A folklore treasure - Nick Ellis' third album Speakers' Corner

Picture: Robin Clewley
MASTER of local folklore Nick Ellis is back with his third album Speakers' Corner on Mellowtone Records.

Created in the Spring and Summer of 2017, Speakers' Corner has a narrative which captures an uncertain and anxious Britain as it's caught in a major cultural, social and political shift.

The 12-track masterpiece follows on from second album, Adult Fiction and again has a unique and exquisite place on Liverpool's musical shelf.

And for each of the tracks, Nick created 12 characters to stand and talk, bringing them and their stories alive.

Each song holds its own beauty and grace - Blue Summer and Impractical Ideas are romanticised while others such as I Get Love - similar to that of Solomon Burke's Everybody Needs Somebody To Love - pack a firm punch.

What is unique about Nick is that each of his albums release there are others that remind us of previous work, a prime example being Hearts and Minds which reflects A Girl Called Desire, taken from Nick's second album Adult Fiction.

Wrote my Baby a Letter is one that will be interesting to hear live with its hearty, almost jazz sounding make-up using a deep bass-line and quick-fingered chords to produce a foot-tapping ode to lovers.

Embedded among the tracks are The Fisher-Bendix Tree and Lawrence Road Breakdown: two boldly instrumental offerings which slot aptly into the track-listing.

Listening in full you hardly notice the lack of vocals in these tracks as their soothing sound flows effortlessly into the next.

It is the crowning track Lawrence Road Breakdown which is bold and bolshy, with a harmonica harping away for just one minute and 14 seconds before it fades into the night.

Talking about the release, Nick said: “In 1973, Liverpool based sculptor Arthur Dooley and architect Jim Hunter were commissioned by the Transport & General Workers Union to design an iron podium at the Pier Head, Liverpool's centre-point of maritime activity, which would be intended for public speaking.

"It was used by protesters and trade unionists for 20 years until it was quietly removed by the City Council in 93/94, and never replaced.

"I felt this was a very suppressive, symbolic gesture - like taking away the focal point of the city's voice.

"The disappearance and subsequent lack of a current 'Speakers' Corner' in the city left me concerned, so I invented one of my own.

"I’ve created twelve characters to stand on it and talk, brought them alive through song and made them into a record.

"You see, despite the dominance of modern technology over the average person's methods of communication, word of mouth is still king - folklore will always prevail.

"And, folklore is best preserved in songs and stories...”

Speakers' Corner may be about 12 characters, but these stories are real, hardened truths many listeners will associate with.

Speakers' Corner album launch will take place on Saturday, October 6 at The Leggate Theatre, Liverpool with special guests Anna Jane Houghton, Rachael Jean Harris, Russ Litten and Roy.

Tickets are available via https://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Liverpool/The-Leggate-Theatre-/Nick-Ellis---Speakers-Corner-launch-/13284213/

Pre-order your copy of Speakers' Corner here: https://store.mellowtonerecords.com/category/nick-ellis


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