SIXTIES pop legend, Steve Ellis, the front man of The Love Affair, plays Swansea’s Grand Theatre on February 27 as part of this years Sensational 60s Line-up.
Dubbed The Original Mod by many of his contemporaries and fans, Steve and The Love Affair are remembered for a list of strong hit singles from the late 1960s which included the 1968 UK chat-topper Everlasting Love.
“It broke the mould a bit because Keith Mansfield scored it all up and it sounded like Phil Spector,” Steve tells Andy Howells.
Everlasting Love become a controversial hit, it was revealed the producers didn't use all the members of The Love Affair line-up on the actual recording, substituting them for session musicians. “They said “We want to put you in the studio,” and so I went in on my own which was kind of a bitter pill because we were a good band,” continues Steve, “ That’s the way it was, but a lot of people were doing it, it was no big secret. I was the only one who admitted it!”
Steve Ellis in the 1960s
The Love Affair continued their chart success with further hits including
A Day Without Love
but eventually the mania that accompanied pop stardom took its toll on the band. “It just turned into chaos and pandemonium you couldn’t hear what you were playing,” says Steve, “That was the whole reason I left because I couldn’t hear anything. I just move on because I just want to make music, that’s the whole reason I got into it.”
Steve has continued to record and tour in the decades that followed his initial chart success and was thrilled to be invited to appear on The Sensational Sixties Experience a few years ago.
“You can’t knock the heritage, there’s obviously an audience that want to hear that period. The promoters saw me at a gig and said “We want you to do a tour” and I didn't think much of it at the time as I’d just come off stage and was running out the door to get in the car and go home. I said “I haven’t done a tour of that magnitude in years. I’ll think about it but if you get Chris Farlowe on it, I’ll probably do it” because I’ve known him since I was 17.”
Steve got on board with The Sensational 60s Experience two years ago and his set went down so well, he’s been back on the current tour since last autumn alongside other 60s favourites, Herman’s Hermits, Union Gap UK, Chris Farlowe and Alan Mosca of The Dreamers. “Its good," continues Steve, “everybody gets on and there’s no egos about them. Of course you have to do the hits but that’s okay as long as you do them and mean them and don’t do them like a juke box which we never do.”
Steve has recently been working on a new album “I had a single out with a band called Cow that I’ve been working with and that got a little radio play. I hope this new album will surprise a few people it’s got some nice beats going on!”
- The Sensational 60s Experience plays Swansea Grand Theatre on February 27. Check the official website for further details.
- Andy Howells is a freelance writer. Extracts from this interview were published in The South Wales Argus entertainment supplement The Guide during Autumn 2015.