As you know here at the Rockandrollreport we not only support what the major labels put out but also the amazing music which so many unsigned and independent bands put out. This is where the passions shine the brightest but sadly so much of this is seemingly overlooked. This article is to highlight a stunning Celtic Rock band based in the Midlands who fit into both categories but have not had as much exposure as their sound and style deserves.
This band called Quill who I believe had their first gig over forty years ago in 1972 shortly before their first single ‘Spent The Rent’ was released on the EMI Parlaphone label. The original band line up was Gill Solwell on drums/harmonica/guitar – Wally Lowe on vocals and ukulele – Mike Smith on Violin – Joy Strachan on vocals and Phil Bates on guitar/bass guitar. Before joining Quill Phil played with Teenbeats and formed the band Trickster, from 1993-99 he was lead guitarist/songwriter and joint lead vocalist for ELO Part 2. In 1970 Phil played for the heavy rock band JUG before joining cabaret/folk band Enigma who then became Quill. Once again Bates also played with Trickster and worked very successfully as a session and solo player during the seventies before rejoining Quill in 1981. Going back to the early years, Ben Brain joined the band on bass guitar and Jo Edmunds joined providing keyboards. Phil Saunders joined on fiddle replacing Mike Smith.
The bottom line is that there are usually many changes within any band which have been playing over such a long period of time. Brian Tatler of Diamond Head fame was with the band for a while in the nineties and performed on three of their albums, Out Of The Hat, Privileged and Back Intact. The quality of Quills rich, warm, lively and wonderful sound has always been obvious. This along with their penchant for constantly providing superb live performances which showcase their guitar, violin and vocal harmonies has earned them an enormous following.
Sadly Ben Brain passed away just over a year ago but the Quill are playing on, their next gig is at the Isle Of Man TT races, you can check their gig guide HERE . You can check their music out on their You Tube Channel HERE or on their MY Space player HERE
and HERE is a link to their official website.