Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Caught Live (3): Rebecca Downes @ The Slade Rooms 18/05/18

It's been a while since Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf) checked out local Blues starlet Rebecca Downes so a date in our mutual hometown at The Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton on Friday 18th May was not to be missed, especially when there was also the opportunity to see elobf recommended artiste Abi K perform again too.

Fresh from a successful stint supporting legendary Midlands rockers Magnum, Bekah and her highly rated band were joined by Tara Simms on the night. From first note to last chord, the sextet delivered an impressive if not storming set of seventeen songs including new tunes "If I Go To Sleep" and "Take Me Higher" alongside the more familiar "1,000 Years", "Night Train", "Sailing On A Pool Of Tears" and "Believe" not forgetting another amazing rendition of "With A Little Help From My Friends"Rebecca, her lieutenant Steve Birkett and her superb band go from strength to strength so it was perhaps not a surprise to find out within 24 hours that she had been voted Female Vocalist of the Year in the UK Blues Awards 2018. A well deserved accolade indeed!

Find out what Bekah is up to via her official web site thus: www.rebeccadownes.com

Steve Birkett (Guitar/Vox); Rick Benton (Keyboards); Dan Clark (Bass); Lloyd Daker (Drums); Tara Simms (Guitar/Vox) performed with Rebecca Downes
A mention beckons too for Abi K, the multi-talented daughter of renowned guitarist Tony Kelsey, who delighted this writer and her audience with a majestic nine song set of bluesy jazz numbers including "Bitterweet", "Grandma's Hands" and "Proverbial Gutter" alongside pianist Paul Simon Nkosilathi Riley, whose velvety, lush vocals - so reminiscent of Etta James - are indeed worthy of a much larger stage.

Find out what Abi K is currently up to via her official web site thus: abi-k-music.com

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends Rebecca Downes and Abi K to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, The Move, The Idle Race, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 23-May-2018

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Review: Highland EP (Morganisation)

Regular visitors to elobeatlesforever (elobf) will (hopefully) remember that the Morganisation album "Bubbles" (see my elobf review here) was our Album of the Year back in 2016. Aside from 2017's "Wall To Wall", former ELO member Dave Scott-Morgan has been relatively quiet since, musically speaking. Hence, it was pleasant surprise for Yours Truly KJS to be handed a copy of a new four track Morganisation EP entitled "Highland" recently.

Inspired by his recent mission stay in Scotland, "Highland" is a timely release that perfectly bridges the gap betwixt the now and not yet with two songs pulled from "Bubbles" (a remixed "Gibraltar Farm" and "Big Brown Sky") and two brand new tracks in "Still" and "The Eyes Of Lochaber". Whereas "The Eyes Of Lochaber" has a lovely Celtic feel to it with its unique storytelling of secret goings on in remote places some seven decades ago, it's new ballad "Still" - a wonderful acoustic love song which reminds this particular writer a little of Jeff Lynne's 1990 solo jewel "Save Me Now" - that crowns this disc.

Therefore, based on the evidence presented within "Highland", we can confidently look forward to their forthcoming new album "7with much anticipation and easily justify grabbing hold of this limited edition showcase of DSM's musical musings in the meantime. ★★

"Highland" trax are: (1) "Gibraltar Farm (Remix)" [3:14]; (2) "Big Brown Sky" [4:23]; (3) "Still" [2:41]; (4) "The Eyes Of Lochaber" [3:47]

"Highland" by Morganisation is released on Tuesday 26th June 2018 and will be available to hear and/or buy via these links thus:
elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Highland" by Morganisation 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 ... 22-May-2018

Monday, 21 May 2018

Caught Live (7): Explosive Light Orchestra @ The Robin 19/05/18

Robin Myles and his Explosive Light Orchestra (ExpLO) have come a long way since Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf) first saw them perform live in Birmingham almost four years ago. Hence, judging by their powerful and inspired showing at The Robin 2 in nearby Bilston on Saturday 19th May and the audience reaction, the South Wales based outfit are going from strength to strength whilst building a reputation for accurately delivering the Jeff Lynne (*and Chuck Berry) penned Electric Light Orchestra songs we all know and love.

This incendiary (mostly) Welsh octet do a wonderful job in tackling the wide range of ELO tunes from disco to orchestral rock and back. Whether it's the diving strings of "10538 Overture", the operatic highs of "Rockaria!", the sheer beauty of "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" or the magnificence of "Mr. Blue Sky", the band that I've affectionately dubbed the name ExpLO do the ELO genre great justice. This time around, the slower paced Lynne gems of "Strange Magic", "Steppin' Out", the aforementioned "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" and "Telephone Line" caught my attention a little more. Having said that, "Turn To Stone" and "10538 Overture" always manage to bring a smile to my face too!
ExpLO meets elobf: Robin Myles with KJS ...
We are promised some surprises in a revised ExpLO set list soon but while we await some new ELO tunes, elobf continues to heartily endorse the Explosive Light Orchestra and (if you are so able) suggests that you go see 'em!

ExpLO performed: "Evil Woman" ~ "Showdown" ~ "Livin' Thing" ~ "The Diary Of Horace Wimp" ~ "Steppin' Out" ~ "Telephone Line" ~ "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" ~ "10538 Overture" ~ "Hold On Tight" ~ "Last Train To London" ~ "Turn To Stone" ~ "Shine A Little Love" ~ "Wild West Hero" ~ "Xanadu" ~ "Strange Magic" ~ "All Over The World" ~ "Mr. Blue Sky" ~ "Sweet Talkin' Woman" ~ "Rockaria!" ~ "Don't Bring Me Down" ~ "Roll Over Beethoven"
Explosive Light Orchestra (ExpLO) are: Jimmy OttleyXenia PorteousMel SadieJason BallRobin MylesAidan ThorneSarah Fowler and Dave Purkiss
Find out more about ExpLO and their 2018 tour dates via their official sites thus:

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends Explosive Light Orchestra (ExpLO) 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 ... 21-May-2018

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Review: Fantasy Island EP (Starflight)

It's been almost a year since Yours Truly KJS bumped into Starflight chief pilot Jib Khan and spent an evening propping up a bar in Hammersmith on the eve of a certain much anticipated gig at Wembley Stadium. We talked on many subjects that night, one of which was how Jib was going to follow up his impressive 2015 album "World Premiere" (see my elobf review here). Fast forwarding to the present day and the answer to my question is a new five track EP entitled "Fantasy Island" with Starflight now a duo again with Sarmad Ghafoor aboard.

"Fantasy Island" is a smooth affair with a sweet vibe throughout, dabbling in ELOesque themes, Power Pop, rock and romance. The opening title track oozes class and the ever increasing musical talent of this Aussie artisan with a feel not unlike ONJ's "Magic" as found, of course, on the "Xanadu" OST. "Leave It" is perhaps the most catchy song on offer with its optimistic enticement to drop everything and enjoy life to the full. Typical Jib, typically Starflight! Fourth track "Is It Real?" is another up tempo tune, delving into rock territory whilst reminding this writer a little of Jeff Lynne's "Let It Run" in places and definitely a nod to ELO's classic stompers.

Either side of  "Is It Real?" sees things slow down a little with atmospheric soulful ballad "Open Your Eyes" and the dreamy EP closer "Sail Me Away". These add a balance to this five song, five star mini-album, ensuring a fulfilling and enjoyable release sure to appeal to many."Fantasy Island" by Starflight is released on Sunday 20th May 2018★★

"Fantasy Island" trax are: (1) "Fantasy Island" [3:52]; (2) "Leave It" [3:52]; (3) "Open Your Eyes" [3:18]; (4) "Is It Real?" [2:53]; (5) "Sail Me Away" [2:53]

"Fantasy Island" by Starflight will be available to hear and/or buy via these links thus:
elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Fantasy Island" by Starflight 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 ... 20-May-2018

Monday, 30 April 2018

When Jeff Lynne Was Doin' That Crazy Thing

 Sandwiched between the successful chart runs of ELO's "Telephone Line" (UP36254) and "Turn To Stone" (UP36313) is Jeff Lynne's 1977 debut solo single "Doin' That Crazy Thing" b'w "Goin' Down To Rio" (UP36281). Undoubtedly, it was a departure, musically speaking, from the sweeping orchestral rock of "A New World Record" (UAG30017/JETLP200) and "Out Of The Blue" (UAR100/JETDP400) so much associated with the ELO maestro (ably assisted, of course, by Louis Clark and Richard Tandy) at that time whilst pointing to the change in ELO style and tempo just two years later with their first UK #1 album "Discovery" (JETLX500)
There was confidence in "Doin' That Crazy Thing" from Jet Records, as evidenced in the above Press Release, but it followed drummer Bev Bevan's earlier solo effort "Let There Be Drums" (JET777) in failing to chart on either side of the Atlantic (JT-XW1072), despite it also seeing issue as a "SPECIAL DISCO RECORD" (JT-DW1072) in the States with an alternative sleeve replete with dance steps (not unlike the artwork for the much later "Wilbury Twist"). Perhaps it was ill timed with the explosion of punk and a certain reaction to disco or it just did not appeal to fans of the Electric Light Orchestra or the general record buying public. "Doin' That Crazy Thing" was, however, deemed worthy of reissue in May 1978 (SJET102) when Jet ditched United Artists for CBS and also found it included as a 33 1/3 RPM one sided bonus disc (AE7 1220) in "A Box Of Their Best" (Z4X 36966), the 1980 US version of UK boxed set "Four Light Years" (JETBX2).
For Yours Truly KJS, "Doin' That Crazy Thing" signposted the reality that the name Jeff Lynne would be more readily recognized behind his sunglasses in ELO than as a solo artiste. You may wish to also read my elobeatlesforever (elobf) article: Jeff Lynne: The Solo Singles, which chronicles Jeff's solo career in a little more detail.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 30-Apr-2018

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Roy Wood: On The Road Again in 2018

The intent of this elobeatlesforever (elobf) article is to collate and list the anticipated array of Roy Wood dates later this year as the man who gave us The MoveElectric Light Orchestra (ELO) and Wizzard marks the 45th anniversary of a certain perennial festive hit and takes his Rock 'n' Roll Band on another journey through his legendary songbook around the British Isles. Yours Truly KJS suggests that you consider bookmarking this article and keep checking back to see where Woody will be gigging this year via these links thus:

Friday 2nd November
The Orchard Theatre, Dartford
Tickets: from £32 each (*including booking fees)
orchardtheatre.co.uk/Online/tickets-roy-wood-dartford-2018

Thursday 15th November
Pyramid & Parr Hall, Warrington
Tickets: from £29.50 each (*plus booking fees)
www.pyramidparrhall.com/whats-on/event/roy-wood-rock-roll-band-red-e-2-rock-tour

Friday 16th November
The Playhouse, Whitley Bay
Tickets: £32.50 each (*plus booking fees)
www.eventim.co.uk/roy-wood-his-band-whitley-bay-tickets.html

Tuesday 20th November
The Opera House, Buxton
Tickets: from £30 each (*plus booking fee)
buxtonoperahouse.org.uk/event/roy-wood-rock-roll-band-at-christmas

Sunday 2nd December
Rockmas 2018 @ Birmingham Symphony Hall
Tickets: £32.50 each (*plus booking fees)

Thursday 13th December
Hull City Hall, Kingston-upon-Hull
Tickets: from £29.50 each (*plus booking fees)
www.hulltheatres.co.uk/events/roy-wood-rock-and-roll-band

Thursday 20th December
City Hall Ballroom, Sheffield
Tickets: £25 each (*plus booking fee)
www.wegottickets.com/event/437333

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends Roy Wood Live in 2018 to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneWizzardThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 24-Apr-2018

Friday, 20 April 2018

RSD2018 Release Reminder: The Move & Trevor Burton

Please be reminded that Saturday 21st April is Record Store Day 2018 (RSD2018) and that there will be two (2) releases of special interest to fans and followers in the UK and Europe of all things The Move and Trevor Burton. Be on the look out for The Move's "In Europe '66-'67" (1960's Records #RANDB022LP) in magnificent mono and Trevor's debut solo album "Long Play" (Gray Sky Records #20) in blood red vinyl and/or cassette.

Don't forget that Trevor will also be performing a solo acoustic set at The Diskery in Birmingham from 1:00PM too. Click on these elobeatlesforever (elobf) articles for further information on both releases thus:

Long Play: RSD2018 Launch for Trevor Burton Solo Debut
The Move: European RSD2018 Release
RSD2018 Revealed: In Europe '66-'67 (The Move)

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Long Play" by Trevor Burton and "In Europe '66-'67" by The Move 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 ... 20-Apr-2018