Thursday, 29 August 2013

Jeff Lynne: Uncut

#585: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Yours Truly KJS returned from my recent holiday earlier this week to find a copy of the May 2013 edition of Uncut Magazine (pages 56-58) in my letterbox! It features an informative three page article centred on Jeff Lynne and his thoughts on the fave albums of his illustrious career to date (see below).

The acclaimed producer and ELO maestro selected the self-titled "The Idle Race" (1969), "Message From The Country" (1971) by The Move, The Traveling Wilburys' debut "Volume 1" (1988), The Beatles Anthology 1 & 2 (1995) as well as (naturally) ELO albums "On The Third Day" (1973), "Eldorado" (1974), "A New World Record" (1976), "Out Of The Blue" (1977) and "Zoom" (2001) thus:

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends Uncut Magazine to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 29-Aug-2013

Monday, 26 August 2013

Recommended: Patterns In The Chaos (Dave Scott-Morgan)

#584: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The paperback edition of Dave Scott-Morgan's excellent autobiography entitled "Patterns In The Chaos" (Lifeware Publishing; 220 pages; ISBN 978-1291374667) arrived earlier this week, following its release on 20th August. A cursory flick through the pages reveals not only some superb snapshots of the musical career of Dave from 1963 with Jeff Sylva & The Four Strangers through to his stints with Magnum, ELO and beyond, but also his candid recollections of a remarkable life which has included a flying career, becoming a born-again Christian and a Pastoral calling. "Patterns In The Chaos" looks like a 'must read' for any fan of 'Brum Beat' (including The Move, The Uglys et al) as well as (of course) Jeff Lynne/ELO.
Photo reproduced courtesy Dave Scott-Morgan © 2013
Yours Truly KJS will review "Patterns In The Chaos" just as soon as the last word has been read but, in the meantime, you can order this superb book via for just £8.99 (plus P+P) thus:

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends "Patterns In The Chaos" by Dave Scott-Morgan to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, The Move, The Idle RaceThe Beatles, 'Brum Beat' and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 26-Aug-2013

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Review: The Discovery (Bubble Gum Orchestra)

#583: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Having safely negotiated the challenge of producing a successful follow-up to the excellent "Out Of This World" (2011) with "BGO II" (2012), Bubble Gum Orchestra (BGO) supremo Michael Laine Hildebrandt (MLH) had promised the third instalment of this - his heavily ELO influenced project - for 2014 but was so excited by it that we, luckily, are seeing it here in late August 2013!
ELOBF has been privileged to be able to listen to new BGO offering: "The Discovery" for the last few weeks or so and have to say that I share the enthusiasm of MLH regarding BGO III. Once again, Mike has enlisted the services of legendary Wings trumpeter Steve Howard and also former Sugarbomb member Les Farrington with brother Douglas also significantly contributing in terms of music and lyrics too:
"The Discovery" is a well rounded album with much more guitar input - and significantly longer in running time than "BGO II" - which displays all the elements of previous BGO releases yet has an air of maturity in the song order, construction and arrangements with the effect of producing a set of songs that ooze the obvious influence of Jeff Lynne, ELO and The Beatles. Here is a brief ELOBF overview of all thirteen (13) trax to whet your appetite thus:

"Tonight I Will Love You Forever"
We were promised a "wall of sound" for this one and this opening track arrives amidst a crescendo of keyboards for a love song high in energy and passion that provides just that! A worthy opener.

"Evil, Evil Girl"
"Your pouting lips and your long black hair ...": Lead single and rightly so! Nice keyboard, catchy guitar riff and strings ... a song that is reminiscent of "Evil Woman" but with a dab of "Discovery" me thinx! A great brothers Hildebrandt collaboration.

"Lovely Days, Lovely Nights"
Featuring Les Farrington on an unashamedly upbeat song that begins with a punchy piano solo and develops into an anthemic bubblegum pop gem with an ELOesque finale.

"It's Only You"
Douglas Hildebrandt composition which starts with a stripped down guitar opening riff and builds into the love song of a devotee underlined by a punchy bass line and impressive chorale backing.

"Serenade In G Major"
Instrumental interlude following in the same vein as "Movements In A Major".

"There Goes My Baby"
This superb song commences with an amazing intro that would not be out of place on any latter ELO album in its own right and must a contender for "Intro Of The Year"! A real rocker with all kinds of stereo vocal gymnastics with another impressive trumpeting contribution by Steve Howard.

"New York City"
"Strawberry Fields in our hearts": A song all about a romantic whirlwind trip to NYC with affectionate mentions of Coney Island, 52nd Street, Times Square et al and replete with prominent guitar, cello, strings and keyboards leading the way!

"First Time For Everything"
Another MLH song with more catchy guitar riffs and more Steve Howard input. The influence of The Beatles is found throughout this number from its synthesized string and piano intro onwards. Impressive.

"Baby Found Another Way"
A fusion of orchestral pop and soul which truly demonstrates the versatility of MLH and BGO with cello and string underscoring a slightly slower pace composition,with nice sampled guitar solo too. Mellow.

"One More Night"
Magnificent! Hildebrandt brothers Michael and Douglas again combine to produce another class ELOesque track that oozes class and that: Jeff Lynne influence. If "Evil, Evil Girl" has undertones of "Evil Woman" then "One More Night" is superb in the style of "Showdown". A passenger in my car recently asked me "Is this a new ELO song?" That just about says it all!

"Until You Say Go"
A mournful vocoder intro leads into another catchy song of devotion and pleading with a simply unforgettable chorus. Underpinned by yet another marvellous acoustic guitar riff and a real credit to MLH and BGO.

"Love Is All He Knows"
A song about the beauty of the Creator and the order of creation with more sublime synthesisers in tandem with sweeping chorale.The instrumental folk bridge is not only surprise to the listener but also another nod to the creative prowess of MLH.

"Tonight I Will Love You Forever (Reprise)"
Beautiful "Underture""Epilogue" and album closer all in one to seal an impressive release.
"The Discovery" by Bubble Gum Orchestra will be available to purchase in either download or CD format from Tuesday 27th August via this music outlet thus:

The album artwork, with its violin laden sky scape, is indeed reminiscent of that wary traveller of "Time" arriving in a strange yet familiar land and the inclusion of the closing reprise adds to this feel. This impressive release is well worth the attention of any ELO, Jeff Lynne and/or Beatles fan. (9/10)

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends and endorses "The Discovery" by Bubble Gum Orchestra [BGO] to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO & Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race, 'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) universe ... KJS ... 25-Aug-2013

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Another Evening Without Kelly Groucutt Postponed

#582: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! This post is a little belated on account of my recent trip to Greece. Unfortunately, it has been formally communicated that Another Evening Without Kelly Groucutt will no longer take place on Saturday 7th September at The Robin 2 R 'n' B Club in Bilston near Wolverhampton. Chris Groucutt announced on Wednesday 14th August that Another Evening Without Kelly Groucutt has been postponed and ELOBF understands it will probably be rescheduled in early 2014 at the same venue.

The event has NOT been cancelled. It has been postponed due to scheduling issues with some of the intended artistes. The organizers wish to reassure folks that the gig will take place with the right participants in order to ensure a truly memorable night.

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) continues to fully endorse and recommend this event to all fans who like: to all folks who enjoy the music of ELO, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 24-Aug-2013

Friday, 23 August 2013

Recommended: Justice 4 The 21 (J4T21)

#581: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Back in November 1974, twenty one people died in the bomb blasts at the Mulberry Bush and Tavern In The Town pubs in Birmingham city centre. Among the dead was eighteen year old Maxine Hambleton.

Six men: Hugh Callaghan, Paddy Hill, Gerard Hunter, Richard McIlkenny, William Power and John Walker were later convicted for the bombings. They spent sixteen years in jail until their convictions were quashed by the Court of Appeal in March 1991.

At the time of writing, nobody has yet been brought to justice for the terrorist atrocity. Maxine's sister Julie Hambleton continues to campaign for a Public Inquiry into the case as part of the Justice 4 The 21 (J4T21) group and has just launched a new petition the the express aim of garnering 100,000 signatures with this aim:

"A fresh inquiry to establish the truth in order to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators responsible for the worst outrage on British mainland in the 20th Century in respect of the memory of the 21 innocents who were slain in the 1974 Birmingham Pub Bombings."

The campaign has been actively supported by the likes of former ELO member Dave Scott-Morgan, Phil Hatton (a member of ELOBF featured trio WelshMansHill) as well as recent ELOBF recommendees Winston's Big Brother.

Yours Truly KJS and ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) endorse and support Justice 4 The 21 (J4T21). For further information, please visit their official web site and, if you are so inclined, you can sign the e-petition via these links thus:

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 23-Aug-2013

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Interview: Claudia Brucken & Stephen Hague talk One Summer Dream

#580: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Earlier today (Thursday 8th August), Yours Truly KJS had the opportunity to converse with Claudia Brücken and, by extension, producer Stephen Hague (New Order, Pet Shop Boys, OMD) about Claudia's stunning new EP "One Summer Dream" - a lovely interpretation of the classic Electric Light Orchestra tune from "Face The Music" and the 'B' side (of course) of ELO's UK Top 10 single: "Mr. Blue Sky".

The track, released on Monday 5th August, by the former Propaganda star (remember their fabtastic hit "Duel" on ZTT Records back in 1985?) comes from her critically acclaimed covers album entitled "The Lost Are Found" (released back on 5th November 2012). The EP continues the superb album version plus three (3) remixes. Have a listen to this excerpt from the Severino Panzetta Mix thus:

KJS: How did your cover of: "One Summer Dream" come to fruition?
CB: "Hi Keith! It’s nice to hear from you! I’m very happy to hear that there has been a positive response to Stephen's and my version of "One Summer Dream". I've always been huge ELO fan and when Stephen approached me to cover "One Summer Dream", I was very excited at the prospect of interpreting this gorgeous song with it's beautiful melancholy melody and lyrics. As it was Stephen who approached me, I thought it was a good idea to forward your questions to him as he was the one who came up with the idea of covering it. So here are his answers! I agree with him on the long list of favourites, there are too many to single out! I adore Jeff Lynne's song writing, his musicianship and his voice."
KJS: "What inspired you to cover "One Summer Dream"?"
SH: "A music supervisor friend of mine asked me if I had anything 'dreamy ... about summer' for a film she was working on. She practically said the title! I've always loved that song; one of Jeff Lynne's overlooked gems I reckon. Claudia and I had just been writing together, and I thought she'd sound great on it, so we did this version as a cover. in fact she sounded so good, we decided to try a whole album of covers ... and this song was the first."
KJS: "Is this your favourite ELO song or are there others?"
SH: "It's a long list of favourites! He's a great songwriter, and let's face it, singer, guitarist, arranger and top producer ... b******s!"

Both "One Summer Dream" and "The Lost Are Found" can be purchased via these links thus:

Why not also visit the Official Claudia Brücken web site to find out more about the release thus:

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) would like to extend their thanx to both Claudia Brücken and Stephen Hague for their valued contribution to this article.

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommend "One Summer Dream" and "The Lost Are Found" by Claudia Brücken to those enlightened folks who also like ELO/Jeff LynneRoy Wood'Brum Beat'The Idle RaceThe MoveThe Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 08-Aug-2013

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Catalogue Conundrum

#579: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! When Jet Records hooked up with United Artists (UA) as their distributor back in 1976, the ELO LP back catalogue from "On The Third Day" to "Face The Music" was re-issued as well as (of course) "A New World Record". The Jet/UA catalogue numbers assigned were not relative to the order of release:

"A New World Record" (1976) #UAG30017 (also #JETLP20)
"Face The Music" (1975) #UAG30034 (also #JETLP11)
"Eldorado" (1974) #UAG30092 (also #K56090)
"On The Third Day" (1973) #UAG30091 (also #K56021)

And when CBS took over from UA in early 1978, the ELO LP back catalogue from "On The Third Day" to "A New World Record" - and "Out Of The Blue" too - were again re-issued with Jet/CBS catalogue numbers that were also not in chronological order thus:

"A New World Record" (1976) #JETLP200
"Face The Music" (1975) #JETLP201
"Eldorado" (1974) #JETLP203
"On The Third Day" (1973) #JETLP202

This particular ELO anorak has always wondered why those Jet/UA/CBS re-issues were not ever numbered in line with their release years. Yours Truly KJS and ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) is sure that there's a simple answer!

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 06-Aug-2013

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Caught Live: The Traveling Pilburys @ The Feathers Inn 02/08/13

#578: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Six (6) months ago, Yours Truly KJS and ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) were most pleased to introduce you to The Traveling Pilburys. Since then, it has been on the ELOBF radar to pay a visit to one of their highly rated live performances. And so it was last night that yours truly travelled through a hefty thunderstorm to Lichfield in Staffordshire to see the band in person at the wonderful and hospitable Feathers Inn last night (Friday 2nd August).

One thing is for certain, The Traveling Pilburys are not a bona fide Traveling Wilburys tribute band. But they are a very accomplished and talented group of musicians who not only cover the Wilburys but also The Beatles (naturally) and a wide ranging plethora of classic songs by other artistes including Gary MooreJoe CockerT.RexThe HolliesChris Farlowe and The Spencer Davis Group amongst not a few others!
The Traveling Pilburys (l-r): John Wilson; Graham Savage; John Kerton; Steff Griffin and Conrad Carpenter
With the charismatic vocals of band leader John Kerton - former band mate in The Andicaps with Jeff Lynne from as far back as 1964 - the band produced a rip-roaring set of songs which included sublime renditions of "Handle With Care", "Roll Over Beethoven", "Nowhere Man" and "End Of The Line" as well as their crowd pleasing live interpretations of the likes of "Born To Be Wild", "Out Of Time", "Gimme Some Lovin'", "Handbags And Gladrags", "Brown Eyed Girl", "Wild World" and "I Love To Boogie" - again amongst not a few others! Of special mention also must be the amazing guitar craft last night of Conrad Carpenter (also a founding member of the highly rated Eagles tribute act Talon), particularly on "Still Got The Blues".
KJS with post-birthday boy John Kerton
The Traveling Pilburys are: John Kerton (Lead Vox/Percussion) ~ Graham Savage (Bass/Vox) ~ Steph Griffin (Keyboards) ~ Conrad Carpenter (Guitar/Vox) ~ John Wilson (Drums)
ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends The Traveling Pilburys to those enlightened folks who also like ELO/Jeff LynneRoy Wood'Brum Beat'The Idle RaceThe MoveThe Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 03-Aug-2013

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Recommended: Winston's Big Brother

#577: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Earlier this year on Valentines Day, ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) reviewed a concert by former ELO member (active 1981-86), Dave Scott-Morgan which was streamed live on the Internet and also featured a new upcoming Birmingham band Winston's Big Brother.

The talented quartet have just finished recording their debut five track EP at Grimm Doo Records and are well on the way to completing their debut album "The Truth That Lies In Me" (also produced by Dave). Here is their biography to date, in their own words:

"Winston's Big Brother were born from the solo acoustic act formed by front man Gary Mason. After the demise of a former band, Gary began as a solo acoustic artist, and decided to look for the best musicians in the city, with the right character and capability to make a great band. Over the period of a few months, and many auditions, Alex Lowe was discovered. WBB is Alex's first band, and he had never gigged before, so he couldn't wait get started. After some rehearsals, Winston's Big Brother became a duo.

The search continued, and Winston's Big Brother was looking for a bass player, and a drummer. Ads were put up on line everywhere, and luckily, Jack Rosa saw the posts. Gary had met Jack a few months earlier in an audition for a different band, and knew he would be a great addition to Winston's Big Brother, as Jack is very experienced in the music business, and plays many different instruments. So when Jack asked to audition, Gary knew it wouldn't even be necessary and Jack became a member, and Winston's Big Brother became a three piece.

Upon joining, Jack took over percussion, and WBB started gigging as a trio acoustic band! They made a huge dent in their home city, within a few months. But finding a bass player was proving difficult. During this time, Winston's Big Brother performed many gigs in Birmingham, as the trio acoustic band, but for WBB to rock as hard as they wanted, a bass player was a must have. Jack's friend Mark "Blue Eyes" Flight, became a great fan of WBB and displayed a lot of interest in playing bass for them. After a few auditions and rehearsals, Winston's Big Brother knew they had found the right guy to make the band complete.

Now Winston's Big Brother have everything they need to make the music they want to make! With a great set list of originals, WBB are now recording their debut album, which is being produced by the one and only Dave Scott-Morgan from ELO, who is a great friend to the band, and WBB take the pleasure of being his backing band when he plays live. This is a band that is down to earth, and sets a great, easy going, fun atmosphere for everyone to enjoy! With a great fan base of some awesome people, being at a Winston's Big Brother gig, is always a night to remember." [end quote]

One of the songs that features on the EP is the superb: "She Won't Be Lonely" , included on their debut EP, which also includes "Suffocating""Along For The Ride""Society" and "The Truth". All four (4) songs can be previewed and purchased via iTunes or

Winston's Big Brother are accessible via their official web site and/or these links thus:

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends Winston's Big Brother to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 01-Aug-2013