STARMAKER Eliot Kennedy’s fund-raising concert has got the X Factor - it will feature stars of TV’s top talent show, writes Graham Walker.
Andy Abraham, The Reason 4 and Boot Camp star Katy Bullock, plus swing sensation Paul Pashley, singer-songwriter Philippa Hanna and surprise guests, will join the region’s Grammy Award winning singer, song-writer and producer for a homecoming concert.
No surprise then that tickets - just £10 each - are heading towards a sell out for Eliot Kennedy and Guests at Sheffield City Hall’s Memorial Hall, on Thursday, September 29, 2011.
It’s in aid of his One Song Foundation, with proceeds to help launch Philippa’s Raggedy Doll Company, to give toys to needy children.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our video report - or click here to watch our chat with Eliot Kennedy on YouTube - where it can be viewed on Apple devices, including the iPhone and iPad.
Sheffield man Eliot, who has just been made Producer for Artiste Development on the X Factor, has helped to develop, record and produced some of the biggest names in the world of pop - including Take That, Bryan Adams, Boyzone, The Spice Girls, Aretha Franklin and Celine Dion.
The concert will see Eliot reunited with some of the stars he has worked with over the past two decades, singing and telling the stories behind some of his greatest hits, including Everything Changes, When You’re Gone, Picture Of You, Say You’ll Be There and many, many more.
The One Song Foundation is a fund-raising organisation he set up, to help change the world ‘one song at a time’, with projects to support local, national and international worthy causes.
Rock superstar and song-writing partner Bryan Adams, comedy genius Peter Kay, band members from SClub and Blue have been amongst his surprise guests at previous sell out shows and thousands of pounds have been donated in the past three years to homeless and cancer charities in Sheffield.
Now he’s helping to kick start Philippa’s The Raggedy Doll Company, to provide toys for children this Christmas and beyond.
Meanwhile, Eliot has just produced the comeback single for 90s superband Steps, as part of a Steps Reunion TV documentary series which will follow their return, on Sky Living from Wednesday, September 28, at 9pm.
His next big thing is a new girl band, called Blush, a Pan-Asian equivalent of The Spice Girls, featuring five girls - each one from a different country, of China, India, Japan, Korea and the Philippines.
Blush have soared up the US dance charts and will be unveiled in the UK next year with a TV series showing how they were chosen by Eliot and his team.
He said of the forthcoming Sheffield concert: “It’s going to be a fantastic night for another great cause, with some fabulous names I have worked with throughout my career. There’s an X Factor theme to this concert and it will be very intimate, acoustic, almost unplugged show.
“We’re also expecting celebrities in the audience, including some soap stars - and for the first time I’m taking questions, so people can ask me all about my career or any of the songs I’ve written.”
* Tickets for Eliot Kennedy and Guests, promoted by LGI Enterprises at Sheffield City Hall’s Memorial Hall, on Thursday, September 29, are £10 each, subject to booking fee. Buy from the City Hall, call 0114 2789 789, 0114 2565656, buy on-line at sheffieldcityhall.co.uk, arenaticketshop.co.uk or motorpointarena.co.uk
TAKING STEPS WITH HITMAKER TO REUNITE
TAKE That did it. The Spice Girls tried it. Now Tragedy chart-toppers Steps are hoping to break back into the charts - with the help of Eliot Kennedy
The Sheffield hitmaker was their first choice to produce a comeback single, which will feature in a TV documentary following their return, called Steps Reunion, on Sky Living, from Wednesday, September 28, 9pm.
The four-part series will follow the reconciliation of the band, who formed in 1997 and subsequently sold more than 15 million records in the UK, with 14 consecutive top five singles before acrimoniously splitting up in 2001.
Band members Ian ‘H’ Watkins, Lisa Scott-Lee, Lee Latchford-Evans, Claire Richards and Faye Tozer agreed to reunite in the run-up to the release of a greatest hits album.
But Eliot, who features in episode three, has made a new single with them and now their are plans for an album and tour next year - if the public wants them back,.
“We’ve made a single. And that’s exciting, in itself. It’s a cover. I’m not saying what it is yet, as it’s a time sensitive thing - but it’s a great record that everyone knows and loves. It’s a guilty pleasure for most people. And they do a brilliant job of it.
“They all sing together for the first time - all five of them singing lead vocals, which they’ve never done before. It was always just Claire, mainly. This sounds ensemble. It sounds like a band but it still sounds like Steps.
“Steps ended on a high, like Take That. They didn’t dwindle, like the Spice Girls did. And I think that’s a good thing. It should be on demand - if there’s a demand, I’m sure there will be an album.”
EAST MEETS WEST WITH NEW SUPERGROUP BLUSH
GLOBETROTTER Eliot Kennedy has been jetting all over the world to find and produce the next big thing, called Blush - a Pan-Asian equivalent of The Spice Girls.
The band consists of five girls, each from a different Asian country, featuring Victoria, from China, Alisha, from India, Natsuko, from Japan, Ji Hae, from Korea and Angeli, from the Philippines.
The super-group, a fusion of East meets West pop - currently number three in the US dance charts - is the the culmination of his Project Lotus TV talent search filmed in Hong Kong and to be broadcast with the band’s UK launch next year.
“We found five girls from each country and took all 25 back to Hong Kong where I ran an Academy, with Philippa Hanna as vocal coach,’’ he said.
“We ended up with five gorgeous, multi-talented and now multi-lingual girls. You’ll be hearing a lot about them. It’s a fantastic project.
“It was an amazing life changing experience for me - the biggest eye opener and the most amazing thing I’ve ever done.
“I’ve just come back after recording them in LA and literally this morning I’ve finished the mix for what is going to be their first radio record. So yes, Made In Sheffield. There’s a very strong Yorkshire thread running through it.”.