Joy always knew that a life on the stage was for her. Dancing school and appearances in amateur musicals fuelled her passion. At 16yrs old and still at school she became part of a folksy school band called Enigma. They had a New Seekers feel about them, concentrating on harmonies and acoustic instruments. Enigma went on to win a talent competition , the prize being a recording contract at London based Morgan Music, where the likes of “The Kinks” “Paul Simon” “Rod Stewart” were recording, it was an exciting time for a young band. Soon a couple of the members left to go off to teachers training college and university and this left the remaining members of the group Mike Smith, Phil Bates and Joy looking for new players. Whilst gigging at one of their regular venues Suzanna’s night club in Tamworth a DJ friend of theirs told them of a couple of musicians that were looking to do something different, using different instruments, fiddle, mandolin, ukulele, enter Gil Showell and Wally Lowe and “Quill was Born”
Morgan Music, paid for them to get a flat with a cellar where they were able to rehearse, and of course party !!! They did a tour of East Germany before the wall came down, playing in massive stadiums, they did not make much money, got paid in deutsche mark and had to spend it before returning to the UK, so tipped heavily wherever they went and where very popular , but they got paid just enough money in English currency to buy a Commer Van. They now could start a life on the road!!
Over the years many talented musicians have played in Quill, many come from successful bands or gone onto have great careers in other bands, Ric Sanders Fairport Convention, Jim Simpson UFO, Brian Tatler Diamond Head. But none more talented than the current line up featuring Bev Bevan on drums and percussion.
Quill have worked through 4 decades, always with Joy fronting the show and managing the band too. During this time she has acted, modelled, presented and been part of Jasper Carrott’s “Stand up and Rock” ask her if she’s thinking of retiring any time soon? Not on your life!!!
Bev started his professional career with Denny Laine & the Diplomats In 1963, opening shows for The Beatles and The Rolling Stones . Following a stint in Germany with Carl Wayne & the Vikings , Bev became a founding member of The Move in 1966 , who’s 3rd hit single , Flowers In The Rain, became the first record played on BBC Radio 1 , in September 1967. The Move topped the UK charts in 1969 with Blackberry Way.
In 1971 Bev became a founding member of Electric Light Orchestra , who went on to have a string of international hit albums and singles and toured to sell out tours worldwide, throughout the Seventies and early Eighties.
In 1982/‘83 Bev joined Black Sabbath , touring USA, Canada and Europe (including topping the bill at Reading Festival). 1986 saw him help organise the star studded Heartbeat concert at Birmingham NEC . The charity would go on to make £1 million for B’ham Children’s Hospital .
Throughout the 90’s Bev toured the world with ELO Part 2, playing with such prestigious orchestras as the Moscow Symphony , Singapore Symphony , London Philharmonic , Atlanta Symphony and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra .
During the 2,000’s Bev hosted his own radio shows on Saga FM, Smooth FM and BBC WM and was awarded a star on Birmingham’s Walk Of Stars and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.
Over the years Bev has also played drums on stage or in the studio with an impressive list of musicians including Paul Weller, Marc Bolan, The Jools Holland Band, Phil Lynott, Robert Plant , The Everly Brothers, Del Shannon , Paul Carrack, Rick Wakeman and Bobby Womack, to name but a few.
Playing electric and acoustic guitar, Lee has thirty years experience playing in many bands and many styles of music all over Europe. He has released two solo original instrumental acoustic guitar albums and appeared on numerous recordings as a session musician. He's recently just finished a tour playing in the Jasper Carrot production 'Stand Up and Rock' in the Bev Bevan band.
Kate McWilliam has been the violinist in Quill for 24 years, performing at festivals all over Europe and fulfilling a long held dream by playing at Cropredy in 2017.
She started her musical journey at the age of 7, playing in a ceildh band and various youth orchestras and making her first TV appearance at the National Schools Prom with Southampton Youth Orchestra in 1985.
During the 1990’s Kate veered away from her classical music beginnings, and played keyboards and violin in folk punk bands at university. After returning to Birmingham, she joined jazz quartet, The Snooty Cuties before joining Quill in 1994.
In more recent years, Kate has become involved in several other musical projects that include performing with Trevor Burton and playing Balkan folk music with a punk and ska flavour with Birmingham band Johnny Kowalski and the Sexy Weirdos.
She likes to think she contributes a foot tapping folk edge and an ethereal celtic feel to Quill.
Bass Guitar, Vocals
Phil started performing at the age of 15, joining bands as a vocalist, Keyboard player or guitarist, and toured with bands in the 60’s in Europe at the ripe old age of 17 performing at both the Star Club and Top Ten Club in Hamburg made famous by the Beatles. In 1976 at a friend’s wedding Mike Sheridan whose famous band had launched names like Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood and the Idle Race and said he was forming a new band and thought Phil played bass, of course Phil said yes, and thanks to Mike, Phil continues to play bass to this day.
Whilst in a band called the Poorboys, Roy Wood approached Phil in 1990 to be his band as he was going back on the road first time in 12 years. Phil left around 1995 for health and sanity reasons (Roy likes to party!).
During this period Phil was in a fun band called Belch featuring old pals Jasper Carrott, Bev Bevan, Tony Iommi and Phil Ackrill doing private gigs but did appear on live TV show ‘Jasper Carrott live at Drury Lane’ having performed earlier in the evening with Roy Wood and Squeeze in Kentish Town. Aa busy night!
In 2004 Bev formed The Bev Bevan Band and asked Phil join, and continued to play in his band in various shows to this day. The only original member left so a natural transition to have finally joined him in Quill.
With Bev there have been many years at Jasper's Rock with Laughter shows at the NEC backing artists such as Robert Plant, Paul Carrick, Toyah, Dave Berry, Rick Wakeman and many more.
Phil also toured with The Move including Trevor Burton and Abby, at about the same time the band toured with a show called Brum Rocks featuring Trevor Burton, Steve Gibbons, Danny King and Geoff Turton, this show eventually became Jasper Carrotts Stand up and Rock with Joy as vocalist, Phil is looking forward to playing in Quill amongst his best friends in the business.
Keyboard player/singer/songwriter Abby Brant has been on the live music scene for some 30 years. Her versatility as a keys player and powerful vocalist draws from her wide range of influences and experience. She has performed with the likes of Robert Plant, Steve Winwood, Bev Bevan, Trevor Burton and Ruby Turner.
Abby has teamed up with Bev Bevan on a number of occasions over the last few years including a successful tour with 'the Move' in 2014 (affectionately dubbed by the band as the one and only ever 'Movette'!). She has also been a member of the Bev Bevan Band touring the UK for the last 5 years in Jasper Carrott's production of 'Stand up and Rock', taking the role as Musical Director for the same show in 2019.