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The Latest on Elton's UK Opening Act

Tuesday 7 March 2006 @ 16:18 - GMT

A Welsh band chosen by Elton to support him on his forthcoming
UK stadium and arena tour are hoping his 'midas touch' will bring
them major stardom, the Western Mail reported on March 4, 2006.

Relatively unknown, The Storys - featuring former West End star Steve
Balsamo
and five of his friends - set up their own label to release
their debut album.

But now the Swansea band, formed almost three years ago, is hoping
for similar success to New York sensations Scissor Sisters and
chart-topper James Blunt, who have both achieved phenomenal success
after receiving support from Sir Elton.

The superstar has been full of praise for The Storys after hearing a
copy of their self-titled debut album, and is ''really excited'' they will be joining him on tour.

It was about three weeks ago that Steve received a call from his manager John
Waller telling him to expect a call from The Piano Man himself.


''I said, 'Is this a joke?' And then Elton called up,'' recalled the younger man.


''He told me he had been given a copy of our album and couldn't stop
playing it. He said he absolutely loved it and spent the next 10
minutes telling me how great he thought it was.


''He then asked if we would like to support him on tour. It's very
hard to put into words how I felt.


''Someone I respect as an amazing artist and songwriter rates what we
are doing. Afterwards I thought, 'Did he really call?""


The Storys also features Andy Collins, Dai Smith, Rob Thompson, Brian
Thomas and Alan Thomas and they range in age from thirties to fifties.


They recently signed a four-album deal with Warners and they describe
their music as '70s West Coast-influenced.

They are now preparing to perform to hundreds of thousands of music
fans as part of Sir Elton's 11-date tour, which opens at MEN Arena,
Manchester, on May 29.

The Storys initially thought they would only be playing the stadiums.

''Elton called me back a week later and asked if we wanted to do the
indoor arenas too.'' reported Steve.

The band now hopes that some of the superstar's magic will help them on
the road to major stardom.

After all, the first time he saw the Scissor Sisters perform live he proceeded
to purchase a glut of their self-titled debut CDs and share them with
all of his friends. Since then, the group has headlined major
festivals, such as the V Festival, played to millions at Live 8, and won a clutch of industry awards, including three major prizes at last year's Brit Awards.

Elton was also an early supporter of James Blunt. He dubbed You're
Beautiful
a fresh descendant of his 1970 breakthrough, Your Song.

James has now topped both the singles and album charts and last month
he won two major Brit accolades, including Best British Male.

But Steve is not looking too far ahead.

''I would not like to be presumptuous at all really,'' he said.

''It's just a great honour to play to a lot of people, which is
exactly what we want to do. We are a live band but, of course, the
idea of raising our profile and selling lots of records is
attractive.''

But before they join Elton on the road, The Storys are embarking
on their own tour of far more intimate venues, with their next Welsh
gig, with free entry, at Hard Rock Cafe in Cardiff on March 15.

This is called for 9:30 p.m., and the venue's phone number is 029 20373403.