Saturday, 28 August 2021

Quill: October Release for Riding Rainbows

#1,612: Legendary Midlands band Quill have announced that their much anticipated new studio album "Riding Rainbows" will be unveiled in late October some six years on from 2015's "Brush With The Moon". The new album features guest contributions from Nick Pentelow (Wizzard), John Lodge (The Moody Blues), Andy Fairweather Low (Amen Corner), Chris Norman (Smokie), Louis Clark Jnr. (The Orchestra), Tony Martin, Richard Bailey and The Maverick Strings.
The Move/ELO founder Bev Bevan is lauding the twelve track outing as "the best album I have played on since ELO’s Out Of The Blue" with Joy Strachan-Brain equally excited not only about "Riding Rainbows" but also Quill's upcoming quintet of Autumn dates in support of the album. Details of the tour can be found here:
"Riding Rainbows" is released on 29th October and can be pre-ordered here:

Related KJS/ELOBF articles

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends "Riding Rainbows" by Quill 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 ELOBF universe ... KJS ... 28-Aug-2021 ***

Monday, 23 August 2021

Remembering Don Everly

#1,611: Yours Truly KJS and ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) were saddened to hear the news yesterday that Don Everly - one half (of course) of The Everly Brothers, a major inspiration for Electric Light Orchestra/Traveling Wilburys co-founder Jeff Lynne and a contemporary of The Beatles, Roy Orbison and many more of our fave artistes - died on Saturday 21st August, at the age of 84 years.
With thanx to Bev Bevan: Personally dedicated by Don & Phil Everly
Don Everly recorded the 1984 Everly Brothers album "EB84" (UK: MERH44) with brother Phil, an album that included a trio of his songs ("Following The Sun", "You Make It Seem So Easy", "Asleep") as well as the trademark Jeff Lynne composition "The Story Of Me" (a song that sounds as if it came from the "Secret Messages" sessions) later released as a single both here (UK: MER180) and in Europe. The album also featured ELO keyboard wizard Richard Tandy and Paul McCartney (the Everly's cover of Paul's "On The Wings Of A Nightingale" (UK: MER170) peaked at a respectable #41) and was produced by Dave Edmunds, whose albums "Information" & "Riff Raff" were produced by Jeff at that time. Jeff later returned the favour when he covered The Everly Brothers classic "So Sad (To Watch Love Go Bad)" as part of his successful solo album "Long Wave" in 2012. Younger brother Phil passed away on Friday 3rd January 2014.

Don Everly: 1st February 1937 to 21st August 2021

Until next "Time" in the ELO (and related) Universe ... KJS ... 23-Aug-2021

Thursday, 19 August 2021

ELOBF Gig Guide #36: September 2021

#1,610: As promised last month, Yours Truly KJS and ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) are pleased to present you our latest Monthly ELOBF Gig Guide listing selected UK dates during September 2021. Expect another event listing soon covering the month of October, subject to expected Autumn plandemic restrictions. Please consider getting out there and supporting these artistes and venues!

Wednesday 1st September
Iain Hornal (Jeff Lynne's ELO/10cc) @ The Horns, St. Albans
Tickets: from £15 each

Friday 3rd September
The ELO Experience @ The Core Theatre, Solihull
Tickets: from £24 each

The Roy Orbison Story (Barry Steele & Friends) @ The Garrick Theatre, Lichfield
Tickets: from £28 each

Saturday 4th September
Quill ft. Bev Bevan @ The Garrick Theatre, Lichfield
Tickets: from £24.50 each

The ELO Experience @ The Core Theatre, Solihull
Tickets: from £24 each

The Electrik Live Orchestra @ The Robin 2, Bilston
Tickets: from £16.50 each

Sunday 5th September
The Steve Gibbons Band @ The Robin 2, Bilston
Tickets: from £13.20 each

Thursday 9th September
Quill ft. Bev Bevan @ The Walker Theatre, Shrewsbury
Tickets: from £19 each

The Mersey Beatles @ The Prince of Wales Theatre, Cannock
Tickets: from £22 each

Friday 10th September
The Petty Criminals @ The Palace Theatre, Redditch
Tickets: from £18.50 each

Sunday 12th September
The Mersey Beatles @ Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury
Tickets: from £21 each

Tuesday 14th September
Stand Up & Rock! ft. Jasper Carrott & Bev Bevan @ The Town hall, Loughborough
Tickets: from £31.50 each

Wednesday 15th September
Stand Up & Rock! ft. Jasper Carrott & Bev Bevan @ The Town Hall, Loughborough
Tickets: from £31.50 each

The ELO Experience @ The Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent
Tickets: from £26 each

Thursday 16th September
The Upbeat Beatles @ The Palace Theatre, Redditch
Tickets: from £22 each

Friday 17th September
ELO Again @ The Place (Oakengates Theatre), Telford
Tickets: from £23.50 each

Sunday 19th September
The ELO Show @ The Swan Theatre, Worcester
Tickets: from £25 each

Thursday 23rd September
Stand Up & Rock! ft. Jasper Carrott & Bev Bevan @ Play House, Stratford-upon-Avon
Tickets: from £30 each

Friday 24th September
Stand Up & Rock! ft. Jasper Carrott & Bev Bevan @ Play House, Stratford-upon-Avon
Tickets: from £30 each

Saturday 25th September
Stand Up & Rock! ft. Jasper Carrott & Bev Bevan @ Play House, Stratford-upon-Avon
Tickets: from £30 each

The Unravelling Wilburys @ Huntingdon Hall, Worcester
Tickets: from £15 each

Sunday 26th September
Stand Up & Rock! ft. Jasper Carrott & Bev Bevan @ Play House, Stratford-upon-Avon
Tickets: from £30 each

Monday 27th September
The ELO Experience @ The Opera House, Buxton
Tickets: from £28 each

Wednesday 29th September
Stand Up & Rock! ft. Jasper Carrott & Bev Bevan @ The Lyceum Theatre, Crewe
Tickets: from £31.50 each

The ELO Experience @ The Town Hall, Cheltenham
Tickets: from £27 each

Thursday 30th September
Stand Up & Rock! ft. Jasper Carrott & Bev Bevan @ The Lyceum Theatre, Crewe
Tickets: from £31.50 each

The artistes and shows listed above are recommended by ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF). Please contact KJS/ELOBF should you wish events to be considered for the above listing &/or future gig guides. It'll be nice to perhaps see you at some of the above gigs for a chat!

Until next "Time" in the ELOBF Universe ... KJS ... 19-Aug-2021

Friday, 13 August 2021

Interview: Don Powell talks Slade, Wizzard, Let There Be Drums & More!

#1,609: The battle for the UK Christmas #1 spot in 1973 between Wizzard and Slade has been the subject of several articles down the years so when the news broke of Slade drummer Don Powell heading up a charity single in June with his band and a variety of fellow percussionists including our very own Bev Bevan, it was no surprise that "Let There Be Drums" in aid of #WeMakeEvents was quickly featured and recommended by ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) in this article. Following on from our coverage, Yours Truly KJS made contact with Bilston born Don in Denmark and this exclusive interview by KJS/ELOBF is presented as the result of our recent exchanges. Enjoy!

KJS: For many fans of both Slade and Wizzard, the much publicised (even media hyped) battle for the Christmas number one in 1973 between "Merry Xmas Everybody" and "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day" remains a fond memory even now with Slade making #1 and Wizzard #4. What memories stick out about your contribution to the recording of MXE and its ensuing perennial commercial success?
Don: We recorded "Merry Xmas Everybody" in the summer of 1973 at The Record Plant in New York. There was a heatwave at the time when we recorded it would you believe! At first, we didn't want to release it but our producer Chas Chandler put his foot down and the rest is history! That year (1973) there were a lot of Christmas releases but Slade had already had two No. 1's and a No. 2 in the charts so we were on the crest of a wave. My fondest memory of "Merry Xmas Everybody" was recording the drums last. If you listen to the record hard, you can hear a snare drum beat when the record finishes because I forgot to stop. Now, the cats out of the bag!

KJS: Did Slade ever attempt to play Roy’s Christmas song?
Don: Ha! Good question. No! Maybe you should ask Roy if he ever attempted to play our Christmas song?

KJS: It appears that Slade and Wizzard often crossed paths down the years. For instance, Roy was a guest at the premiere of "Flame" and Noddy provided guest vocals on Roy's "Green Glass Windows" single in 1981. Slade were even label mates with Roy Wood on Cheapskate Records for a time but was there ever any rivalry between the bands? Were you good friends?
Don: We never really crossed paths except on "Top Of The Pops". I do remember at one Christmas TOTP that they threw custard pies at us while we were playing "Merry Xmas Everybody".  There was never any rivalry between us. Two local bands (from Birmingham & Wolverhampton) having a great time together when we did happen to be in each others company. A friend of mine played drums in one of Roy's later line-ups. I often went to their studio for Vodka and take away curries!

KJS: What are your recollections of the filming of "Slade in Flame" in Sheffield?
Don: The steel factories (I used to work in one way back when). Also, the flat we used was actually a local families place. The film company sent them away to a hotel for the duration, all expenses paid while we turned their home upside down!

KJS: Did you ever encounter ELO on the gig circuit back in the day?
Don: We did a few concerts with them in the States around the mid 70's. Was great to be in their company!

KJS: A good friend of mine was in attendance at Reading in 1980 when Slade stood in literally at the last minute for Ozzy Osbourne’s Blizzard of Oz and you literally stole the show. Many fans rate that performance as Slade's finest and it sparked a major resurgence thereafter. Do you rate Reading as your best live show or is there another gig that ranks as your fave?
Don: That certainly was a memorable day. I would put that gig somewhere near the top. To me the Great Western Festival at Lincoln in 1971 was another memorable one. Also on the bill at that festival was The Beach Boys, The Who and Ten Years After.

KJS: What would be Don Powell’s favourite Slade memory?
Don: Our very first rehearsal together. It clicked from the off ...

KJS: Who would be your drumming hero? 
Don: My all time drumming hero is John Bonham. Sadly, no longer with us.
KJS: Fast forwarding to Yours Truly 2021, The Don Powell Band & Friends have been in the headlines recently with their excellent multi-percussionist cover of Sandy Nelson’s "Let There Be Drums" in aid of #WeMakeEvents. Can you tell me about how the project came about and how the record was constructed?
Don: OK, when Craig Fenney and myself played together in Slade 2, we often talked about getting different drummers together to re-record the classic so when Craig and myself made contact again, it was back on the agenda. Craig did a lot of the groundwork contacting drummers to take part. It's amazing how we all recorded and filmed our parts in different studios and countries for the end product.

KJS: It was great to see Bev Bevan (who put out his own version of "Let There Be Drums" back in 1976) and also Quill's Andy Edwards amongst the contributors to the record. As fellow world renowned rock drummers and Midlanders, I'm presuming that it was an obvious choice to invite Bev on board?
Don: OK, I didn’t know Bev had recorded "Let There Be Drums previously! Yup, us Brummie and Wolverhampton yobbos must stick together! Like I've already said, Slade and ELO did some shows together in the States.

KJS: Can you tell those not yet familiar with The Don Powell Band a brief history of the band and its debut track "Back On The Road"?
Don: Well, I feel really privileged to be working with Craig Fenney, Bob Wilson, Jon Briscoe and Curly Davies. They all instilled so much enthusiasm back in me. "Back On The Road" is just about us. Exactly what the title insinuates.

KJS: Can we expect a Don Powell Band album in the future?
Don: As soon as we can all get together again, a new album (do they still call them that?) is certainly on the cards!

KJS: With gigs now hopefully back on the agenda, will fans be seeing The Don Powell Band live any time soon?
Don: That would be a dream come true but, as we all know, the whole world at the moment is at a standstill.

KJS: How can folks find out what The Don Powell Band are up to these days?
Don: There's lots on Facebook and other media outlets. You'll find us out there somewhere guys! Our website can be found at, we're on Twitter at and Facebook at

KJS: Finally, a question I always ask interviewees: Which ELO & Roy Wood (even Beatles) songs rock your proverbial boat?
Don: OK ... good one. ELO: "Telephone Line". Roy Wood: "See My Baby Jive". Anything by The Beatles. I went to a Ringo Starr concert and he actually invited me on stage to play drums on their last two songs, "With A Little Help From My Friends" & "Give Peace A Chance" and I've got the photographs to prove it!
Yours Truly KJS & ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) extend our thanx to Don Powell and Craig Fenney for their much appreciated participation in this exclusive interview. Find out more about The Don Powell Band here: 

Tuesday, 10 August 2021

Rare ELO Vinyl Revealed

Photos of Olé ELO US bicentennial quad set courtesy of Patrik Guttenbacher @ FTM Germany
#1,608: A cursory glance through ELO Beatles Forever past articles reveals the regular subject matter of new ELO vinyl and the discovery of previously unknown originally released Electric Light Orchestra records that might have gone under the proverbial radar of many collectors - specifically coloured vinyl, picture discs, solid centres and/or even acetates. Yours Truly KJS thought it would be of interest to detail some of the rare records out there in addition to the already referenced ultra-rare US Bicentennial set of red, white and blue vinyl Olé ELO promos issued in 1976, the oft reported eBay appearance of the 31 withdrawn copies of the 10" Xanadu picture disc (1980), the "Secret Messages" 2LP acetates (JETDP402) and a number of hard to find UK solid centre 7" singles such as "Showdown" (HAR5077) and "Telephone Line" (UP36254).
The ultra-rare original "Secret Messages" 2LP acetates
Yet there are not a few other rarities out there that many fans and collectors of ELO vinyl may be surprised to hear about. There's the red vinyl issue of the US single "Sweet Talkin' Woman" (JT-XW1145) that most of us possess in mauve/purple vinyl or the white vinyl pressing of the US edition of "Secret Messages" (QZ/AL38490), the surprising UK orange vinyl issue of "Out Of The Blue" (JETDP400) or the transparent blue US edition of "A New World Record" (UA-LA679-G). There are surely more out there including the Columbian 12" single issue of "I'm Alive" (Epic 449250) in transparent yellow vinyl but, suffice it to say, that you are welcome to write in with your own ELO rarity finds!
Remember these hard to find UK solid centre 7" singles as featured by KJS/ELOBF down the years?
Related KJS/ELOBF articles

Friday, 6 August 2021

An Appreciation of Concerto For A Rainy Day

#1,607: Ask an avid or casual Electric Light Orchestra fan which is their fave ELO album and you'll probably get a variety of answers - but definitely "No Answer". For some it changes from time to time and others it's firmly fixed. This writer finds it difficult to choose between "A New World Record" (UAG30017; 1976; UK #6), "Time" (JETLP236; 1981; UK #1) or "Eldorado" (K56021; 1974) although I tend to defer to either of ELO's Jeff Lynne penned classic concept masterpieces (look out for a future KJS/ELOBF article referencing both records) if pushed although I do still retain a soft spot for ANWR as the first ELO LP that Yours Truly KJS purchased.

Yet - despite how much I treasure "Out Of The Blue" (UAR100; 1977; UK #4) as a whole - one cannot talk about classic ELO albums without mentioning the audio excellence of "Concerto For A Rainy Day" - the wonderful side 3 of OOTB consisting of "Standin' In The Rain", "Big Wheels", "Summer And Lightning" and "Mr. Blue Sky" which still manages to send a shiver down the spine even now - especially when played at reasonably high volume! From the opening rumbles of thunder to the vocoder urgings to turn over to side 4, this remains one the most iconic pieces of music of the period showcasing, as it does, the occasionally overlooked orchestral mastery of Louis Clark and Richard Tandy offered to Jeff Lynne. In terms of the running order, the listener is prepared by the step change in mood during side 2 with the funtastic "Jungle" followed by "Believe Me Now" and "Steppin' Out" (a close musical cousin to "Big Wheels" in my opinion). The same is true when the rather eloquent "Sweet Is The Night" arrives after the sun sets on "Mr. Blue Sky". Perhaps the one advantage of listening to OOTB on CD is that you can listen seemlessly from the aforementioned "Believe Me Now" to "Sweet Is The Night" and be completely drawn in by the magnificence of what many consider ELO's finest hour.
Live performances over many years of (elements of) "Concerto For A Rainy Day" by ELO Part II, The Orchestra and top class ELO tribute bands have thrilled their audiences even before Jeff Lynne's ELO arrived on stage. Only The ELO Experience (as far as I can recall) have played all four songs in their set and - "Believe Me Now" - no ELO set list is complete without (at the very least) "Standin' In The Rain" in there alongside "Mr. Blue Sky"! Its influence extends in many musical directions too. For instance, Take That famously sampled it during their "Beautiful World" and ensuing tours as did Rob Fusari (when supporting ABC in 2016). It's now over four decades since "Concerto For A Rainy Day" first blew away lovers of Electric Light Orchestral rock - and many others too. Go listen to it again today!