[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 3 March 2006, 13:22 GMT
Elton's big break for support act
The Storys
The Storys were signed by Warner Bros in December
A south Wales band who only recently released their first album on their own label have been picked by Elton John as the support act on his upcoming tour.

The Storys will be "special guests" at 11 stadium and arena dates this year.

The six-piece band will follow in the footsteps of James Blunt, Anastacia and the Scissor Sisters as recent support for one of the biggest names in music.

He telephoned The Storys' front man Steve Balsamo to break the news after hearing their album in Las Vegas.

It will see the band perform in front of crowds up to 30,000, starting at the MEN Arena in Manchester in May.

Balsamo, who said Elton John was a personal hero, said it could not have been better timed for them as they had just been signed by Warner Bros.

"I got a call from our manager and he just said, 'Elton John is going to call you in your house in 10 minutes'.

Elton John
If nothing happens from here on in, Elton John has called and said he thinks our songs are great
Steve Balsamo

"Ten minutes later the telephone goes and Sir Elton is giving it 'how's it going Steve?' on the other end of the phone.

'More and more surreal'

"Someone had given him a copy of the album while he was in Vegas and he was so positive about it.

"It was becoming more and more surreal and then he just said he wanted us to come on tour in the summer."

Balsamo, who made a name for himself on the West End as the lead in Jesus Christ Superstar, added: "I've met a lot of famous people.

"But having Elton John validate the songwriting was too much for my small brain to cope with. I couldn't believe what just happened.

"When I telephoned the boys I had to start with, 'This is not a wind-up'."

The Swansea-based band - whose other members are Andy Collins, Dai Smith, Rob Thompson, Brian Thomas and Alan Thomas - have known each other through the south Wales music scene for about 15 years.

They started writing songs and playing together about three years ago.

Last year they persuaded some investors in Swansea to part with enough money to allow them to record and release their debut album on their own label.

"It could not be going any better" added Balsamo.

"But if nothing happens from here on in, Elton John has called and said he thinks our songs are great."

Sir Elton auctions piano on eBay
22 Feb 06 |  Entertainment
Stars pack Elton 'wedding' party
22 Dec 05 |  Entertainment
Sir Elton's free gig thrills Rome
04 Sep 05 |  Entertainment
Eurovision dilemma for Balsamo
13 May 04 |  South West Wales


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific