Monday, 30 June 2014

Caught Live (6): The Trevor Burton Band @ Stafford 29/06/14

#728: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Whilst the masses were busy watching Glastonbury or this years World Cup on TV rooted to their armchairs, Yours Truly KJS had the great pleasure of travelling the eighteen odd miles to Stafford to witness the latest gig by The Trevor Burton Band at the impressive de facto leading music venue in the town: The Grapes. A healthy collection of onlookers gathered on the night of Sunday 29th June to hear another astonishing performance of top class Rhythm & Blues by the co-founder of The Move and his two equally talented cohorts Pez Connor (Bass/Vox) and Bill Jefferson (Drums).
It is is difficult to convey in mere words in this, my sixth review of the band, how this guitar maestro impresses at each and every gig and how good this tight trio really are. The travesty is that, for many local, national and international lovers of his genre of music, Trevor Burton has somehow managed to remain firmly under the radar being often unmentioned and, sadly, unrecognised by the media who should really know better. ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) is pleased and proud to give Trevor Burton (and his band) the attention and coverage they richly deserve.

Their set on this occasion included their own interpretations of blues standards including "Sunshine Of Your Love""Down The Road", a superbly reconstructed "Heartbreak Hotel", another amazing "Hey Joe" and Trevor's very own "Down Down Down".

Trevor Burton Band gigs coming up include The Swan @ Brewood (Friday 11th July), The Queen's Head @ Wolverley (Friday 15th August) and Katie Fitzgerald's @ Stourbridge (Saturday 16th August). Further details can be found in the latest ELOBF Gig Guide. Find out more about The Trevor Burton Band via their official website thus:

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends The Trevor Burton Band 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 ... 30-June-2014

Friday, 27 June 2014

Caught Live (2): Sight 'n' Sound @ Wolverhampton 26/06/14

#727: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! As if their storming set at The Tackeroo a couple of weeks ago wasn't enough, Sight 'n' Sound arrived in delivered another sensational performance last night for the opening night of what is Wolverhampton's newest live music venue: The Diamond Live Band Suite - a truly stunning 800 capacity establishment located in the former Odeon cinema and, hopefully, destined to be the home of regular Thursday night shows by great bands.
 Sight 'n' Sound - a band whose history includes the likes of Mike SheridanGeoff TurtonRick PriceKelly Groucutt and Roger 'Ollie' Spencer as former members - once again delivered the hits on the night of ELOREO Speedwagon, Billy Joel, Chicago, Starship, Queen, The Eagles, Orleans, Kansas, Journey, Toto and, of course, Richard Harris in front of the appreciative onlookers.
Sight 'n' Sound: "The Longest Time" showcased their legendary five part harmonies on the night
Their acapella cover of Billy Joel's "The Longest Time" was once again breathtaking, as were their versions of John Miles' "Music", The Eagles' "Desperado" and their ultra-impressive ELO medley comprising "Wild West Hero", "Sweet Talkin' Woman" and a marvellous "Mr. Blue Sky". It is indeed difficult to highlight specific songs when the entire performance was so good! It would be true to say that this band could easily be termed as a rediscovered local gem by this writer. Go see 'em folks!
Set list: "We Built This City" ~ "Can't Fight This Feeling" ~ "Hard Habit To Break" ~ "The Longest Time" ~ "Bohemian Rhapsody" ~ "Hotel California" ~ ELO Medley: "Wild West Hero/Sweet Talkin' Woman/Mr. Blue Sky" ~ "Music" ~ "Carry On My Wayward Son" ~ "Take It On The Run" ~ "Who's Crying Now" ~ "MacArthur Park" ~ "Do You Believe In Love?" ~ "Rosanna" ~ "Still The One" ~ Queen Medley: "Fat Bottomed Girls"/"A Kind Of Magic"/"Hammer To Fall" ~ "Desperado"
Sight 'n' Sound (l-r) are: Paul Trappett, Brian Eustace, Warren Shaw, Neil Craddock & Joe Bartnicki
Sight 'n' Sound are: Paul Trappett (Keyboards/Vox)Brian Eustace (Guitars/Vox)Neil Craddock (Bass/Vox)Warren Shaw (Drums/Vox)Joe Bartnicki (Guitar/Vox). Check out all the latest happenings via their Sight 'n' Sound Facebook page.

I'm reliably informed that the next scheduled gig for Sight 'n' Sound will be at The Saddlers Club in Walsall on Friday 19th September. ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends Sight 'n' Sound 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 ... 27-June-2014

Thursday, 26 June 2014

ELOBF Gig Guide #16: Q3 2014

#726: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Summer into Autumn 2014 is again looking busy with the latest ELOBF Quarterly Gig Guide highlighting some great gigs to look forward to. Here are some selected dates and general links (with more to follow when confirmed) for you to consider checking out during between 1st July and 30th September thus:

Friday 4th July
The ELO Experience @ The Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton
Tickets: £20 each (*plus booking fee)

Sunday 6th July

ShardFest 2014 @ Shard End Park, Birmingham
Free entry

Friday 11th July
The Trevor Burton Band @ The Swan (Brewood Music Festival)
Free entry

Friday 25th July
Desperado Eagles Tribute @ The Roadhouse, Birmingham
Tickets: £10 each (*plus booking fee)

Saturday 2nd August
Explosive Light Orchestra @ The Roadhouse, Birmingham
Tickets: from £5 each (*plus booking fee)

Quill @ The Artrix Theatre, Bromsgrove
Tickets: £15 each (*plus booking fee)

Saturday 9th August
Wings Over Abbey Road @ The Roadhouse, Birmingham
Tickets: £6 each (*plus booking fee)

Quill @ The Robin 2, Bilston
Tickets: from £12.50 each (*plus booking fee)

Friday 15th August
The Trevor Burton Band @ The Queen's Head, Wolverley
Free entry

Saturday 16th August
The Trevor Burton Band @ Katie Fitzgerald's, Stourbridge
Free entry

Wednesday 27th August

Pete Kent @ The Robin 2, Bilston
Tickets: from £5 each (*plus booking fee)

Saturday 30th August
The ELO Experience @ The New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham
Tickets: £23.90 each (*plus booking fee)

Pugwash @ The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire
Tickets: from £10 each (*plus booking fee)

Sunday 31st August

Pugwash @ The The Lexington, Islington, London
Tickets: £10 each (*plus booking fee)

Sunday 14th September
Jeff Lynne's ELO @ BBC Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park, London
Tickets: from £38 each (*plus booking fee)

Red Shoes @ The Kitchen Garden Cafe, Birmingham
Tickets: Tickets: from £10 each (*plus booking fee)

Friday 19th September

Sight 'n' Sound @ The Saddlers Club, Walsall
Tickets: from £5 each (*plus booking fee)

Friday 26th September

Desperado Eagles Tribute @ Theatre On The Steps, Bridgnorth
Tickets: from £16 each (*plus booking fee)

Saturday 27th September
Desperado Eagles Tribute @ Theatre On The Steps, Bridgnorth
Tickets: from £16 each (*plus booking fee)

Stand Up & Rock!
Bev Bevan, Jasper Carrott and Trevor Burton will again be joined on stage by Geoff Turton, Joy Strachan-Brain and The Bev Bevan Band featuring Tony Kelsey, Phil Tree and Abby Brant between Thursday 4th September and Friday 5th December for 'Stand Up & Rock!', a new nationwide theatre tour of music and comedy that carries on from the outstanding success of 'Made In Brum' last year. Find out where to see the show via the official tour website thus:

Jeff Lynne
After a stint with classic Birmingham bands The Idle Race and The MoveJeff Lynne co-found The Electric Light Orchestra in 1971, one of the most successful groups of the seventies and eighties. Multiple hit singles and best selling albums followed making Jeff's anthemic ELO songs some of the most loved and recognizable of the last four decades. Jeff went on to a successful solo career and worked with many of his musical heroes including Brian WilsonPaul McCartney and The Everley Brothers. He also found time to co-found 'supergroup' The Traveling Wilburys, who included pals Tom PettyBob DylanGeorge Harrison and Roy Orbison in their ranks. Find out what the driving force and creative mind behind ELO is currently up to via his official website thus:

Roy Wood
The co-founder of The Move and ELO and the founder of WizzardThe Helicopters et al will (hopefully) be on the road again this year! Find out where to see Roy via his official website thus:

The Orchestra
Former members of ELO & ELO Part IIMik KaminskiLouis ClarkEric TroyerParthenon HuxleyGlen Burtnik and Gordon Townsend continue to tour the world extensively. Find out where to see them via their official website thus:

The Move
The Move featuring Bev BevanTrevor BurtonPhil Tree and Tony Kelsey will sadly be performing their last ever live gigs during Q3 2014. Find out where to see them via their official website thus:

The Trevor Burton Band
Trevor Burton will be performing regularly at various venues in the Midlands with Pez ConnorBill Jefferson and [occasionally] Tony Kelsey and Abby Brant. Find out where on their website thus:

The ELO Experience
This fantastic Hull based ELO tribute band deservedly won the National UK Tribute Awards in 2013 and they continue to faithfully reproduce classic Electric Light Orchestra hits (and more) live. Find out where to see them via their official website thus:

ELO Again
This South Wales based ELO tribute act are now spreading their wings across the UK to faithfully recreate live those ELO hits we all know and love. Find out where to see them via their official website thus:

Explosive Light Orchestra
Not only an ELO tribute act but Symphonika - an original, independent artiste in their own right - have reproduced the exciting works of ELO at packed theatres and live music venues all around Europe. Find out where to see them via their official website thus:

All of the above artistes and shows are endorsed and recommended by ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF). The above gig listing may be amended periodically, as applicable. Interviews by ELOBF with some of the above artistes are also planned. See you at one or three of the above gigs for a chat?

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 26-June-2014

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Review: Beyond Time (Bubble Gum Orchestra)

BGO's fourth studio album transcends time ... literally!
#725: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! With three impressive albums under his belt, Bubble Gum Orchestra (BGO) supremo Michael Laine Hildebrandt really had nothing to prove with this, his fourth release. "Out Of This World" (2011), "BGO II" (2012) and "The Discovery" (2013) were all well received and, of course, were a glowing testament to the songwriting prowess, musicianship and production values of this Lewisville, Texas based artiste.

"Beyond Time" is beyond expectation. Without a doubt, ELO's second concept masterpiece "Time" - with its earthbound theme of time travel and a yearning for a return to a much simpler 1981 from a plastic and emotionless 2095 - is a major influence for BGO IV ... in a musical, lyrical and artistic sense. In many respects, this album is a transition.

The sound is different, the themes are familiar yet the artwork depicts immense change. There's also a new BGO logo on show too! "Beyond Time" could easily be termed "Time Part II" but with a location "Beyond Time", this stellar release - in many ways - is relatively unconstrained.
The new BGO logo emerges from "Beyond Time"
The big difference between this album and its predecessors is the addition of a certain prized Tom Scholz model Les Paul guitar and the debut of MLH's five string Warwick bass - replete with that low 'B' string! The production is ELOesque and relays the real step change taking place with much, much more prominent guitar throughout. Whether it is those driving Les Paul chords, the sweet guitar licks, the perfectly positioned strings, the throbbing heartbeat of the Warwick bass, the inventive programming, the Morse code dotting and dashing in the background or the frequent robotic overtones, any admirer of Jeff Lynne's 1981 concept classic really should love this album upon first listen.

"ELO Forever", the catchy lead single, sits in the middle of "Beyond Time" as the album event horizon with "Anthem Of Hope" acting as the album "Prologue" and "Beyond Time (Underture)" the "Epilogue". The parallels between ELO and BGO are apparent throughout without the latter plagiarising the former. Indeed, both "Time" and the heavier "Beyond Time" are perfect sonic partners. The dreamy "21st Century Man" of ELO contrasts with the bittersweet "23rd Century Woman" of BGO yet the themes of "Yours Truly 2095" and "I'm In Love With A Robot" completely interlock.

"Return 2 4 Ever" and my personal favourite "Earth Below Me" (with a truly amazing guest guitar contribution by Pete Hackett from: Cult of Wedge) are simply awesome songs. Strong in melody and full of BGO magic with superb lyrics, sweet harmonies and the odd unforgettable chorus!

"I'm Coming Back Home" (a song dedicated to the late Brad Delp from ELO's American contemporaries Boston), "We've Lost Our Connection""The World's About To End (Let's Live For Today)" and "Destination Home" (featuring the trumpet talents of Steve Howard and an intro that is a marvellous nod to Pink Floyd's 1994 classic "Coming Back To Life") continue this impressive roster of tracks replete with the longing and loneliness of deep space balanced by the high ideals of love and hope.

The album closer and title track "Beyond Time" is a return to familiar BGO musical territory but this time with a pensive and soul searching message for redemption from the place known as forever. This album has been played multiple times by ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) in the last couple of months and still it is fresh and invigorating. That, my friends, is the mark of a great album.

So what does happen when you fuse Les Paul with BGO? The answer is "Beyond Time"! Fans of ELO & Jeff Lynne and lovers of "Time" should, at the very least, have a listen to some track samplers and seriously consider investing in some "Beyond Time" for their collections. Here's to a fifth BGO album in yet future days! (11/10)
Echoes from "Time" abound in the new BGO album
ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) asked Michael Laine Hildebrandt for a brief overview of each of the songs that comprise "Beyond Time". Here are his thoughts on BGO IV thus:

"Anthem Of Hope: The start of the journey into Beyond Time. Lost in Forever and never giving up on hope is the message here. 23rd Century Woman: Reminiscing back to the year 2395 to the love he once knew, sadly realising that her heart was nothing more than a user and an android confuser. Trans Form Her: A tale of four beauties who came from the future but live in the past yearning to be forever human but knowing that they will never be anything more than machines. I'm In Love With A Robot: Feeling overwhelming let down by the female of the human species and the demise of the human race, he builds what he hopes will be the perfect woman and programs her to love him. Return 2 4 Ever: Gravity is pulling him so far away from her that it makes him realise that returning to a distant place in time is the only way to deal with the pain of her departure. Earth Below Me: Floating through the stars while dreaming inside the big blue ship with high hopes of returning to Earth someday - if the planet survives. ELO Forever: Inspired by a forgotten hero ... a song is born. I'm Coming Back Home: So very far from home and feeling so alone, he misses her human touch so very much. We've Lost Our Connection: Praying to the falling stars and not wanting to feel loss again, he let's go for the last time. God Save Us All (Overture): God save us through this broken land, God save us on your divine plan, God save us on this broken planet now. The World's About To End (Let's Live For Today): All the planets are gone while only Earth remains, which leads to the devolution of the Human race asking: "Who will save us from ourselves?". Realising that all along, Love will prevail and Good will hopefully conquer evil. Destination Home: So happy to finally go home but a malfunction in the big blue ship leaves him stranded alone in space for eternity. Beyond Time: Daring to ask and dream about what comes next beyond the Great Beyond for us all. Beyond Time (Underture): The finale and goodbye to a place called Beyond Time."
Bubble Gum Orchestra maestro Michael Laine Hildebrandt
"Beyond Time" by Bubble Gum Orchestra will be available to purchase in digital &/or CD format from Tuesday 1st July via the official BGO website thus:

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends "Beyond Time" by Bubble Gum Orchestra to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff Lynne, Roy WoodThe Move, 'Brum Beat'The Beatles, and all related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 21-June-2014

Friday, 20 June 2014

Recommended: Under A Banner

Under A Banner [L-R]: Simon Hill; Tim Wilson; Adam Broadhurst and Jonathan Price
#724: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The first time that Yours Truly KJS saw and heard local band Under A Banner was in early July last year when they impressed whilst supporting Quill at The Robin 2. Since then, ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] has kept tabs on and been in regular contact with the Wolverhampton based folk/rock quartet, who are currently in the midst of a Pledge Music campaign to raise the necessary funding to release their second studio album "Close To The Clouds" thus:
The campaign runs until Thursday 24th July and, at the time of writing, it has already attained healthy funding of 42%. Further pledges would be much appreciated by the band. Find out more information about the various pledging options, the band and their new album via this link thus:

Under A Banner are Adam Broadhurst [Guitars/vocals], Tim Wilson [Drums/percussion], Simon Hill [Bass] and Jonathan Price [Guitars]. Their official web site and social media pages can also be viewed and perused via these links thus:

Under A Banner Official   Under A Banner [Bandcamp]
Under A Banner [Facebook]   Under A Banner [Twitter]

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends Under A Banner 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 ... 20-June-2014

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Exclusive: Louis Clark Interview

#723: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! English Pops Orchestra Music Director Andy Smith dropped me a line the other day with the above excellent video interview with ELO and Orchestral legend Louis Clark, chaired by Scott Ampleford for Gerlock Films. In the 24 minute interview, which also features some great archive footage, Sir Lou talks about his early career, his progression from bassist to conductor and composer as well as, of course, his success with ELO, Hooked On Classics, ELO Part II and The Orchestra (former members of ELO ELO Part II).
The interview is a welcome reminder for visitors to ELOBF that a very special outdoor concert in Essex is on the horizon in late June. The Concert In The Park is returning to Priory Park in Southend-on-Sea on Saturday 28th June with the EPO - conducted by Louis Clark - performing a mixture of hits from the legendary Hooked On Classics albums as well as music from familiar film soundtracks, The Beatles plus a very special version of a certain ELO hit from "Concerto For A Rainy Day" arranged especially for the event. The concert will be rounded off by a Last Night of the Proms finale coupled with spectacular fireworks! Please visit the official website for further details thus:

An attendance of up to 5,000 people is expected for an event aiming to raise much needed funds for several local charities including Southend Hospital. Tickets can be purchased via this link thus:

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends The Concert In The Park and the English Pops Orchestra [EPO] conducted by Louis Clark 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 ... 19-June-2014

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Review: Jack's Bazaar (Cult of Wedge)

Pete Hackett's latest Cult of Wedge outing is progressively edgy
#722: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) has been pleased to highlight the quirky musical vehicle of local musician, songsmith and producer Pete Hackett that is Cult of Wedge over the last few years. Indeed, any artist who describes themselves as being "... a bit like a car crash involving members of ELO, Genesis, Human League, Kraftwerk, Motorhead and Yes ..." is worthy of much more significant music media attention than that of Yours Truly KJS and ELOBF! So what then of this the latest outing? The preceding three Cult of Wedge albums: "Tape Recorders Changed Everything", "On The Green Seventy Seen" and "Another Ten Songs About Death, Hurt and Misery" give no clue to the change in style being presented by the pride of Rowley Regis.

This album in places could be described as progressively edgy ... and it is. There is a heavier overall feel to the collection of eight new songs that are "Jack's Bazaar" yet also a lighter underside too. This is an album that is no more experimental or progressive than early ELO between '72 and '73.  First up are the heavy guitar riffs and raw power of the first three rasping songs which are the title track "Jack's Bazaar", "Mr. Mystery" and "Heavyweight". These songs exude power and clearly mark a maturity in the song craft and production of Mr. Hackett.

Contrast that with what comes next. The sheer rock of the first three album openers give way to the jangly guitar and clever unpolluted astronomy of "The Sky At Night" and the dreamy, maritime yearnings of "Sailing Away" before the masterpiece that is "We Have The Right To Starlight" reaches the eardrums. Track #6 is an instrumental beauty with sublime guitar licks, throbbing bass and superb synthesised strands that simply must be a nod, if nothing else, to the work of ELO keys maestro Richard Tandy. A real credit to the programming skills of its creator and my album favourite and, in my opinion, it could easily be mistaken in places for a lost track from the "Time" or "Secret Messages" sessions.

This impressive album closes with a return to rockier themes and some fantastic guitar work a la The Beatles' "She's So Heavy" and The Move's "Brontosaurus". "The Mouth" is a mini-opera in and of itself, sure to please die hard prog rock lovers and rockers alike. The finale is the lyrically darker "I Spawned A Monster" - another track that ELO fans will love with its similarity to keyboard wizardry of "Daybreaker" in places and its oft change in tempo.

"Jack's Bazaar" is one of those records that you don't tire of even after many, many listens and is a pleasure to review. Thirty eight and a half minutes of class. (9/10)

Trax: "Jack's Baazar" ~ "Mr. Mystery" ~ "Heavyweight" ~ "The Sky At Night" ~ "Sailing Away" ~ "We Have The Right To Starlight" ~ "The Mouth" ~ "I Spawned A Monster"

"Jack's Bazaar" by Cult of Wedge was released on Monday 16th June and is available to purchase from Bandcamp via this link thus:

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends "Jack's Bazaar" by Cult of Wedge 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 ... 18-June-2014

Monday, 16 June 2014

Gallery: The Move @ Isle of Wight Festival

#721: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The Move returned to the Isle of Wight Festival yesterday (Sunday 15th June) after an absence of over four decades, and promptly rolled back the years in what Yours Truly KJS is reliably informed was a storming fifty minute set. Jan Davis - who manages Trevor Burton with husband John over at Erndor50 Promotions - took over 200 photographs at the event and has kindly given her permission for ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) to publish this selection of 18 images for your perusal:
The Move were: Bev Bevan (Drums/Percussion) ~ Trevor Burton (Guitars/Vox) ~ Phil Tree (Bass/Vox) ~ Tony Kelsey (Guitars/Vox)Abby Brant (Keyboards/Vox)Joy Strachan-Brain (Vox)

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends The Move ft. Bev Bevan & Trevor Burton 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 ... 16-June-2014

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Caught Live: Sight 'n' Sound @ The Tackeroo 14/06/14

Sight 'n' Sound: Paul Trappett, Brian Eustace, Neil Craddock, Warren Shaw & Joe Bartnicki
#720: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Sight 'n' Sound are a band with an impressive roster of former members including Mike Sheridan, Geoff Turton, Rick Price, Kelly Groucutt and Roger 'Ollie' Spencer amongst not a few others. With a rich live legacy and proven track record interwoven with many connections to the ELOBF universe plus the ringing endorsement of Phil Bates, Yours Truly KJS travelled the short distance to The Tackeroo in Hednesford last night (Saturday 14th June) to see the newly reformed band perform in one their first gigs after their two decade hiatus.

Listening to the band in 2014, you can see why fine vocalists such as Geoff Turton and Kelly Groucutt were members of the band back in the day. I was astonished by how good the band were both in their reproduction of classic rock songs and their perfect vocal harmonies in front of a healthy and receptive audience. In a couple of hours the band delivered a stunning set comprising the hits of such artistes as REO Speedwagon, Chicago, Queen, The Eagles, Kansas, Journey, Toto and, of course, ELO.

If an acapella rendition of Billy Joel's "The Longest Time" took the breath away, then their versions of John Miles' "Music" and Richard Harris' "MacArthur Park" were phenomenal. You won't be surprised that the highlight of the evening for me was their ELO medley comprising an acapella intro of "Wild West Hero" leading into "Sweet Talkin' Woman" and a superb full length "Mr. Blue Sky". Without a doubt, this concert was the very best of introductions to Sight 'n' Sound and, judging by the attendance on the night, their longstanding reputation remains intact. Go see 'em folks!

Set list: "We Built This City" ~ "Can't Fight This Feeling" ~ "Hard Habit To Break" ~ "The Longest Time" ~ "Bohemian Rhapsody" ~ "Hotel California" ~ ELO Medley: "Wild West Hero/Sweet Talkin' Woman/Mr. Blue Sky" ~ "Music" ~ "Carry On My Wayward Son" ~ "Take It On The Run" ~ "Who's Crying Now" ~ "MacArthur Park" ~ "Do You Believe In Love?" ~ "Rosanna" ~ "Still The One" ~ Queen Medley: "Fat Bottomed Girls"/"A Kind Of Magic"/"Hammer To Fall" ~ "Desperado" ~ "We Are The Champions"
Sight 'n' Sound are: Paul Trappett (Keyboards/Vox)Brian Eustace (Guitars/Vox)Neil Craddock (Bass/Vox)Warren Shaw (Drums/Vox) ~ Joe Bartnicki (Guitar/Vox). Find out what the band are up to via their Sight 'n' Sound Facebook page. Their next scheduled gig for Sight 'n' Sound will be on Thursday 26th June at The Diamond Live Band Suite, Skinner Street, Wolverhampton.

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends Sight 'n' Sound 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-June-2014

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Caught Live (2): Judie Tzuke @ Worcester 12/06/14

ELOBF respected the request for no photographs on the night by Judie and the venue
#719: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Regular visitors to ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) will doubtless know that Judie Tzuke is an artist who also regularly features here too. Hence it was an absolute certainty that a visit to Worcester's Huntingdon Hall to see Judie for the final date of her "Woman Overboard" tour on the evening of Thursday 12th June was on the cards.

A marvellous support set from Jamie Lawson opened the evening and without doubt the excellent rendition of his superb composition: "Didn't Expect That" - a song he delighted in telling us that made #3 in the Irish singles charts last year (and #1 in the Irish download chart) - was a highlight.

Next up came Judie's talented daughter Bailey - ably accompanied by the impressive Ben Mark on guitar and younger sister Tallula on vocals - and she enchanted the audience with a selection of her own songbook with the surprising highlight being a cover of The Smith's "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out". Like her mother and sister, this performance more than ably demonstrated that Bailey has been blessed with a rich vocal range that oozes class.

Judie Tzuke never ceases to amaze me. Both recorded and live. For this tour it is evident that, once again, she had not only assembled another tight live seven piece band (including daughters Bailey and Tallula) - who more than did justice to the Tzuke song catalogue - but also a set list of her personal song choices covering her career fully from her 'arrival' with "Welcome To The Cruise" on Elton John's Rocket Records back in 1979 up to the present day and even that which is yet future.

All the songs were warmly and enthusiastically received by a knowledgeable audience familiar with her work. All my personal favourites were there including a fantastic live three part harmony encore delivery of "For You", a pumped up "Enjoy The Ride", a solo straddled "Living On The Coast" and a haunting "If (When You Go)". It was great to hear anew tracks from "One Tree Less" and "So Emotional" from her recent "Song Book" outing too. We were also treated to a taste of her new album with the title track "Woman Overboard" - very much reminiscent of Kate Bush - very much grabbing the attention. Naturally, her singing of "Stay With Me Till Dawn" was de facto perfect.

We look forward all the more to the promise of a stripped down acoustic tour and, of course, the new album "Woman Overboard" on the evidence of this wonderful concert.

Set list: "All At Sea" ~ "One Tree Less" ~ "So Emotional" ~ "Man And A Gun" ~ "Come Hell Or Waters High" ~ "The Other Side" ~ "May You Never" ~ "Woman Overboard" ~ "Enjoy The Ride" ~ "Jerry McGuire" ~ "Tonight" ~ "Living On The Coast" ~ "Bring The Rain" ~ "Stay With Me Till Dawn" ~ "If (When You Go)" ~ "For You" ~ "Sukarita"

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends Judie Tzuke 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 ... 14-June-2014

Friday, 13 June 2014

Sold Out: Jeff Lynne's ELO @ Hyde Park

#718: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Whispers of a Jeff Lynne &/or ELO headlined gig in London's Hyde Park were confirmed this morning on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show when it was announced that the ELO co-founder will have top billing for the BBC Radio 2 Live In Hyde Park event on Sunday 14th September.

This much anticipated concert will be the first time in twenty eight (28) years that Jeff has performed his ELO songbook live in the the UK since supporting Rod Stewart and headlining the Heartbeat charity gig back in 1986. It'll also possibly be the first ever ELO gig featuring Jeff Lynne for many fans ... including Yours Truly KJS!

Jeff Lynne's ELO will also be backed by the BBC Concert Orchestra on the night with the ELO maestro being preceded on stage by Blondie, Chrissie Hynde, Paloma Faith, Billy Ocean, Bellowhead, Gregory Porter and Kacy Musgraves. The performance is likely to also feature Richard Tandy and the Gary Barlow/Take That touring band in support. Jeff was interviewed live via telephone on the radio show this morning saying:

"I haven’t performed live in quite some time, and I know the fans have asked for it a lot over the years. It’s very exciting to come to Hyde Park with Radio 2 and do something this big, and I’m very much looking forward to playing my ELO songs for everyone."

50,000 regular tickets - priced at £38 each (plus booking fees) - were sold out within hours leaving a limited quantity of VIP tickets - priced at £320 each (also plus booking fees!) available to purchase at the time of writing. In the meantime, BBC Radio 2 will also be running competitions for listeners and fans alike to win tickets for the event. The annual one day festival will be broadcast live from 2PM on BBC Radio 2 with edited TV highlights following.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 13-June-2014

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Generation Next: Carrying the Light

Creators of the ELO legacy: Jeff LynneBev Bevan & Roy Wood
#717: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Yours Truly KJS has been really blessed to have been able to see my musical heroes from The Move and ELO perform regularly, particularly in the last six months, with some great gigs featuring Bev Bevan, Roy Wood and Trevor Burton.

The impending demise of The Move prompted an appeal in my previous article for ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) for the band to arrange a final farewell gig in their Birmingham birthplace. I did this for a reason. I've talked many times with my gig buddy Christian Evans about what lies ahead for artistes and fans in the ELOBF universe when these guys put their slippers on, proverbially speaking.

Seasonal tours by Roy Wood and the hectic show schedule of Bev Bevan and Trevor Burton aside, we can only speculate about Jeff Lynne playing a one-off live spectacular for BBC Children in Need in days yet future. The now rare UK appearances by The Orchestra and other former members of ELO & ELO Part II plus the rise of The ELO Experience and other notable ELO tribute bands are currently keeping the gig calendar ticking over.

ELOBF is therefore always keeping one eye on the next generation of musicians who are influenced by ELO, Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood coming through knowing that, sadly, "Time" is marching on. For me. there are three bands who head that list, at the time of writing. They are Thomas Walsh's Pugwash, Michael Laine Hildebrandt's Bubble Gum Orchestra and Spencer Hannabuss' The 286 thus:
Generation Next: PugwashBubble Gum Orchestra (Michael Laine Hildebrandt) & The 286 (Spencer Hannabuss)
Bubble Gum Orchestra (BGO)
The 286

Enlightened fans of ELO/Jeff Lynne, The MoveRoy Wood, 'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes should at the very least consider checking out the above bands because, as in life, you never really know what you have (in a musical sense) until it's gone. The only antidote for that sense of loss is having something in the present to keep the proverbial Electric Light shining in the future.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 08-June-2014

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Caught Live (4): The Move ft. Bev Bevan & Trevor Burton @ The Robin 05/06/14

The Move during their final appearance at The Robin 2 (Photos courtesy of Tony Smith)
#716: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The Move rolled back the years last night as they returned to their Midlands homeland and final gig at The Robin 2 in Bilston (Thursday 5th June) for the latest show of their final UK tour. And the band that eventually gave birth to our beloved ELO did not disappoint the healthy attendance with a performance that had everyone in raptures, both for the music and also for the memories of life on the road by Bev Bevan as well as the comedic anecdotes and recollections of a certain Trevor Burton on top form.
Great support from PRoM on the night
But first mention must be made of the superb support act who were PRoM a.k.a. Peoples Republic of Mercia by their full name. The Birmingham based band very much impressed with a Rhythm 'n' Blues tinged set very reminiscent of Dr. Feelgood and Wilko Johnson which ticked all the right boxes. Check out their two EP's and their official web site at:
Rockin' The Robin: Co-founders of  The MoveTrev & Bev with Phil Tree
Bev, Phil and Tony in perfect unison
Phil and Tony complete this final line-up of The Move
And what of The Move on this their final Midlands date? The familiar quartet of Bev, Trev, Phil Tree and Tony Kelsey displayed the fruit of a multi-date tour. The vocals, percussion and guitar craft were the tightest that I've ever witnessed with this incarnation of the band as they delivered another strong set of those Move songs we all know and love. Most of the hits were there, a miss and the odd cover. Once again the superb songs of Roy Wood were given the live treatment they deserve. "Mercury Blues" and "Something Else" were outstanding as were Trevor's wonderful, often comical introductions to each song and his fantastic personalised tribute to old friend Jimi Hendrix with "Hey Joe". This was a concert that was a real honour to attend with the lead vocals of Trevor and Phil perfectly backed by Abby, Tony and Joy throughout. And Bev 'Basher' Bevan had a real thrash too circumnavigating his kit with his world class prowess. Rhythm duo Phil and Tony on bass and guitars are the genuine article too and their contribution on the night was also faultless. The band nailed the classics all through the night with "Night Of Fear", "Wild Tiger Woman" and "Do Ya" particularly impressing. The reaction of the audience is always the barometer of a gig hence so the rapturous applause and hollering both before and after the encores of "Blackberry Way" and "Gimme Some Lovin'" said it all!
Piece Of My Heart: Movette Abby Brant backed by the classy backing vocals of Joy Strachan-Brain
The addition of Abby Brant has been a masterstroke on this tour. Her accomplished keyboards and wonderful voice were given the perfect platform with her stunning rendition of the Erma Franklin classic "Piece Of My Heart" during the show. It was great to see Joy Strachan-Brain from Quill guesting and adding her own sublime vocals on a memorable night for all.
Set list: "I Can Hear The Grass Grow" ~ "Fire Brigade" ~ "Something Else" ~ "Flowers In The Rain" ~ "Night Of Fear" ~ "Hello Suzie" ~ "Piece Of My Heart" ~ "Goin’ Back" ~ "Wild Tiger Woman" ~ "Brontosaurus" ~ "Mercury Blues" ~ "Do Ya" ~ "Wild Thing" ~ "Hey Joe" ~ "California Man" ~ "Blackberry Way" ~ "Gimme Some Lovin'"

The Move were: Bev Bevan (Drums)Trevor Burton (Guitars/Vox)Phil Tree (Bass/Vox)Tony Kelsey (Guitars/Backing Vox)Abby Brant (Keyboards/Vox)Joy Strachan-Brain (Backing Vox)

Find out more about the band via their official website at:
Encore: Surely a good a proper farewell concert is the best way to say a final "Goodbye"
An Appeal to The Move and their Management
Yes, the final line-up of The Move did not see the participation of Roy Wood or Ace Kefford and we all still mourn the loss of Carl Wayne. But The Move did do justice to their live legacy and impressive hit roster. For me, the passing of The Move into the history books is a sad affair with the current tour ending in August, away from their musical home. ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) believes that there should be a much more fitting finale to this magnificent and iconic band. This is an open and honest appeal to the band and their management to arrange a fitting farewell gig for the band in their Birmingham birthplace where both The Move and their fans can celebrate the band and also draw a line under it in the best possible manner. KJS@ELOBF

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

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 07-June-2014