Monday, 22 August 2016

ELO Classics Underpin National Theatre Play

#1,159: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Fans of the music of ELO may be interested to know that "Our Ladies Of Perpetual Succour", currently in residence at The National Theatre in London, features no less than six (6) Jeff Lynne penned songs and a Judie Tzuke classic too. The musical, based on the book "The Sopranos" by Alan Warner and adapted by Lee Hall, includes adult themes and is due to run until Saturday 1st October at The Dorfman Theatre before heading off to Australia.

You'll find "Mr. Blue Sky", "Long Black Road", "Sweet Talkin' Woman", "Don't Bring Me Down", "Shine A Little Love" and "Wild West Hero" within plus Judie's "For You". Many thanx are extended to Paul Higham, who contacted Yours Truly KJS to alert elobeatlesforever (elobf) to this interesting news along with a photo of the song list from his programme (above/bottom right).

In Paul's own words: "The play, "Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour", (is) on at The National Theatre has a goodly helping of Jeff Lynne/ELO content. Based on the book "The Sopranos" by Alan Warner, and adapted by Lee Hall ("Billy Elliot", "The Pitmen Painters") it features the (mis)adventures of a Convent School choir. Not for the fainthearted, but funny and moving. As it's a choir, the cast all sing and the songs are used to drive the narrative rather than just as set pieces."

Tickets to see "Our Ladies Of Perpetual Succour" can be purchased via this link thus:

elobeatlesforever (elobf) understands that it took Lee Hall a year to persuade Jeff to grant permission for his songs to be used in this production. You may also recall that the "Xanadu" musical also had a successful theatre run in London during October and November last year. It just goes to show that you never know where a Jeff Lynne/ELO tune will turn up next!

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 22-Aug-2016

Sunday, 21 August 2016

SJET103: The Turn To Stone Reissue Mystery Revisited

#1,158: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Most ELO/Jeff Lynne fans will know that in April 1978, Don Arden's Jet Records imprint dropped United Artists (UA) as their distribution agent and duly signed up with CBS Records. This meant that all of the ELO albums from "On The Third Day" to "Out Of The Blue" were reissued with new JET prefixed catalogue numbers and in limited edition coloured vinyl too. At the same time, a few ELO singles and a Jeff Lynne solo release from 1976/1977 were also earmarked for reissue with new Jet catalogue numbers, namely "Rockaria!" (#SJET100), "Telephone Line" (#SJET101), "Doin' That Crazy Thing" (#SJET102), "Turn To Stone" (#SJET103) and "Mr. Blue Sky" (#SJET104).
The non-appearance of "Turn To Stone" (originally Jet/UA #UP36313) remains somewhat of a mystery primarily because the non-charting Jeff Lynne solo single "Doin' That Crazy Thing" (originally Jet/UA #UP36281) was reissued but "Turn To Stone" - which peaked at #18 - was not. Although I could swear that I did once see a SJET103 in HMV Wolverhampton back the day, over the years it has become apparent that an official issue of SJET103 is either the holy grail for the ELO collector (alongside those "Secret Messages" acetates and the second ELO EP) or it simply was never officially issued, existing only as a pre-issue acetate or test pressing. We still hope that it is the former. One of those ultra-rare acetates were sold on eBay for the princely sum of £217 in 2013 with elobf featuring photos of the rarity for posterity. Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf) felt that it was "Time" for the above refresh, having covered this subject matter before back in 2013 thus:

SJET103: The Turn To Stone Reissue Mystery #2

elobeatlesforever (elobf) would still like to hear from anyone with a physical copy of that SJET103 single or even one of those acetates. Photographs would be much appreciated!

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 21-Aug-2016

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Recommended: Oxfam Presents: Stand As One: Live at Glastonbury 2016 (Jeff Lynne's ELO)

#1,157: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Fans of Jeff Lynne and ELO now have the opportunity to buy the first officially released Jeff Lynne's ELO live track and contribute to the work of Oxfam, a charity well known for their relief efforts worldwide in their tackling of poverty, hunger and refugee crises.
"Oxfam Presents: Stand As One - Live At Glastonbury 2016" includes a rather nice live recording of "Showdown" amongst 16 tracks (with more on the download edition) by many other well known artistes recorded at Glastonbury 2016 and released in aid of the charity. The album can be bought in most UK Tesco stores and also via these links thus:
elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Oxfam Presents: Stand As One - Live At Glastonbury 2016" 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-Aug-2016

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

After Vinyl: The Single Life of ELO

"Alone In The Universe" yielded this quartet of 1-track promo CDR's ...
#1,156: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! For many, the definition of the single was a 7" vinyl record, usually taken from a forthcoming album or a current LP. That was certainly the case when Yours Truly KJS purchased my first record "Turn To Stone" (Jet/UA #UP36313) by ELO back in the day. Since then the term "single" has morphed into other such formats as the cassette single, the CD single and the digital/download single. So much so, that very often, we now often do not see any physical singles released, save for CD promos destined mostly for certain radio stations and media outlets as part of marketing campaigns timed to coincide with TV appearances, festival bows and tours.

A sure sign of the success of a band or an album would have been the number of physical singles issued from an LP. In the UK - between "Face The Music" and "Balance Of Power" - ELO released a minimum of three (3) singles per album, often with a picture sleeve and occasionally in 10", 12" and even picture disc editions for fans and collectors to amass. Before then, it was essentially one single per LP with just five (5) UK singles issued from their first four (4) albums with a couple of CD singles released from "Zoom" thereafter.
"Long Wave" yielded these 1-track promo CD singles ...
The advent of the digital/download single and the change in the way that charts are compiled has meant that the aforementioned CDR promos are the nearest modern equivalent to those singles that we all loved buying and collecting for so long. It was therefore nice to see that two (2) CD promos were issued by Frontiers for Jeff Lynne's 2012 comeback solo record "Long Wave" and that four (4) CD promos were distributed by RCA to support the promotion of "Alone In The Universe" in rather fetching sleeves in the style of those classic ELO singles.

I would rather that we were still treated to physical single releases now that ELO are now back on the proverbial map in terms of popularity. Many ELO fans didn't buy "When I Was A Boy" as a digital single, either because they preferred to wait for AITU to arrive or because they were not part of the download generation. With the heavy number of plays on YouTube and amazing radio airplay, "When I Was A Boy" deserved to grace the upper reaches of the Official Singles Chart rather than achieve a modest #94 in the Official Singles Download Chart. Maybe it was a chance missed by Columbia and a lesson to be learned for when the new album is released and promoted. In any case, it was great to see four "singles" taken from an ELO album for the first "Time" since 1982.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 16-Aug-2016

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Caught Live (13): Quill @ The Artrix 13/08/16

Bostin' Bromsgrove: Quill ...
#1,155: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Quill are a quite stunning band. Just when you think that you've seen it all before, they go and change their set list, roll out a new song or two and reinvent another. A solo Summer evening drive last night (Saturday 13th August) down to one of my fave Midlands venues at The Artrix in Bromsgrove to see Joy Strachan-Brain and her merry band of Americana artisans delight another healthy theatre audience with their hearty mix of live reinterpretations and impressive originals.

Yours Truly KJS has seen Quill transform over the few years in which elobeatlesforever (elobf) have covered their concerts. From a notable pub in Wolverley to Birmingham Symphony Hall and through the odd change in personnel, Quill are still quintessentially Quill with the effervescent Joy leading her sextet through a merry dance that now includes a much larger proportion of their own material as they continue to reinvent themselves. Their latest performance was no different as we were treated to two (2) new songs in "Pretty Ribbons" and "Perfect Skin" as well as a revamped "Nine Mile Camp". If they were proverbial scene stealers, then an inspired vocal rendition of Stevie Winwood's "Can't Find My Way Home" by Abby Brant alongside an amazing Quilltastic take on "The Whole Of The Moon" and their latest ingeniously named instrumental showcase "Stuart's Jig" had us all tapping and clapping in unison.
Quill's lady trio plus KJS ...
Harmonies were again of the highest order. the percussion of Andy Edwards was truly a masterclass and, as ever, Tony Kelsey radiated class with his guitar licks. Kate McWilliam's vocals seemed more prominent on the night and perfectly complimented her virtuoso violin antics whilst Matt Worley's husky vocals lent considerable weight and quality to the likes of "Say It Ain't So" and "A Showman's Life". You'd expect me to praise Quill's inclusion of songs by ELO and The Beatles in their set - and I do! Their version of "Telephone Line" is very clever with, once again, Joy Strachan-Brain owning it, wearing it and, as they say, smashing it. Go see 'em!
Abi K & The Roadsters ...
Before I sign off, a mention for the Abi - very talented daughter of Tony. Quill always seem to pick the most appropriate of artistes as support. But choosing Abi K & The Roadsters added a lovely jazzy feel to the night with the quartet a real treat, if not a delight. With double bass player Tom Clark-Hill (who also sings and does voiceovers!), a phenomenal guitarist in Lee Jones and the superb drummist Andy Edwards in tow, the quartet delivered an entertaining set mixing their own composition "Bittersweet" (from their debut EP) with some nice jazz covers including a wonderful take on the John Lennon classic "Jealous Guy". It was very easy to warm to the sultry vocals of Abi and I predict a bright future for her and those Roadsters. Go see 'em too!

Next up for Quill is their appearance at The Mac in Birmingham on Thursday 1st September. Tickets are still available at just £20.00 each and they can be purchased via this link thus:

Quill were: Joy Strachan-Brain (Vox/percussion) ~ Kate McWilliam (Violin/vox) ~ Tony Kelsey (Guitars/vox) ~ Abby Brant (Keyboards/vox) ~ Matt Worley (Bass/vox) ~ Andy Edwards (Drums/percussion)

Quill performed: “The Bells Of Rhymney” ~ “Black Dog Day” ~ “A Showman’s Life” ~ “Telephone Line” ~ “Can’t Find My Way Home” ~ “Perfect Skin” ~ “Say It Ain’t So” ~ "Elephant In The Room” ~ “Nine Mile Camp” ~ "Pretty Ribbons" ~ "Stuart's Jig" ~ “The Whole Of The Moon” ~ “Say Goodbye” ~ England Medley: “Wild Mountain Thyme”/“England”/“Jerusalem” ~ Encore: “Golden Slumbers”/“Carry That Weight”/“The End”

Find out what Quill are up to by visiting their official web site via this link thus:

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends both Abi K & The Roadsters and Quill to those enlightened folks who also like ELO/Jeff LynneRoy Wood'Brum Beat'The Idle RaceThe MoveThe Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 14-Aug-2016

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

New BGO Single: You're Not The One That Got Away

#1,154: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! After a two year hiatus, Michael Laine Hildebrandt is about to soon launch a brand new Bubble Gum Orchestra (BGO) digital single in advance of BGO's fifth studio album "Sticky Love Songs".

Entitled "You're Not The One That Got Away", it's a delightful 3:12 taste of BGO's forthcoming angst driven epic 2LP issue, due out in late Summer 2016. The track will be available to purchase and download from Tuesday 23rd August via the official BGO web site thus:

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "You're Not The One That Got Away" by Bubble Gum Orchestra 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 ... 10-Aug-2016

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Review: 2016 (Tuesday Speaking)

#1,153: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Any album that includes the statement "This is an AUTOTUNE free album" in its liner notes is worthy of further investigation in the opinion of Yours Truly KJS. "2016" is the offering in question from Tuesday Speaking, released earlier this year via Castle Records (#CASCD1005) and the reformed musical project of John Walsh - another member of the ultra-talented Walsh clan alongside brother Thomas (Pugwash/The Duckworth Lewis Method) and father to recent elobeatlesforever (elobf) reviewee Adam Walsh.

First thing first. Full of the influence of The Beatles, with nods to David Bowie and Jeff Lynne, this particular Dublin born multi-instrumentalist very definitely does not need autotune of any kind with his wide vocal range worthy of a much grander stage, often matching the familiar tones of John Lennon and George Harrison within this really quite impressive eleven (11) song opus.

Aided and abetted by son Adam, "2016" is one of those records that instantly impresses. As soon as the first notes of the wonderful "The Rock That I Could Lean On" hit the ears, you know this is going to be an album of note that fans of The Fab Four and ELO will love. The Lennonesque opener is a masterful balled, showing off the songwriting pedigree of John before "Thing Called Love" follows with a real produced by Jeff Lynne feel to it. Sultry "Don't You Realise" has a nice, relaxed vibe to it before "Austerity" arrives with its cutting, concise lyrics a commentary on present day financial controversies layered on top of a song with a heavy Bowie glam era sound. "I'll Be On My Way" could easily be a track by the quiet Beatle himself before the wonderful "I Love You (1964)" takes the listener back to the early Beatles backbeat that we all know and love.

Instrumental "Casbah Memories" is next. Surreal with a touch of ELOesque backmasked touch and a sound that could emanate from a time tunnel linked to whispers of the Beatles heyday at the other end. Splendid stuff! "Stay" could be a Pink Floyd acoustic number and "I'm Going Back" once again could be another Harrison solo tune. Keyboards dominate "Only In The Night" with John's vocals at their very best before album closer "Tonight" very much carries an ELO theme.

"2016" was and continues to be a real joy to listen to and is a pleasure to review. Completely impressive and sure to appeal to fans of both The Beatles and ELO yet displaying the individuality of John Walsh a.k.a. Tuesday Speaking. In these days of manufactured bands and shallow musical motives, "2016" is like a breath of fresh air. Well worth a listen. Go buy it! (9/10)
Find out more about Tuesday Speaking and buy their music via these links thus:

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "2016" by Tuesday Speaking to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The BeatlesPugwash and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... Tuesday 09-Aug-2016

Friday, 5 August 2016

Roy Wood: Rockmas 2016 + Tickets

#1,152: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Here is the (late) news! At somewhat short notice, details of Roy Wood's Rockmas 2016 have now been announced with tickets now on sale for the event since 10:00AM this morning (Friday 5th August).

Roy's much anticipated annual Christmas bash is returning to Birmingham Symphony Hall on the evening of Tuesday 20th December, commencing at 7:45PM, and will again see Chas 'n' Dave, Andy Fairweather Low and The Low Riders and The Enigma Strings joining Woody - with a few "surprises" thrown in for good measure on the night. Tickets are priced at £32.50 each (*plus booking fee) and can be purchased via this link thus:

Autumn into Winter 2016 sees The Move, ELO and Wizzard founder embarking on his most extensive series of dates - alongside his famed Rock 'n' Roll Band - for many years with seventeen (17) gigs on the roster at the time of writing. Details of all Roy's pre-Christmas dates can be found via this elobf article thus:

Roy Wood: Goin' Down the Road in 2016

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends Roy Wood's Rockmas 2016 to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff Lynne, Roy WoodWizzardThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 05-Aug-2016

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Review: Thoughts In Time (Adam Walsh)

#1,151: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! On the evidence of this album, it's nice to see that all the musical talent in the Walsh family isn't limited only to the wildly wonderful Thomas in his adventures with Pugwash and The Duckworth Lewis Method. Nephew Adam Walsh has managed to deliver an impressive debut album with "Thoughts In Time", released back in June via Castle Records (#CASCD1004).

Whereas Uncle Tom is moved and grooved by Jeff Lynne, singer/songwriter Adam is clearly also influenced by the likes of David CrosbyNeil Young, Tom Petty, The Beatles and a certain ELO maestro judging by the quality and feel of this predominantly rootsy folksy affair. There are some outstanding guitar driven "Cosmic Country" songs here such as the title track, the sassy and sublime "High Time (At Frisco Bay)" and the riff tinged rocker "L.A." grabbing the attention, with opener "(Our) Cosmic Dance", the classy "Rosemary" and "Sweet Dakota Blue", with its slide guitar Bluegrass hints harking back to Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi", alongside the instantly amiable "Waiting For Someone". Indeed, this thirteen (13) song recording is not only a marvellous showcase for Adam Walsh in his own right, it's also the start of something special. Buy it, enjoy it! (9/10)
Find out more about Adam Walsh and buy his music via these links thus:

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Thoughts In Time" by Adam Walsh to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles, Pugwash and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 04-Aug-2016

Monday, 1 August 2016

Jeff Lynne's ELO: A Year to Remember

ELO are well and truly back where they belong after a fantastic 2015/2016 ...
#1,150: Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The news that ELO's best selling 2005 compilation "All Over The World" had finally reached #1 on Friday 29th July made Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf) wonder how best to commemorate such a momentous event  and, after a little thought, I came up with the above overview of their phenomenal year plus a selection of pictures to tell the story of the record breaking return of ELO and Jeff Lynne. Enjoy!
 Jeff Lynne's ELO will have played in front of 500,000 folks when their June 2017 Wembley date is completed
Multiple chart successes have followed ELO all year
Jeff Lynne's ELO at The Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham 24/06/16 and Glastonbury 26/06/16
I think that you'll agree with me that these are great days for ELO fans old and new. Many congrats to ELO maestro Jeff Lynne for a superb year. He must be "chuffed to bits" ...

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 01-Aug-2016