Sunday, 29 April 2012

REVIEW: SPORTIN' WOOD [The Flashcubes]

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! It never ceases to amaze me just how far the influence of the music of Roy Wood goes. When Yours Truly KJS commenced ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] and its original goal expanded [see above], I seriously underestimated the influence of not only The Beatles but also that of the song writing genius of The Move [and, of course ELO, Wizzard et al] ... Dr. Roy Wood. So, when I heard about a band out of Syracuse, New York who were working on an album of Woody songs, my interest was indeed piqued and so a couple of ELOBF articles ensued highlighting The Flashcubes thus:


The idea for the project was that of founding Flashcubes bassist and vocalist Gary Frenay - and with the kind assistance of Patrick Pierson - I made contact has been made with the band, who after their recent tour of Japan, forwarded me a copy of the aforementioned and much anticipated album. The CD is currently only available as a Japanese import but a US release is also planned later this year. Having now listened to the album a few times, it is very obvious that "Sportin' Wood" is a labour of love, a real tribute to their musical hero. Indeed, the sleeve notes [above] tell us that they [via The Move] discovered the music of "the man" Roy Wood due to their [lucky] careers in a New York record shop - where they eventually ended up ordering the vinyl!
One thing that this album is not is a copy of the selected Roy Wood compositions and arrangements that it presents. The twelve [12] tracks on the CD are: [1] "Hello Suzie"; [2] "Forever"; [3] "Blackberry Way"; [4] "Green Glass Windows"; [5] "Brontosaurus"; [6] "Giving Your Heart Away"; [7] "Wild Tiger Woman"; [8] "Curly"; [9] "Ball Park Incident"; [10] "I Can Hear The Grass Grow"; [11] "The Rain Came Down On Everything"; [12] "On Top Of The World"

The Flashcubes are: Tommy Allen [Drums/Percussion/Keyboards] ~ Paul Armstrong [Guitars/Vocals] ~ Arty Lenin [Guitars/Banjo/Mandolin/Vocals] ~ Gary Frenay [Bass/Guitars/Keyboards/Vocals].

As also evidenced from those MySpace and YouTube postings of their versions of "Hello Suzie" and "Blackberry Way as well as "Forever" - the band have their own 'sound'. Their guitar and drum driven rock re-interpretations of those classic Roy Wood penned songs for himself, The Move, Wizzard [and other not so well known efforts with The Helicopters et al] are refreshing and pleasing to the ear. I absolutely love to hear the superb "Hello Suzie" again and their versions of "Green Glass Windows", "Curly", "Blackberry Way" and "The Rain Came Down On Everything" truly hit the spot. They also manage to squeeze in a hidden cover of a song from the first ELO album [also known in the States as "No Answer"] but I think I will leave you to discover which track they've covered!
As mentioned earlier; a full US release is pending and ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] will advise ASAP. In the meantime, the album is currently available from amazon.co.jp and I've also seen it advertised on eBay thus:


ELOBF will be interviewing, in the near future, the initiator for the project Gary Frenay - so watch this space! ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Sportin' Wood" by The Flashcubes 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 ... 29-Apr-2012

Saturday, 28 April 2012

CAUGHT LIVE [6]: BAND ON THE RUNN

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! There are not a few talented and decent Beatles tribute acts out there - that's for sure - but what makes Band On The Runn different and exciting from their peers is their quite unique set list which sees them pay high quality tribute to the musical career of Sir Paul McCartney, focusing not only on his time with Wings but also his solo career and - naturally - his time with those Beatles.

Band On The Runn are Craig WhaleIan HammondAdam Willetts and Dave Cottle. And the band last night delivered another terrific set of songs ranging from "Flaming Pie" to "Live And Let Die" to "The Long And Winding Road" [still my fave!] to "Silly Love Songs" to "Penny Lane" but not forgetting their namesake song "Band On The Run" [as well as most of its accompanying album tracks!] amongst classics such as "Back In The USSR""Drive My Car" and "Coming Up". What I really liked about this particular performance was the PA set-up which highlighted the superb guitar work of Ian Hammond. This added a raw and rockier edge to the band's sound not hitherto seen before by this writer.
The whole evening was dedicated to raising monies for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children [NSPCC] and the event was hugely successful in that it was announced at the finale that well over £1,000 had been raised for the NSPCC including ChildLine.

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends Band On The Runn to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO & Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle RaceThe Beatles'Brum Beat' and related artistes. Go see 'em folks!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 28-Apr-2012

Friday, 27 April 2012

UPDATE: BEV BEVAN @ RADIO WM



Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! For those of you who have been tuning in on Tuesday nights to hear Bev Bevan on BBC Radio WM 95.6FM - and have been concerned by his absence from the airwaves recently [and following several personal requests to ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] for news on his whereabouts], I have obtained this statement from BBC Radio WM's Managing Editor Gareth Roberts for you to peruse and allay any concerns this:


Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 27-Apr-2012

Thursday, 26 April 2012

RECOMMENDED: ANALOG MAN [Joe Walsh]

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! After much anticipation, Tuesday 5th June 2012 [US] and Monday 11th June [UK] will see the long awaited release of the new Joe Walsh studio album "Analog Man", his first release of new material in over twenty [20] years.

And very significant to fans of ELO is the fact that about half of the album will be "Produced by Jeff Lynne", his first significant production output since the release of Regina Spektor's 2009 album "Far" [see our review here] and the precursor to the much anticipated [and to be confirmed] follow-up to his 1990 debut solo album "Armchair Theatre", likely also be twinned with Jeff's solo reinterpretations of "ELO's Greatest Hits".

And you can listen to the title track here and download it for just $0.99 from iTunes. The album is available for pre-order from amazon.com in CD format at $14.96 or as a CD/DVD Deluxe Edition at $17.41 or in vinyl format at $21.61 with amazon.co.uk retailing the CD for £10.99 at the time of writing thus:


ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Analog Man" by Joe Walsh to those enlightened folks who also like ELO, Jeff LynneRoy Wood'Brum Beat'The Idle RaceThe MoveThe Beatles, The Eagles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 26-Apr-2012

UPDATE: BREWOOD MUSIC FESTIVAL


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Back in February, Yours Truly KJS posted an article promoting the BREWOOD MUSIC FESTIVAL 2012 [which just happens to be very local to ELOBF HQ here in sunny Wolverhampton!] and is scheduled to run from Thursday 12th July through to Sunday 15th July 2012 thus:


Of particular interest to ELOBF are the festivities on Saturday 14th July for the main event where the bill will be shared by The Move [featuring Bev Bevan and Trevor Burton] and The Manfreds [who include four [4] original members of' Manfred Mann' in Paul Jones, Mike Hugg, Tom McGuinness and Mike D'Abo in their seven [7] man line-up] - amongst other acts.

The organisers and promoters have just released ticket information for the Saturday evening event at St.Dominics High School for Girls in Brewood and tickets are priced at just £18.00 each [no concessions] with gates opening at 5:30PM and the first of the four [4] acts on stage at 6:30PM. Payment is via PayPal with a postage charge of £1.00 per transaction. Tickets will be posted out within five [5] working days of payment. Tickets can also be purchased in person [cash sales only] at The Mess and The Swan Hotel in Brewood. Demand is expected to be high for the event hence it may be pragmatic to purchase tickets early to avoid any disappointment.

It goes without saying that this promising event will be attended and covered by ELOBF due to its locality and the participating artistes! ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends the Brewood Music Festival 2012 to those enlightened folks who also like ELO, Jeff LynneRoy Wood'Brum Beat'The Idle RaceThe MoveThe Beatles and related artistes. See you there?

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 26-Apr-2012

Sunday, 22 April 2012

REVIEW: SOUNDSHINE [David Myhr]

 Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Following our recent ELO Beatles Forever gig review [with many thanx due to Mark Burrows] of the fantastic Pugwash gig last month at The Borderline, Yours Truly KJS was surprised and most pleased to be contacted by one of the other bands on the bill that night - David Myhr - formerly of the legendary melody packed and harmony laden combo The Merrymakers.
David very kindly sent over to me his new album entitled "Soundshine" in order to have a listen to. And that's precisely what I've done! I took the opportunity to play the CD not a few times over when I was in Cornwall last week. Some albums grow on you and need a few plays before you get into them, so to speak. But I'm very pleased to say that this album of twelve songs is a real winner as soon as you play the first track!

Trax: [1] "Never Mine"; [2] "Looking For A Life"; [3] "Got You Where He Wanted"; [4] "I Love The Feeling"; [5] "Get It Right"; [6] "Cut To The Chase"; [7] "Don't Say No"; [8] "Loveblind"; [9] "The One"; [10] "Wanderlust"; [11] "Icy Tracks"; [12] "Ride Along"; [13] "Boom Boom Beat" [Japanese edition only]; [14] "Record Collection" [Japanese edition only]

Mark Burrows wrote these words about his impressions of David Myhr in his recent Pugwash gig review for ELO Beatles Forever - and he was absolutely right: "David Myhr, who I think was Swedish, was a likeable chap who commented on the fact that "bringing pop music to Britain was akin to selling sand to the Arabs!" A nice touch! He had a heavier sound, a bigger band, but it was still rooted in English pop music."

"Soundshine" evidences the many influences of the British classic guitar-driven, melodic pop rock genre and displays the definite influence of The Beatles [and by extension ELO] as well as The Beach Boys on most tracks, particularly in the vocal harmonies and lush production on songs such as lead single "Looking For A Life", the infectious and upbeat "I Love The Feeling", the superb "Don't Say No" and especially the epic finale "Ride Along". [9/10]

David Myhr is a label mate of Pugwash over on LoJinx Records and, hence, this great new album is available to purchase in digital and/or CD formats from these web sites thus:

www.davidmyhr.com
lojinx.com/david-myhr-soundshine
amazon.co.uk/Soundshine-David-Myhr
  
ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Soundshine" by David Myhr to those enlightened folks who also enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, 'Brum Beat', The Idle Race, The Move, The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 22-Apr-2012

CAUGHT LIVE [7]: THE ELO EXPERIENCE

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Last night [Saturday 21st April] saw the belated debut of the aptly named The ELO Experience, more than ably led by Andy Louis, at Wolverhampton's Wulfrun Hall - and the excited audience anticipation of the gig was more than suitably satisfied with yet another polished and professional performance that showcased the ELO career of Jeff Lynne from 1972's "Roll Over Beethoven" all the way through to 1983's "Rock 'n' Roll Is King" to 2007's "Latitude 88 North".

Once again the band superbly performed the first half of "Concerto For A Rainy Day" with "Standin' In The Rain" and "Big Wheels" in true "Out Of The Blue" style. From the opening notes of "All Over The World" through to the rousing encore of "Mr. Blue Sky", the band had the appreciative and responsive onlookers rocking and reeling to every song. Yours Truly KJS will say it yet again: This band lacks only an eclectic violinist! Feel free to explore my previous reviews for the The ELO Experience within ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF]. Check out their official web site and/or tour dates via this link thus:


ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends The ELO Experience to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, 'Brum Beat', The Idle Race, The Move, The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 22-April-2012

Saturday, 14 April 2012

CAUGHT LIVE [5]: BAND ON THE RUNN

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Another trip to Wall Heath beckoned last night [Friday 13th April] to check out the latest gig by Band On The Runn at The Kingfisher. And Craig Whale, Ian Hammond, Adam Willetts and Dave Cottle delivered yet another set of live interpretations of songs from the whole musical career of Paul McCartney - specifically his time with Wings.

The band performed their namesake song "Band On The Run" and their cover of "The Long And Winding Road" [my personal fave] and added in two new songs in "Silly Love Songs" with a nice rendition of "Penny Lane" amongst some great covers that included "Back In The USSR", "Drive My Car" and "Coming Up". Their next gig will be a show in aid of the NSPCC on Friday 27th April and you can obtain all the concert and ticket information via this ELOBF link thus:


ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends Band On The Runn to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, The Move, The Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles, Paul McCartney and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 14-Apr-2012

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

INTERVIEW INFUSION [2]

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Today is just a short update to let you know that ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] should soon be publishing my interview with Thomas Walsh of that superb Dublin based quartet and heavily ELO/Beatles influenced outfit Pugwash to coincide with the UK release of their great new album "The Olympus Sound" on Monday 16th April.

Yours Truly KJS is also pleased to announce that ELOBF will also be interviewing founding member and bassist Gary Frenay of The Flashcubes - the man responsible for their just-released [in Japan initially] album of Roy Wood covers entitled "Sportin' Wood" - as well as talking to David Myhr about his new album entitled "Soundshine" in the not-so-near future.

There will be more gigs, reviews, interviews [and hopefully a few surprises!] coming up here at ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] later in 2012. Thank you for visiting and supporting ELOBF. Long may it continue!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 10-Apr-2012

Thursday, 5 April 2012

FOREVER ROY WOOD: THE FLASHCUBES

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! You may recall an ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] post back in February regarding the forthcoming release by The Flashcubes - an established band, formed in 1977, from Syracuse, NY, USA - who are releasing their new album of Roy Wood covers entitled "Sportin' Wood" in Japan initially in April 2012 with other territory releases to follow. ELOBF will hopefully publish details of US/European release dates shortly:

RECOMMENDED: THE FLASHCUBES

Within the above article; you will find two [2] YouTube clips of "Hello Suzie" and "Blackberry Way" as performed live by those very Flashcubes. And as if to further whet the musical appetite, the band has just published another YouTube video with the studio recording of their version of Roy's 1973 [#8] hit "Forever" thus:

"Sportin' Wood" comprises: [1] "Hello Suzie" [2] "Forever" [3] "Blackberry Way" [4] "Green Glass Windows" [5] "Brontosaurus" [6] "Giving Your Heart Away" [7] "Wild Tiger Woman" [8] "Curly" [9] "Ball Park Incident" [10] "I Can Hear The Grass Grow" [11] "The Rain Came Down On Everything" [12] "On Top Of The World"

Yours Truly KJS thinks that you will agree that based on the above video, this promising new album paying tribute to the genius of Roy Wood is well worth looking forward to!

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Sportin' Wood" by The Flashcubes to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff LynneRoy Wood, Wizzard'Brum Beat'The Idle RaceThe MoveThe Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 05-Apr-2012

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

CAUGHT LIVE: JUDIE TZUKE

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! There was no chance that the back problems that caused me to miss the Pugwash gig in London would prevent me travelling down to Huntingdon Hall in Worcester on Monday 2nd April to see one of my other absolute favourite artists - namely the supremely talented and superb songstress who is Judie Tzuke. You may also recall that Yours truly KJS has posted one or two articles here on ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] on the subject of Judie's March/April 2012 tour and her amazing new album "One Tree Less" thus:


This much anticipated concert [the tour finale] was opened by Judie's daughter - Bailey Tzuke - who performed a balanced set of half a dozen songs in a four piece ensemble with great intensity, headed by the haunting yet beautiful voice of Bailey of which the highlight for this writer was "My Waltz".

After a short interval, Judie made her appearance in front of a rapturous house and she proceeded to deliver with stunning vocal clarity in perfect unison with her tight and expressive band a set songs that ranged from her debut album "Welcome To The Cruise" all the way through to the excellent "One Tree Less"Judie was backed by one of the most professional and tight bands that I have seen in a very long time with Jonny Dyke [Keyboards], Graham Kearns [Guitars], Matt Racher [Percussion] and Jimmy Sims [Bass] who were joined by Bailey Tzuke [Backing Vocals] for a ninety [90] minute performance  - without a break save for the obligatory encore.

The song selections were dominated by the new songs within the new release but they settled in snugly and seamlessly with Judie's varied and rich catalogue of heart rendered and pensive songs. From the opening "Enjoy The Ride" through to the highly emotional final rendition of "Stay With Me 'Till Dawn", the audience were enthralled and captivated by the spellbinding vocal craft of Judie as they heard superb songs such as: "Submarine Boy", "Vivien", "Sukarita", "Bring The Rain", "Humankind", "Joy"; "A Moving Target", "If [When You Go]", "One Tree Less", "Sports Car", "The Other Side" and "Living On The Coast" [my #2 fave!] amongst not a few others.

Having briefly interviewed Judie for ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] early 2012, it was wonderful to chat with her band, her tour team as well as Bailey and [briefly after an exhaustive signing session] Judie herself. The whole night was of musical enchantment for this writer and I highly recommend that you go and support Judie on her next [acoustic] tour in the not too distant future. Please also be reminded that "One Tree Less" [and most of Judie's discography!] is now available either directly from the Judie Tzuke Official web site or from amazon.co.uk thus:


ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "One Tree Less" by Judie Tzuke 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 ... 04-Apr-2012 

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

CAUGHT LIVE: PUGWASH

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! When Yours Truly KJS purchased my tickets for the Pugwash gig at The Borderline in London [on Saturday 31st March], it was without the necessary 20/20 vision of anticipating the circumstances that would sadly prevent me preventing me from attending said concert. Hence, it was perhaps fitting and apt that I asked the man who introduced me to this fantastic ELO/Beatles influenced Dublin-based Irish quartet - namely Mark Burrows - to review the concert for me. So here is the first ELO Beatles Forever gig review by our roving reporter Mark for you to savour and peruse thus:

"I had trouble finding the bloody place! It's an unassuming entrance down a side alley off Charing Cross, small, almost Cavern-like in atmosphere. It was the smallest venue that I'd ever seen Pugwash play in. The first band - Farrah - had their roots firmly in power pop. Mellotron and jaunty "Mr. Blue Sky" type thuds and bumps throughout. Only a three piece band but with a nice sound. The lead singer reminded me of Ian Brodie from The Lightning Seeds. The second artist, a guy called David Myhr, who I think was Swedish, was a likeable chap who commented on the fact that "... bringing pop music to Britain was akin to selling sand to the arabs!" A nice touch! He had a heavier sound, a bigger band, but it was still rooted in English pop music.
Pugwash then came on, quietly, with no fanfare as usual and launched into another great set. "Apples"; "There You Are";"Dear Belinda"; "Anyone Who Asks"; "Fall Down". A lovely version of: "Here" followed by: "Answers On A Postcard" and a great version of The Duckworth Lewis Method's single "Age Of Revolution". The outstanding song of the night - for me anyway - was the blistering "15 Kilocycle Tone". They sounded great. Then again, they always do."

Mark's daughter Sophie has provided four of the above photographs with the other being used with the kind permission of Derek Carter. It looks as if I managed to miss another cracking live performance by a band that fully intend to see perform live ... and soon!

Pugwash are: Thomas Walsh, Tosh Flood, Shaun McGee and Joey Fitzgerald. Please be advised that the UK release of their brilliant latest album "The Olympus Sound" via LoJinx Records will be on Monday 16th April 2012 in either CD, digital or LP format. You can find out more about Pugwash and/or buy their albums in various formats via these reputable sites thus:


Also, my much delayed - if not "lo-jinxed" - interview with Thomas Walsh for ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] should hopefully be published later this month to more or less coincide with above noted UK release of "The Olympus Sound".

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends Pugwash 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 ... 03-Apr-2012