Since 2009. Yours Truly KJS. Founder of ELO Beatles Forever (also known as KJS/ELOBF), a popular fan site covering all things ELO, Roy Wood & related with over 3.9 million views to date. Campaigning for the official release of "Beatles Forever" from ELO's withdrawn 1983 "Secret Messages" 2LP too!
Many thanx to Sir Jeff Cooper for the above photograph ...
#488: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Yours Truly KJS has discovered that Plastic Head appear to have delayed the release date for the limited edition deluxe coloured vinyl editions of "Long Wave" and "Mr. Blue Sky" by two weeks to Monday 11th February. The white vinyl gatefolded "Long Wave" and blue vinyl double album version of "Mr. Blue Sky" have been the subject of these previous articles here at ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF]:
It appears that the first batch of copies were indeed sent out on the original release date of Monday 28th January. One looks forward to receiving this much anticipated vinyl hardware soon! Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 30-Jan-2013
#487: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Two weeks ago, Yours Truly KJS was lamenting the passing of Band On The Runn. But, earlier this week, ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] was delighted to hear the news that Craig Whale, Adam Willetts and Ian Hammond are launching a new Midlands based project entitled Off The Ground from the ashes of Band On The Runn. In their own words: "Craig, Ian and 'The Black Country Billy Joel' a.k.a. Adam Willetts are to join forces once again. This time not to pay tribute to one artist, but to many. Entitled 'Off The Ground', we will be performing a mix of classic songs from the 60's, 70's and 80's mainly and maybe even incorporating our take on a couple of modern numbers! To name a few, The Beatles, David Bowie, Dire Straits, Eric Clapton, T.Rex, ELO, The Rolling Stones, Roxy Music, Billy Joel and many more [obviously] will be covered. Hopefully, there will be a bit of something in there for everyone. The line-up will consist of Wix Willetts on keyboards and backing vocals, Craig Whale on drums and backing/lead vocals with Ian 'B3' Hammond the front man on guitar and lead vocals. We already have a few bookings that we will confirm shortly to you and we all look forward to welcoming you to a show in the near future!"
A new web site and confirmed gig dates will be announced in the near future. I spoke to Craig earlier this week and is very excited about the new band and the fact that they will be covering "Rock 'n' Roll Is King" and "Evil Woman" in their set list. Craig, Adam and Ian will also be continuing with their The BeatBack Brothers and The Lemuns projects respectively.
#486: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Over the last couple of decades and more lately in the absence of regular tours by The Orchestra [former members of ELO and ELO Part II], the re-issuing of the expanded ELO back catalogue and, more recently, the strong public interest in recent return of Jeff Lynne to releasing new material, the appetite for seeing and hearing the music of ELO & Jeff Lynne live has continued to grow unabated.
Yours Truly KJS and ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] has always believed that there is also a place for tribute acts who do justice to the ELO sound live by recommending two such bands to date. Although one of those bands is no more, I am pleased to introduce another ELO tribute act for you to consider from South Wales and they are ELO Again.
A visit to their official web site will inform the reader that this six  piece band have performed throughout Europe and beyond and are now looking to establish themselves in the UK too. Having played a number of dates in Wales and England last year - and after a little bit of prodding by ELOBF - the band recently announced a gig in the ELO Midlands heartland at The Robin 2 as well as promising plenty of gigs in 2013. Find out more about ELO Again here:
ELO Again are: Colin Smith [Guitar/Lead Vocals]; Jim Ramsey [Bass Guitar/Vocals]; Mike [Chas] Holcombe [Piano/Keyboards]; Clive Smith [Percussion/Vocals]; Gaelle Favre [Violin]; Sarah Waycott [Cello] and Sion Dawson [Cello]. Full details of their Show Dates can be found on their web site. Here are some selected 2013 dates for your perusal:
Friday 22nd February The Beaufort Theatre, Ebbw Vale Saturday 23rd February The Daneside Theatre, Congleton
Saturday 1st June The Diamond, Sutton-in-Ashfield
Saturday 7th September The Diamond, Sutton-in-Ashfield
#485: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Sometimes an issue comes up in the music industry itself [or in the many businesses that are derived from it] which requires action. It was announced recently that Wilko Johnson, founding member of Dr. Feelgood [who were at one time, label mates of ELO over on United Artists Records], had been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and would be playing select number of farewell UK gigs in March.
One of the venues selected for this emotional swansong was our friends at The Robin2 in Bilston near Wolverhampton. The tickets went on sale at £17.50 each this week and sold out within hours. Within a few more hours those self same tickets were being advertised for £79 each, with eBay and Viagogo now quoting some prices upwards of £120 each - even £167 each in one case.
Deborah Harris from the legendary Shifty Chicken Shed[who I recently witnessed supporting Dr. Feelgood at The Robin2] saw red and has started an e-petition to muster 10,000 signatures with the goal of prompting the UK government to stop the immoral practice of the bulk buying of tickets for instant and extortionate re-selling by ticket touts and e-ticketing companies. Yours Truly KJS was pleased to be amongst the first signatories to sign the petition and and support her campaign. You can sign Deborah's e-petition by clicking on this link thus:
#484: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! From time to time, musicians and composers who are influenced by ELO and Jeff Lynne drop me a line and make me aware of their music. Hence, it really is a great pleasure to listen to their material and then, as applicable, make folks in the ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] universe aware of the artiste and their music. And so it was this morning when Selwyn Schneider from Cape Town in South Africa contacted me about his song entitled "On The Moon", a song that Selwyn himself describes as:
"My one man band tribute to Jeff Lynne and ELO. I wrote, produced, arranged, played all the instruments and sang all the vocals."
With familiar ELO themes throughout the lyrics and song construction in the finest string laden traditions of ELO that we all know and love, Selwyn has managed to produce a song that, if ELO or Jeff Lynne [or ELO Part II or OrKestra or The Orchestra] had released it themselves, the ELO fan base would have loved it. With a nice intro and a song duration of over seven  minutes, Yours Truly KJS has no hesitation in recommending "On The Moon" by Selwyn Schneider.
Selwyn has been a professional musician all his life. He has always played a lot of instruments and is self taught. He was born in East London, South Africa but ended up living in London for 26 years where he played in bands, gigged and ran Selsong Studio, his own home studio. It was here, as well as recording with hundreds of songwriters, that he recorded the music that he had been writing since the age of 11. Another more recent project which can be heard is Selwyn's tribute to Brian Wilson can be heard at: www.selsong.com/Brian/brian2.html. Selwyn has always been a huge Jeff Lynne and ELO fan and: "On The Moon" is his way of saying thanks to Jeff for all that really fab music and talent. You can hear the song over on SoundCloud here thus: ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "On The Moon" by Selwyn Schneider to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, The Move, The Idle Race, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles and related artistes.
Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 20-Jan-2013
#483: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Further to this post on regarding the deluxe coloured vinyl re-issues of "Long Wave" [1LP] and "Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra" [2LP] via Plastic Head and Let Them Eat Vinyl, there is now more clarity as to the detail of both 1,000 limited edition Jeff Lynne releases, due out on Monday 28th January. "Long Wave" [#LETV071LP] will be re-released as a single gatefold album in 140g WHITE vinyl. You can view and order "Long Wave"by clicking on this link. "Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra" [#LETV070LP]will also be re-released as a double album on 140g transparent BLUE vinyl. As you can see, each album side will contain just three tracks. You can view and order "Mr. Blue Sky" by clicking on this link.
Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 18-Jan-2013
#482: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Yours Truly KJS was saddened today to hear the news from Craig Whale that ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommended artiste Band On The Runn had decided to call it a day after two  years. I had the great pleasure of seeing this talented and unique local band at six  gigs between June 2011 and April 2012 at four  venues in the West Midlands of England and on each occasion Craig Whale, Adam Willetts, Ian Hammond and Dave Cottle delivered a professional and energised tribute to the whole musical career of Sir Paul McCartney.
The good news is that Craig and Adam will continue to gig as The BeatBack Brothers with Ian and Dave also carrying on with The Lemuns. Yours Truly KJS will truly miss this band. My six  gig reviews for ELOBF are listed below for you to peruse and also to provide a lasting record of a really good tribute band:
#481: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! One of the great pleasures of running ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] is that from time to time, talented independent musicians and artistes influenced by ELO, The Move and/or The Beatles [et al] contact me and/or send me their music to have a listen to. Hence, it was a pleasant surprise to be contacted by Juan Pablo Mazzola - an Argentinian singer/songwriter/guitarist based in Germany and front man for Baby Scream the other day.
Juan told ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] earlier this week: "I'm a huge ELO/Beatles fan, and what I do is basically classic power pop!" This is evidenced in the their eponymously titled 2010 album "Baby Scream" and also "Secret Place" . Of the songs that Juan has sent me, Yours Truly KJS can detect Beatles, ELO and T.Rex influences. All of the tracks came over as well constructed songs and were a delight to these particular ears. Of particular note was "Jekyll & Hyde" from "Baby Scream" and "Hit & Run" from "Secret Place". And from what I've heard of Juan's new compositions, the forthcoming new album is going to be well worth the wait. There are several ways to watch, listen and purchase material by Baby Scream so why not peruse these links to their web sites thus:
#480: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! I really enjoyed watching the first episode of "Bev Bevan: My Vintage" over on Vintage TV [Sky Channel #369] earlier today here in the UK. Bev Bevan took us through eight of his personal picks starting with the man whose suggestion in 1965 was responsible for the formation of The Move - David Bowie - and his classic: "Starman". Next up was "Hold On Tight" by ELO [naturally!] followed by Bev's favourite Elvis Presley track: "Jailhouse Rock". Bev then recalled his three bus jaunt to West Bromwich to see Gene Vincent and played his best known hit: "Be-Bop-A-Lula".
His fourth selection was "All Along The Watchtower" by Jimi Hendrix whereupon Bev told us about how The Move were number two to The Jimi Hendrix Experience on a bill in 1968 that also included very early [The] Pink Floyd. Interestingly enough, the above concert promo poster can be found framed in Woody's Bar at The Robin 2of that very gig! "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin gave Bev a chance to mention his personal percussion hero John Bonham and his love of Wolves FC with Robert Plant. "Lucille" by Little Richard heralded memories of the one and only US tour by The Move and Bev's long association with Sharon Osbourne[nee Arden] and husband Ozzy prompted the final selection for episode one:"Bark At The Moon".
This episode will be repeated on Wednesday 16th January at 11:00PM
#479: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! If you tune in tomorrow afternoon [Sunday 13th January] to Vintage TV [Sky Channel #369] at 5:30PM, you will be able to catch The Move and ELO co-founder Bev Bevan for one hour  hour in "Bev Bevan: My Vintage". The episode will also be repeated on Wednesday 16th January at 11:00PM. Here's what Vintage TV are saying about this much anticipated show:
"Episode 1: One of our finest rock musicians and original member of The Move and Electric Light Orchestra, Bev Bevan, tells us why his song choices include David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix and the Everly Brothers."
#478: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! I was studying Engineering hard at Wulfrun College of Further Education, Wolverhampton in March 1986 when I discovered that a new ELO single and album was being released - without Kelly Groucutt, without Jet Records and also without that classic ELO symbology. And so it was, at the time, that I bought all three  singles "Calling America"[#A6844], "So Serious"[#A7090] and "Getting To The Point" [#A7317] on both 7" and 12" and [of course!] "Balance Of Power" [#EPC26467] itself, via Epic Records. At that time it was seemingly the end of the ELO story.
Hence it was indeed nice to spot a Dutch issue of "Calling America" on eBay last week that was still on the enigmatic Jet label. So, for a mere 99p [plus P+P], it was an easy decision to bid for it and, to my amazement, nobody else did! So it is that #JETA6844 really raps up that first phase of ELO for me - their last major hit fittingly on the label everyELO fan knew and loved back in the day! Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 08-Jan-2013
#477: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Winter into Spring 2013 contains these great [mostly!] local ELOBF related gigs, for your perusal. Here are some selected dates and general links for you to consider checking out in 2013 Q1:
Saturday 5th January The Trevor Burton Band@ The Brown Lion, Birmingham Free entry www.brownlion.twotowerstaverns.co.uk Thursday 10th January The Cohen Brothers @ The Hop Pole, Bromsgrove Free entry www.hop-pole.com
Friday 11th January The Trevor Burton Band @ The Queens Head, Wolverley Free entry www.queensheadwolverley.com/pages/music.html Friday 18th January The Trevor Burton Band @ The Waterfront, Barton-under-Needwood Free entry www.waterfrontbarton.co.uk/live-music Wednesday 23rd January
Red Shoes @ Kitchen Garden Cafe, Kings Heath, Birmingham
Tickets: £8.00 each
Saturday 2nd February The Trevor Burton Band @ Katie Fitzgerald's, Stourbridge Free entry www.katiefitzgeralds.co.uk/giginfo.asp?eventid=1600 Friday 8th February The 286 [Future Sound Share] @ The Star Of Kings, King's Cross, London Tickets: £6.00 each [door]; £4.00 [advance] www.wegottickets.com/event/200669
Sunday 17th February The Cohen Brothers @ The Prince of Wales, Birmingham Free entry www.thecohenbrothers.co.uk/?page_id=348 Fay & Latta [Acoustic Sunday] @ The Cricketers Arms, Keighley
Saturday 23rd February ELO Again @ The Daneside Theatre, Congleton Tickets: £16.50 each www.danesidetheatre.co.uk/whatson_01.html#18
Saturday 2nd March
The ELO Experience @ Oakengates Theatre, Telford
Tickets: £17.00 each
Friday 15th March The 286 @ The Good Ship, Kilburn, London Tickets: £5.00 each www.thegoodship.co.uk/whats-on/15-03-13/the-286 Friday 22nd March Phil Bates @ The Baskerville Arms, Clyro, Hay-on-Wye Free entry www.baskervillearms.co.uk Saturday 23rd March The Explosive Light Orchestra @ The Blake Theatre, Monmouth Tickets: £17.00 each www.theblaketheatre.org/elo.html Fay & Latta Album Launch @ The Exchange Arts Centre, Keighley Tickets: £4.00 each www.exchangearts.co.uk/events/fay-and-latta Thursday 28th March Too Petty @ The Robin 2, Bilston Tickets: £10.00 each www.therobin.co.uk/whats_on/giginfo.asp?gigid=3178 Sunday 31st March Off The Ground @ The Swan, Kingswinford Free entry www.facebook.com/Off-The-Ground
The Orchestra Former members of ELO and ELO Part II: Mik Kaminski, Louis Clark, Eric Troyer, Parthenon Huxley, Glen Burtnik and Gordon Townsend continue to tour the world extensively. Find out where on their excellent web site here: www.theorchestra.net
Made In Brum
A brand new show with music, anecdotes and laughter featuring Jasper Carrott, Bev Bevan, Trevor Burton, Geoff Turton, Danny King, Joy Strachan-Brain and The Bev Bevan Band will be touring the Midlands in 2013 thus: www.brianyeates.co.uk/Touring-Shows/Made-In-Brum/638
The Move [Bev Bevan/Trevor Burton]
The Move featuring Bev Bevan, Trevor Burton, Neil Lockwood, Phil Tree, Tony Kelsey [and occasionally Julian Crook] will be performing regularly at various venues in the Midlands in 2013. Find out where on their web site thus: www.themove-live.com/dates.html
Trevor Burton Band
Trevor Burton will be performing regularly at various venues in the Midlands in: The Trevor Burton Band with Pez Connor and Bill Jefferson. Find out where on their web site thus: www.thetrevorburtonband.co.uk
The ELO Experience This fantastic Hull based ELO tribute band have established themselves nationally as they reproduce those classic Electric Light Orchestra hits and more. Find out where on their web site thus: www.elotribute.com
The BeatBack Brothers
The BeatBack Brothers - who feature Craig Whale and Adam Willetts from Band On The Runn - will be performing regularly at various venues in the Black Country thus: www.myspace.com/beatbackbrothers
The Lemuns - who feature Ian Hammond and [from time to time] Dave Cottle from Band On The Runn - will be performing regularly at various venues in the West Midlands thus: www.myspace.com/thelemuns
ELO Again A new South Wales based Electric Light Orchestra tribute act who are now spreading their wings across the UK to faithfully recreate live those ELO hits we all know and love. Find out where on their web site thus: eloagain.co.uk
All of the above artistes and shows are endorsed and recommended by ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF]. The above gig listing[s] may be amended periodically, as applicable. Interviews by Yours Truly KJS with some of the above artistes are planned also. See you at some the above gigs?
Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 04-Jan-2013
#476: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! You should now be aware that ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] heartily recommends the musical output of Swedish Power PopsterDavid Myhr. We were therefore thrilled to find out yesterday that David has just released a brand new "Abbey Road" version of his superlative song "Never Mine" from his debut solo album "Soundshine" thus:
The above video premiere of this Beatlesque alternate version of "Never Mine" was recorded at legendary Abbey Road Studios. Full background story here: bit.ly/UmV0C9. Free download here: www.ljx.cc/TPf5Th. In David Myhr's own words: "It was fourteen months ago today, Thomas Juth invited me to play, To try to recreate The Beatles style, Was guaranteed to raise a smile, So may I introduce to you, The song you’ve known for just a year, David Myhr’s “Never Mine” in Abbey Rooooooaaaddd!"
#475: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Although Sunday 30th December was rightly celebrated for being the 65th birthday of ELO maestro Jeff Lynne, it also would've been the 67th birthday of Davy Jones, but sadly The Monkees lead singer passed away on 29th February 2012. You may also recall from this ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] article on Sunday 25th November that Michael Laine Hildebrandt from ELOBF endorsed Bubble Gum Orchestra had gotten together with Les Farrington of Sugarbomb fame to produce a cover [and video] of Davy's US hit "Girl" thus: