Saturday, 20 September 2014

ELOBF GIG GUIDE [17]: Q4 2014

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Autumn into Winter 2014 is again looking busy with the latest ELOBF Quarterly Gig Guide highlighting some great gigs to look forward to. Here are some selected dates and general links [with more to follow when confirmed] for you to consider checking out during between 1st October and 31st December [Q4] thus:

Friday 3rd October 2014
ELO Again @ The Robin 2, Bilston
Tickets: £12.00 each [advance] or £15.00 each [door] [* plus booking fee]

Friday 4th October 2014
ELO Again @ The Assembly Rooms, Ludlow
Tickets: £15.00 each [* plus booking fee]

Thursday 16th October 2014
Stand Up & Rock! @ Dudley Town Hall
Tickets: £25.00 each [* plus booking fee]

Friday 17th October 2014 [Option #1]
The ELO Experience @ The Prince Of Wales Theatre, Cannock
Tickets: £18.00 each [* plus booking fee]

Friday 17th October 2014 [Option #2]
Explosive Light Orchestra @ Clarence Hall, Crickhowell, Powys
Tickets: £9.00 each [* plus booking fee]

Sunday 26th October 2014
The Steve Gibbons Band @ The Grapes, Stafford
Tickets: £8.00 each [advance] or £10.00 each [door] [* plus booking fee]

Sunday 2nd November 2014
The Steve Gibbons Band @ The Roadhouse, Birmingham
Tickets: £10.00 each [door]

Saturday 15th November 2014
Explosive Light Orchestra @ Henighans, Bolton
Tickets: £7.00 each [* plus booking fee]

Tuesday 18th November 2014
Roy Wood Rock 'n' Roll Band @ The Robin 2, Bilston
Tickets: £17.50 each [advance] or £20.00 each [door] [* plus booking fee]

Thursday 20th November 2014
21 Today: Justice 4 The 21 @ Birmingham Town Hall
Tickets: £12.00 each [* plus booking fee]

Saturday 22nd November 2014 [Option #1]
Quill @ Dudley Town Hall
Tickets: £TBA each [* plus booking fee]

Saturday 22nd November 2014 [Option #2]
The Trevor Burton Band @ Katie Fitzgerald's, Stourbridge
Free entry

Saturday 29th November 2014
Sight 'n' Sound @ The Tackeroo, Hednesford
Tickets: £6.00 each [door]

Friday 5th December 2014
Magnum @ The Robin 2, Bilston
Tickets: £20.00 each [advance] or £22.50 each [door] [* plus booking fee]

Tuesday 9th December 2014
The Roy Wood Christmas Show @ The Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Tickets: £TBA each [* plus booking fee]

Friday 12th December 2014
The Trevor Burton Band @ The Queen's Head, Wolverley
Free entry

Friday 19th December 2014
Quill @ Sutton Coldfield Town Hall
Tickets: £TBA each [* plus booking fee]

Sunday 21st December 2014
The Trevor Burton Band @ The Grapes, Stafford
Free entry

Tuesday 30th December 2014
The Trevor Burton Christmas Show @ The Roadhouse, Birmingham
Tickets: £12.00 each [door]

Stand Up & Rock!
Bev BevanJasper Carrott and Trevor Burton will again be joined on stage by Geoff TurtonJoy Strachan-Brain and The Bev Bevan Band featuring Tony KelseyPhil Tree and Abby Brant between Thursday 4th September and Friday 5th December for 'Stand Up & Rock!', a new nationwide theatre tour of music and comedy that carries on from the outstanding success of 'Made In Brum' last year. Find out where to see the show via the official tour web site thus:

Jeff Lynne
After a stint with classic Birmingham bands The Idle Race and The MoveJeff Lynne co-found 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 McCartney and The Everley Brothers. He also found time to co-found 'supergroup' 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:

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 2014! Find out where to see Roy via his official web site thus:

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:

The Move
The Move featuring Bev BevanTrevor BurtonPhil Tree and Tony Kelsey will sadly be performing their last ever live gigs during Q3 2014. Find out where to see them via their official web site thus:

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:

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 by ELOBFSee you at one or three of the above gigs for a chat?

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 20-Sep-2014

Friday, 19 September 2014


Hello... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The success of 'Made In Brum' last year created an immediate demand for another series of shows with the same format. And, as a result of that interest, 'Stand Up & Rock' was conceived and has just begun a three [3] month tour of the UK.

Wolverhampton's Grand Theatre was the venue for this the seventh date of the tour and the full house was treated to a fantastic night of comedy and music led from the front by Brummie legend Jasper Carrott who, like myself, thought that the best-selling book "50 Shades Of Grey" was a book about West Bromwich! Both spells of his stand-up comedy, centred around his own unique observations on several topical subjects, had the audience often laughing and chuckling. Jasper was assured and confident throughout and also sang lead vocals twice with the band.

But what of the music? The Bev Bevan Band [once again] provided a marvellous platform of music for the show in front of the watching Tony Iommi, impressively arranged by guitarist Tony Kelsey, repeating his role as Musical Director. The keyboards and vocals of Abby Brant were world class, as were the performances of bassist Phil Tree and the sublime drumming of the ever popular Bev Bevan.

Without providing too many spoilers for those still to see the show, I was amazed by The Rockin' Berries' very own Geoff Turton's rendition of a certain Roy Orbison classic and pleasantly surprised to hear new covers of tracks by the likes of The Who, Status Quo, Elvis Costello, Kiki Dee and The Rolling Stones alongside familiar songs by The Moody Blues, Jimi Hendrix, The Spencer Davis Group amongst not a few others. Once again, we were treated to the inestimable guitar prowess and personality of Trevor Burton as well as the mesmerising vocal talents of Quill's very own Joy Strachan-Brain. Fans of The Move, ELO and The Beatles will be pleased to know that each artist has a two [2] song contribution to a balanced and thoughtfully constructed set list.

ELOBF respected the wishes of the theatre that no photographs of the show be taken
Upon entering the auditorium, I expected a kind of 'Made In Brum' Part II yet I left the building impressed, contented and fully entertained by a show which is fresh and does far more than it says on the tin, so to speak. This is a show that literally rocks!

Check out the remaining dates for 'Stand Up & Rock' via these links thus:

'Stand Up & Rock' features Jasper CarrottThe Bev Bevan Band [who are BevPhil TreeTony Kelsey and Abby Brant], Trevor BurtonGeoff Turton and Joy Strachan-Brain.

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] endorses and recommends: 'Stand Up & Rock' to those enlightened folks who also like: ELO and Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, 'Brum Beat', The Idle Race, The Move, The Beatles and their musical relatives.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 19-Sep-2014

Thursday, 18 September 2014


Hello... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! A number of folks have contacted Yours Truly KJS here at ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] asking who made up the ranks of Jeff Lynne's ELO at Hyde Park. Hence - with a little help from my good friend and ELO super fan Sir Jeff Cooper - I've managed to collate the names of those who gave us such a special performance on the evening of Sunday 14th September 2014 thus:

Jeff Lynne [Lead vocals/Guitars]
Richard Tandy [Piano/Vocoder]
Lee Pomeroy [Bass]
Donovan Hepburn [Drums]
Mick Wilson [Percussion]
Chereene Allen [Violin]
Milton McDonald [Guitar]
Mike Stevens [Guitar/Backing vocals]
Bernie Smith [Keyboards/Backing vocals]
Marcus Byrne [Keyboards/Backing vocals]
Iain Hornal [Backing vocals/Guitar]
Melanie Lewis-McDonald [Backing vocals]

And please don't ask me to name all the members of the BBC Concert Orchestra!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 18-Sep-2014

Wednesday, 17 September 2014


Hello... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The anticipation of and the subsequent amazing reaction to Jeff Lynne's return to performing live at Hyde Park last Sunday [14th September 2014] for the first time in twenty eight [28] years has led to a return to the UK Top 20 Album chart for the best-selling Electric Light Orchestra compilation "All Over The World".

The 2005 Epic release is placed at #18 in today's BBC Radio 1 Midweek Album Chart Update. The album returned to the Top 100 chart two [2] weeks ago at #74 rising to #40 last week.

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] looks forward to further chart impact in the afterglow of such an acclaimed comeback by the ELO maestro.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 17-Sep-2014

Sunday, 14 September 2014


Hello... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Jeff Lynne - ably supported by ELO right hand man Richard Tandy, the Take That session/touring band and the BBC Concert Orchestra delivered a truly outstanding concert to bring to a climax a superb day of top musical entertainment at Hyde Park in London tonight to truly complete in style this years BBC2 Live In Hyde Park "A Festival In A Day" on Sunday 14th September 2014.

Blondie more than prepared the assembled crowd for the arrival of Mr. Lynne ...
Jeff, Richard and company were preceded on stage with some excellent performances by Chrissie HyndeBellowheadGregory PorterKacy MusgravesPaloma FaithBilly Ocean and Blondie. Particularly impressive, for me, were the sets by the ever eclectic Paloma Faith, the charismatic Billy Ocean and the legendary Debbie Harry with Blondie.

A hiatus of twenty eight [28] years had passed since ELO's last live appearances back in 1986 and, although there was no song representation from "Time""Balance Of Power" or "Zoom" in a packed sequence of songs that enchanted the near 50,000 folks assembled, those watching and listening [including myself here at ELOBF HQ] were thrilled with this comeback of comebacks.

With the backdrop and backing of the wonderful BBC Concert Orchestra, the Electric Light Orchestra [ELO] maestro delivered a seventy five [75] minute set of seventeen [17] songs including an absolutely outstanding version of "Steppin' Out" and a surprise rendition of The Traveling Wilburys' classic "Handle With Care" nestled in with such classics as "10538 Overture""Can't Get It Out Of My Head"; "Evil Woman"; "Telephone Line""Strange Magic" and, of course, "Mr. Blue Sky".

For me, the most touching moment of the night was Jeff's dedication of "Handle With Care" to fellow Wilburys and personal heroes George Harrison and Roy OrbisonJeff was visibly affected by the overwhelmingly positive reaction of the assembled throng before him and that will hopefully give him the much needed impetus and confidence to roll out his beloved ELO again in terms of that promised studio recording and a significant venue tour, both in the UK and beyond.

Jeff's set list: "All Over The World"; "Evil Woman"; "Ma Ma Ma Belle"; "Showdown"; "Livin' Thing"; "Strange Magic"; "10538 Overture"; "Can't Get It Out Of My Head"; "Sweet Talkin' Woman"; "Turn To Stone"; "Steppin' Out"; "Handle With Care"; "Don't Bring Me Down"; "Rock 'n' Roll Is King"; "Telephone Line"; "Mr. Blue Sky"; "Roll Over Beethoven"

Jeff Lynne has stated that, should this concert be a success, that he would seriously consider a return to performing live and touring. And, on the basis of the spectacle of his performance tonight, it will soon be "A Matter Of Fact" that Jeff will be back on the road again.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 14-Sep-2014

Saturday, 13 September 2014


Hello... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Our friends over at Spin CD's are now taking pre-orders for "Roy Wood: Original Album Series", a five [5] CD set for release on Monday 24th November 2014.

This attractive issue includes "Message  From The Country" [The Move], the first Electric Light Orchestra [ELO] album, "Wizzard Brew" [Wizzard] plus Roy's acclaimed solo album "Boulders" as well as "On The Road Again".

ELOBF understands that we should expect a slim boxed set with each album presented in a cardboard replica album sleeve. The set is attractively priced at just £11.99 and can be pre-ordered via Spin CD's here. The item will also be offered by [and other reputable music vendors] shortly.

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] continues to endorse and recommend: Roy Wood to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of: ELO, Jeff LynneThe MoveWizzardThe Idle Race, 'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes. With many thanx to Julian Crook.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 13-Sep-2014

Friday, 12 September 2014


L-R: Mike de Albuquerque, Mike Edwards, Marc Bolan and Jeff Lynne
Hello... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! This was a fusion, a coming together of two [2] of my musical heroes before I was even aware of them. I've been fascinated by the proceedings at Watford Town Hall on the night of Tuesday 10th April 1973 when the early Jeff Lynne captained Electric Light Orchestra [ELO] were joined on stage for a pulsating and explosive fifteen [15] minute encore of their latest hit single "Roll Over Beethoven" by the one and only Marc Bolan, who was still riding his proverbial white swan and enjoying significant popularity and success.

Marc's friendship with Jeff Lynne began when The Idle Race performed their revved up cover of "Deborah". Marc was so impressed by their powerful live interpretation of his song that it led to him changing direction to perform electric sets [rather than acoustic]. Marc was a regular onlooker at Idle Race recording sessions thereafter. Shortly before the Watford gig, Marc was recording with T.Rex at Air Studios whilst Jeff was recording "On The Third Day" with ELO, contributing twin and/or lead guitar parts to "Ma Ma Ma Belle", "Dreaming Of 4000" and "Everyone's Born To Die". The 1953 Gibson Firebird that Marc lent to Jeff can also be heard during that familiar guitar solo on "Showdown".

This article has been a long time in the making. I wanted to pull together the strands of the memories of some of the musicians and attendees at that concert whilst gathering some of the photographic footage of the event [predominantly by Gary Merrin] plus some exclusive new images of memorabilia from that night. Hence, please find below the recollections of ELO's Jeff Lynne and Bev Bevan [plus Mike de Alburquerque] as well as eyewitness accounts from the perspective of concert goers Ian Jakeman and Bari Watts.

ELO Bolan Forever: Marc and Jeff rolling over Beethoven
Jeff Lynne [ELO]: "Marc Bolan is a friend of mine from a few years back. He was in Air [Studios] - dubbing something - and we had a good booze up, a bit of a reunion. It was the first time I'd seen Marc for about two years, and he asked if we were doing any local gigs. Then he came along to Watford and joined us on "Roll Over Beethoven", which was the last number. Right from the beginning, the girls at the front spotted him at the side of the stage and they were screaming all through the set ... It was an experience for us just to see it really happening, but he must get choked off by the fact that he can't hear himself play because he really is a good guitar player you know!"

Original article published in The Sunday Mercury on Sunday 16/09/12
Bev Bevan [ELO]: "It's not widely known but Marc Bolan once joined ELO! We'd been friends with Marc since the early days of Tyrannosaurus Rex, with whom we'd appeared at a number of gigs - but a chance encounter in the recording studio led to something more. We were at Air [Studios] London, putting down some new tracks for an album ["On The Third Day"], and who should walk in but Marc, who had been recording there earlier in the day. After we exchanged pleasantries we got down to work with Marc joining us and we completed a couple of tracks. Listen to the single version of "Ma Ma Ma Belle" and it's Marc playing twin lead guitar with Jeff LynneWe thought he was kidding but one night in Watford, he turned up with his guitar and jammed with us on "Roll Over Beethoven". It was surprise for everyone and we felt a bit sorry for him when he first came on stage. Our audiences were quite 'heavy' and with Marc's pop image he came in for a bit of stick from some of the folk there, but he soon won them over and we all enjoyed ourselves. The song that night lasted around 15 minutes, much to the delight of the fans!"

Photograph courtesy of Ian Jakeman
Ian Jakeman [Marc Bolan/ELO fan]"My memories of the gig are somewhat unclear and somewhat faded! I was 12 years of age and it was my first ever gig - Watford Town Hall - The Electric Light Orchestra with support from Nick Pickett, a folk guitarist, I think. I went on my own as it was just ten minutes from my home. I remember that I bought my ticket from Harum Records in Watford - and a great shop it was too! My parents must have been concerned about me going alone but I don’t recall them questioning me about going. I’d already made my mind up to go! Hearing "10538 Overture" had made me want to go in the first place. I remember that the venue was not full and also how loud it seemed but it was, after all, my first ever gig so that would have been the case I guess. I also remember loving the night! T.Rex were my favourite band at the time so when Marc Bolan came on stage, from the right side of the stage if I recall correctly, to perform with ELO for the encore for what must have been ages to do "Roll Over Beethoven", it was a real treat! I think that it was the current single at the time. I went home that night thinking that all gigs would be like that and I was hooked forever. Well done ELO! This is currently my 39th year of working in the music business having begun in 1975 as a Saturday boy in the WH Smith record department! My next gig, at the age of 13, would be Uriah Heep at Wembley Empire Pool with Alan Freeman as guest. I began my life of going to gigs with one hell of a gig!"

Photograph courtesy of Ian Jakeman
Bari Watts [Marc Bolan fan]"If I had seen the advert for this gig, to be honest, I probably would not have gone as I was not an ELO fan in those days at all really. A mate and I went to gigs in and out of London together a lot and sometimes it would be a gig we both fancied and other times we would just tag along to each others choices. He said to me, "Fancy going to the Town Hall tonight?", so I asked who was playing. When he told me it was ELO, my face dropped, but as I said, he often came to gigs of my choice and, as Watford Town Hall was very close to where we both lived and we used to go there a lot anyway, I reluctantly agreed. So after sitting through the entire ELO set - feigning interest - the set finally ended [I can't remember if there was a support act]. Then, Jeff introduced a very special guest and on swaggered Marc Bolan! For the first time in the entire evening I woke up! I had been into Marc's music from early 1968 [I still am] and the last time I had seen him play live was I think at The Lyceum in late '71, just when his pop stardom really started to happen - so let's just say I was a tad happy! They launched into a rock 'n' roll medley which to my memory included "Roll Over Beethoven" and, although it went on for some time, for me it was not nearly long enough! Marc was really into it and did his whole rock 'n' roller routine and it was just marvellous. I've heard there was apparently some dissension from a section of ELO fans, but to be honest from memory, I didn't witness it myself. Everyone seemed to be really into it and enjoying themselves, almost as much as Marc was! This was sadly the last time I ever saw Marc play. I was and still am heavily into the Tyrannosaurus Rex and early T.Rex era of Marc's music and I think when he became a very big star, I kind of felt that it had all moved on to a new younger generation. I think we all experience things like that. Something what you naively think is 'yours' suddenly becomes 'public property' - but on this occasion it was great to see him strutting his stuff again! Anyway, years later in 1985, as a sound engineer I was working on the soundtrack recordings for a stage musical. On one of the sessions I had ELO bass player Mike De Albuquerque in laying some stuff down on the show tracks [one that I actually played guitar on]. During the course of the sessions, we spoke about the Watford gig briefly and Mike said that he personally wasn't 100 per cent aware that Marc was going to appear, although Marc had been in the studio with the band on earlier dates and it was a possibility. He did say that he really enjoyed Bolan's presence there that night though. I wish I could remember a bit more of this gig, but it was a long time ago! Cheers!"

With the 37th anniversary of the death of Marc Bolan fast approaching on 16th September, it remains ironic, if not fated, that Marc died in the very year that ELO were reaching the same heady levels of success with: "Out Of The Blue" that Bolan had achieved in the early seventies when ELO were largely unknown in the UK and Marc was [and still is] the ultimate, iconic Superstar.

Until next "Time" in the ELO universe ... KJS ... 12-Sep-2014