Monday, 5 March 2018

Kelly Groucutt: A Matter of Fox

#1,387: Back in the early nineties, Yours Truly KJS was blessed to see multiple Kelly G solo gigs in and around the West Midlands at various pubs and clubs with my ELO gig buddy Christian Evans. They were great days, never forgotten and still cherished. Without doubt, Mick 'Kelly' Groucutt was a top class musician, songwriter and supreme vocalist - a vital cog in the classic ELO machine during his tenure from 1974-83. And so it was with his solo dates in Coseley and beyond.

Kelly wore his heart on his sleeve and was very much an animal lover (particularly birds) and proved it by releasing a charity EP entitled "We Love Animals" (Premier/CBS RSPCA1) back in 1995 in aid of the RSPCA. One of the tracks on that EP was "The Fox", a wonderful song written by Kelly with lyrics from the point of view of a fox during a fox hunt underpinned with stirring percussion. It was always a highlight of those intimate gigs and - after much nagging and prodding - Kelly put out a three track cassette including "Josephine" and "Dear Mama" from his self-titled 1982 solo LP that quickly sold out.

Fast forward a year or two and a new interpretation of "The Fox" was included on the second ELO Part II studio album "Moment Of Truth" (Ultrapop 0096102ULT) in 1994, introducing the song to a much wider audience before it was also included in their set list and made the 2CD live album "One Night Live In Australia" (SPV 089-44072) in 1996.

If ever there were a song that epitomised Kelly Groucutt, for me it was "The Fox" with its soaring vocals and dramatic finale. I still love the photo of Kelly with fox in hand on the above cassette sleeve (taken by Gill at Magic Arts). It was therefore no surprise that the monies raised from his memorial concert: An Evening Without Kelly Groucutt in May 2009 went to The National Parrot Sanctuary. Whether it be parrots or "The Fox"Kelly loved animals and we still miss him.

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 05-March-2018


  1. What a fine man Kelly was! A talented musician, singer and songwriter. For me however, his down to earth natural ways,friendly personality, kind heart and compassion for animals made him one of lifes gems.��
    A true decent soul sadly missed.x

  2. Kelly Groucutt will always be remembered for his musical talents,fine voice and song writing. The fox was an amazing song when heard live,the passion he had was obvious.
    Originally the B side of an rspca single,I have sadly read some derogatory comments on some sites about the A side!
    Keeper of the key written by Kelly has wisdom in the lyrics, and as for slating his song with the kids? "A little bit kinder" wasn't meant to be top of the hit parade! It was simply a contribution of kellys to help the rspca��
    I gather he was going through a difficult patch financialy at that time, so all the more reason to admire the man for giving his time for free.
    Wish there were more friendly compassionate
    Gentle souls like him.
    Real men love animals������
    Love and miss you Kelly �� x

  3. I have an mp3 of a song that many years ago i originally thought was ELO's Beatles Forever, but after finding that it wasn't was then convinced it is Kelly ( It certainly sounds like him to me ) It's a Beatles tribute song that is almost entirely a list of Beatles song titles, It opens with " The long and winding road that leads to your door, here comes the sun it's alright people shout for more, were you trying to decieve, telling me all you need is love to succeed"
    I wonder does anyone else know this song? Is it Kelly or ELO related in any way?
    Cheers Ady

    1. Ady: Interesting! Can you email me the mp3 for a listen and second opinion? ... KJS@elobf

    2. Certainly, where should i send it?

    3. Ady: What an incredible song! Whilst it's not "Beatles Forever", it does remind me a little of The Korgis' "Something About The Beatles". There are times when listening that I can hear Kelly (a la Session 60) but the arrangement is unfamiliar. Evidently this mp3 track is pulled from a vinyl/tape source. I need to do some investigation! Thank you for sending it to me. Hopefully I shall be able to come up with "Something"! ... KJS@elobf

    4. Ady: The track is "Titles" by Barclay James Harvest ... KJS@elobf (with thanx to my good friend Jeff Cooper)

  4. Ady ... Please send yr mp3 to ... KJS@elobf

  5. Thank you so much for solving the riddle of who it is, i was convinced it was Kelly's attempt at putting something out there to equal/replace/make up for the non release of Beatles Forever as he was so vocal at the time of how wonderful that elusive track was.
    Regardless I still like this very catchy and clever track and will maybe investigate Barclay James Harvest a little more.
    Thanks Again Ady.