And to top that, I was then at a packed Robin Hood 2 R&B Club on Monday 11th May to witness "An Evening Without Kelly Groucutt with The Orchestra & Friends". There was a lot of emotion at both gigs, folks sad that Kelly Groucutt was not there and folks consoled in paying homage to this diminutive man of music and folks grateful for Kelly's musical contribution to their lives. It was heartbreaking to see his widow Anna and brother John still dealing with their loss but at the same time it was good to see them, shake hands, offer a smile and a kind word or two. I got the feeling - again - at both gigs that we had better make the most of the opportunities that remain to hear the magic of ELO's music live. Here is the text of the review by Andrew Turton in Wolverhampton's "Express & Star" newspaper on Monday night of the Dudley gig for you to peruse:
Mr. Blue Sky just heaven for fans
~ The Orchestra, Dudley Concert Hall by Andrew Turton ~
"Triumph came out of adversity as the remaining members of The Orchestra paid homage to their late band mate with a rip roaring show. Former ELO violinist Mik Kaminski took charge of a packed Dudley Concert Hall as the group gave a performance which would surely have pleased Kelly Groucutt. The audience eagerly greeted the band as they rattled through the ELO back catalogue with ease. It was Kaminski's constant presence, including an exquisite violin solo in a single spotlight, which captivated the audience. "Mr. Blue Sky" proved the highlight of the night, bringing the crowd to its feet as soon as those unmistakable chords rang out. Shouts of "we want more" from the foot-stomping audience brought the band back for an encore with a special nod to Groucutt, who died in February. The Orchestra's performance of "Don't Bring Me Down" featured Groucutt's voice in a fitting moment before "Roll Over Beethoven" proved an excellent final track. The Orchestra will be at The Robin 2 in Bilston tonight."
Thursday 14th May: The Anvil @ Basingstoke (01256) 844244
Saturday 16th May: The M Club @ Crewe (01270) 216785
Monday 18th May: Grand Opera House @ York (0844) 8472322
Tuesday 19th May: Parr Hall @ Warrington (01925) 442345
Wednesday 20th May: Southport Theatre (0870) 4000684
Thursday 21st May: City Hall @ Sheffield (01142) 789789
Saturday 4th July: Grassington Festival (01756) 752691
Please visit www.theorchestra.net for more official tour updates.
ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends The Orchestra (former members of ELO & ELO Part II) to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, The Move, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles and related artistes.
Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 13-May-2009