed, in others it just proves to be a money making exercise and mostly offers nothing new to a group’s credibility, in this recording the beautiful sound that is framed by a series of deeply personal performances is Captured fully and intensely. Like Miles Hunt and Erica Nockalls live album of a couple of years ago in which they performed and their night was a shining example of how to record a live gig, bolts and all or Joe Bonamassa’s excellent Live at the Vienna Opera House, Acoustic By Candlelight is a stunning piece of music that melts hearts and shows the two performers, especially the vocals of Kerry Ellis, off to an awaiting audience arguably desperate for more of the same to evoke memories of their special night.

Captured in various venues such as Salisbury, Islington, Corby and Bury St. Edmunds, the music flows over the listener as a fine scotch does over the pallet. Tracks such as Born Free, the enchanting I Who Have Nothing, The Way We Were, I’m Not That Girl and Queen’s own Crazy Little Thing Called Love all serve as a great reminder of what a great night Kerry Ellis and Brian May offer to their audiences, no matter the venue.

It takes a special live setting to catch a glorious show just right and they come along all into infrequently but in Acoustic By Candlelight, two consummate professionals are given free rein to thrill a crowd and know deep down that it will be enjoyed for what it is, a very beautiful and outstanding piece of history.

Ian D. Hall