Friday, 19 November 2021

So Fine: The ELO Experience Caught Live @ Cannock 18/11/21

Tripping the electric light fantastic: The ELO Experience
#1,634: I have friends and know folks who have seen Andy Louis and The ELO Experience literally hundreds of times down the years (Yours Truly KJS/ELOBF have seen them at least seventeen times!) and their loyalty is always rewarded, evidenced by their excellent performance last night (Thursday 18th November) at The Prince of Wales Theatre just down the road in nearby Cannock.

Once again, The ELO Experience justified their position as the UK's premier ELO tribute band in presenting an accomplished, professional and thoroughly entertaining set of twenty three Electric Light Orchestra classics from their debut UK hit single "10538 Overture" (#9; July 1972) to their final Top 20 hit "Rock 'n' Roll Is King" (#13; July 1983). The vibrant full house ensured an electric atmosphere as the Jeff Lynne songbook (plus a certain Chuck Berry penned tune also famously covered by The Beatles) was recreated on stage with the highlight undoubtedly being an accurate and polished rendition of the anthemic and uplifting "So Fine" from 1976's "A New World Record". Having previously enjoyed their take on the likes of "Across The Border", "Big Wheels""Starlight", "Night In The City" and "Latitude 88 North", hearing another classic ELO album track performed live was the icing on the proverbial cake. ★★★★★

The ELO Experience performed: "All Over The World" ~ "Evil Woman" ~ "Telephone Line" ~ "The Diary Of Horace Wimp" ~ "So Fine" ~ "Showdown" ~ "Wild West Hero" ~ "Shine A Little Love" ~ "Xanadu" ~ "Confusion" ~ "Livin' Thing" ~ "Prologue" ~ "Twilight" ~ "Sweet Talkin' Woman" ~ "10538 Overture" ~ "Turn To Stone" ~ "Last Train To London" ~ "Rock 'n' Roll Is King" ~ "Rockaria!" ~ "Hold On Tight" ~ "Roll Over Beethoven" ~ "Don't Bring Me Down" ~ "Mr. Blue Sky"
Photo: Christian 'Manhattan Rumble' Evans
The ELO Experience were: Andy Louis (Lead vox/guitar) ~ Pete Smith (Bass/vox) ~ Chris Marsh (Keyboards/vocoder) ~ Jan Christiansen (Lead guitar/vox) ~ Tony Lawson (Drums) ~ Liz Stacey (Violin) ~ Francesca McDonald (Cello)

The ELO Experience continue to tour the UK extensively and you can view all their Tour Dates, sign their Guest Book and find out what they are currently up to via their official sites thus:


ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends The ELO Experience to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff LynneThe MoveRoy WoodThe Idle RaceThe Beatles'Brum Beat' and related artistes.

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

Sunday, 14 November 2021

Christmas Cheer for Roy Wood

#1,633: Following the recent postponement of his 2021 dates, it was indeed good to see Dr. Roy Wood pop up in the news this week with coverage of his involvement with Nelson's Distillery and their new limited edition seasonal gin entitled Christmas Cheer thus:


Christmas Cheer is priced at £29.95 for a 50cl bottle and can be bought (while stocks last) via this link thus:


Related KJS/ELOBF articles

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends Roy Wood to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO/Jeff LynneWizzardThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

*** Until next "Time" in the ELOBF Universe ... KJS ... 14-Nov-2021 ***

Thursday, 11 November 2021

Remembering Oldies Unlimited

Source: Chronicle Week (Wolverhampton edition) page 2, Thursday 11.11.2021
#1,632: This writer was quite saddened to read the above article this week regarding the closure of Oldies Unlimited in Darlington Street, Wolverhampton on Tuesday 30th November (although it will continue online and at selected Midlands record fairs) and felt it would be apt to write a few words in fond memory of such a familiar friend. My first recollection of Oldies Unlimited would be picking up and flicking eagerly through the pages of their catalogue at Tom Hawkins Music Services in Oxley (another frequently visited establishment) or visiting the Oldies Unlimited shop (always rammed with vinyl) in Worcester Street. They were essentially a mail order franchise business back then based in nearby Telford and I remember ordering not a few ELO and related records in my early collecting days. A revamped Oldies Unlimited would later emerge in their current location and be a regular stop in my ever diminishing circuit of record shops in Wolverhampton city centre. Yours Truly KJS wishes Simon all the very best as he takes Oldies Unlimited into its new virtual home. Thanx for the memories!
Who remembers perusing those Oldies Unlimited catalogues back in the day?
Related KJS/ELOBF articles
Yours Truly KJS spent many a happy hour flicking through both picture and plain sleeves down the years!
ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends Oldies Unlimited 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 ... 11-Nov-2021

Monday, 8 November 2021

Interview: Author Barry Delve discusses Electric Light Orchestra: Every Album, Every Song

#1,631: When it was announced that new book "Electric Light Orchestra: Every Album, Every Song" (Sonicbond Publishing ISBN 978-1789521528; 160 pages) would be published on Friday 3rd December (originally Thursday 25th November), Yours Truly KJS/ELOBF was minded to catch up with author Barry Delve to find out more both about himself and his debut book in this latest interview for ELOBF. It was again rather enjoyable for this particular fan to interview a fellow fan on familiar subject matter! Here's hoping that you enjoy reading these questions and answers!

KJS: First things first, Barry! Please tell us about yourself?
BD: What's to know? I'm just an ordinary guy who's written a book about ELO!

KJS: Is this your first book?
BD: Yes. I've contributed art and written articles for various fanzines and websites (mostly to do with cult TV and films, which is a major interest) over the years but this is the first time I've tackled a proper book and written anything about music.

KJS: What sparked your interest in the Electric Light Orchestra?
BD: I kind of cover it in the introduction, but the short version is I saw them on Saturday morning TV (The Multi-Coloured Swap Shop) performing "Livin’ Thing" and was hooked from that moment on. Thanks to archive TV listings I managed to work out the exact date I saw them and realised had I missed that particular programme and tuned in a couple of weeks later then it would have been Queen in that slot and I'd probably have adopted them!

KJS: Your motivation for writing the book?
BD: It all happened by accident as I had no intention of writing a book! I bought one of the early "On Track" books and emailed the publisher to say how much I'd enjoyed it and innocently asked if there was one on ELO in the pipeline. The response was that there wasn’t one planned but would I be interested in writing it myself? I wasn't sure at first but Stephen at Sonicbond was very encouraging after I submitted an example piece and I knew I'd regret it if I passed on the opportunity, so I went for it.

KJS: How did you approach writing "Electric Light Orchestra: Every Album, Every Song"?
BD: From the beginning I decided not to write the book in order, so I started with "Discovery", as it was a piece on one of the songs that I had initially submitted to the publisher as a tester. I then did "Time" and after that went to "A New World Record" and worked backwards. I then worked backwards from "Balance Of Power" and filled in the gaps. "Out Of the Blue", which for a reason not even known to myself I had been avoiding, was last of the original ELO albums I tackled. I then did the post 1986 output chronologically. I don't know if this made a difference but the randomness of it kept my interest levels up! I was very undisciplined at the start but as the deadline got nearer I imposed a stricter regime, which was to do at least two songs a day. Not an easy task when you’re also holding down a full time job! It was the research that took most of the time, as I wanted to uncover as much undocumented stuff as I could and also check everything for myself. So an example of this would be that there's a short noise at the end of "Don't Bring Me Down" that Jeff Lynne has stated is afire door closing. Well, to me it’s always sounded nothing like a door, so rather than just re-quoting the quote I thought I'd try and find out for myself what it was. I put the clip in 'Audacity' software and kept increasing the speed of it until it sounded recognisable. When I got to 600% it was clearly a metal door closing so it went in the book! I've also tried to make it as informative as possible, so taking the first album as an example, if you want to know exactly which classical album the backwards introduction to "Mr. Radio" is taken from, or where 49th Street is in Manhattan, this is the book for you! The hardest part was stopping, letting go of it and giving it over to the publisher, just this week a previously unknown recording of ELO performing "Eleanor Rigby" live has surfaced and it’s never been documented that they performed it so I'm gutted I couldn't get to include it. Even now I'm waking up every day wondering if I've left a song out!

KJS: What can readers expect to find in this particular book?
BD: It's a complete overview of ELO from their beginnings up until the present day. It works as a linear history, but also as something readers can dip into randomly. I've tried cram in as many facts as possible, including things like chart places and there's even a guide to all the secret messages on the eponymous album. There's a sprinkling of opinion too, so hopefully it will be a handy one-stop guide to everything people need to know about ELO!

KJS: Were there any particular difficulties with your research?
BD: I started making ELO scrapbooks from the moment I got into the band and I still have my fan club newsletters and the Face The Music fanzines, which have been very useful. The internet is obviously a great resource and sites like worldradiohistory.com have searchable versions of the old music papers, so I've been able to go back to the original sources, including radio interviews for all the facts and quotes I've used. If I couldn't read it or hear it for myself I didn't use it! On top of that I reached out to many people who had connections with ELO and many of them were more than happy to talk to me. I wanted to do a piece on the "Freedom City" movie and John Elton, the producer, was really helpful. He has lots of photos and a script somewhere, but unfortunately was unable to locate them, so regrettably I cut that part entirely when I had to reduce the word count. The only real difficulty was getting accurate release dates, as a lot of the accepted dates, as documented on Wikipedia, etc. are just wrong, so it was back to checking contemporary press releases and the music press for those.

KJS: Did you uncover any surprises along the way?
BD: Not necessarily surprises, but I made it my mission to try and get to the bottom of some mysteries. For example, the story behind the supposed original 'handshake' sleeve for Secret Messages has always intrigued me, so I tracked it down and spoke to the artist who designed the actual artwork, and he was able to tell me exactly why and when it was created and what it was meant for. There are things scattered through the book which I don't think are common knowledge. Some that immediately spring to mind are the original titles for some "Secret Messages" songs and the details of exactly which "Time" tracks were recorded by Jeff and Richard in LA after the album was meant to have been completed. I've also managed to track down a couple of unpublished pictures from the early days which I hope will be of interest.

KJS: What are your hopes for "Electric Light Orchestra: Every Album, Every Song"?
BD: I hope both casual and hard-core fans alike will find it interesting and enjoyable. It was put together as a labour of love, it's very much written from the perspective of a fan and I hope that comes through.

KJS: Have you any further writing adventures planned?
BD: As we know, the ELO family tree is quite large and extends in many directions so the big conundrum was what to include and what not to include. I had a word count I had to stick to and it soon became apparent that wouldn't be able to cover everything, so I limited myself to only writing about bands that included the words 'ELO' in their names and then I ended up cutting about 10,000 words anyway! So, this is a roundabout way of saying that there’s another book waiting to be written about Jeff Lynne's solo adventures as a performer, writer and producer and the wider ELO network. I'm not sure there’s a market for it or if I have the stamina to do it, but if people are interested, then let Sonicbond know!

KJS: What are your three fave ELO tunes and why?
BD: Goodness, that changes every day! OK, lets avoid the singles and go with these: (1) "Eldorado": a magnificent and mature song with a great vocal performance, where everything comes together to create a fitting finish to ELO's first masterpiece album. (2) "So Fine": It is what it is! A bouncing ball of effervescence that's impossible not to like. Forget "Mr. Blue Sky" – this is the song you should be playing on a sunny day! And what about that ending? The story behind how "So Fine" blends seamlessly into "Livin’ Thing" is a great example of how in ELO's heyday Jeff Lynne was experimenting and perfecting in the studio right until the last possible moment. (3) "Sweet Is The Night": When Kelly Groucutt joined ELO his singing and the way his vocals blended with Jeff Lynne's and took the band to another level. There are a few songs where Kelly gets a bit more of the spotlight and this is the best of the lot, with Jeff and Kelly's enthusiastic vocal harmonies amplifying the sense of sheer joy that permeates this uplifting song.

KJS: How can folks pre-order "Electric Light Orchestra: Every Album, Every Song"?
BD: It's available via Burning Shed who are the home of the Sonicbond shop, Amazon and most online booksellers.

Yours Truly KJS & ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) extend our thanx to Barry Delve for his much appreciated participation in this exclusive interview. You can pre-order and/or find out more about "Electric Light Orchestra: Every Album, Every Song" via these links thus:

Saturday, 6 November 2021

Iain Hornal: Expanded Fly Away Home

#1,630: An expanded special edition of Iain Hornal's excellent 2020 album "Fly Away Home" (co-produced by Jo Webb) is now available to buy via his official website. The Jeff Lynne's ELO & 10cc leading light has added two bonus trax to the original release in "Say The Word" (found on Iain's 2017 album "The Game Begins With The Lights Out") and "Drop Me Out, Wake Me Up" (a reworking of "Wake Me Up, Drop Me Out"). Iain will be touring the UK with Graham Gouldman and 10cc during March, April, September & October 2022.

Signed copies are available @ £15 from Iain via this link with unsigned copies priced @ £12 via the official 10cc store

Details of 10cc's 2022 UK tour dates/venues/tickets can be found here: ticketline.co.uk/10cc#bio

Related KJS/ELOBF articles
ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends "Fly Away Home" by Iain Hornal to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of Jeff Lynne's ELORoy WoodWizzardThe Move10ccThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

*** Until next "Time" in the ELOBF Universe ... KJS ... 06-Nov-2021 ***

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Going Gold: Electric Light Orchestra Part Two

#1,629: Releases from Renaissance Records have been coming thick and fast this year when it comes to ELO Part II and The Orchestra (former members of ELo & ELO Part II) with the reissue of three albums already and another now due next year thanx to Electric Light Orchestra Part Two seeing a further vinyl release in limited edition 150g transparent gold vinyl.

Aside from the coloured vinyl, what's different about the new 2022 edition versus the 2021 gatefold issue is the inclusion of "Love For Sale" (penned by Bev Bevan & Pete Haycock and originally the 'B' side of the "Honest Men" UK/EU single) as a bonus track at the end of side one. Just 500 copies will be pressed making this another attractive purchase for collectors of ELO related vinyl. Release date is Wednesday 23rd March. Pre-orders can be placed at $25.99 (plus P+P) via this link thus:


Related KJS/ELOBF articles

ELO Beatles Forever (ELOBF) recommends Electric Light Orchestra Part Two (Gold Vinyl) 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 ELOBF Universe ... KJS ... 04-Nov-2021

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Review: Riding Rainbows (Quill)

#1,628: Whilst it's been a quiet year for Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood, the same cannot be said for Joy Strachan-BrainQuill and Bev Bevan as they have used the time to meticulously prepare their latest studio album "Riding Rainbows" some six years on from previous outing "Brush With The Moon". So when The Move and ELO co-founder says that "this is the best album I have played on since ELO's Out Of The Blue" then fans and followers are being given good advice to check it out for themselves as they would doubtless be impressed with this twelve song opus by Quill with a little help from an inspired roster of guest contributors including Andy Fairweather Low, Nick Pentelow (Wizzard), John Lodge (The Moody Blues), Chris Norman (Smokie), Tony Martin (Black Sabbath), Louis Clark Jr. (The Orchestra) and Richard Bailey (Magnum). Make no mitsake about it, this is a very different recording than its predecessor taking the band to a new level.

"a fine album worthy of chart implications and many a collection"

"Riding Rainbows" is an album reflective of Quill's renowned energetic and polished live performances with ten songs a collaborative effort between Bev, Joy and guitarist Lee Evans (who also wrote "Bullet Proof" and "Begin Again") and finds the septet in great form, whatever their choice of musical mood is. The sublime vocals of Joy Strachan-Brain again demonstrate an amazing versatility (whether solo or in duet) and the articulate arrangements by Louis Clark Jr. (courtesy The Maverick Strings) are sure to please fans of the classic ELO sound throughout. Whether it be the frenetic "Begin Again", the pensive "Coat of Colours" and "All You've Left Me Is Alone", the anthemic and completely brilliant opener "Riding Rainbows", the jazzy "Chinese Whispers", the classy "Love On The Run", the bluesy "Dead Man Walking", the skiffle of "Scratchin' At My Door" or the hard rock of "We're Only Human", there's more than enough on offer here to please purveyors of the long and varied career of Bev Bevan and engage new listeners in the wonderful Midlands enigma that is Quill.

"Riding Rainbows" is a fine album worthy of chart implications and many a collection, excellently produced by Alan Caves and confirming the aforementioned opinion of Mr. Bevan. Truly a pleasure to listen to, review and recommend. Quill have come of age in Yours Truly 2021. Bring on the vinyl edition! Fave trax: "Riding Rainbows", "Chinese Whispers", "Dead Man Walking", "Begin Again". ★★★★★
 
Quill are: Joy Strachan-Brain (Lead vox) ~ Bev Bevan (Percussion/drums) ~ Kate McWilliam (Violin/vox) ~ Abby Brant (Keys/vox) ~ Lee T. Evans (Guitars/vox) ~ John Jowitt (Bass/vox) ~ Andy Edwards (Drums/Percussion/guitar)

"Riding Rainbows" was released on Friday 29th October and can be ordered via these links thus:

quilluk.com/store/p12/QuillRidingRainbows.html

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 ... 03-Nov-2021 ***