Thursday, 31 December 2015

YOURS TRULY 2015: A YEAR IN REVIEW

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! By anyone's standards, 2015 has been an amazing year for fans and artistes in the ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] universe. So much so, Yours Truly KJS has really struggled to squeeze it all into one concise article, this being my third attempt! Without doubt, the focus of 2015 was the continued resurgence of Jeff Lynne's ELO with an appearance at the 57th Grammys in February, the presentation [at long last] of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Stars in April, the official release of "Live At Hyde Park" on DVD/Blu-Ray in September, Jeff's trademark production of the latest Bryan Adams' studio album "Get Up" in October, the new EJLO LP "Alone In The Universe" unveiled in November to critical acclaim whilst debuting in the upper reaches of the UK official album chart with significant global commercial success, the announcement of the 2016 UK/European AITU tour plus those intimate UK live performances in and around London - including a show stealing cameo at The Royal Variety Performance - all before Jeff's 68th birthday in December!
Yet there is so much more to recall from a memorable year for ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] in which we broke through the 500K and 750K visitor milestones. Well over thirty [30] concerts/events have been attended and reviewed featuring the likes of Roy Wood, PugwashAlex Vann, Quill with Bev Bevan, Wings Over Abbey Road, ELO Again, Rebecca Downes, Pete HackettThe ELO Experience, The Trevor Burton Band, China Crisis, The Explosive Light Orchestra, MorganisationThe Trembling Wilburys, Andy Fairweather Low & The Low Riders, ABCStand Up & Rock! with Jasper Carrott, The 2015 Mothers Club Reunion, Roy Orbison & The Traveling Wilburys TributeThe LemunsSight 'n' Sound, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John and [my fave of the year] the utterly amazing Paul McCartney. Apologies if I left anyone out!

ELOBF Record of the Year
ELOBF also reviewed some great albums in 2015  - besides, of course, "Alone In The Universe" - the highlights being "Brush With The Moon" [Quill], "Autumn In The Neighbourhood" [China Crisis], "World Premiere" [Starflight], "Play This Intimately [As If Among Friends]" [Pugwash], "Get Up" [Bryan Adams] amongst not a few others. It would be decidedly difficult to not select AITU as my Record of the Year so I've settled on a triple award for 2015.
At #3 I've selected "Get Up", not only because it's produced by our Jeff but also because musically it is a departure for Bryan Adams from his usual style and it worked for me from the very first play. Thomas Walsh delivered another astoundingly fab long player in "Play This Intimately [As If Among Friends]" alongside his wonderful Pugwash friends with their debut international release and it is fully deserving of being my #2 choice. No guesses as to what my #1 is!
2015 was also the year that also saw Yours Truly KJS interviewed for BBC Radio WM as well as the publishing of my interview with Marge Raymond as well as unveiling of the much deserved Blue Plaque for the late, great Kelly Groucutt in his beloved Coseley. ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] also pointed you towards a number of great books by Brian Paone ["Yours Truly, 2095"], Randy Blazak ["The Mission Of The Sacred Heart"], John Van Der Kiste ["Jeff Lynne: Electric Light Orchestra: Before And After"], Mark Stanway ["Close To The Mark"] and Bob Lawton ["The Man Who Stole Rock 'n' Roll"] aside from the usual artiste, album and event alerts.
It was nice to meet new friends and to also repair a couple of old friendships in 2015. I missed a few events and gigs too during the year but overall it really has been a bostin' [superb] year for ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] and 2016 looks like being busy too with more interviews, reviews, gigs, recommendations and [hopefully] the odd exclusive!

Yours Truly KJS would like to take this opportunity to say a big "THANK YOU!" to you for visiting ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] during 2015 and to also wish you a Happy, Peaceful, Prosperous if not ELOtastic New Year. See you in 2016 folks!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 31-Dec-2015

Sunday, 27 December 2015

NOW AND THEN: ELO'S CHRISTMAS CHART DOUBLE

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! My good friend Paul Freethy enquired yesterday as to whether ELO had enjoyed two [2] albums in the UK Top 30 chart at Christmas before, being as "Alone In the Universe" and "All Over The World" were sitting at #7 and #30 respectively as of yesterday. Well, Yours Truly KJS and ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] are pleased to inform both Paul and your good selves that this is in fact the second time that ELO have achieved the feat.

Back in Christmas 1979 - when ELO were at their commercial peak - the relatively newly released "ELO's Greatest Hits" sat at #10 with "Discovery" still at #24. The roles were reversed with the studio album beneath the compilation but, yes, ELO have enjoyed double festive album chart joy before! Interestingly enough, a cursory look at the 1979 and 2015 chart also reveals that ELO were joined by Rod Stewart and Elvis Presley in the Official Album Chart Top 10 on both occasions too!

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Alone In The Universe" by Jeff Lynne's ELO to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELORoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The BeatlesBryan Adams and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 27-Dec-2015

Friday, 25 December 2015

CHARTWATCH: TRIPLE TOP 30 DELIGHT FOR ELO & ROY WOOD

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! "Alone In The Universe", the new album from Jeff Lynne's ELO, continues to "Hold On Tight" at #7 for the fifth week running in the latest Official UK Albums Chart Top 100 announced on Christmas Day making it six [6] weeks in the Top 10 following its release back on Friday 13th November.

Elsewhere, The Beatles' best-selling "1" compilation is also a non-mover at #28 with ELO's "All Over The World" greatest hits package rejoining EJLO in the Top 30 after rising another seven [7] places to #30"Get Up" by Bryan Adams - produced, of course, by Jeff Lynne - has slipped just the three [3] places to #60.

Meanwhile - over in the Official UK Top 100 Singles Chart - Roy Wood's perennial Wizzard Christmas classic "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" is up another seven [7] places to nestle in the Top 30 at #27 with Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime" sitting quite aptly alongside John & Yoko Lennon's "Happy Xmas [War Is Over]" at #68 and #69 respectively.

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Alone In The Universe" by Jeff Lynne's ELO to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELORoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The BeatlesBryan Adams and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 25-Dec-2015

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

CAUGHT LIVE [2]: REBECCA DOWNES

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Local songstress Rebecca Downes is going places. And she proved it wholeheartedly on the night of Monday 21st December at The Robin 2 with another amazing performance backed by her superb quintet of a band. The Wolverhampton Blues siren delivered fourteen [14] songs in a balanced and dynamic set comprising elements of her classy debut album "Back To The Start", a sample from new album "Believe" and some outstanding covers.
New album "Believe" will be launched in February ...
Sometimes words are inadequate to describe sheer talent but once again, Bekah delighted a healthy festive audience with a sublime take on "I'd Rather Go Blind" and another amazing rendition of The Beatles' "With A Little Help From My Friends" in a style that the late Joe Cocker would most certainly approve of. Her own material, written with band mate Steve Birkett, was more than ably showcased with "Fever In The Night", "Messed Up" and newie "That Easy" standing out. Yours Truly KJS sincerely hopes that 2016 is a much deserved breakthrough year for Rebecca Downes!

Rebecca Downes performed: "Never Gonna Learn" ~ "Fever In The Night" ~ "Another Piece Of My Heart" ~ "Messed Up" ~ "Basement Of My Heart" ~ "I'd Rather Go Blind" ~ "That Easy" ~ "Walking With Shadows" ~ "Sweetness" ~ "Long Long Time" ~ "Night Train" ~ "Back To The Start" ~ "1,000 Years" ~ "With A Little Help From My Friends"

The Rebecca Downes Band were: Rebecca Downes [Vocals] ~ Steve Birkett [Guitar/Vocals] ~ Rick Benton [Keyboards] ~ Dan Clark [Bass] ~ Lloyd Daker [Drums] ~ Rik Sandford [Lead Guitar]

Whilst we look forward to the new Rebecca Downes album "Believe" in February 2016, you can find out what Bekah Downes is currently up to via her official web site thus:

www.rebeccadownes.com

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends Rebecca Downes 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 ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 23-Dec-2015

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

XANADU SET FOR SPRING 2016 BLU-RAY RELEASE

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] are pleased to advise you that it looks very much like "Xanadu" - the 1980 musical starring Gene Kelly, Olivia Newton-John and Michael Beck - featured in part the music, of course, of ELO - is due for release on Blu-Ray [at the time of writing] in the United States on Tuesday 8th March 2016.

"Xanadu" spawned four [4] hit singles for ELO in the UK including the title track, their only UK #1 single to date in tandem with Olivia Newton-John. Some ELO fans love it and others avoid it but a Blu-Ray edition of "Xanadu" will please a fair section of the fan base, with hopes of some additional special features above and beyond the basic DVD release back in 2004. This is a wonderful reward for those loyal fans of the film who have campaigned tirelessly in recent years for Universal to put out a Blu-Ray edition.
The popularity of "All Over The World", the opener for Jeff Lynne's ELO for their September 2014 Hyde Park triumph and the title of their best-selling career compilation may also fuel decent sales. Whilst we await [hopefully] details of a UK/European release, folks in the US can currently pre-order the "Xanadu" Blu-Ray Edition from amazon.com for just $13.48 via this link thus:


Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 22-Dec-2015

Monday, 21 December 2015

CAUGHT LIVE [8]: ROY WOOD ROCK & ROLL BAND

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Two [2] things that are guaranteed when Roy Wood lands at The Robin 2 just before Christmas is a full house and a great night. And so it was last night [Sunday 20th December] as the founder of The Move, the Electric Light Orchestra [ELO] and Wizzard delivered a storming if not energised set of thirteen [13] songs to showcase an amazing  songwriting career, whether it be those much loved Wood penned Sixties classics, his Seventies smashes or his more recent jazz influenced rock 'n' roll compositions.
Whilst it could be said to be true that you know what to expect when Roy Wood rolls into town with his superb rhythm and brass octet, the truth of the matter is that such is the charisma when Woody [and his band] arrive on stage, that it doesn't really matter which songs [familiar or not] he performs because the man still continues to command the respect and attention of his many follower and fans, even at the age of 68 years young. This was more than evidenced by the gig last night as Roy conducted his mutual appreciation society, jumping with ease between his Move, Wizzard and those classy newer songs.

Highlights of the night were many with [again] "See My Baby Jive", a rousing "California Man" and the obligatory Christmas classic sending the packed house home happy and completely merry - with or without the influence of certain alcoholic beverages! Yet what made the night for me was the sight of a few brave souls waiting patiently outside to catch an autograph or a photograph with their hero. I saw one gentleman leaping around like a teenager with his newly signed copy of the first ELO album and some German fans - who had travelled over to Bilston just for the gig - over the moon after finally meeting their hero, whooping and hollering in sheer delight. And summing up perfectly this particular Roy Wood gig.
The Roy Wood Rock & Roll Band played: "California Man" ~ "Ball Park Incident" - "Kiss Me Goodnight, Boadicea" ~ "Fire Brigade" ~ "Big Girls Blues" ~ "New York City" ~  "I Can Hear The Grass Grow" ~ "Angel Fingers [A Teen Ballad]" ~ "Are You Ready To Rock?" ~ "See My Baby Jive" ~ "Flowers In The Rain" ~ "Blackberry Way" ~ "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday"

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 ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 21-Dec-2015

Sunday, 20 December 2015

CAUGHT LIVE [6]: ELO AGAIN

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The anticipation of seeing ELO Again perform the greatest hits of Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra [ELO] at The Robin 2  was more than satisfied last night [Saturday 19th December] as the South Wales based ELO tribute band delivered a stunning performance to truly rock a pre-Christmas packed house whilst riding on the crest of a wave of popularity with the new Jeff Lynne's ELO album "Alone In The Universe" firmly rooted in the UK Top 10 Album Chart and those much anticipated live dates just a few months away.
From the familiar resounding notes of "Eldorado Finale" to the rousing closer "Roll Over Beethoven"ELO Again were very much on top of their game with a twenty five [25] song set that saw "Big Wheels" replaced by an absolutely stunning rendition of "When I Was A Boy". Once again, ELO Again not only excelled when it came to the ELO rockers "Ma Ma Ma Belle", "Showdown", "Evil Woman", "Do Ya" and "Rockaria!", they also performed the likes of "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" with finesse and class whilst doing a great job with their take on "10538 Overture" and turning "Telephone Line" into an anthem! As ever, "Mr. Blue Sky" had the festive flock rockin' and reelin' but, for me, the real highlight had to be their note perfect "When I Was A Boy". This was a memorable show by a band full of confidence and flair, holding on tight [so to speak] to the coattails of the welcome resurgence of Jeff Lynne's ELO.
ELO Again performed: [Intro: "Eldorado Finale" & "Sinfonia da Requiem, Op. 20"] ~ "Standin' In The Rain" ~ "10538 Overture" ~ "Evil Woman" ~ "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" ~ "Livin' Thing" ~ "Hold On Tight" ~ "Wild West Hero" ~ "Ma Ma Ma Belle" ~ "Showdown" ~ "Sweet Talkin' Woman" ~ "All Over The World" ~ "The Diary Of Horace Wimp" ~ [Intro: Prologue]: "Twilight" ~ "Do Ya" ~ "When I Was A Boy" ~ "Confusion" ~ "Shine A Little Love" ~ [Gaelle's violin solo] ~ "Last Train To London" ~ "Telephone Line" ~ "Rock 'n' Roll Is King" ~ "Turn To Stone" ~ "Rockaria" ~ "Mr. Blue Sky" ~ "Don't Bring Me Down" ~ "Roll Over Beethoven"

ELO Again were: Colin Smith [Guitar/Lead Vocals]; Jim Ramsey [Bass Guitar/Vocals]; Mike Holcombe [Keys/Vocoder]; Clive Smith [Percussion/Vocals]; Gaelle Favre [Violin]; Sarah Waycott [Cello] and Sophie Adams [Cello]. Check out the band via their official web site thus:


ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends ELO Again to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff LynneRoy WoodWizzardThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 20-Dec-2015

Saturday, 19 December 2015

JEFF LYNNE'S ELO: NEW AITU FASHION @ OFFICIAL SHOP

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! There's now a stellar array of "So Fine" new ELO themed merchandise for you to peruse and purchase in the Shop at the Official Jeff Lynne's ELO website in advance of those much anticipated sold-out dates in the UK, Ireland, Europe and hopefully beyond in 2016. You can check out all the designs via this link thus:

store.jefflynneselo.com

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] continues to recommend "Alone In The Universe" by Jeff Lynne's ELO to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELORoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The BeatlesBryan Adams and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 19-Dec-2015

Friday, 18 December 2015

CHARTWATCH: SEVENTH HEAVEN FOR ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! "Alone In The Universe", the new album from Jeff Lynne's ELO, continues to "Hold On Tight" at #7 for the fourth week running in the latest Official UK Albums Chart Top 100 announced today making it five [5] weeks in the Top 10 following its release back on Friday 13th November.

Meanwhile, The Beatles' best-selling "1" compilation is up a place to #28 and ELO's "All Over The World" greatest hits package has gone up five [5] places to #37 with "Get Up" - the new Bryan Adams album produced, of course, by Jeff Lynne - rising seven [7] places to #57.

Over in the Official UK Top 100 Singles ChartRoy Wood's perennial Wizzard Christmas classic "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" is up another nine [9] places to #34 with Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime" making an appearance at #98 too!

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Alone In The Universe" by Jeff Lynne's ELO to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELORoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The BeatlesBryan Adams and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 18-Dec-2015

Thursday, 17 December 2015

ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME: MISSED ELOPPORTUNITY?

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Whilst Yours Truly KJS is absolutely delighted to see that Cheap Trick, Chicago, Deep Purple and The Steve Miller Band are to be inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame [RRHOF] in April 2016, many fans of ELO and Jeff Lynne continue to wonder why the former Idle Race and Move man, ELO maestro, solo artiste, Traveling Wilbury and producer extraordinaire - with over fifty [50] million sales to his name - is continually overlooked by the RRHOF when many seemingly less deserving [and less successful, if not less prolific] groups and individuals are awarded the accolade.

Cheap Trick are most definitely deserving of their RRHOF nomination as they have strong connections with ELO co-founder Roy Wood and The Move having often shared the stage with Woody and also having covered both "California Man" and "Brontosaurus". The band are also famed for "ELO Kiddies" - a song often thought to also be a tribute to Roy and, of course, his ELO creation.
[L]: Roy Wood, Dave Edmunds and Cheap Trick in '79 [source: It's_me]; [R]: "ELO Kiddies" ...
What ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] has great difficulty in understanding is why a band with so much a legacy and track record as ELO are continually ignored by the RRHOF. Granted, there have been controversies with the misunderstanding over use of the backing tracks used during their 1978 "Out Of The Blue" world tour but the Electric Light Orchestra are surely the most obvious choice for such an award particularly when one takes into account of the resurgence of Jeff Lynne's ELO with their acclaimed 2014 Hyde Park concert a DVD & Blu-Ray best seller, their new album "Alone In The Universe" a worldwide success in 2015 and an extensive set of European live dates sold out for next year.

This is truly a missed opportunity by the trustees of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to give due acknowledgement to ELO for their immense achievements in a stellar career. ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] truly hopes that the RRHOF learns its lesson and gets it right in 2017, if not before.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 17-Dec-2015

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

22nd ELOBF GIG GUIDE: Q1 2016

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Winter into Spring 2016 sees the latest ELOBF Quarterly Gig Guide loaded up with some great gigs! Here are some selected dates and general links [with more to follow when confirmed] for you to consider checking out during between Friday 1st January and Thursday 31st March [Q1] 2016 thus:

Friday 15th January
The 286 @ The Water Rats, London
Entry: £6.00 each [door]
www.facebook.com/events/1218601841487575

Sunday 17th January
The Trembling Wilburys @ The Half Moon, Putney
Tickets: £10.00 each [*plus booking fee]
www.musicglue.com/half-moon-putney/events/17jan16-the-trembling-wilburys
T Saturday 23rd January
The 286 @ The Cavendish Arms, London
Free entry
www.facebook.com/events/586699191477465

Saturday 30th January

Explosive Light Orchestra [ExpLO] @ The Diamond, Sutton-in-Ashfield
Tickets: £7.00 each [advance] or £8.50 each [door][*plus booking fee]
thediamonduk.com/gigs

Wednesday 3rd February
The ELO Experience @ Solihull Arts Centre, Solihull
Tickets: £21.00 each [*plus booking fee]
www.solihullartscomplex.co.uk/Arts/The-ELO-Experience/4188

Thursday 4th February
The ELO Experience @ Solihull Arts Centre, Solihull
Tickets: £21.00 each [*plus booking fee]
www.solihullartscomplex.co.uk/Arts/The-ELO-Experience/4188

Saturday 6th February
The 286 @ Paper Dress Vintage, London
Free entry
www.facebook.com/events/1508015729492347

Friday 12th February

The Trembling Wilburys @ Touchline Live Music, Hockley, Essex
Tickets: £12.00 each [*plus booking fee]
www.wegottickets.com/event/337606

Saturday 13th February
Quill @ The Garrick Theatre, Lichfield
Tickets: £21.00 each [*plus booking fee]
www.lichfieldgarrick.com/Shows/Quill-2016

Sunday 14th February
King's Heath Walk Of Fame Beatles Fest 2016, Birmingham
Tickets: from £4.00 each to £12.00 each [*plus booking fee]
elobeatlesforever.blogspot.com/2016/01/recommended-kings-heath-walk-of-fame.html

Wednesday 17th February
Pete Kent @ The Robin 2, Bilston
Tickets: £7.00 each [advance] or £9.00 each [door][*plus booking fee]
www.therobin.co.uk/whats_on/giginfo.asp?gigid=4126

Saturday 20th February
Sight 'n' Sound @ The Foresters Tavern, Burntwood
Entry: £2.00 each
www.facebook.com/groups/sight-n-sound

Sunday 21st February
The Robin 2 Record & CD Fair, Bilston
Entry: £1.00 each [door]
www.therobin.co.uk/whats_on/giginfo.asp?gigid=4341

Monday 22nd February
Morganisation @ The Kitchen Cafe, Birmingham
Tickets: £9.00 each [*plus booking fee]
www.wegottickets.com/event/344021

Thursday 3rd March
The ELO Experience @ The New Alexander Theatre, Birmingham
Tickets: £25.90 each [*plus booking fee]
secure.atgtickets.com/online/new-alexander-theatre/the-elo-experience

Friday 4th March
The Trembling Wilburys @ The Roadhouse, Birmingham
Tickets: £7.00 each [advance] or £8.00 each [door][if available]
www.theroadhousebirmingham.com/?q=node/977

Saturday 12th March
The Abbey Road Experience @ The Theatre On The Steps, Bridgnorth
Tickets: £13.50 each [*plus booking fee]
www.theatreonthesteps.co.uk/product/wings-abbey-road

Friday 18th March
ELO Again @ The Place, Oakengates Theatre, Telford
Tickets: £21.00 [*plus booking fee]

Thursday 24th March
Quill @ Solihull Arts Complex, Solihull
Tickets: £18.00 each [*plus booking fee]
www.solihullartscomplex.co.uk/Arts/Quill/4190

Friday 25th March

Wings Over Abbey Road @ The Diamond, Sutton-in-Ashfield
Tickets: £6.00 each [members] or £7.50 each [non-members]
thediamonduk.com/gigs

Thursday 31st March
Phil Bates @ Ruthin AllStyles Music Club, Feathers Inn, Ruthin, Denbighshire
Entry: £5.00 each [non-members] or £1.50 each [members]
ruthinallstyles.co.uk/event/showcase-by-phil-bates-ex-elo2

Jeff Lynne's ELO
After a stint with classic Birmingham bands The Idle Race and The MoveJeff Lynne co-founded The Electric Light Orchestra in 1971, one of the most successful groups of the seventies and eighties. Multiple hit singles and best selling albums followed making Jeff's anthemic ELO songs some of the most loved and recognisable of the last four decades. Jeff went on to a successful solo career and worked with many of his musical heroes including Brian WilsonPaul McCartneyDel Shannon and The Everly Brothers. He also found time to co-found the ultimate 'supergroup' in The Traveling Wilburys, who included pals Tom PettyBob DylanGeorge Harrison and Roy Orbison in their ranks. Find out what the driving force and creative mind behind ELO is currently up to via his official web site thus:
jefflynneselo.com

Roy Wood
The co-founder of The Move and ELO and the founder of WizzardThe Helicopters et al will [hopefully] be on the road again during 2015! Find out where to see Roy via his official web site thus:
www.roywood.co.uk

The Orchestra
Former members of ELO and ELO Part IIMik KaminskiLouis ClarkEric TroyerParthenon HuxleyGlen Burtnik and Gordon Townsend continue to tour the world extensively. Find out where to see them via their official web site thus:

Quill
Legendary Midlands Celtic-tinged rockers Quill, led by the incomparable Joy Strachan-Brain, have built up an impressive live reputation over a four [4] decade span and now feature Bev Bevan and Tony Kelsey in their ranks. Find out where to see them via their official web site thus:
quilluk.com

The Trevor Burton Band
Trevor Burton will be performing regularly at various venues in the Midlands with Pez ConnorBill Jefferson and [occasionally] Tony Kelsey and Abby Brant. Find out where on their web site thus:

The ELO Experience
This fantastic Hull based ELO tribute band deservedly won the National UK Tribute Awards in 2013 and they continue to faithfully reproduce classic Electric Light Orchestra hits [and more] live. Find out where to see them via their official web site thus:
 www.elotribute.com/giglist

ELO Again
This South Wales based ELO tribute act are now spreading their wings across the UK to faithfully recreate live those ELO hits we all know and love. Find out where to see them via their official web site thus:

Explosive Light Orchestra [ExpLO]
Not only an ELO tribute act but an original, independent artiste in their own right - Symphonika [a.k.a. The Explosive Light Orchestra] - have reproduced the exciting works of ELO at packed theatres and live music venues all around Europe. Find out where to see them via their official web site thus:

All of the above artistes and shows are endorsed and recommended by ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF]. The above gig listing may be amended periodically, as applicable. Interviews with some of the above artistes are also planned for ELOBFSee you at one or three of the above gigs for a chat?

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 15-Dec-2015

Friday, 11 December 2015

CHARTWATCH: SEVEN ONLY KNOWS FOR ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! "Alone In The Universe" - the new album from Jeff Lynne's ELO - has now clocked up four [4] weeks in the latest Official UK Albums Chart Top 100 announced earlier today by virtue of the fact that it has remained at #7 for the third week running after debuting at #4 following its release back on Friday 13th November.

Meanwhile, The Beatles' best-selling "1" compilation is down just two [2] places to #29 and ELO's "All Over The World" greatest hits package has actually gone up from #43 to #42 with Bryan Adams' Jeff Lynne produced "Get Up" slipping a meagre three [3] positions from #61 to #64 thus.

In the Official UK Top 100 Singles Chart, Roy Wood's perennial Wizzard Christmas classic "I Wish t Could Be Christmas Everyday" is up a healthy 36 places from #79 to #43 and looks certain for another appearance in the Top 40 - if not the Top 30.

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Alone In The Universe" by Jeff Lynne's ELO to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The BeatlesBryan Adams and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 11-Dec-2015

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

CAUGHT LIVE [4]: SIGHT 'N' SOUND

Sight 'n' Sound [L-R]: Paul Trappett, Brian Eustace, Warren Shaw and Neil Craddock ...
Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Sight 'n' Sound are a band with a rich Midlands musical pedigree boasting [as they can] former members and contributors including Mike Sheridan, Roger 'Ollie' Spencer [The Idle Race], Rick Price [The Move/Wizzard]Geoff Turton [The Rockin' Berries/Jefferson] and Kelly Groucutt [ELO/OrKestra/ELO Part II/ The Orchestra]. Therefore, the short trip to see the final Sight 'n' Sound gig of 2015 at Burns Street Club in Cannock on the evening of Saturday 5th December was a 'must' for Yours Truly KJS and, by extension, ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF].

Sight 'n' Sound - in their various line-ups - have been around for a number of decades with a proven reputation for their renowned vocal harmonies plus solid musicianship and those qualities have been more than ably retained by the reformed quartet, judging by this impressive concert. A set list filled with their take on classics by the likes of REO Speedwagon, Kansas, The Eagles, John Miles, Chicago, Journey, The Four Seasons and Queen was topped by their wonderful ELO "Out Of The Blue" medley [naturally] alongside the live debut of one of their very own songs, their catchy 1976 single "Dance With Me" [originally released by Orleans in 1975].

This was my fourth visit to see Sight 'n' Sound and, as always, it was a memorable experience. ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] looks forward to seeing Brian, Warren, Neil and Paul performing in and around the Midlands [and maybe beyond] during 2016. If they are near you, go see 'em!

Sight 'n' Sound played: "We Built This City" ~ "Can't Fight This Feeling" ~ "Hard Habit To Break" ~ "The Longest Time" ~ "Bohemian Rhapsody" ~ "New Kid In Town" ~ "Hotel California" ~ ELO Medley: "Wild West Hero"/"Sweet Talkin' Woman"/"Mr. Blue Sky" ~ "Music" ~ "Carry On My Wayward Son" ~ "How Long" ~ "MacArthur Park" ~ "Dance With Me" ~ Four Seasons Medley: "Let's Hang On"/"Working My Way Back To You"/"Who Loves You"/"Oh, What A Night [December 1963]" ~ "Separate Ways" ~ "Don't Stop Me Now" ~ Queen Medley: "Fat Bottomed Girls"/"A Kind Of Magic"/"Hammer To Fall" ~ "Desperado" ~ "We Are The Champions"

Sight 'n' Sound are: Brian Eustace [Guitars/vocals], Neil Craddock [Bass/vocals], Warren Shaw [Drums/vocals] and Paul Trappett [Keyboards/vocals]. You can check out all their latest happenings via the Sight 'n' Sound Facebook page

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] continues to endorse and recommend Sight 'n' Sound 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 ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 09-Dec-2015

Monday, 7 December 2015

CAUGHT LIVE [7]: ROY WOOD ROCKMAS 2015

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The Move, ELO and Wizzard founder Roy Wood invited some old friends [and a few new ones] to deliver another festive cracker with his annual Christmas bash Rockmas at The Barclaycard Arena [NIA] last night [Sunday 6th December 2015].
Andy Fairweather Low & The Low Riders - sporting, of course, former Wizzard man Nick Pentelow in their ranks - made a welcome return following up their successful appearance last year at Birmingham Symphony Hall with a impressive hour long set which included not only the familiar with "High In The Sky", "Bend Me Shape Me", "If Paradise [Is Half As Nice]", "Hymn 4 For My Soul" and "Wide Eyed And Legless" but also some fantastic live renditions of classics including "Tequila", "Peter Gunn", "Apache", "Route 66" and "Puttin' On The Style". AFL will be celebrating 50 years in the business next year and, judging by this performance, we will have even more to look forward to in 2016. 
There were some raised eyebrows when Roy announced that Rockney duo Chas & Dave would be joining him for Rockmas in 2015 but Yours Truly KJS was rather taken with the idea of seeing the legendary Londoners perform for the first time. Their twenty [20] minute cameo, slotted nicely in the midst of Roy's set, truly got the crowd going on the back of some superb comedy from the wisecracking and [still] very funny Mick Miller. Both Messrs. Hodges and Peacock were immediately if not enthusiastically urging those in attendance to join the party as they launched into the expected "Rabbit" before a wonderful rendition of "Ain't No Pleasing You", more than ably supported by Roy's Rock & Roll Band. They returned for the finale [for a certain Christmas song] proving themselves an inspired choice of guests.
The main event - as it always is - is the entrance, cander and sheer on stage personality of Roy Wood and his magnificent eight [8] piece rock 'n' roll brass outfit. There were no new songs in his balanced thirteen [13] song journey through his amazing Move and Wizzard songbook and his ever more familiar recent songs - but it didn't matter because we are talking about Roy Wood. His record still stands the test of time and, if nothing else, this concert once again proved that there is much more to Woody than his Christmas classic. Whether he's fiddling with an in-ear headphone, supping beer, manhandling bagpipes or sharing the stage with the Birmingham Irish Pipes and Drums band, Roy Wood always has stage presence. Seeing and hearing the likes of "California Man", "Flowers In The Rain", "See My Baby Jive" and an orchestrated "Blackberry Way" is always an absolute joy. Top that with "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" and you have another amazing brew from this particular Wizzard.
The Roy Wood Rock & Roll Band played: "California Man" ~ "Ball Park Incident" - "Kiss Me Goodnight, Boadicea" ~ "Fire Brigade" ~ "Big Girls Blues" ~ "New York City" ~ "Angel Fingers" ~ "I Can Hear The Grass Grow" ~ "R U Ready 2 Rock?" ~ "See My Baby Jive" ~ "Flowers In The Rain" ~ "Blackberry Way" ~ "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday"
Roy Wood should have the recognition he truly deserves, both in his hometown, the Midlands and beyond. Yes, we still await that new Roy Wood album "American Songbook" and/or a DVD. Some might say that he is resting on his laurels and that there is nothing new. But I beg to differ. If Roy Wood was afforded the resources of a forward looking, supportive record company, this writer has no doubt that he could also return to the album chart and still have an impact - as Jeff Lynne has in the last few years. In the meantime, you should take the opportunity to go see Roy Wood live. Although his regular gig at The Robin 2 on Sunday 20th December is now sold out, there are still four [4] dates to choose from thus:

Friday 11th December
Pyramid & Parr Hall, Warrington, Cheshire
www.ents24.com/warrington-events/pyramid-and-parr-hall/roy-wood/4271067

Sunday 13th December
The Engine Shed, Lincoln
www.ents24.com/lincoln-events/the-engine-shed/roy-wood/4310972

Monday 14th December
The Apex Theatre, Bury St. Edmunds
www.theapex.co.uk/whats-on/event/1729/roy-woods-rock-roll-christmas-party

Thursday 17th December
Holmfirth Picturedrome, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire
www.ents24.com/holmfirth-events/holmfirth-picturedrome/roy-wood/4267410

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] continues to endorse and recommend Roy Wood to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff LynneWizzard, The MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 07-Dec-2015

Friday, 4 December 2015

CHARTWATCH: ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE HOLDS ON TIGHT AT #7

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! After "Slipping Away" to #9 in the Official Albums Chart Update Top 100 earlier this week, "Alone In The Universe" - the new album from Jeff Lynne's ELO - continues to sell well and has recovered to retain the #7 spot in the latest Official UK Albums Chart Top 100 announced earlier today. This means that AITU, an album that has enthused fans of ELO and critics alike, has already enjoyed three [3] weeks in the UK Top 10 following its release back on Friday 13th November.

Meanwhile, The Beatles' best-selling "1" compilation is down eight [8] places to #27, ELO's "All Over The World" greatest hits package has dropped from #36 to #43 and Bryan Adams' Jeff Lynne produced "Get Up" has actually risen two [2] places from #63 to #61 thus:
ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Alone In The Universe" by Jeff Lynne's ELO to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELORoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles, Bryan Adams and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 04-Dec-2015

Thursday, 3 December 2015

44 LIGHT YEARS: ELO'S FIRST ALBUM REMEMBERED

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Today [Thursday 3rd December] is the forty fourth [44th] anniversary of the official UK debut of that first ELO album back in 1971. The eponymously entitled gatefold album "The Electric Light Orchestra" was released via Harvest Records [catalogue number #SHVL797] when Yours Truly KJS was a little over four [4] years of age! Little did I know what influence this record and group would come to have on me until after I bought my first record "Turn To Stone"  at the tender age of ten years old in November 1977.

ELO #1 went on to attain a respectable #32 in the Official UK Album Chart upon release and was famously renamed "No Answer" in the United States due to a secretarial misunderstanding at United Artists Records before reaching #196 on the US Billboard 200 in early 1972. "The Electric Light Orchestra" [of course] contained the track "10538 Overture" [#HAR5053], which gave the ELO a welcome UK Top 10 hit single at the first attempt, reaching #9 in late August 1972.

The album was reissued in 1984 on EMI's then budget label Fame [#FA3084] with an expanded and enhanced edition following in 2001 as part of the "First Light" series. Every track has been released countless times on the very many EMI compilations released since with "The Light Shines On" in 1977, "The Light Shines On Volume 2" in 1979 and "First Movement" in 1986 leading the way. Most ELO fans are eternally familiar with these nine [9] tracks:

Side 1: "10538 Overture" [5:32] ~ "Look At Me Now" [3:17] ~ "Nellie Takes Her Bow" [5:59] ~ "The Battle Of Marston Moor [July 2nd 1644]" [6:03]
Side 2: "First Movement [Jumping Biz]" [3:00] ~ "Mr. Radio" [5:04] ~ "Manhattan Rumble [49th Street Massacre]" [4:22] ~ "Queen Of The Hours" [3:22] ~ "Whisper In The Night" [4:50]

Some folks ignore the early ELO albums having become fans at ELO's commercial peak or at a later phase in the bands history forgetting perhaps that this record outperformed five [5] other ELO studio albums chart wise in the UK - including "Eldorado", "Face The Music" and "Zoom". One other interesting thought: thanks to a certain track on this LP, I'll never forget the date of a certain battle!

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] is forever grateful to the ELO co-founding trio of Roy WoodJeff Lynne and Bev Bevan for this enigmatic long player. A Happy 44th Birthday from ELOBF!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 03-Dec-2015

JEFF LYNNE'S ELO IN THE MIX FOR BBC MUSIC AWARD

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Fans of Jeff Lynne will be watching events closely at the BBC Music Awards being held at The Genting Arena [NEC] in Birmingham next week with Jeff Lynne's ELO having been nominated for another prestigious award: BBC Live Performance of the Year - in recognition of the successful return of the ELO maestro in that light fantastic live BBC Radio 2 'In Concert' broadcast back on Thursday 12th November.

The competition is tough with Adele, Florence & The Machine and Lionel Richie also in the running for the award, among not a few other artistes. The event will be broadcast simultaneously on BBC One and BBC Radio 2 from 8:00PM until 10:00PM on Thursday 10th December and will be available to view on BBC iPlayer thereafter.

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] is wishin' and hopin' - to quote "Sweet Is The Night" - that the ELO maestro will land another accolade to round off a magnificent year in fine style.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 03-Dec-2015

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

JEFF LYNNE LEADS ULTIMATE CLASSIC ROCK AWARD POLLS

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Two [2] of the annual polls being run by our friends over at Ultimate Classic Rock for Artist of the Year: 2015, New Live Album or Video of the Year: 2015 and Commercial of the Year: 2015 are showing Jeff Lynne and Jeff Lynne's ELO respectively enjoying a healthy lead [at the time of writing] over their nearest rivals.

Although Jeff is ahead of the field in both polls, he'll still need regular votes from his ELO fan base in order to emerge victorious early next year. Don't forget that you can keep voting for Jeff every hour until midnight on Monday 4th January 2016 and that you can access both polls via these links thus:


Wouldn't it be great to see this Electric Light Orchestra [ELO] and Traveling Wilburys maestro gain another couple of accolades to round off a fantastic 2015? If you agree then please keep voting!

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] continues to recommend and endorse both "Alone In The Universe" and "Live In Hyde Park" by Jeff Lynne's ELO to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Roy Wood, The Move, The Idle Race, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 02-Dec-2015