Friday, 28 February 2014

Caught Live: Nick Owen in Conversation with Roy Wood @ Lichfield 26/02/14

Photograph courtesy of Cherry Blossom Clinic. Copyright © 2014 Martin Kinch
#667: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! After the disappointment of the cancelled conversation at Birmingham Town Hall in January, it was a relief if not the great personal pleasure to travel the twenty or so miles to see the live interview conducted by Nick Owen with The Move, ELO and Wizzard founding legend Roy Wood at the impressive Lichfield Garrick Theatre on the night of Wednesday 26th February.
l-r: Christian Evans, Martin Kinch, Roger Spencer, KJS, John Collins
The evening was thrilling for this writer for more than just the one reason as Yours Truly KJS had the great pleasure of bumping into the man behind the excellent Forever website - John Collins, the proprietor of the famed Cherry Blossom Clinic - Martin KinchThe Idle Race drummer Roger 'Ollie' SpencerNick Owen as well as the man himself - Roy Wood - during the course of a fantastic evening.
Car Park Incident? (Title: Jeff Cooper/Photo: Ollie Spencer)
It has to be said that the whole evening was a real success as the avowed Luton Town fan and BBC Midlands Today presenter added his own wit and humour to a cascade of probing questions that Roy answered honestly and frankly in his own inimitable style. Whilst it is difficult to recall every question and answer, here is a brief overview of some of Roy's answers during the evening thus:
  • The first gig Roy ever attended was by The Shadows in 1959
  • His favourite songs of all time are "God Only Knows" and "If I Loved You"
  • The musician he most respects for his achievements is Jeff Lynne
  • "Flowers In The Rain" was actually a random, panic selection by Tony Blackburn as the first single ever played on BBC Radio 1 in 1967
  • The name "The Electric Light Orchestra" was his idea
  • His favourite song is "Beautiful Daughter" by The Move
  • He will not be joining "Made In Brum" - even a cameo appearance was ruled out
  • Roy did not leave ELO for 'artistic reasons' or due to any personality clash with Jeff Lynne
  • Roy will be uploading a new instrumental track on his official web site soon
  • Roy did not take drugs - ever
  • We can hopefully look forward to another Roy Wood Christmas spectacular in December
ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends Roy Wood to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff Lynne, The Move, Wizzard, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 28-Feb-2014

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Electric Live Afterglow for ELO Classics

KJS with Dave Bates (centre) and Bernie Toner (right) from E Live O
#666: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! It has always been my great personal pleasure to support and highlight local musicians, especially those who operate in the ELOBF musical universe. Bernie Toner and Dave Bates were two quarters (or one half) of the Electric Live Orchestra (E Live O) who were regularly featured on ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) until they sadly pulled the plug on the West Midlands based ELO tribute band back in 2011.

The good news is that the duo have continued to work together and their mutual love of all things ELO has led them to record two impressive covers of the ELO classic ballads "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" and "Strange Magic". You can hear the latter track here thus:

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) will hopefully be touching base with Bernie and Dave again to find out what they have been up to since and what's coming next from them. In the meantime, here's my 2011 interview with the Electric Live Orchestra for you to peruse thus:

Interview: Electric Live Orchestra

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 27-Feb-2014

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Exclusive: Joey C. Jones: Hey Jadey Girl

#665: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Yours Truly KJS and ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) are pleased to report that the latest exciting project that has come out of the Blue Violin Studios of Bubble Gum Orchestra maestro Michael Laine Hildebrandt is the new single by Joey C. Jones entitled "Hey Jadey Girl".

Joey C. Jones was the lead singer of legendary eighties rockers Sweet Savage, the Ohio foursome who became a live legends in the US - and LA's 'Sunset Strip' in particular - between 1984 and 1989 before splitting. Sweet Savage topped the European Import chart for sixteen weeks back in 1986 with their self-titled five track EP and turned down a deal with Enigma Records which was then taken up by a certain successful US rock band by the name of Poison. More latterly, Joey has been performing with The Gloryhounds to rave live reviews.
 In the Blue Violin Studio: Michael Laine Hildebrandt with Joey C. Jones ~ Note the ELO attire!
"Hey Jadey Girl" is a beautiful three minute tribute to his daughter Jade (written by Joey himself) engineered and produced by Michael Laine Hildebrandt with the assistance of brother Douglas. With nice guitar licks, superb vocals and marvellous string arrangements so reminiscent of ELO in their seventies heyday, the song is literally short and sweet, both a loving gift to a daughter and a hat-tip to musical heroes. Fans of ELO will undoubtedly love this. (10/10)

"Hey Jadey Girl" by Joey C. Jones is available to purchase via these links thus:

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends "Hey Jadey Girl" by Joey C. Jones to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of Bubble Gum OrchestraELO/Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe Move'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 25-Feb-2014

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Exclusive: Summer and Lightning (Stephen Lawrenson)

#664: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) are pleased to exclusively reveal a stunning new version of the ELO classic "Summer and Lightning" - the third movement of the Jeff Lynne penned "Out Of The Blue" masterpiece "Concerto For A Rainy Day" - by ELOBF recommended singer/songwriter Stephen Lawrenson, having first approached Yours Truly KJS last September with a demo of what is now his new single. And I've been actively encouraging him to release his impressive acoustic interpretation ever since! 

"It's obviously one of my favourite ELO/Jeff songs and probably quite unlikely as a cover as it was never a single or "hit" (at least that I know of). I wanted to take an acoustic approach with the instrumentation, not just an acoustic version, but one where I was trying in keeping with all the orchestral parts of the original, just using all acoustic instrumentation (6 and 12 string guitars, piano, congas, maracas, hand claps and voices). I really just did it for fun but thanks to your encouragement it is available as a single now at iTunes, Spotify, CD Baby among a bunch of others (as of today!)... just paying homage to one of my long-time heroes!"
ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends "Summer and Lightning" by Stephen Lawrenson to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe Move'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 22-Feb-2014

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Review: Bus Therapy (Toxic Melons)

#663: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Back in February 2013, ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) featured Paul Fairbairn and his musical outlet Toxic Melons in this articlePaul has just launched a new Kickstarter campaign to help fund his new album - to be entitled "Bus Therapy" - with the aim of raising the necessary £1,250 to release it by Wednesday 26th March thus:

Paul lists here that his influences include ELO and The Move and he has stated previously here at ELOBF that "The Beatles and ELO are big influences on what I do". It therefore seemed like a good idea to ask Paul earlier this week about the goals and influences for his new album:

"There was never really a goal at the time. I was just writing stuff down on the bus. Then I started properly writing with keyboards and, hopefully, started to expand what I could do. Composition wise, influences for this ranged from Jellyfish to Stevie Wonder to Elton John. All sorts really!"

"Bus Therapy" is a nine track album which again demonstrates the multiple musical talents of Paul Fairbairn in his familiar quirky Toxic Melons mode. The album evidences a variety of styles that I summed up recently in conversation with Paul as: "Beatles, Beach Boys, a touch of ELO, a pinch of The Idle Race with a dash of Euro pop! What a concoction!"

Indeed, "Bus Therapy" is a brave album, especially with second song "Journey" being a four minute instrumental piece that is somehow reminiscent in places of ELO's "After All" from the famed "Secret Messages" sessions. Opening salvo "More Or Less", the husky Floydesque "Let Me Sleep" and the closing vocal fest "Take Me Back" grabbed my attention instantly. With sublime backing vocals throughout plus prominent guitar, piano and keyboards coupled with subtle lyrical gymnastics, this is certainly an interesting if not entertaining effort well worth a pledge or three! (8/10)

Trax: "More Or Less" ~ "Journey" ~ "Let Me Sleep" ~ "Change The World" ~ "Disco Balls" ~ "Not In Love" ~ "Just One Beer" ~ "Getting Old" ~ "Take Me Back"

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends "Bus Therapy" by Toxic Melons to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe Move'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 20-Feb-2014

Monday, 17 February 2014

Abbey Road Experience to Spread Wings

#662: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommended artiste The Abbey Road Experience have just announced that they will be adding a new dimension to their live repertoire as they add their tribute to the music of Paul McCartney and Wings to their set later this year. Wings Over Abbey Road will also welcome Debbie Lee Richardson to their ranks on keyboards and vocals. Their official press release states:

"Although released before “Let It Be”, “Abbey Road” was The Beatles’ the final album – The biggest band in history at the very height of their success. Paul McCartney then went on to form “Wings”, a phenomenal band that released 23 singles and 9 albums, and toured extensively.“Wings over Abbey Road” is a celebration of The Beatles at their peak, and Paul McCartney's Wings. The first half of the show is a live performance of the entire Abbey Road album. The second half is Wings’ greatest hits, including such classics as: “Band on the Run”, “Live and Let Die”, “Jet” and many more. “Wings over Abbey Road” – Top class musicians and vocalists performing and celebrating top class songs from world-class artists! It’s an evening not to be missed!"

Yours Truly KJS understands that the new set list will include: "Jet" ~ "Silly Love Songs" ~ "Maybe I'm Amazed" ~ "Junior's Farm" ~ "Let Me Roll It" ~ "Another Day" ~ "Bluebird" ~ "Letting Go" ~ "Let 'Em In" ~ "Listen To What The Man Said" ~ "Live And Let Die" ~ "Band On The Run" ~ "Mull Of Kintyre"

Meanwhile, The Abbey Road Experience will continue to tour with Wings Over Abbey Road due to make their live debut at The Roadhouse, Birmingham on Saturday 9th August (tickets are priced at £6 each). You can check out what The Abbey Road Experience and Wings Over Abbey Road are up to &/or where they are playing by visiting their official websites thus:

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends The Abbey Road Experience + Wings Over Abbey Road to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe Move'Brum Beat'Paul McCartneyThe Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 17-Feb-2014

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Caught Live (5): Quill @ Cannock 14/02/14

Atmospheric: Quill in concert
#661: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Joy Strachan-Brain and her legendary Midlands Celtic rock outfit Quill returned to the stage at The Prince Of Wales Theatre, Cannock last night (Friday 14th February) to thrill the assembled full house with a fantastic set which showcased not only their unique take on classic tracks by the likes of Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Thin Lizzy and Led Zeppelin but also a rich songbook of their own compositions.

The evening commenced with Ben Cowcill and Amy Sharp making a welcome return in order to provide their much appreciated support for the evening, the highlights (for me) being Ben's version of The Beatles"Blackbird" and Amy's rendition of "Skyfall" as they combined for their impressive encore. The much anticipated Quill set began with the atmospheric "Tumbling Years" and they then proceeded to enchant the enthralled audience with their superb interpretations of "Galway Girl", "Take It Easy", "Drops Of Jupiter", "Stairway To Heaven", "The Chain" and "Whiskey In The Jar" intermingling them with their own "Say It Ain't So" plus "Harvest" and "Going Home" from their excellent "Privileged" album.
A Perfect World of Celtic tinged Music: Quill
Bev Bevan - who supported the band with his classy percussion skills - stated that Joy Strachan-Brain was the best female singer to have emerged from the Midlands - ever. And he was proved right as Joy produced a stunning vocal performance on the night to woo us appreciative onlookers. Her acoustic excellence was perfectly balanced by the violin virtuosity of Kate McWilliam - as her fiddling banter with guitarist Paul Sargent during "Duelling Banjos" proved. The attention to detail of Paul was thrilling especially as he and bassist Christian Noakes produced a note perfect recreation of that GP classic "The Chain".

All of the Quill cast - not forgetting keyboardist/vocalist/guitarist Dave Bailey and drummer Tim Tandler - were on top form also as the Tamworth born band delivered their own vinyl classic "Say It Ain't So", the glorious "Celtic Experience" plus songs from their recent duo of EP's including the anthemic "England", the truly moving "Life Is Life" and their new live offering "Nine Mile Camp". All in all, this was a top class concert by a band that is able to both celebrate its past whilst at the same time taking its many fans and admirers forward on their new musical sojourns. Go see 'em!
Finale: Bev Bevan lauds Joy Strachan-Brain and her Quill colleagues
Quill are: Joy Strachan-Brain (Lead Vox/Percussion)Paul Sargent (Guitar/Vox)Kate McWilliam (Fiddle/Vox)Dave Bailey (Keyboards/Guitar/Vox)Christian Nokes (Bass)Tim Tandler (Drums) ~ Bev Bevan (Percussion)

Their official website includes up-to-date band information via this link thus:

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommend Quill to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe Move'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 15-Feb-2014

Monday, 10 February 2014

Jeff Lynne: The Night That Changed America #2

#660: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Jeff Lynne summarized his participation in "The Night That Changed America" on his official Facebook page earlier today (Monday 10th February) with these words of wisdom:

"I felt very honoured to be performing in this tribute to The Beatles. What a great thing! I get to play with some of the greatest musicians and do Beatles numbers on the telly! I must say it was a lot of fun. Don Was has got a great band together and he really helped drive it along with his terrific bass playing. I hope the show is as good as I hope it is! ... Love from Jeff"

Jeff also gave well deserved recognition and thanx to the star studded house band and backing singers on the night who were the legendary Don Was (Musical Director/Bass) alongside Kenny Aronoff (Drums)Peter Frampton (Guitar)Rami Jaffe (Organ)Steve Lukather (Guitar)Greg Phillinganes (Keyboards/Piano)Chris Caswell (Keyboards)Lenny Castro (Percussion)Larry Hall (Trumpet)Nick Lane (Trombone)Larry Williams (Saxophone/Woodwind)Carmel Echols, Judith Hill and Kari Kimmel (Backing Vox)

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 10-Feb-2014

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Caught Live: Explosive Light Orchestra @ The Roadhouse 08/02/14

ExpLO (l-r) are: Luc Befu, Robin Myles, Julian Hutchings, Aidan Thorne
#659: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! These days, one of the measures of a truly appreciated and loved artiste is the degree to which talented fans and musicians get together to form bands that seek to reproduce the studio or stage sound of their heroes. And so it was last night as Yours Truly KJS travelled the thirty odd miles (in very soggy conditions) to visit The Roadhouse in Birmingham for the first time to see the debut of The Explosive Light Orchestra (ExpLO) in the very heartland of ELO.

The Roadhouse is a smart, compact and friendly venue located in Kings Norton and last night, with its 250 capacity nearly attained, it provided the perfect stage for classy support band The Zoe Green Band to deliver a powerful set of blues tinted songs including a sublime "Purple Rain"The Explosive Light Orchestra duly arrived to an enthusiastic Brummie welcome before proceeding to deliver an incendiary set of ELO classics that included a superb guitar-laden version of "Strange Magic", a storming "10538 Overture" and "Calling America" (duly covering the full ELO singles chronology) as well as - in particular - some rather clever rocked-up interpretations of those heady 1979-80 ELO disco-themed classics from:"Discovery" and "Xanadu". The vocoder was in use all night and not least when the band brought the house down with "Mr. Blue Sky". The band oozed confidence in their adopted musical home as they performed their final encore "Roll Over Beethoven" to a round of full applause.
When ExpLO met KJS/ELOBF
Where this, their four member line-up, were a little restricted by the pre-programmed keyboards and strings, they more than made up for it with their charm and an impressive, audience-engaging performance. This writer, for one, is looking forward to their forthcoming return to the Midlands for an appearance at The Tackeroo in Hednesford on Saturday 19th April.

Explosive Light Orchestra performed: "Standin' In The Rain" ~ "Evil Woman" ~ "Showdown" ~ "Livin' Thing" ~ "Telephone Line" ~ "The Diary Of Horace Wimp" ~ "Last Train To London" ~ "10538 Overture" ~ "Turn To Stone" ~ "Twilight" ~ "Confusion" ~ "Shine A Little Love" ~ "Mr. Blue Sky" ~ "Wild West Hero" ~ "Strange Magic" ~ "All Over The World" ~ "Xanadu" ~ "Calling America" ~ "Sweet Talkin' Woman" ~ "Don't Bring Me Down" ~ "Roll Over Beethoven"

The Explosive Light Orchestra are: Robin Myles (Guitar/Lead vox) ~ Julian Hutchings (Drums/Programming/Vox) ~ Aidan Thorne (Bass/vox) ~ Luc Befu (Lead Guitars/vox). Check out the band via their official web site thus:
ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends The Explosive Light Orchestra (ExpLO) to those enlightened folks who also like ELO/Jeff LynneRoy Wood'Brum Beat'The MoveThe Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 09-Feb-2014

Monday, 3 February 2014

The Move Confirm Isle of Wight Festival Slot

#658: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The outdoor live music festival season will soon be upon us and gracing the Main Stage at The Isle Of Wight Festival this year will be none other than The Move featuring Bev Bevan, Trevor Burton, Phil Tree and Tony Kelsey on Sunday 15th June. The former ELO, ELO Part II and Black Sabbath drummer spoke to The Birmingham Mail earlier today to confirm their high profile gig at the world famous event and the fact that he has another 101 gigs lined up in 11 hectic months!
The Move will share the stage with the likes of The Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Waterboys between Thursday 12th and Sunday 15th June. Headlining the festivities on Sunday will be Kings Of Leon with The Move sure to provide an attention grabbing set beforehand! If you want to catch The Move performing live on the Sunday afternoon, Day Tickets are priced at £75 each. Full details including travel, car parking and accommodation options can be found via this link thus:

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends The Move ft. Bev Bevan & Trevor Burton and The Isle of Wight Festival to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff LynneRoy Wood, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 03-Feb-2014

Sunday, 2 February 2014

ELOBF: 5th Anniversary Today!

#657: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! This is our 657th ELOBF article and today is Sunday 2nd February 2014 a.k.a. Groundhog Day! It is also five years since my blog ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) commenced back in 2009.

So much has happened during those 1,826 days! Many gigs, reviews, interviews and so much more. We've lost some great friends and musicians yet we've also gained sight of so many artistes essentially influenced by the genius of ELO/Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, The Move, The Idle Race, 'Brum Beat' and, of course, The Beatles. Yours Truly KJS would like to thank each and every visitor, reader, follower and participant of ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) for journeying here. Every visit really is appreciated.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 02-Feb-2014

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Recommended: Judie Tzuke Live + Interview

#656: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! People that know me also know (apart from my obvious love of all things ELO) that Yours truly KJS is also a huge fan also of the fantastically talented songstress and musician Judie Tzuke. You may recall that back in January 2012, I asked Judie what her favourite songs by ELO and The Beatles might be - and these were her answers at the time thus:

KJS: "What would be your favourite 'Beatles' track and why?
Judie: "Of course ... "Hey Jude" because it's my name and I loved it and 'The Beatles' ... I always felt it was written for me as a child but obviously I know now it wasn't ... But I sang it anyway!"
KJS: "Do you also have a fave ELO track? ... and maybe a reason for that too?"
Judie: "Well! I do remember buying: "Evil Woman" and playing it over and over. Probably a bit of hairbrush miming and dancing on the bed went on too at that time! No particular reason but that it was a memorable time in my life ... but I didn't think that this song was written for me!"

Yours Truly KJS is pleased to announce that, after a two year break, Judie will be touring the UK between Tuesday 6th May and Thursday 12th June to promote her forthcoming new album "Woman Overboard". I am again planning to (hopefully) be at the final gig of the tour at Worcester. In the meantime, here are all the tour venues. Full ticket information can be found on Judie's official website at thus:
Saturday 3rd May
Martletts Hall, Burgess Hill
Tickets: £22.50 each (*plus booking fee)

Tuesday 6th May
St. George's Hall, Bristol
Tickets: £22.50 each (*plus booking fee)

Thursday 8th May
Union Chapel, London
Tickets: £25 each (*plus booking fee)

Thursday 22nd May
City Varieties Music Hall, Leeds
Tickets: £22.50 each (*plus booking fee)

Friday 23rd May
Queens Hall, Edinburgh
Tickets: £22.50 each (*plus booking fee)

Sunday 25th May
The Stables, Milton Keynes
Tickets: from £27.50 each (*plus booking fee)

Monday 2nd June
Cambridge Junction, Cambridge
Tickets: £22.50 each (*plus booking fee)

Wednesday 4th June

Hazlitt Theatre, Maidstone
Tickets: £22.50 each (*plus booking fee)

Thursday 5th June
Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne, Dorset
Tickets: £22.50 each (*plus booking fee)

Saturday 7th June
The Lowry, Salford
Tickets: £22.50 each (*plus booking fee)

Sunday 8th June
G Live, Guildford, Surrey
Tickets: £22.50 each (*plus booking fee)

Tuesday 10th June
The Sage, Gateshead
Tickets: £22.50 each (*plus booking fee)

Wednesday 11th June
Memorial Hall, Sheffield
Tickets: £22.50 each (*plus booking fee)

Thursday 12th June
Huntingdon Hall, Worcester
Tickets: £22.50 each (*plus booking fee)

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends Judie Tzuke to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff LynneThe MoveRoy Wood'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 01-Feb-2014