Sunday, 31 May 2015

Caught Live (3): Pugwash @ Frome 30/05/15

Pugwash [L-R]: Tosh Flood, Joey Fitzgerald, Thomas Walsh and Shaun McGee ...
#917: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Gigs starring Pugwash gigs in the UK are not all that frequent and often they occur in unusual corners of the country. But they are certainly not to be missed. Believe it or not, this was my first full Pugwash gig and it involved a 250 mile round trip from Wolverhampton to see this genial Dublin based band perform at the charming Westway Cinema in Frome, Somerset last night [Saturday 30th May].

Thomas Walsh has emulated his hero Jeff Lynne in many ways as he has unveiled song after classy song via this, his significantly underrated Pugwash outfit. And their beautifully balanced if not hugely entertaining two hour set last night more than ably demonstrated that as they delivered old songs, new songs, sublime covers and even managed constructed a brand new, very catchy and unforgettable ditty there and then!
This concert had it all. Audience banter, a surprise guest, a heckle, some wonderful improvisation, four songs from the new Pugwash album "Play This Intimately [As If Among Friends]" [due out in September - with pledges still being accepted], a wonderful sonic journey through the Pugwash classics that we all know and love and their live interpretation of a number of interesting selections! The set list [see below] really says it all as the formidable foursome began in Abba mode before going on to cover The Bluetones, The Beatles and Stackridge in amongst their supremely crafted power pop jewels including "Take Me Away", "Apples", "Here", "Monorail", "Fall Down", "It's Nice To Be Nice" and "Fall Down". The hilarious creation of "Comedy Endings" resonated throughout the evening with the quartet of tracks from the new album fitting in perfectly.

Of those newly aired songs, "Hung Myself Out To Dry" and the wonderful "A Fool I Had Become" really caught the attention, further fuelling the anticipation of the fans. I loved the Mutter Slater cameo with "Dora The Female Explorer" and the live 'debut' of "Monorail". It was that good a gig that I can honestly say that I had no faves because they all were! A special mention is also due for the management and staff at the Westway Cinema, who were helpful, friendly and more than obliging. My return home at 4:00AM in the morning was more than justified. Roll on those "First Days of September" ...

Set list: "Mamma Mia" ~ "Take Me Away" ~ "Kings and Queens" ~ "Hung Myself Out To Dry" ~ "Kicking and Screaming" ~ "Be My Friend Awhile" ~ "Apples" ~ "Silly Love" ~ "There You Are" ~ "Here" ~ "Monorail" ~ "I'm Coming Home" [Bluetones cover] ~ "This Boy" [Beatles cover] ~ "This Could Be Good" ~ "A Fool I Had Become" ~ "It's Nice To Be Nice" ~ "Comedy Endings" ~ "The Finer Things In Life" ~ "Fall Down" ~ "Dora The Female Explorer" [Stackridge cover with Mutter Slater] ~ "Anyone Who Asks" ~ "Age Of Revolution" ~ "Answers On A Postcard"
Pugwash are: Thomas Walsh [Lead vocals/guitar], Tosh Flood [Lead guitar/backing vox], Shaun McGee [Bass/backing vox] and Joe Fitzgerald [Drums/programming]. Check out what Pugwash are up to via their official links thus:

Pugwash @ Facebook   Pugwash @ Twitter
Fund the new Pugwash album @ Pledge Music!

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends Pugwash to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 31-May-2015

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Caught Live: Paul McCartney @ Birmingham 27/05/15

Out There: Paul McCartney and band ...
#916: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! I really had to pinch myself as Yours Truly KJS sat patiently waiting for the arrival of Paul McCartney at The Barclaycard Arena [NIA] in downtown Birmingham last night [Wednesday 27th May 2015]. This was my first opportunity [some 25 rows away from the stage] to witness the legendary Beatle perform live in one of just four UK dates as part of his "Out There" world tour and my biggest gig in terms of attendance since Meat Loaf back in 1993.
From the first chord of "Eight Days A Week" to the last note of "The End", this was a magnificent spectacle. With barely a spare seat in a packed house just shy of 12,800 onlookers, the man affectionately called Sir Macca took all of us on a "Helter Skelter" of a ride through his career with The Beatles, Wings and his formidable solo catalogue.
"Band On The Run" ...
Macca blew away any concerns regarding his voice by regularly, hitting those high notes throughout the concert. In fact, he was confident, relaxed and witty in front of the adoring thousands all night long. There was something for everyone, be they the rocker, the romantic, the purist, the casual, the modern or the loyal fan. There was a lovely balance to the set list which saw the more recent songs from "New" intermingled with live rarity "Temporary Secretary" as well as the familiar in "Let It Be" and, of course, "Hey Jude".
"Something": In tribute to George Harrison ...
There were moments of awe. I could feel the heat [literally] as amazing pyrotechnics accompanied "Live And Let Die". There were moments of love as this original Beatle paid tribute to both Linda McCartney with "Maybe I'm Amazed" and current wife Nancy Shevell with "My Valentine". There were moments of jaw dropping class with a solo rendition of "Blackbird". There were emotional moments as Macca paid heartfelt tributes to both John Lennon with "Here Today" and George Harrison with "Something" - a song that started with a ukulele given to him by George [remember that George also gave one of his ukuleles to Jeff Lynne!]. There were moments of magic as I listened to Beatles and Wings classics by the man himself. And there moments of tears as I listened and watched faves such as "The Long And Winding Road", "Golden Slumbers" and "Carry That Weight" in person with my hair standing on end. This was a modern masterpiece in both song composition and performance.
Much credit is due to Paul McCartney's now established touring band who are Paul 'Wix' Wickens [Keyboards/accordion/guitar/backing vox], Rusty Anderson [Lead guitar/backing vox], Abe Laboriel Jr. [Drums/percussion/backing vox] and Brian Ray [Bass/guitars/backing vox]. Folks, this was a night like no other. In a word: Immense. Roll on Jeff Lynne's ELO in 2016 ...
Live And Let Die ...
Set list: "Eight Days A Week" ~ "Save Us" ~ "Can't Buy Me Love" ~ "Listen To What The Man Said" ~ "Temporary Secretary" ~ "Let Me Roll It" ~ "Paperback Writer" ~ "My Valentine" ~ "1985" ~ "The Long And Winding Road" ~ "Maybe I'm Amazed" ~ "I've Just Seen A Face" ~ "We Can Work It Out" ~ "Another Day" ~ "Hope For The Future" ~ "And I Love Her" ~ "Blackbird" ~ "Here Today" ~ "New" ~ "Queenie Eye" ~ "Lady Madonna" ~ "All Together Now" ~ "Lovely Rita" ~ "Eleanor Rigby" ~ "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite" ~ "Something" ~ "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" ~ "Band On The Run" ~ "Back In The USSR" ~ "Let It Be" ~ "Live And Let Die" ~ "Hey Jude" ~ Encore #1: "Another Girl" ~ "Hi, Hi, Hi" ~ "I Saw Her Standing There" ~ Encore #2: "Yesterday" ~ "Helter Skelter" ~ "Golden Slumbers" ~ "Carry That Weight"~ "The End"

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] [naturally] recommends and endorses Paul 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 ... 28-May-2015

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

It's Macca Day!

#915: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Today is a big day for Yours Truly KJS and, indeed, ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] because - after missing Jeff Lynne's Broad Street Walk Of Stars presentation in Birmingham last March and the epic Hyde Park gig by Jeff Lynne's ELO in September due to ill health [with some misfortune thrown in] - I'll be finally seeing and hearing Beatles legend Paul McCartney with my own eyes and ears for the very first time at the Barclaycard Arena [NIA] in Birmingham tonight [Wednesday 27th May], just a few rows away from the main man. Attending this gig will fulfill another item on my bucket list and I really hope that my forthcoming "Caught Live" gig review for ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] later this week will do justice to a momentous event ...

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 27-May-2015

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Caught Live: Rebecca Downes & Trevor Burton @ Brewood 23/05/15

Yet another classy live performance by The Trevor Burton Band (Photo courtesy Christian Evans)
#914: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The double header featuring The Move co-founder Trevor Burton, his band, Rebecca Downes and her band just down the road from ELOBF HQ at nearby Brewood's Jubilee Hall last night (Saturday 23rd May) has long been on the radar for Yours Truly KJS since being announced by Brewood Music Festival. That anticipation was more than satisfied as both artistes delivered sets of stunning rhythm and blues fit for a much larger stage and audience.
First up was Rebecca Downes and her supremely gifted band, who proceeded to enchanted and charm those assembled with her 90 minute set of original songs, primarily from her acclaimed debut album "Back To The Start", but also interwoven with new tracks from her forthcoming follow-up release and some simply stunning covers of classics by the likes of Etta James, Led Zeppelin, Joe Cocker and, by extension, The Beatles. This girl can sing the Blues and sing them well! Her performance of "With A Little Help From My Friends" was (again) absolutely brilliant. Without a doubt, the whole set oozed class with "Laughter From Her Room" another highlight. ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) are pleased and proud to feature and endorse such a talented songstress and her band of top notch musicians.
Rebecca Downes: This lady, her superb band and their soaring blues are ones to watch!
Next up for their hour and a half masterclass of Blues came The Trevor Burton Band who again, as the familiar trio of Trevor, bassist Pez Connor and drummer Bill Jefferson, did not fail to impress as the latter looked to the former for inspiration in the tightest of live bands. This was a set perfectly balanced with Trev's own songs such as "Down Down Down" (recorded by Dave Edmunds back in the day) intermingled with his unique take on "Dear Mr. Fantasy", "Little Rachel" and (of course) his very own awesome "Hey Joe" as well as the welcome inclusions of "Shakin' All Over", "I Can Hear The Grass Grow" (a TBB first for me) and "I Saw Her Standing There" (another TBB first). I have to say also that I have not seen Trevor so relaxed on stage for a very long time. This was indeed a marvellous night!

Many thanx to the folks at Brewood Music Festival for organizing this wonderful evening and a special  'shout-out' to my not-so-old pal Rob Perkins at RP Lighting for a job well done!

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends The Trevor Burton Band & Rebecca Downes 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 ... 24-May-2015

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Caught Live (4): Explosive Light Orchestra @ The Roadhouse 22/05/15

ExpLO are (l-r): Jason Ball, Robin Myles, Dave Purkiss & Aidan Thorne
#913: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Nearly ten months has passed since Yours Truly KJS nipped down to to see the Explosive Light Orchestra (ExpLO) perform in the heartland of ELO, so a return visit to The Roadhouse Birmingham last night (Friday 22nd May) to see this up and coming ELO tribute band was easily justified.

My last ExpLO gig back in August last year saw the band sporting a new guitarist and drummer whilst impressing a packed house. Based on the evidence of last night, the band have not only knitted together since into a tight musical unit as a quartet, they also displayed the huge benefits of their expanded theatre shows with added keyboards and a string section. I watched and listened last night as ExpLO delivered an impressive and entertaining show with a rearranged set that saw the debut of two new covers, an unrehearsed but marvellous "Steppin' Out" and a raucous "Rockaria!" (highlighting the operatic talents of a certain Jason Ball!) replacing "Standin' In The Rain" and "Calling America". I spent the evening aside their manager Mark Elliott, whose look of satisfaction and pride with ExpLO was more than justified with his charges on top form.

The lead vocals of Robin Myles were good, the vocal harmonies were superb, the attention to detail of bassist Aidan Thorne was eye catching, the percussion of Dave Purkiss was of the highest calibre and the performance of guitarist Jason Ball was outstanding - particularly his note perfect work on "Strange Magic" and "Sweet Talkin' Woman". It is difficult - as many bands and musicians will attest - to reproduce the intricate song craft and production of Jeff Lynne in a live environment, but ExpLO, as a four piece, do a really great job. If I had to choose a fave song from last nights show, it would have to be "Steppin' Out" simply because it was that good and that impressive for a song never performed by the band before. ELOBF sincerely looks forward to seeing ExpLO perform again soon, complete with strings et al.

Set list: "Prologue" ~ "Twilight" ~ "Evil Woman" ~ "Showdown" ~ "Livin' Thing" ~ "The Diary Of Horace Wimp" ~ "Steppin' Out" ~ "Telephone Line" ~ "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" ~ "10538 Overture" ~ "Hold On Tight" ~ "Last Train To London" ~ "Turn To Stone" ~ "Ma Ma Ma Belle" ~ "Shine A Little Love" ~ "Wild West Hero" ~ "Confusion" ~ "Xanadu" ~ "Strange Magic" ~ "All Over The World" ~ "Mr. Blue Sky" ~ "Sweet Talkin' Woman" ~ "Rockaria" ~ "Don't Bring Me Down" ~ "Roll Over Beethoven"

Explosive Light Orchestra (ExpLO) are: Robin Myles (Lead Vox/Guitar)Aidan Thorne (Bass/Vox)Jason Ball (Guitars/Vox)Dave Purkiss (Drums). Check out their official website thus:

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends Explosive Light Orchestra 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 ... 23-May-2015

Friday, 22 May 2015

Review: Yesterday's Tomorrow (Fragile X)

#912: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! It's been a lengthy thirty months since Yours Truly KJS reviewed Fragile X's impressive album "Return To Paradise" for ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) and, if nothing else, the wait has whetted my appetite in anticipation to what this Colorado based combo would deliver next for their third studio album after such a long hiatus and the odd change in personnel. Hence, I was pleased to see an advance copy of their new recording land on my doormat the other day. And "Yesterday's Tomorrow" was well worth the wait with over sixty five minutes of thoughtful, melodic rock - with a dash of violin and a touch of sax in certain places - that takes the listener on an enjoyable sonic journey.

More Rush than ELO, nevertheless this an album of progressive progression for Fragile X as they combine their new material with a trio of reworked versions. "Colorado Way Of Feeling""Social Butterfly" and "Going Back Home" are joined by nine new tracks including the rousing riff laden opener "Inspiration", an instant attention grabber, followed by the varying tempo of "Denial" and the raw power of "Ten Feet Tall". The superb combination of guitar, precise percussion and vocal harmonies of "Open Mind" are a joy. The soulful longing and regret of "Belonging" hit the spot as does title track "Yesterday's Tomorrow" which, the more you listen to it, takes on an anthemic persona which would grace any live stage with "Under The Radar" another magnificent triumph.

Closing track "Epic Of Caldarone" rivals the song durations of ELO's second studio album and the best words that I can find to describe it is to say that it's a prog rock response to "The Battle Of Marston Moor (July 2nd 1644)", replete with battle sounds but maybe slightly more accessible to the casual listener! This is a polished and well produced album with some sublime guitar work and drum work evidenced by the three successful reinterpretations on show, as mentioned previously. Whilst added saxophone and strings mean that "Going Back Home" now has an ELOesque feel to it and the re-recorded "Colorado Way Of Feeling" has a fresh, warm glow to it, but for me, the jewel in the crown of "Yesterday's Tomorrow" has to be "Social Butterfly" - a song with production values that deserves airplay and full FM radio coverage, it cries out to be a promo single not only for the album but also to nudge the door open of ambitious record companies. It's that good. This album will grow on you as it did on me. (9/10)

Fragile X were: Lance Allred (Lead Vox/Guitars/Keyboards) ~ Sean Mack Page (Drums/Percussion/Backing Vox)Jeremiah Riggen (Guitars/Backing Vox) ~ Chris Aderhold (Guitars/Backing Vox)Gail Sutton (Bass)Mark Fisher (Bass/Guitars) ~ Mark Obermeyer (Guitars)Matt Jacobs (Guitars) ~ George Chisholm (Bass/Backing Vox)Ivan Way (Bass)Martin B. Shroeder (Bass) ~ Carl Houston (Keyboards/Backing Vox) ~ Billy Ward (Violin) ~ Lenny Pickett (Saxophone) ~ Jami Rader Asselin (Vox)

Trax: "Inspiration" ~ "Denial" ~ "Ten Feet Tall" ~ "Open Mind" ~ "To Live Forever" ~ "Colorado Way Of Feeling" ~ "Belonging" ~ "Social Butterfly" ~ "Going Back Home" ~ "Yesterday's Tomorrow" ~ "Under The Radar" ~ "Epic Of Caldarone"

"Yesterday's Tomorrow" by Fragile X is now available to order in CD/digital formats. Find out what Fragile X are up at their official website &/or their Facebook page via these links thus:

Fragile X Official

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends "Yesterday's Tomorrow" by Fragile X 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-May-2015

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Review: A Rainy Day (Original Rain)

#911: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Back in 1979, when ELO were at their commercial peak, a group named Rain entered the studio to record an album of original compositions. Rain had been around since 1975, a band who played a mixture of original songs and Beatles covers in and around Los Angeles with not an insignificant fan following. Their reputation was such that producer Dick Clark hired Rain to record the entire soundtrack for his film "The Birth of The Beatles" that very year. Thereafter, Rain underwent major personnel changes with nearly all founding members departing before they morphed into Rain: A Tribute to The Beatles, a successful touring Beatles tribute band.

Fast forwarding to 2015, co-founders Ed Lineberry and Chuck Coffey have been inspired to finally unveil that very original Rain album, recorded some 36 years ago and never formally released, firstly via and then in CD and (hopefully) vinyl format too. "A Rainy Day" by Original Rain features nine original songs that not only ooze the influence of The Beatles, but also the "son of Beatles" - namely ELO. The record opens with familiar ELO themes of rain, the sound of a radio searching for a friendly station and the sublime strings of "A Rainy Day" - a real fusion of ELO and Beatles if ever there were one. "Inside Your Love" is another Beatlesque song (as they all are) and clearly shows why this band performed the aforementioned OST so effectively. But there is more to this record than a band trying to copy The Fab Four, with "I'm Sorry" and "More Than A Friend" ably demonstrating the originality of Original Rain with added Lennonesque vocals - a common theme throughout. Having said that, "She/Crazy Horse" has a McCartney and Wings feel to balance things out with the nine song opus underpinned by production values that Jeff Lynne would have approved of back in those heady days of 1979.

I like the vocal harmonies, the strings, the loving extension of The Beatles influence and the clear nods to ELO that are to be found within this record. In many ways, "A Rainy Day" is not unlike a time capsule presentation of a band who should have been successful in their own right but for the undoubted shortsightedness of record labels at the time who could not see past their Beatles footprint.

Fans of both ELO and The Beatles (collectively and individually) will love this long overdue release. For me, the album opener and finale are highlights but the tracks in between are so inventive and so fresh that choosing a favourite is difficult if not impossible. So, when "A Rainy Day" does come along, I suggest you get soaked and drink it in. (9.5/10)

Original Rain were: Bill Connearney (Lead Guitar/Vox)Ed Lineberry (Guitar/Vox)Grant Belotti (Drums/Vox)Chuck Coffey (Bass/Vox)Steve Wight (Keyboards)

Trax: "A Rainy Day" ~ "Inside Your Love" ~ "Feel The Same Way Too" ~ "Best Of All" ~ "I'm Sorry" ~ "Dreams" ~ "It's My Life" ~ "More Than A Friend" ~ "She/Crazy Horse"

"A Rainy Day" by Original Rain will be available to order in CD (&/or vinyl) format soon but in the meantime you can listen to this excellent album at or purchase it from iTunes, or via these links thus:

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends "A Rainy Day" by Original Rain to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, The Move, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 21-May-2015

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Another Chart Breaks: Early ELO in the UK & US

Re-sleeved in '85: "The Night The Light Went On"
#910: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! ELO's first official live album finally arrived in the UK in 1985. Re-issued by Epic Records (#EPC32700) with a completely new sleeve design, "The Night The Light Went On (In Long Beach)" had previously only been available as a Warner Bros. import from Germany and South Africa (#WB56058) in a rather dramatic gatefold sleeve. Originally released in 1974, it consisted of these seven trax: "Daybreaker" ~ "Showdown" ~ "Daytripper" ~ "10538 Overture" ~ "Mik's Solo/Orange Blossom Special" ~ "Medley: In The Hall Of The Mountain King/Great Balls Of Fire" ~ "Roll Over Beethoven"

The eleven year wait for the official release harked back to ELO's various label changes from Harvest to Warner Bros. to Jet/Polydor to Jet/UA and, by extension, their inconsistent charting performance in the UK during their first five years. The fact that "The Night The Light Went On" was recorded in LA in front of a noisy and seemingly well attended audience suggest that their extensive touring in the US was bearing significantly more fruit there than in their home country.
Original in '74: The artwork for "The Night The Light Went On"
Back home, ELO enjoyed three successful UK singles on Harvest with "10538 Overture" (#9), "Roll Over Beethoven" (#6) and "Showdown" (#12) as they emerged from The Move between 1971-73 with their first two LP's performing modestly in the album charts, attaining #32 and #35 respectively. In contrast, their switch to Warner Bros. Burbank label was not a successful one as "Ma Ma Ma Belle" stalled outside the Top 20 at #22 and the wonderful "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" was a flop whereas both "On The Third Day" and "Eldorado" never troubled the album chart at all.

It was likely that those relatively poor sales led to their switch to Don Arden's Jet Records, distributed first by Island (1974), then Polydor (1975), United Artists (1976) and finally CBS (1978). ELO's arrival at Jet for the "Face The Music" LP failed initially to improve their lethargic album chart performance but it did yield hit charting singles "Evil Woman" (#10) and "Strange Magic" (#38) with the band taking off commercially thereafter "Down Home Town" .
"Ole ELO" enjoyed US album chart success in '76
Meanwhile, after a slow commercial start in the States, extensive touring and radio play saw ELO garner their first gold certified album with "Eldorado" and a first Top 10 US single with "Can't Get It Of My Head" as their popularity soared in advance of their further successes with "Face The Music" et al. The abject marketing failure of Warners Bros. during ELO's tenure meant that UK fans never got to see the release of "The Night The Light Went On" following the failure of "On The Third Day" and "Eldorado" to crack the UK album chart - unless you were lucky enough to grab one of those imports.

In contrast, although the live album was not released there and then, ELO were successful enough an act for "Olé ELO", a American compilation of singles from their first five albums, to chart at a respectable #32. Back in the UK, "Ole ELO" (#JETLP19) was intended for release by Jet via Polydor in 1976 but withdrawn - possibly as a result of the poor chart performance of "Face The Music", their impending switch to Jet/UA or (more likely) the fact that the sleeve notes pertained solely to their US chart career and didn't read across to the UK market.
The Epic edition of "The Night The Light Went On (In Long Beach)" (later released on CD in 1998) finally gave ELO fans the opportunity to officially handle and hear the complete recording for themselves although Jet/Polydor did back all three "Face The Music" singles with "10538 Overture", "Daybreaker" and "Showdown" from the album (as pictured above).

If nothing else, the contrasting chart fortunes of ELO on either side of the Atlantic during the first half of their career is ably demonstrated by the story of both the non-release and the release of "The Night The Light Went On (In Long Beach)" and, of course, "Olé ELO".

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 19-May-2015

Monday, 18 May 2015

ELOBF Gig Guide #20: Q3 2015

#909: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Summer into Autumn 2015 sees the latest ELOBF Quarterly Gig Guide again filled with some great gigs! Here are some selected dates and general links (with more to follow when confirmed) for you to consider checking out during between Wednesday 1st July and Wednesday 30th September (Q3) thus:

Saturday 4th July
Sight 'n' Sound @ The Tackeroo, Hednesford
Entry: £7 each

Friday 10th July

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

China Crisis @ Frodsham Festival, Cheshire
Tickets: £10 each

Saturday 11th July
Explosive Light Orchestra @ Yardbirds Club, Grimsby
Tickets: from £8 each (*plus booking fee)

Friday 17th July
Explosive Light Orchestra @ The Borough Theatre, Abergavenny
Tickets: £18 each (*plus booking fee)

Friday 24th July
The Trembling Wilburys @ The Roadhouse, Birmingham
Tickets: from £7 each (*plus booking fee)

Saturday 25th July

Sight 'n' Sound @ Chadsmoor Progressive Working Mens Club, Cannock
Entry: £5 each

Desperado @ The Artrix, Bromsgrove

Tickets: £17.50 each (*plus booking fee)

Saturday 1st August

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

Saturday 15th August

Quill @ The Artrix, Bromsgrove
Tickets: £17 each (*plus booking fee)

Saturday 29th August

ELO Again @ Chepstow Castle, Gwent, South Wales
Tickets: £15 each (*plus booking fee)

Saturday 5th September

Wings Over Abbey Road @ The Academy Theatre, Barnsley
Tickets: £12 each (*plus booking fee)

The Trevor Burton Band @ Katie Fitzgerald's, Stourbridge

Free entry

Sunday 13th September

Morganisation @ The Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham
Tickets: £10 each (*plus booking fee)

Thursday 17th September
The Steve Gibbons Band @ The Robin 2, Bilston, Wolverhampton
Tickets: from £12.50 each (*plus booking fee)

Sunday 20th September

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

Thursday 24th September

5th Annual Trevor Burton Charity Show ft. The Steve Gibbons Band, The Trevor Burton Band, Danny King & Geoff Turton @ Hall Green Stadium, Birimingham
Tickets: £20 each (*plus booking fee)

Saturday 26th September
Quill @ The Abbey Theatre, Nuneaton
Tickets: £18 each (*plus booking fee)

Sunday 27th September

ELO Again @ The Grand Theatre, Blackpool
Tickets: £22 each (*plus booking fee)

Stand Up & Rock!
Jasper Carrott and Bev Bevan will again be joined on stage by Geoff TurtonJoy Strachan-Brain and The Bev Bevan Band featuring Tony KelseyPhil Tree and Abby Brant between Friday 1st May and Saturday 28th November for "Stand Up & Rock!", their acclaimed theatre show featuring superb music and hilarious comedy. Find out where to see the show via the official tour website:
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 McCartneyDel Shannon and The Everly Brothers. He also found time to co-found the ultimate 'supergroup' in 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 during 2015! Find out where to see Roy via his official website 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 website thus:

Legendary Midlands Celtic-tinged rockers Quill, led by the incomparable Joy Strachan-Brain, have built up an impressive live reputation over a four decade span and now feature Bev Bevan and Tony Kelsey in their ranks. 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 (ExpLO)
Not only an ELO tribute act but also Symphonika - an original, independent artiste in their own right - 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 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 with some of the above artistes are also planned by KJS@ELOBF.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 18-May-2015

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Roadhouse Return for Trembling Wilburys

#908: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommended The Trembling Wilburys are returning to The Roadhouse in Birmingham (plus support) on Friday 24th July - just five months after their amazing debut back on Friday 13th February. Tickets can be purchased via this link thus:

The Trembling Wilburys are: Glen Knowler as George Harrison ~ Dave Collison as Roy Orbison ~ lead guitarist Dzal Martin ~ drummer and founder David Stark ~ bassist Marko Laver ~ Andy McNish (Rhythm Guitar)Howard Robin (Keyboards)

As well as such Traveling Wilburys hits as "Handle With Care", "End Of The Line" and "She’s My Baby"The Trembling Wilburys also cover classics "Here Comes The Sun", "All Those Years Ago", "My Sweet Lord", "Something", "Crying", "I Won't Back Down", "It's Over", "Only The Lonely", "In Dreams", "Not Alone Any More", "Free As A Bird", "Dirty World", "Hold On Tight","Taxman", "You Got It", "Running Scared", "Ooby Dooby", "If Not For You", "All I Can Do Is Dream You, "If I Needed Someone", "Blue Bayou", "Like A Rolling Stone", "Claudette", "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" and "Pretty Woman" in their set list.

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends The Trembling Wilburys 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 ... 17-May-2015

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Taken from the Album: ELO's Jet 'B' Sides

#907: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The second in a series of ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) articles looking at the tenure of ELO at Jet Records. When Don Arden and United Artists fell out in Spring 1978, Jet entered in a lucrative distribution contract with CBS Records and the two then proceeded to re-issue the odd single release by both ELO and Jeff Lynne ("Rockaria", "Telephone Line", "Doin' That Crazy Thing" and perhaps "Turn To Stone") as well as their albums "On The Third Day" (JETLP202), "Eldorado" (JETLP203), "Face The Music" (JETLP201), "A New World Record" (JETLP200) and more pressingly "Out Of The Blue" (JETDP400) - some in rather attractive coloured (clear, yellow, green, red and blue in that order) limited edition vinyl collectors editions.

As noted in my recent ELOBF article entitled On The Flip Side: ELO's Jet 'B' Sides, there appeared to be at that time a Jet policy that many of the album tracks from the ELO back catalogue, particularly from OTTD up to FTM, turned up as 'B' sides on their single releases from ANWR to "Discovery". This gave the ELO record buying public in the UK good coverage of the discography that they may have missed. This was supplemented by the "Three Light Years" (JETBX1) boxed set issue in late 1978 that, of course, included "On The Third Day""Eldorado" and "Face The Music".

Thereafter, very few album tracks were used as flip sides for ELO's UK singles - none from ANWR and a couple of cuts from OOTB and "Discovery" (namely "Jungle", "Across The Border", "Midnight Blue" and "Wishing") - as not many were left to choose from! Here are twelve ELO album tracks from OTTD through to FTM that also made their way from LP to 7" in the UK:

On The Third Day
"King Of The Universe" ('B' side: "Telephone Line")
"Oh No Not Susan" ('B' side: "Ma Ma Ma Belle")
"Bluebird Is Dead" ('B' side: "Sweet Talkin' Woman")
"Dreaming of 4000" ('B' side: "Don't Bring Me Down")

"Poorboy (The Greenwood)" ('B' side: "Telephone Line")
"Mister Kingdom" ('B' side: "Turn To Stone")
"Illusions In G Major" ('B' side: "Can't Get It Out Of My Head")
"Eldorado" ('B' side: "Wild West Hero")

Face The Music
"Fire On High" ('B' side: "Livin' Thing")
"Poker" ('B' side: "Rockaria")
"Down Home Town" ('B' side: "The Diary Of Horace Wimp)
"One Summer Dream" ('B' side: "Mr. Blue Sky")

Note that "Daybreaker" backed "Ma Ma Ma Belle""Eldorado" backed "Boy Blue""New World Rising" backed "Strange Magic""Nightrider" backed "Do Ya""Fire On High" backed "Sweet Talkin' Woman""The Whale" backed "It's Over""Poker" backed "Confusion" and "Down Home Town" backed "Last Train To London" during the same period in the United States.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 14-May-2015

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Recommended: Brush With The Moon (Quill)

The amazing cover artwork for Quill's new "Brush With The Moon" album
#906: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Our friends Quill have announced that their much anticipated new album "Brush With The Moon" will be released on Monday 1st June by Cherry Red Records (#MMPSCD1). The album contains ten songs conceived and written by the late Ben Brain and has been a labour of love for Joy Strachan-Brain for a number of years. Joy was bequeathed a number of wonderful songs by Ben and, inspired by Jeff Lynne's use of John Lennon's demos for "Free As A Bird" and "Real Love", is about to see her vision and dream fulfilled with what is sure to be an emotional if not inspired recording. Expect another ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) album review soon!

Trax: "Quicksilver" ~ "Tumbling Years" ~ "Schoolyard" ~ "Poppy Fields" ~ "Nine Mile Camp" ~ "England" ~ "Hollywood Blues" ~ "Wedding Dress" ~ "Twister" ~ "Man In White"

Quill are a well established Birmingham band from the same stable as ELO, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and The Moody Blues. The septet - whose current line-up features former Move, ELO, ELO Part II and Black Sabbath drumming legend Bev Bevan, Kate McWilliam, Dave Bailey, Tony Kelsey, Tim Tandler and Matt Davies - are regularly featured by ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) and often perform in front of packed and enthusiastic audiences throughout the UK - with some of the new album trax already a firm favourite in their set list.
Settled Septet: Quill
"Brush With The Moon" by Quill is available for pre-order directly from Cherry Red Records,, and all other reputable outlets via these links thus:

 ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends "Brush With The Moon" by Quill to those enlightened folks who also enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, 'Brum Beat', The Move, The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 12-May-2015

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Caught Live: Roy Orbison & The Traveling Wilburys Tribute Show @ The Artrix 09/05/15

Doin' The Wilbury Twist with Roy Orbison and The Traveling Wilburys Tribute! (Photo: John Collins/Forever)
#905: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Whilst there are not a few Roy Orbison, ELO, Tom Petty, George Harrison and Bob Dylan tribute acts in existence bringing the live sound of those musical legends to a venue or theatre near you, there are even fewer who attempt to reproduce the inspired finery of The Traveling Wilburys in front of an audience.

Over the years, ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) have featured a few of those talented musicians who have successfully covered the hits of of our heroes in a live setting so it was a really easy decision to make a return trip to the homely Artrix Theatre in Bromsgrove on Friday 9th May to check out a 'new' Wilburys tribute band ply their trade in front of a sold out house.
Heading For The Light
The Roy Orbison and The Traveling Wilburys Tribute Show did not disappoint as they delivered a set of of nearly thirty songs not only dominated by the music of The Traveling Wilburys but also a fair portion of Roy Orbison's marvellous "Mystery Girl" album and some great versions of songs by The Beatles, Jeff Lynne (some, of course also produced by the ELO maestro), TP's Heartbreakers and the enigmatic if not poetic Bob Dylan. You really needed to be there to experience the magic of The Wilburys' music live but if I were to choose a fave for each of the icons represented within this enjoyable show, they would be (after much deliberation) "A Love So Beautiful" (Paul as Roy), "Running Down A Dream" (Owen as Tom), "Got My Mind Set On You" (Richard as George), "Knockin' On Heavens Door" (Aubrey as Bob), "Mr. Blue Sky" (Richard as Jeff) and "Tweeter And The Monkey Man" (Wilburys).
Running Down A Dream
Highlights were a plenty during the show with each every member of the band being accurate and entertaining in their respective roles. The beauty of this show is that you get six tributes for the price of one with plenty of attention given to the output of the ultimate supergroup and the career highlights of each member with the added ingredient of Jim Keltner too!  It was a thrill - and quite moving at times - to see and hear songs previously consigned to vinyl and CD played out in the here and now. This unique and pleasing show ticked all the boxes for Yours Truly KJS. The tour continues with dates in Southampton, Chesham, Tewkesbury, Coventry and Peebles to come. Go see 'em!

Set list: "Pretty Woman" ~ "Last Night" ~ "Runaway" ~ "Heading For The Light" ~ "California Blue" ~ "Blowin' In The Wind" ~ "Knockin' On Heavens Door" ~ "(All I Can Do Is) Dream You" ~ "I Won't Back Down" ~ "A Love So Beautiful" ~ "Here Comes The Sun" ~ "Roll Over Beethoven" ~ "You Got It" ~ "Mr. Blue Sky" ~ "Candy Man" ~ "Heartbreak Radio" ~ "Handle With Care" ~ "Free Fallin'" ~ "Tweeter And The Monkey Man" ~ "The Mighty Quinn" ~ "Only The Lonely" ~ "Penny Arcade" ~ "Rattled" ~ "Wilbury Twist" ~ "Got My Mind Set On You" ~ "Running Down A Dream" ~ "Not Alone Any More" ~ The End Of The Line" ~ "Johnny B. Goode"
The Roy Orbison & The Traveling Wilburys Tribute Show are: Paul Hopkins as Roy Orbison (Vox/bass)Owen James as Tom Petty (Vox/guitar)Richard Gibson as Jeff Lynne (Vox/guitars/vocoder)Aubrey Robinson as Bob Dylan (Vox/guitar/keyboards)Richard Jevons as George Harrison (Vox/guitar)Andrew Whittaker as Jim Keltner (Drums/backing vox)

Find out what The Roy Orbison & The Traveling Wilburys Tribute Show are currently up to and where they are performing next via their official website thus:

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends The Roy Orbison & The Traveling Wilburys Tribute Show to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff Lynne, Roy WoodThe MoveThe Beatles'Brum Beat' and all related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 10-May-2015