Saturday, 16 June 2018

Vinyl Story: ELO's AA Side Singles Revisited

Regular visitors to elobeatlesforever (elobf) will know that ELO's AA sided UK singles have been the subject of several articles including a look at the role reversal of "Ticket To the Moon" and "Here Is The News" (JET7018) when it was released in Holland (JET7081). We also noted that "21st Century Man" and "Twilight" (JET808) were marketed as an AA single per se in France not forgetting the pairing up of "Confusion" with "Last Train To London" (JET166) for the final single taken from "Discovery". Refresh your memory by reading these elobf articles thus:


Since then, Yours Truly KJS has acquired a couple of other Electric Light Orchestra singles released in Europe from "Face The Music" that were AA sided by any other name. The first (*as highlighted by FTM Germany's Patrik Guttenbacher) is "Waterfall" backed by "Strange Magic" as issued in France (Jet/Polydor 2001653) and is, to my knowledge, the only time that "Waterfall" has been pressed on 7" vinyl. The other item is a Belgian (*not German) issued "Evil Woman" b/w "Nightrider" (Jet/Polydor 2001622) wherein, unfortunately, Jeff's surname is printed as "Lyn" bringing back memories of the gaffe on The Idle Race's "Impostors Of Life's Magazine" single.
The above table shows where the aforementioned singles are positioned in relation to the three UK singles taken from "Face The Music" (JETLP11) by Jet/Polydor.  One wonders if there are other examples out there that might constitute yet more ELO AA singles ...

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 16-June-2018

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Return To Vinyl: Secret Messages 2LP Overview

We are now only 50 days away from the 2LP return to vinyl of ELO's seminal Summer 1983 album "Secret Messages" and Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf) thought it would be worthwhile looking beyond the glaring omission of "Beatles Forever" (unless it's merged with "Letter From Spain" as a hidden track!) at the seven tracks that did not feature on the original 1LP release (JETLX527) but now will see the electric light of day (so to speak) on Friday 3rd August replete with a high quality digital download.

"Buildings Have Eyes" (4:04)
Originally released as 'B' side to "Secret Messages" (A3720; WA3720; JET7038) and also to be found on ELO's 1990 3CD career overview "Afterglow".

"Time After Time" (3:56)
A bonus track on the cassette issue of "Secret Messages" (JETCX527) and included on subsequent CD issues. Also a bonus track on the 12" single for "Rock 'n' Roll Is King" (TA3500).  

"Endless Lies" (3:35)
First time on vinyl. This original version was first issued on the "Secret Messages" expanded remaster in 2001. Later version was included on "Balance Of Power" (EPC26467) in 1986.

"After All" (0:41/2:23)
Not sure (yet) if we will see the shorter version that was intended for the original "Secret Messages" 2LP (JETDP402) as a prelude to "Hello My Old Friend". First released as 'B' side to "Rock 'n' Roll Is King" (A3500; TA3500; JET7034). Made its CD debut in the ELO 3CD compilation "Flashback" in 2000 and also included in the "Secret Messages" expanded remaster.

"Mandalay" (5:19)
First time on vinyl. Only previously found on "Afterglow".

 "No Way Out" (3:23)
First time on vinyl. Previously found on "Afterglow" and the expanded "Secret Messages" in 2001.

"Hello My Old Friend" (7:51/8:37)
First time on vinyl. Worth the admission price alone! Only previously found on "Afterglow".
ELOpinion: Secret Messages 2LP minus Beatles Forever
Secret Messages 2LP & ELO Singles Box Soon?

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 14-June-2018

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Recommended: Not In Narnia (Morganisation)

Former ELO member Dave Scott-Morgan and his current musical outlet Morganisation have added a fifth track to their forthcoming "Highland" EP and "Not In Narnia" - released earlier this week on Tuesday 12th June - also just happens to be their new single! It's a catchy, jolly ditty about Dave and Mandy's recent missionary sojourn in Scotland and their subsequent return "somewhere down the M6" to Birmingham.

"Not In Narnia" by Morganisation can currently be purchased in download format. The "Highland" EP is poised for release on Tuesday 26th June. You can find out more and/or buy "Not In Narnia" and/or pre-order the "Highland" EP by Morganisation via these links thus:

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Not In Narnia" 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 ... 12-June-2018

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Electric Light Orchestra - A Personal Collection (Dave Jones)

Over the years, Yours Truly KJS has been blessed to come across many fellow Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) fans and followers whilst elobeatlesforever (elobf) has continued to spread its wings globally. It has been my great pleasure to friend up with (and actually meet) Dave Jones, one of the most prolific and detailed collectors of all things ELO on the planet.

Should you therefore be perchance interested in having a look at what rarities reside in Dave's extensive ELO (and related artistes) vaults, the good news is that he is gradually posting his collection on his Facebook page at: Electric Light Orchestra - A Personal Collection and you can visit it via this link thus:

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends Electric Light Orchestra - A Personal Collection 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 ... 10-June-2018

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Recommended: Grey Goose Call Live EP (Quill)

Quill are getting busy! Hot on the heels of their new studio EP "Grey Goose Call" is another EP and this time it's the "Grey Goose Live EP" consisting of a total of six trax recorded live over the last year or so plus a bonus studio recording. All the songs are co-written by Bev Bevan, Joy Strachan-Brain and Tony Kelsey with the EP featuring (in part) both former and returning Quill members.

Review: Grey Goose Call EP (Quill)

Two versions of their energetic instrumental "Winter's Jig" are included plus live versions of three trax from the aforementioned "Grey Goose Live EP" and the generous bonus offering of "Say Goodbye". This is a release that compliments its predecessor perfectly and gives more teasing glimpses of the forthcoming new Quill studio album.

"Grey Goose Call Live" trax are: (1) "Winter's Jig"; (2) "Pretty Ribbons"; (3) "Elephant In The Room"; (4) "Grey Goose Call"; (5) "Winter's Jig" (Alternative Version)"; (6) "Say Goodbye"
"Grey Goose Call Live" by Quill was released digitally via Bandcamp on Wednesday 6th June and is available to listen to and/or buy alongside the "Grey Goose Call" EP as well as previous albums "Brush With The Moon" (2015) and "Privileged" (1999) via these links thus:

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Grey Goose Call Live" by Quill 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 ... 09-June-2018

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Silver Clef Awards: Vote ELO for Best Live Act 2018!

Jeff Lynne's ELO are one of eleven acts in the running for Ticketmaster Best Live Act 2018 at this years Nordoff-Robbins Silver Clef Awards in London on Friday 6th July and fans of the ELO maestro and his acclaimed live band can help their heroes win in an online vote over the next few weeks! There are three (3) ways by which fans can vote and they are:

Tweet using hash tag #BLAJEFFLYNNESELO
Visit Ticketmaster at:
Visit Nordoff-Robbins at:

You may recall that Jeff won the Icon Award at the Silver Clef Awards back in 2016 (read this elobf article). Wouldn't it be great to see Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) awarded another accolade just before they embark on their largest European and North American tour since 1982? If you are so minded, please consider joining Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf) in voting for EJLO and spreading the word!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 07-June-2018

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

ELOpinion: Secret Messages 2LP minus Beatles Forever

Back in April, elobeatlesforever (elobf) hinted that a 2LP/2CD "Secret Messages" release, possibly without "Beatles Forever" was imminent in Summer 2018 so when the folks at Official Jeff Lynne confirmed it today (Tuesday 5th June), 35 years to the date when the original 1LP (JETLX527) came out in 1983, it came as no surprise to Yours Truly KJS that Friday 3rd August will finally see the issue of a "Secret Messages" double album (with digital download), albeit without a certain track.

"For the first time ever, ELO’s Secret Messages will be released as a double album on August 3rd. Listen as Jeff Lynne’s eclectic creation of self-written, self-produced songs come to life as originally conceived in 1983. This 2LP release adds six tracks to its running order, all with cutting-edge synthesizers as well as up-front guitar mastery. Pre-order here:"

elobf: Secret Messages 2LP & ELO Singles Box Soon?

I said in this elobf article that "A 2LP "Secret Messages" without "Beatles Forever" would be the strangest of compromises" and I still hold that opinion. At the same time, it'll be great to see a formal release for the remainder of the set, especially "Hello My Old Friend". Some fans will be disappointed and others will doubtless be delighted. For me, it's a major missed opportunity even when coupled with that forthcoming ELO 7" singles boxed set, also soon to be revealed. The question now is whether my elobeatlesforever (elobf) mission is now complete ...

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 05-June-2018

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Caught Live: Nick Heyward + Pugwash @ Birmingham 01/06/18

Nick Heyward has always been someone whom Yours Truly KJS would like to see in concert so when it was revealed that he would be touring with Pugwash maestro Thomas Walsh as special guest, a trip down a long black road to Birmingham's O2 Academy on Friday 1st June was always on the cards to see them share the proverbial bill.

Arriving on stage with an aura of love and peace, Nick Heyward and his wonderful band delivered an assured and inspired 90 minute set of songs from those early career Haircut 100 headliners from "Pelican West" through his very many solo hits (and an excellent cover of The Beatles' "Doctor Robert") to a sprinkling of songs from his most recent critically acclaimed 2017 long player "Woodland Echoes". Whether it be "Love Plus One", "On A Sunday", "Kite", "Whistle Down The Wind", "Who", "Perfect Sunday Sun" or "Baby Blue Sky" - the freshness and a confidence of Nick and company ensured an wonderful atmosphere and a gig that will long in the memory whilst reminding all that there is much more to this accomplished singer/songwriter than you realise.
The beauty of this tour is that the wonderfulness of Nick Heyward is preceded by the acoustic artistry of Thomas Walsh a.k.a. Pugwash. Almost three years to the day since elobeatlesforever (elobf) witnessed Pugwash playing intimately in Frome, it was amazing to see Dublin's finest translating his classy songbook into solo acoustic mode with songs including "The Perfect Summer" and "Without You" from new album "Silverlake" intermingled nicely with The Duckworth Lewis Method's "Mason On The Boundary" and the likes of "Fall Down" and (my fave) "It's Nice To be Nice". This gentleman and his music are worthy of a much larger stage and wider recognition. A slot supporting his hero in Jeff Lynne's ELO wouldn't do any harm ...
Find out more about the featured artistes via these links thus:

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends Nick Heyward and Pugwash 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 ... 03-June-2018

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Compilation Corner: ELO's Greatest Hits Volume Two

Whether it be their early years with Harvest/EMI or the whole span of their long career, it would be true to say that when it comes to compilations, ELO are more than well represented. From "Olé ELO" to "All Over The World", there have been not a few attempts to pull together worthy overviews of their extensive chart career. Here in the UK, following a stellar year in 1979 in which the Electric Light Orchestra reigned supreme both in terms of singles and albums with "Discovery" (#1) yielding a plethora of Top 10 singles, Don Arden and Jet Records seized the pre-Christmas opportunity to release "ELO's Greatest Hits" (JETLX525/JETCX525), featuring 11 tracks from "Showdown" to "Sweet Talkin' Woman" but none of the "Discovery" hits of that year. It stalled at #7, perhaps being seen by casual record buyers as missing the more recent hits despite the novelty of "Showdown" being present under licence from Harvest.
Fast forward 13 years to 1992 and a compilation that slipped under the radar of some ELO fans when Epic/Sony released "ELO's Greatest Volume Two" (4719562/4719564) in similar artwork, alternate colours and no personal message from Jeff Lynne. It was, perhaps, an attempt to complete the (then) story of the band with 16 tracks taken from "Out Of The Blue" (1), "Discovery" (5), "Xanadu" (3), "Time" (4), "Secret Messages" (2) and "Balance Of Power" (1) with "Xanadu" (surprisingly) missing. "ELO's Greatest Hits II" failed to trouble the charts at all, falling between charting compilations in 1989 (Very Best Of; Telstar; #23) and 1994 (Very Best Of; Dino; #4) whilst following Jeff Lynne's debut solo LP "Armchair Theatre" (#24; 1990) and "Electric Light Orchestra Part Two" (#34; 1991).

Despite its perceived commercial failure, Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf) reckon that "ELO's Greatest Volume Two" should be nestled next to its predecessor as an essential element of any ELO collection.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 02-June-2018

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Recommended: ELO Beatles Beyond

ELO Beatles Beyond Forever: Richard Gibson with KJS ...
Firstly, it should come about as no surprise that another UK based ELO tribute band has just been launched or that Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf) would bring them to your attention. Secondly. being as there is already an ELO tribute band doing the rounds who bring together the music of ELO and 10cc in 10CCLO, it should also not be a surprise that there is now a new quartet going by the name of ELO Beatles Beyond who will be shortly combining the hits of Birmingham's finest with those of The Beatles, Paul McCartney and Wings. Thirdly, I think it's quite natural for elobeatlesforever (elobf) to recommend a band by the name of ELO Beatles Beyond!

Featuring Richard Gibson and Matt Gaffiney (who played the ELO maestro and George Harrison respectively in The Roy Orbison & The Traveling Wilburys Tribute Show) as Jeff Lynne and Paul McCartney alongside drummer Stuart Pickett and guitarist/vocalist Bernard Thompson, it's an interesting notion to assemble a band with the two rock icons on stage together (in a fashion) being as Jeff also produced tracks on both "Flaming Pie" and "The Beatles Anthology" for Macca.

You can check out their official promotional video (above) whilst we await for dates to be announced and find out more about ELO Beatles Beyond via these links thus:

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends ELO Beatles Beyond 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 ... 30-May-2018

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Review: Grey Goose Call EP (Quill)

In the three years since their last studio album "Brush With The Moon" (review) was released, Quill have been on quite a journey. Whether it be their renowned concerts in and around their Midlands roots, their debut at Fairport Convention's Cropredy festival and their two EP's ("Ghosts Of Christmas" and "Cropredy") as well as the odd change in personnel, Quill have continued to build a portfolio adding folk and Americana traits to their established repertoire.

Cue their new EP "Grey Goose Call", recorded live in downtown Kidderminster and produced by drummer Andy Edwards with four songs co-written by Bev Bevan, (his first since ELO Part II's "Moment Of Truth" in 1994)Tony Kelsey and Joy Strachan-Brain and the other - "Little Affection" - a full team effort. Yet despite the recent departures and arrivals, this quintet (including one a bonus track) of new songs remains quintessentially Quill but with an atmospheric, moody feel sure to widen their appeal across the shires. Opener "Grey Goose Call", "Elephant In The Room" and "Pretty Ribbons" have been in their live set for a while and translate excellently into the studio. The attraction of this record is that we get to hear the sultry "Skin On Skin" and "Little Affection" too, offering a tantalizing glimpse as to what their forthcoming new album holds and a revealing a new dimension to Joy's vocal talents.

To some, the "Grey Goose Call" EP will be a stepping stone in a new direction and others, an impressive introduction to one of the regions musical stalwarts. ★★★★★

"Grey Goose Call" trax are: (1) "Grey Goose Call"; (2) "Elephant In The Room"; (3) "Skin On Skin"; (4) "Little Affection"; (5) "Pretty Ribbons" (Bonus)

"Grey Goose Call" by Quill was released digitally via Bandcamp on Tuesday 22nd May and is available to hear and/or buy via these links thus:

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Grey Goose Call" by Quill 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 ... 26-May-2018

Friday, 25 May 2018

Review: Lucky Day (David Myhr)

It's been a long six years since former Merrymakers man David Myhr put out his excellent debut album "Soundshine" back in 2012. And the wait through those half a dozen trips or so around the "Jealous Sun" have been well worth it judging by his magnificent second offering "Lucky Day" (LoJinx LJX115), released last week.

Recorded in Stockholm and Nashville and co-produced by Brad Jones and Andreas Dahlbäck, "Lucky Day" is a wondrous marriage between Power Pop and Country with hints of Americana. Add to the mix the fab vocals (lead and backing) on hand coupled with such strong melodies and you have - make no mistake about it - an early candidate for elobf Record of the Year. It's THAT good, beginning as it does with the stunning guitar driven opener "Jealous Sun" and journeying through the infectious "Room To Grow", "The Perfect Place" (a pop masterpiece if ever there were one replete with a classy ELOesque string arrangement) and the pensive "Every Day It Rains".

Title track "Lucky Day" has a Lynnesque "Shangri-La" feel to it (lyrically speaking) and the purest of vocals. The record alternates in tempo giving an overall balance enhanced by the acoustic "If You Really Think It's Over" before the the laid back, almost jazzy "Wait Until The Moment" has you dreaming of Summer with its Lite Rock vibe and urge for patience. The obvious influence of David's musical heroes Jeff Lynne, Paul McCartney and (of course) The Beatles overhangs a collection of songs clearly proving that David Myhr is up there with the very best of singer/songwriters to come out of Sweden.

"Lucky Day" really is the ideal follow up to "Soundshine" ... and it doesn't stop there if you are in possession of the CD edition with four unannounced bonus tracks including inspired covers of "Military Madness" (Graham Nash), "My Messed Up Friend" (Brad Jones) and "Somewhere In My Heart" (Roddy Frame's Aztec Camera). The icing on the proverbial cake is the inclusion of the 2016 single "Spellbound", perhaps the ultimate bow to the sound and production values of all that is classic ELO and sure to bring a smile to fans of the man from Shard End. In summary, Yours Truly KJS cannot recommend "Lucky Day" enough. Bravo David Myhr (again)★★

"Lucky Day" trax are: (1) "Jealous Sun"; (2) "My Negative Friend"; (3) "Room To Grow"; (4) "The Perfect Place"; (5) "Every Day It Rains";  (6) "Lucky Day"; (7) "If You Really Think It's Over"; (8) "Wait Until The Moment"; (9) "Lovebug"; (10) "The Only Thing I Really Need Is You"; (11) "Military Madness" (Bonus*); (12) "My Messed Up Friend" (Bonus*); (13) "Somewhere In My Heart" (Bonus*); (14) "Spellbound" (Bonus*) ~ *CD only

"Lucky Day" by David Myhr was released on Friday 18th May and is available to hear and/or buy via these links thus:
elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Lucky Day" by David Myhr 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 ... 25-May-2018

Thursday, 24 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:

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:

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 ... 24-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)

Thursday 15th November
Pyramid & Parr Hall, Warrington
Tickets: from £29.50 each (*plus booking fees)

Friday 16th November
The Playhouse, Whitley Bay
Tickets: £32.50 each (*plus booking fees)

Tuesday 20th November
The Opera House, Buxton
Tickets: from £30 each (*plus booking fee)

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)

Thursday 20th December
City Hall Ballroom, Sheffield
Tickets: £25 each (*plus booking fee)

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

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Caught Live (6): Stand Up & Rock! @ Chesterfield 17/04/18

Encore: Jasper Carrott shining electric light bright (literally!) with the Stand Up & Rock! gang ...
A visit to Chesterfield was on the proverbial elobeatlesforever (elobf) radar for Yours Truly KJS on Tuesday night (17th April) for the twice postponed Stand Up & Rock! date at The Winding Wheel to see a fully recovered Jasper Carrott back on stage with lifelong pal Bev Bevan and friends following his heart bypass operation and the effects of the Beast from the East in March.

The full house was rockin' and rollin' (and with laughter too) thanx to another polished performance from the legendary comedian and an inspired set of songs performed by this most excellent of musical troupes, interpreting Sixties and Seventies classics by the likes of The Move, Black Sabbath, ELO, The Beatles and other iconic artistes. Having seen not few SUAR shows, the 2018 version of Stand Up & Rock! continues to be immensely entertaining due to Jasper being on top form again and also because SUAR has evidently matured into a slick production. On this occasion, amongst the stellar musical talents of Bev, Phil, Abby and Tony, I noticed how much Suzi has grown into a consummate and confident singer. The fantastic vocal range of Geoff Turton was all the more evident too as he sang songs made famous by James Brown and Joe Cocker with ease before hitting the highs of "He's In Town". Stand Up & Rock! does indeed rock! These final SUAR shows beckon thus:

Chatham Brook & Central Theatre (Thursday 19th April)
Guildford G Live Theatre (Saturday 21st April)
St. Albans Arena (Tuesday 24th April)
Peterborough East of England Arena (Saturday 28th April)
Southampton Mayflower Theatre (Sunday 29th April)
Aylesbury Waterside Theatre (Monday 7th May)
Clacton Princess Theatre (Friday 11th May)

elobeatlesforever (elobf) usually include a set list within our gig reviews but we've again decided to keep you in suspense so as to not spoil it for those attending the final shows. Stand Up & Rock! features Jasper Carrott, Bev Bevan, Phil Tree, Tony Kelsey, Abby Brant, Geoff Turton and Suzi Woo. Read more about Stand Up & Rock! via these links thus:

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends Stand Up & Rock! 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 ... 19-Apr-2018