Monday, 29 September 2014

Recommended: The 4th Annual Trevor Burton Charity Show

#769: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) are pleased to confirm that this years Annual Trevor Burton Charity Show will again be held at Hall Green Stadium in Birmingham on Thursday 6th November in aid of Trevor's two chosen charities who are Daybreaks Kennels and Hall Green Retired Greyhound Trust.

The 4th Annual Trevor Burton Charity Show will feature The Trevor Burton BandMods & Sods and Suzi & The Backbeats plus special guests Abby BrantGeoff Turton and Danny King.

Tickets are priced at £15 each in advance (plus booking fee if bought on line) or £18 each on the door (if available) and can be purchased from either:

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends The 4th Annual Trevor Burton Charity Show to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of 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-Sep-2014

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Hold On Tight: Busy Year Beckons for Jeff Lynne

#768: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The revelation by Bryan Adams in a recent interview published in that six songs are already in the can for his 2015 Jeff Lynne produced album, that they were (in his own words) "just blinding!" and that the Canadian rocker thinks that his new LP "is going to be the best record (that he's) ever made" only adds to the anticipation regarding what could be on the schedule for the ELO maestro in the next year or so.

The clamour for more live dates by Jeff Lynne's ELO is already growing exponentially and there is much expectation for recorded material in 2015 with the hope that a solo album of brand new material will be finally completed as well as the aforementioned Bryan Adams release. The only caveat to a tour taking place in 2015 is that Take That are also recording their next studio album and any ensuing tour would mean that their excellent touring band may not be available to support Jeff Lynne dates.

Add to that the knowledge that there is also enough material for a "Long Wave II" project (as evidenced by the track listing in the "Down The Lane And Far Away" sampler) and a high likelihood that Jeff has re-recorded more ELO songs than were issued on his "Mr. Blue Sky" release back in 2012. And don't forget that there is also the possibility that a DVD could be released of the recent Hyde Park gig and that "Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne and ELO" could also yet be formally released on DVD.

"After All"Yours Truly KJS/ELOBF is looking forward to what could be one of the most intense periods of ELO/Jeff Lynne activity ever!

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

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Final Play: Reddingtons Rare Records

KJS with "Dan, Dan The Record Man"earlier today!
#767: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Reddingtons Rare Records has always been one of the landmarks of the Midlands music scene. Indeed, Yours Truly KJS has spent many a happy hour (or three) rustling through acres of record sleeves (whilst trying to avoiding banging my head in the basement) back in the day at Dan Reddington's legendary vinyl paradise in Cannon Street, Birmingham city centre before it moved to nearby Digbeth and then (as a mail order business) to Redditch.

Earlier this month, Dan announced that RRR would be closing down with a mammoth clearance sale. The announcement received significant news coverage with even a South American millionaire offering a large sum of money for the estimated 75,000 singles and albums in Dan's collection. Dan elected to sell every item at the princely sum of £1, occasionally slipping in a valuable rarity in amongst the shelves for a lucky collector to find and treasure.
Who knows what ELO & Beatles related treasures remain hidden at Reddingtons Rare Records?
A forty mile drive to Redditch was therefore in order to visit Dan, witness the amazing interest in this ultimate of closing down sales and even see if I could snap up a bargain or three. "The lease runs out at the end of December" Dan told me, giving fans and collectors alike just a few months to scour the many shelves and boxes crammed into the business unit in Britten Street. We talked about Midlands musical personalities such as Carl Wayne, Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, Bev Bevan, Kelly Groucutt, Trevor Burton and Robert Plant as we warmly reminisced about the legacy of Reddingtons Rare Records. And yes, I did pick up some interesting items by Slade, The Korgis and Fyfe Dangerfield during my brief visit. Hence, if you are able to, you should take up the opportunity to survey the contents of this most celebrated of record shops before the final track is played. Hint: One hour is nowhere near long enough!

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends Reddingtons Rare Records to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff LynneRoy Wood, WizzardThe MoveThe Idle Race, 'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

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

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Jeff Lynne: Damaged Broad Street Star Replacement

Jeff Lynne's Broad Street Star as laid originally on 13th March (Photo: Bjørn Anders Jonassen)
#766: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! When Yours Truly KJS visited downtown Birmingham last month, it was easy to spot the Broad Street stars of Roy Wood and Bev Bevan. Unfortunately, I also discovered that the newly laid star awarded to Jeff Lynne back on Thursday 13th March was now hidden by a protective yellow plastic cover.
Damaged Star [Photo: Terri Heritage]
Covered Star [Photo: Toshiki Komeda]
A photograph published by Terri Heritage recently on Facebook showed the uncovered, damaged state of the star with some fans contacting Birmingham City Council and the Broad Street Business Improvement District to voice their concern to find out what was being done to correct the situation. ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) contacted Broad Street chief Mike Olley earlier today for an update and he kindly offered the following prompt official statement thus:

"Sadly, the star has been repeatedly vandalised by over enthusiastic fans. We placed the star in the ground aware that it was not fully cured, however with Jeff only being in the area for a short time slot, we were very keen that he should have sight if it. After the event, we immediately covered the star to allow it to cure fully. Yet fans kept removing the covering. This resulted in excessive damage. So much so in fact that it became beyond repair. Subsequently we commissioned a brand new star, this has been produced and is now cured. We will be fitting it shortly."

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) looks forward to returning "Down Home Town" to see Jeff's Broad Street Star in pristine condition adjacent to Birmingham Symphony Hall within the next month.

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

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Review: A Rose In A Garden Of Weeds (Pugwash)

#765: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! I've heard it said sometimes that this band or that singer are "criminally underrated". I've also seen lists of the excluded rather than an appreciation of what has been included when it comes to the the release of compilations covering the careers of certain groups or artistes. But if ever there were a band who deserved attention and recognition it is those genial "Irish Alt-Pop Favourites" who are Pugwash. And there will never be a more worthy summary released of a band under the proverbial radar as the long awaited overview of their career to date entitled "A Rose In A Garden Of Weeds: A Preamble Through The History Of Pugwash" (Omnivore Recordings #OVCD-100).
Listening to this seventeen opus of the musical outpourings of Thomas Walsh (and friends) is much akin to approaching musical, harmonic and lyrical ecstasy as you drink in this carefully selected menu of tracks from the five Pugwash studio albums to date: "Almond Tea" (1999); "Almanac" (2002); "Jollity" (2005); "Eleven Modern Antiquities" (2008) and "The Olympus Sound" (2011).

What is served up here by the Dublin based quartet is both the perfect introduction to new fans (including those lucky souls who will see the band play their first dates in the US in October) and the greatest of tributes for their growing army of admirers. With the influences of Thomas' beloved ELO/Jeff Lynne as well as The Idle Race, Roy WoodThe Beach Boys, The Beatles, XTC [and not a few others], this record is a real delight to the ears. Every track is a gem yet I still keep hitting the repeat button for "Take Me Away", "Heal Me", Finer Things In Life", "It's Nice To Be Nice", "Fall Down", "Here" and "Apples"ELO fans will not regret investing in this record. I think that I should buy a second copy myself because this one will soon be worn out! (10/10)

Trax: "Take Me Away" ~ "Monorail" ~ "Keep Movin' On" ~ "Finer Things In Life" ~ "Anyone Who Asks" ~ "Shine On Norvell Jefferson" ~ "Two Wrongs" ~ "A Rose In A Garden Of Weeds" ~ "It's Nice To Be Nice" ~ "At The Sea" ~ "Fall Down" ~ "Answers On A Postcard" ~ "Heal Me" ~ "Here" ~ "Apples" ~ "Anchor" ~ "Be My Friend Awhile"
Pugwash are (l-r): Shaun McGee, Tosh Flood, Thomas Walsh, Joe Fitzgerald
Find out more about Pugwash via their Official Facebook page"A Rose In A Garden Of Weeds: A Preamble Through The History Of Pugwash" is available in CD or MP3 format from Omnivore Recordings, and all reputable vendors.

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends "A Rose In A Garden Of Weeds" by Pugwash 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 ... 24-Sep-2014

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Jeff Lynne Lights Up McCartney Tribute Album

#764: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Jeff Lynne will be contributing his own version of Paul McCartney's song "Junk" to a new album of covers by an array of well known artistes to be released later this year featuring many of The Beatles, Wings and solo McCartney classic songs. "Junk" was written by McCartney in 1968 and featured on his first solo album "McCartney" in 1970 alongside an instrumental version, entitled "Singalong Junk". With an original song length of just 1:54, the ELO maestro's interpretation is unlikely to be significantly longer yet much anticipated by his fan base.

"The Art Of McCartney: The Songs of Paul McCartney sung by the World's Greatest Artists" is due for release on Monday 17th November and will feature efforts by fellow Wilbury Bob Dylan ("Maybe I'm Amazed"), Brian Wilson ("Wanderlust"), Robin Zander and Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick ("Jet") as well as The Cure featuring James McCartney ("Hello Goodbye") amongst many others.

The album features thirty six (36) songs on two (2) CD's plus a DVD on the making of the album with the Amazon Deluxe Exclusive edition sporting two (2) bonus tracks. "The Art Of McCartney" is currently available for pre-order from and other vendors.

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends "The Art Of McCartney" 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 ... 23-Sep-2014

Sunday, 21 September 2014

ELO: Top 20 Album Chart Return Confirmed

#763: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The full impact of the success of Jeff Lynne's return to performing live at Hyde Park last Sunday (14th September) for the first time in 28 years has led to Top 20 Album Chart consolidation for the best-selling Electric Light Orchestra compilation "All Over The World". The June 2005 Epic release was placed at #18 in the midweek chart and is holding steady at #18 in this week's Official Albums Chart UK Top 100. The album returned to the Top 100 chart two (2) weeks ago at #74 rising to #40 last week.
"All Over The World" is also topping the MP3 Album Best Sellers Chart
ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) hopes the the above chart impact in the afterglow of such an acclaimed comeback by the ELO maestro will prompt the release of an official live Hyde Park CD/DVD as well as the much hinted new Jeff Lynne studio album. It will happen soon folks ...

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

Saturday, 20 September 2014

ELOBF Gig Guide #17: Q4 2014

#762: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Autumn into Winter 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 October and 31st December [Q4] thus:

Wednesday 1st October
Quill @ The Abbey Theatre, Nuneaton
Tickets: £15 each (*plus booking fee)

Friday 3rd October
ELO Again @ The Robin 2, Bilston
Tickets: £12 each (advance) or £15 each (door)(*plus booking fee)

Saturday 4th October
ELO Again @ The Assembly Rooms, Ludlow
Tickets: £15 each (*plus booking fee)

Saturday 11th October

Quill @ Nottingham Arts Theatre
Tickets: £16 each (*plus booking fee)

Thursday 16th October

Stand Up & Rock! @ Dudley Town Hall
Tickets: £25 each (*plus booking fee)

Friday 17th October
The ELO Experience @ The Prince Of Wales Theatre, Cannock
Tickets: £18 each (*plus booking fee)

Explosive Light Orchestra @ Clarence Hall, Crickhowell, Powys
Tickets: £9 each (*plus booking fee)

Saturday 18th October

Red Shoes @ Broseley's Birchmeadow, Telford
Tickets: £9 each (advance) or £10 each (door)(*plus booking fee)

Friday 24th October

Jim Onslow @ The Harlescott Social Club, Shrewsbury (in aid of Cancer Research UK)
Tickets: £5.00 each (door)

Sunday 26th October

The Steve Gibbons Band @ The Grapes, Stafford
Tickets: £8 each (advance) or £10 each (door)(*plus booking fee)

Sunday 2nd November

The Steve Gibbons Band @ The Roadhouse, Birmingham
Tickets: £10 each (door)

Thursday 6th November

The 4th Annual Trevor Burton Charity Show @ Hall Green Stadium, Birmingham
Tickets: £15 each (advance) or £18 each (door)(*plus booking fee)

Quill @ The Assembly Rooms, Ludlow
Tickets: £16 each (*plus booking fee)

Saturday 15th November

Explosive Light Orchestra @ Henighans, Bolton
Tickets: £7 each (*plus booking fee)

Tuesday 18th November 

Roy Wood Rock 'n' Roll Band @ The Robin 2, Bilston
Tickets: £17.50 each (advance) or £20 each (door)(*plus booking fee)

Phil Bates @ The Jam House, Birmingham
Free entry

Thursday 20th November

21 Today: Justice 4 The 21 @ Birmingham Town Hall
Tickets: £12 each (*plus booking fee)

Friday 21st November

The Traveling Pilburys @ The Feathers Inn, Lichfield
Free entry

Saturday 22nd November
The Trevor Burton Band @ Katie Fitzgerald's, Stourbridge
Free entry

Saturday 29th November

Sight 'n' Sound @ The Tackeroo, Hednesford
Tickets: £6 each (door)

Friday 5th December

Magnum @ The Robin 2, Bilston
Tickets: £20 each (advance) or £22.50 each (door)(*plus booking fee)

Saturday 6th December

Explosive Light Orchestra @ Redhouse Cymru, Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan
Tickets: £10 each (*plus booking fee)
Box Office: (01684) 384111

Tuesday 9th December

The Roy Wood Christmas Show @ The Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Tickets: £27.50 each (*plus booking fee)

Friday 12th December

The Trevor Burton Band @ The Queen's Head, Wolverley
Free entry

Friday 19th December

Quill @ Sutton Coldfield Town Hall
Tickets: £15 each (*plus booking fee)

Sunday 21st December

The Trevor Burton Band @ The Grapes, Stafford
Free entry

Tuesday 30th December

The Trevor Burton Christmas Show @ The Roadhouse, Birmingham
Tickets: £12 each (door)

Stand Up & Rock!
Bev BevanJasper Carrott and Trevor Burton will again be joined on stage by Geoff TurtonJoy Strachan-Brain and The Bev Bevan Band featuring Tony KelseyPhil 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 web site thus:

Jeff Lynne
After a stint with classic Birmingham bands The Idle Race and The MoveJeff Lynne co-founded 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 recognisable 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 web site 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 during 2014! Find out where to see Roy via his official web site thus:

The Orchestra
Former members of ELO and 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 web site 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 web site 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 web site 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 web site 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 web site thus:

Explosive Light Orchestra (ExpLO)
Not only an ELO tribute act but an original, independent artiste in their own right - Symphonika (a.k.a. The Explosive Light Orchestra) - 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 web site 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 with some of the above artistes are also planned by ELOBF.

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

Friday, 19 September 2014

Caught Live: Stand Up & Rock! @ Wolverhampton 16/09/14

#761: Hello... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The success of Made In Brum last year created an immediate demand for another series of shows with the same format. As a result of that interest, Stand Up & Rock! was conceived and has just begun a three month UK theatre tour. Wolverhampton's iconic Grand Theatre was the venue for this the seventh date of the tour on Tuesday 16th September and the full house was treated to a fantastic night of comedy and music led from the front by Brummie legend Jasper Carrott who, like myself, thought that the best-selling book "50 Shades Of Grey" was a book about West Bromwich! Both spells of his stand-up comedy, centred around his own unique observations on several topical subjects, had the audience often laughing and chuckling. Jasper was assured and confident throughout and also sang lead vocals twice with the band.
But what of the music? The Bev Bevan Band (once again) provided a marvellous platform of music for the show in front of the watching Tony Iommi, impressively arranged by guitarist Tony Kelsey, repeating his role as Musical Director. The keyboards and vocals of Abby Brant were world class, as were the performances of bassist Phil Tree and the sublime drumming of the ever popular Bev Bevan. Without providing too many spoilers for those still to see the show, Yours Truly KJS was amazed by The Rockin' Berries' very own Geoff Turton's rendition of a certain Roy Orbison classic and pleasantly surprised to hear new covers of tracks by the likes of The Who, Status Quo, Elvis Costello, Kiki Dee and The Rolling Stones alongside familiar songs by The Moody Blues, Jimi Hendrix, The Spencer Davis Group amongst not a few others. Once again, we were treated to the inestimable guitar prowess and personality of Trevor Burton as well as the mesmerising vocal talents of Quill's very own Joy Strachan-Brain. Fans of The Move, ELO and The Beatles will be pleased to know that each artist has a two song contribution to a balanced and thoughtfully constructed set list.
KJS/ELOBF respected the wishes of the theatre that no photographs of the show be taken
Upon entering the auditorium, I expected a kind of Made In Brum Part II yet I left the building impressed, contented and fully entertained by a show which is fresh and does far more than it says on the tin, so to speak. This is a show that literally rocks!

Check out the remaining dates for Stand Up & Rock! via these links thus:

Stand Up & Rock! features Jasper CarrottThe Bev Bevan Band (who are BevPhil TreeTony Kelsey and Abby Brant)Trevor BurtonGeoff Turton and Joy Strachan-Brain.

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends Stand Up & Rock! to those enlightened folks who also like ELO/Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, 'Brum Beat', The Idle Race, The Move, The Beatles and their musical relatives.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 19-Sep-2014

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Roll Call: Jeff Lynne's ELO

#760: Hello... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! A number of folks have contacted Yours Truly KJS here at ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) asking who made up the ranks of Jeff Lynne's ELO at Hyde Park. Hence - with a little help from my good friend and ELO super fan Sir Jeff Cooper - I've managed to collate the names of those who gave us such a special performance on the evening of Sunday 14th September thus:

Jeff Lynne (Lead vocals/Guitars)
Richard Tandy (Piano/Vocoder)
Lee Pomeroy (Bass)
Donovan Hepburn (Drums)
Mick Wilson (Percussion)
Chereene Allen (Violin)
Danny Marsden (Trumpet)
Milton McDonald (Guitars)
Mike Stevens (Musical Director/Guitar/Backing vox)
Bernie Smith (Keyboards/Backing vox)
Marcus Byrne (Keyboards/Backing vox)
Iain Hornal (Backing vox/Guitar)
Melanie Lewis-McDonald (Backing vox)
Please don't ask me to name all the members of the BBC Concert Orchestra!

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 18-Sep-2014

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Hyde Park Afterglow Returns ELO to Top 20

#759: Hello... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The anticipation of and the subsequent amazing reaction to Jeff Lynne's return to performing live at Hyde Park last Sunday (14th September) for the first time in 28 years has led to a return to the UK Top 20 Album chart for the best-selling Electric Light Orchestra compilation "All Over The World".

The Epic release (which originally peaked at #6 in June 2005) is now handily placed at #18 in today's BBC Radio 1 Midweek Album Chart Update having returned to the Top 100 chart two weeks ago at #74 before rising further to #40 last week.

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) looks forward to further chart impact in the afterglow of such an acclaimed comeback by the ELO maestro.

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

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Review: Jeff Lynne's ELO @ Hyde Park 14/09/14

#758: Hello... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Jeff Lynne - ably supported by ELO right hand man Richard Tandy, the Take That session/touring band and the BBC Concert Orchestra delivered a truly outstanding concert to bring to a climax a superb day of top musical entertainment at Hyde Park in London tonight to truly complete in style this years BBC2 Live In Hyde Park "A Festival In A Day" on Sunday 14th September.
Blondie more than prepared the assembled crowd for the arrival of Mr. Lynne ...
Jeff, Richard and company were preceded on stage with some excellent performances by Chrissie HyndeBellowheadGregory PorterKacy MusgravesPaloma FaithBilly Ocean and Blondie. Particularly impressive, for me, were the sets by the ever eclectic Paloma Faith, the charismatic Billy Ocean and the legendary Debbie Harry with Blondie.
A hiatus of twenty eight (28) years had passed since ELO's last live appearances back in 1986 and, although there was no song representation from "Time""Balance Of Power" or "Zoom" in a packed sequence of songs that enchanted the near 50,000 folks assembled, those watching and listening (including myself here at ELOBF HQ) were thrilled with this comeback of comebacks.
With the backdrop and backing of the wonderful BBC Concert Orchestra, the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) maestro delivered a seventy five (75) minute set of seventeen (17) songs including an absolutely outstanding version of "Steppin' Out" and a surprise rendition of The Traveling Wilburys' classic "Handle With Care" nestled in with such classics as "10538 Overture""Can't Get It Out Of My Head", "Evil Woman", "Telephone Line""Strange Magic" and (of course) "Mr. Blue Sky".
For me, the most touching moment of the night was Jeff's dedication of "Handle With Care" to fellow Wilburys and personal heroes George Harrison and Roy OrbisonJeff was visibly affected by the overwhelmingly positive reaction of the assembled throng before him and that will hopefully give him the much needed impetus and confidence to roll out his beloved ELO again in terms of that promised studio recording and a significant venue tour, both in the UK and beyond.
Jeff's set list: "All Over The World" ~ "Evil Woman" ~ "Ma Ma Ma Belle" ~ "Showdown" ~ "Livin' Thing" ~ "Strange Magic" ~ "10538 Overture" ~ "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" ~ "Sweet Talkin' Woman" ~ "Turn To Stone" ~ "Steppin' Out" ~ "Handle With Care" ~ "Don't Bring Me Down" ~ "Rock 'n' Roll Is King" ~ "Telephone Line" ~ "Mr. Blue Sky" ~ "Roll Over Beethoven"

Jeff Lynne has stated that, should this concert be a success, that he would seriously consider a return to performing live and touring. And, on the basis of the spectacle of his performance tonight, it will soon be "A Matter Of Fact" that Jeff will be back on the road again.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 14-Sep-2014

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Recommended: Roy Wood Original Album Series

#757: Hello... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Our friends over at Spin CD's are now taking pre-orders for "Roy Wood: Original Album Series", a five (5) CD set for release on Monday 24th November.

This attractive issue includes "Message  From The Country" (The Move), the first Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) album, "Wizzard Brew" (Wizzard) plus Roy's acclaimed solo album "Boulders" as well as "On The Road Again"Yours Truly KJS understands that this will be a slim boxed set with each album presented in a cardboard replica album sleeve. The set is priced at £11.99 and can be pre-ordered via Spin CD's here. The item will also be offered by (and other reputable music vendors) shortly.

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends "Roy Wood: Original Album Series" by Roy Wood to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/ Jeff LynneThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes. With many thanx to Julian Crook.

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

Friday, 12 September 2014

The Night That Bolan Went On (In Watford Town Hall)

L-R: Mike de Albuquerque, Mike Edwards, Marc Bolan and Jeff Lynne
#756: Hello... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! This was a fusion, a coming together of two (2) of my musical heroes before I was even aware of them. I've been fascinated by the proceedings at Watford Town Hall on the night of Tuesday 10th April 1973 when the early Jeff Lynne captained Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) were joined on stage for a pulsating and explosive fifteen (15) minute encore of their latest hit single "Roll Over Beethoven" by the one and only Marc Bolan, who was still riding his proverbial white swan and enjoying significant popularity and success.

Marc's friendship with Jeff Lynne began when The Idle Race performed their revved up cover of "Debora". Marc was so impressed by their powerful live interpretation of his song that it led to him changing direction to perform electric sets (rather than acoustic). Marc was a regular onlooker at Idle Race recording sessions thereafter. Shortly before the Watford gig, Marc was recording with T.Rex at Air Studios whilst Jeff was recording "On The Third Day" with ELO, contributing twin and/or lead guitar parts to "Ma Ma Ma Belle", "Dreaming Of 4000" and "Everyone's Born To Die". The 1963 Gibson Firebird that Marc lent to Jeff can also be heard during that familiar guitar solo on "Showdown".

This article has been a long time in the making. I wanted to pull together the strands of the memories of some of the musicians and attendees at that concert whilst gathering some of the photographic footage of the event (predominantly by Gary Merrin) plus some exclusive new images of memorabilia from that night. Hence, please find below the recollections of ELO's Jeff Lynne and Bev Bevan (plus Mike de Alburquerque) as well as eyewitness accounts from the perspective of concert goers Ian Jakeman and Bari Watts.
ELO Bolan Forever: Marc and Jeff rolling over Beethoven
Jeff Lynne (ELO): "Marc Bolan is a friend of mine from a few years back. He was in Air (Studios) - dubbing something - and we had a good booze up, a bit of a reunion. It was the first time I'd seen Marc for about two years, and he asked if we were doing any local gigs. Then he came along to Watford and joined us on "Roll Over Beethoven", which was the last number. Right from the beginning, the girls at the front spotted him at the side of the stage and they were screaming all through the set ... It was an experience for us just to see it really happening, but he must get choked off by the fact that he can't hear himself play because he really is a good guitar player you know!"
Original article published in The Sunday Mercury on Sunday 16/09/12
Bev Bevan (ELO): "It's not widely known but Marc Bolan once joined ELO! We'd been friends with Marc since the early days of Tyrannosaurus Rex, with whom we'd appeared at a number of gigs - but a chance encounter in the recording studio led to something more. We were at Air (Studios) London, putting down some new tracks for an album ("On The Third Day"), and who should walk in but Marc, who had been recording there earlier in the day. After we exchanged pleasantries we got down to work with Marc joining us and we completed a couple of tracks. Listen to the single version of "Ma Ma Ma Belle" and it's Marc playing twin lead guitar with Jeff LynneWe thought he was kidding but one night in Watford, he turned up with his guitar and jammed with us on "Roll Over Beethoven". It was surprise for everyone and we felt a bit sorry for him when he first came on stage. Our audiences were quite 'heavy' and with Marc's pop image he came in for a bit of stick from some of the folk there, but he soon won them over and we all enjoyed ourselves. The song that night lasted around 15 minutes, much to the delight of the fans!"
Photograph courtesy of Ian Jakeman
Ian Jakeman (Marc Bolan/ELO fan)"My memories of the gig are somewhat unclear and somewhat faded! I was 12 years of age and it was my first ever gig - Watford Town Hall - The Electric Light Orchestra with support from Nick Pickett, a folk guitarist, I think. I went on my own as it was just ten minutes from my home. I remember that I bought my ticket from Harum Records in Watford - and a great shop it was too! My parents must have been concerned about me going alone but I don’t recall them questioning me about going. I’d already made my mind up to go! Hearing "10538 Overture" had made me want to go in the first place. I remember that the venue was not full and also how loud it seemed but it was, after all, my first ever gig so that would have been the case I guess. I also remember loving the night! T.Rex were my favourite band at the time so when Marc Bolan came on stage, from the right side of the stage if I recall correctly, to perform with ELO for the encore for what must have been ages to do "Roll Over Beethoven", it was a real treat! I think that it was the current single at the time. I went home that night thinking that all gigs would be like that and I was hooked forever. Well done ELO! This is currently my 39th year of working in the music business having begun in 1975 as a Saturday boy in the WH Smith record department! My next gig, at the age of 13, would be Uriah Heep at Wembley Empire Pool with Alan Freeman as guest. I began my life of going to gigs with one hell of a gig!"
Photograph courtesy of Ian Jakeman
Bari Watts (Marc Bolan fan)"If I had seen the advert for this gig, to be honest, I probably would not have gone as I was not an ELO fan in those days at all really. A mate and I went to gigs in and out of London together a lot and sometimes it would be a gig we both fancied and other times we would just tag along to each others choices. He said to me, "Fancy going to the Town Hall tonight?", so I asked who was playing. When he told me it was ELO, my face dropped, but as I said, he often came to gigs of my choice and, as Watford Town Hall was very close to where we both lived and we used to go there a lot anyway, I reluctantly agreed. So after sitting through the entire ELO set - feigning interest - the set finally ended (I can't remember if there was a support act). Then, Jeff introduced a very special guest and on swaggered Marc Bolan! For the first time in the entire evening I woke up! I had been into Marc's music from early 1968 (I still am) and the last time I had seen him play live was I think at The Lyceum in late '71, just when his pop stardom really started to happen - so let's just say I was a tad happy! They launched into a rock 'n' roll medley which to my memory included "Roll Over Beethoven" and, although it went on for some time, for me it was not nearly long enough! Marc was really into it and did his whole rock 'n' roller routine and it was just marvellous. I've heard there was apparently some dissension from a section of ELO fans, but to be honest from memory, I didn't witness it myself. Everyone seemed to be really into it and enjoying themselves, almost as much as Marc was! This was sadly the last time I ever saw Marc play. I was and still am heavily into the Tyrannosaurus Rex and early T.Rex era of Marc's music and I think when he became a very big star, I kind of felt that it had all moved on to a new younger generation. I think we all experience things like that. Something what you naively think is 'yours' suddenly becomes 'public property' - but on this occasion it was great to see him strutting his stuff again! Anyway, years later in 1985, as a sound engineer I was working on the soundtrack recordings for a stage musical. On one of the sessions I had ELO bass player Mike De Albuquerque in laying some stuff down on the show tracks (one that I actually played guitar on). During the course of the sessions, we spoke about the Watford gig briefly and Mike said that he personally wasn't 100 per cent aware that Marc was going to appear, although Marc had been in the studio with the band on earlier dates and it was a possibility. He did say that he really enjoyed Bolan's presence there that night though. I wish I could remember a bit more of this gig, but it was a long time ago! Cheers!"

With the 37th anniversary of the death of Marc Bolan fast approaching on 16th September, it remains ironic, if not fated, that Marc died in the very year that ELO were reaching the same heady levels of success with "Out Of The Blue" that Bolan had achieved in the early seventies when ELO were largely unknown in the UK and Marc was (and still is) the ultimate, iconic Superstar.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 12-Sep-2014

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Review: LovePower and Peace (Robin George's LovePower)

#755: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Back in 2011, ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommended an album constructed primarily by Robin George - with a little help from his fifty or so friends including much missed founding Climax Blues Band and ELO Part II member Pete Haycock - entitled "LovePower and Peace" [Angel Air Records #SJPCD357]. The album was released with the prime goal of raising money for three well deserving charities in Compton Hospice, BCAT and Haven House.

This impressive seventeen track collection of songs - also including contributions by Ruby Turner, Jaki Graham, Jon Camp [Roy Wood/Renaissance], John Wetton [Asia], Mel Collins [King Crimson]Pino Palladino [The Who] as well as many other established artistes - covers many different styles but is primarily a blues effort with a dash of rock and soul. The whole release pivots around a superlative eight minute plus rendition of The Beatles' "With A Little Help From My Friends" yet there are some great original compositions, vocals and collaborations throughout this 75 minute duration album.

Robin told Yours Truly KJS recently that this was indeed the penultimate album to feature Pete Haycock with his excellent final Pete Haycock's Climax Blues Band album, tentatively named "Cruel", due for release later this year. The guitar craft of the legendary rhythm and slide guitarist is more than evident within "LovePower and Peace". The trademark songwriting, guitar and vocals of George grab the attention with daughter Charlie adding her notable voice among those, for example, of Jacqui Williams, Sean Harris [Diamondhead], David Byron [Uriah Heep] and Pete Goalby [Trapeze].

Highlights for me include the title track, "Seven Golden Daffodils", the funky "Pride", the supremely moody "Bluesong", "World", Phil Lynott's "Kings Call", "Another Lonely Night", the classy Asia influenced "Wasted Time" and the anthemic "Heartline". All are underpinned by that aforementioned Beatles classic. There are no atypical stocking fillers or weak tracks here. This is an enjoyable recording of great music by inspired artistes for goodly motives. [8/10]
"LovePower and Peace" by Robin George's Lovepower can be ordered [in CD or download format] via the official Robin George web site, Angel Air Records and other reputable vendors including, iTunes and not a few others.

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "LovePower and Peace" by Robin George's Lovepower 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 ... 10-Sep-2014