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)

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)

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

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Secret Messages 2LP & ELO Singles Box Soon?

The intriguing prospect of ELO's 1983 album "Secret Messages" being reissued on vinyl is on the agenda as at least two European online vendors have begun listing it with a current release date of Friday 3rd August 2018 (having slipped 5 weeks from Friday 29th June).

CDON.COM in Sweden cite "Secret Messages" as an imported vinyl LP whereas in Switzerland have it as a 2LP issue raising hopes of the release being the long awaited originally intended (JETDP402) eighteen (18) track edition hinted at as far back as 2013. Both sites are also quoting the release of a package entitled: 7-Singles Box, Vol. 1 (Vinyl 12") too to further grab the attention of ELO collectors and fans this coming Summer. There is no official mention yet of either release by Sony Legacy but Yours Truly KJS has some thoughts on the prospect of a "Secret Messages" LP (and/or CD) reissue later this year.

If a 2LP set is forthcoming, it begs the question as to whether it will contain "Beatles Forever". If so, it will fully celebrate the 35th Anniversary of "Secret Messages" and bring to an end the nine (9) year campaign by elobeatlesforever (elobf) for its release. If not, it will likely resemble the 2001 remastered expanded CD, being quite a departure by Sony Legacy whereas all previous ELO vinyl reissues have copied the original release. This writer would be surprised if an eleven (11) track "Secret Messages" was spread over two discs. It's also not clear, at the time of writing, as to whether another coloured vinyl set is on the way.

Doubtless we will find out soon what exactly is being released but elobf is crossing its proverbial fingers that "Beatles Forever" might see the light of day soon alongside the six (6) tracks including the epic "Hello My Old Friend" that didn't make the 1LP (JETLX527) that we have all grown up with. A 2LP "Secret Messages" without "Beatles Forever" would be the strangest of compromises but a boxed set of ELO singles (7" or 12"), now that's something else to wonder about ...

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 15-Apr-2018

Friday, 13 April 2018

RSD2018 Revealed: In Europe '66-'67 (The Move)

Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf) are pleased to bring you a little more detail pertaining to the thirteen (13) tracks that will make up the forthcoming RSD2018 European 1LP mono release "In Europe '66-'67" (1960's Records #RANDB022LP) by The Move (as featured in this elobf article last month) thus:

Side A: (1) "Tired Of Being Lonely"; (2) "Cherry Cherry"; (3) "Our Love"; (4) "Walk Upon The Water"; (5) "I Can Hear The Grass Grow"; (6) "Night Of Fear"; (7) "Eight Miles High"
Side B: (1) "Flowers In The Rain"; (2) "Why"; (3) "Hey Grandma"; (4) "I Can Hear The Grass Grow"; (5) "Something Else"; (6) "So You Want To Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star"

The mono album will be on sale in selected European independent record shops participating in RSD2018 on Saturday 21st April with any remaining copies made available to order from Saturday 28th April via various EU outlets including those listed below:

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 13-Apr-2018