Sunday, 17 April 2016

Caught Live (2): Jeff Lynne's ELO @ Birmingham 16/04/16

#1,097: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Perhaps it was written in the stars that Yours Truly KJS would get the opportunity to experience the spectacle of Jeff Lynne's ELO performing "Down Home Town" at The Genting Arena (formerly the NEC) in Birmingham last night (Saturday 16th April). But to be able to be there (with a little assistance from ELO superfan Dave Jones) 44 years to the day since ELO made their debut at The Greyhound in Croydon and knowing also that co-founder Roy Wood was in the proverbial building was clearly meant to be.
If the live bow of EJLO at Liverpool a week and a half ago was poignant and emotional, this concert was also atmospheric and all the more visually stunning as the ELO maestro, right hand man Richard Tandy and their merry band of electric light fantastic musicians took another packed house on a journey through the ELO songbook with a fair selection of hits, album trax and a two songs from latest Top 5 album "Alone In The Universe". The set list was slightly different with "When the Night Comes" aptly replaced by their first hit single "10538 Overture" and "Telephone Line" elevated to a slot betwixt "Wild West Hero" and "Turn To Stone" - but the effect was the same with nearly all the 14,000 originally seated onlookers actively standing, singing and shouting to every lyric that tumbled forth out of Jeff's mouth. This was a triumphant homecoming. A first live gig in Brum from Mr. Lynne in just over thirty years and not far from his beloved Shard End.
The Feeling: Sensing a positive reaction
The mutual respect and admiration of ELO's fan base was enjoined by The Feeling who again delivered an energetic and powerful set of songs to energise their audience with front man Dan Gillespie Sells regularly citing the influence of ELO/Jeff Lynne on their own songwriting career whilst the band gave us a tempting taste of their own songbook and their self titled fifth album.
"Turn To Stone" ... ELO rocks!
Highlights were many but the crowd reaction to "Livin' Thing" and "Wild West Hero" was amazing. For me, hearing "Secret Messages" live was again spine tingling and - with an improved view of the imagery and lighting, I was blown away by "10538 Overture" (especially knowing that Woody was in attendance) and "Turn To Stone". There is perhaps a need to include a song from "Time" in the set and the likes of "Calling America" or a medley would also be welcome.
"Telephone Line"
How things have changed for ELO since that night in 1972 eh? Those of you going to the remaining dates on either side of the Atlantic are truly in for a treat. We look forward to a DVD/Blu-ray release for the AITU tour and, yes, I'm already counting down the 68 days to what will be my third EJLO gig in three months on Friday 24th June at The Barclaycard Arena (NIA) ...
Jeff Lynne's ELO performed: "Tightrope" ~ "Evil Woman" ~ "Showdown" ~ "All Over The World" ~ "When I Was A Boy" ~ "Livin' Thing" ~ "Ain't It A Drag" ~ "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" ~ "Rockaria!" ~ "10538 Overture" ~ "Secret Messages" ~ "Steppin' Out" ~ "Shine A Little Love" ~ "Wild West Hero" ~ "Telephone Line" ~ "Turn To Stone" ~ "Don't Bring Me Down" ~ "Sweet Talkin' Woman" ~ "Mr. Blue Sky" ~ "Roll Over Beethoven"
Jeff Lynne's ELO were: Jeff (Lead vox/guitars)Richard Tandy (Piano/keyboards/vocoder)Mike Stevens (Musical Director/guitars/vox)Milton McDonald (Guitars/vox)Lee Pomeroy (Bass/vox)Donavan Hepburn (Drums)Bernie Smith (Keyboards)Marcus Byrne (Keyboards) ~ Iain Hornal (Backing vox/guitar)Melanie Lewis McDonald (Backing vox)Rosie Langley (Violin)Amy Langley (Cello)Jess Cox (Cello)

Find out what Jeff Lynne's ELO are up to by visiting their official website via this link thus:

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends Jeff Lynne's ELO and The Feeling to those enlightened folks who love the music of ELO/Jeff LynneRoy Wood, The Move'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 17-Apr-2016


  1. A night to remember. Jeff made our dreams come true. To see play live once again.

  2. Keith why do you keep referring to the band as "EJLO" am I missing something?

    1. Jerome ... EJLO sounds better than JLELO! I thought that I'd make a play on the 'L' initial in ELO with that in JL (Jeff Lynne) ... That's all! :-) KJS@ELOBF

    2. OK so Electric Jeff Lynne's Orchestra or Jeff Lynne's ELO. I would have to disagree with you there mate.

    3. #justanacronym ... nothing more, nothing less!

  3. After seeing the Manchester show and being slightly disappointed I was over joyed with the Saturday show. It was one of the best concerts I have attended. Also to see the vast majority of people standing throughout the show was an NEC first. Only criticism I can make is that the show, in my opinion, was 20 minutes too short.

    Roy Wood (and Jeff ' s manager?) were in the Worldbar opposite having a drink