Monday, 18 August 2014

REVIEW: ADVENTURE BEYOND [Starflight]


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Starflight are Australian duo Damien Spanjer and Jib Khan and their latest music video for new single "She Wants An Angel" truly showcases their strong ELO and Beatles influences. Indeed, the whole of their debut album "Adventure Beyond" oozes the Fab Four and Birmingham's best with a touch of Beach Boys for good measure.



The beautiful ballad "She Wants An Angel" [see above video] is a song that truly whets the appetite for a model Power Pop album which also includes the excellent ELOesque "In Any Light" and Beatlesque "Rocket Like A Stone", tracks that instantly impress. The clear lead vocals of songwriter Jib Khan and the added keyboards and percussion of cohort Damien Spanjer coupled with resplendent vocal harmonies throughout really make this a pleasurable record to listen to! [9/10]


You may be interested to know that both Jib and Damien featured on the charity ELO tribute CD "Scattered Light" with their cover of ELO's "Secret Messages" classic "Stranger" [see above].

Starflight plus one [angel]: Damien Spanjer [far left] and Jib Khan [far right]

Starflight are: Jib Khan [Lead vocals/Backing vocals/Bass/Guitars/Vocoder] and Damien Spanjer [Keyboards/Backing vocals/percussion]

You can find out more about Starflight via their official web site. "Adventure Beyond" can be purchased as a MP3 download via their music page or from amazon.co.uk via this link.

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends: Starflight to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of: ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles et al.

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

Sunday, 3 August 2014

CAUGHT LIVE [3]: THE EXPLOSIVE LIGHT ORCHESTRA

The Explosive Light Orchestra live at The Roadhouse last night
Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! What do you get when you combine a buzzing Birmingham venue with an ever improving ELO tribute band? The answer is a rip-roaring, pulsating night with The Explosive Light Orchestra [or ExpLO] at The Roadhouse as evidenced in downtown Stirchley last night [Saturday 2nd August 2014].

The South Wales based quartet overcame a power cut and a blown guitar amp to deliver the greatest hits of the Electric Light Orchestra from "10538 Overture" to "Calling America" with a twenty five [25] song set plus an impromptu instrumental whilst the technical difficulties were sorted out. ExpLO sported a dual change in personnel from their last Midlands gig at The Tackeroo but the new look band were inspired as they accurately reproduced those ELO hits we all know and love.

New guitarist Jason Ball provided some great guitar work - "Strange Magic" being a prime example - and his shared vocal harmonies with Aidan Thorne transformed their sound. Lead vocalist and founder Robin Myles clearly relished the positive reaction of the audience also gave a great performance despite his guitar woes. New percussionist Dave Purkiss was absolutely superb throughout in only his second gig, the established percussionist being a worthy Bev Bevan for the night, especially during his drum solo and finale "Roll Over Beethoven".

The measure of their success on the night was the many Brummies [and one Wulfrunian] present singing and dancing in almost perfect unison as the band played on! The band nailed the "Discovery" singles yet also managed nice versions of, in particular, "Can't Get It Out Of My Head", "Calling America", "Ma Ma Ma Belle", "Mr. Blue Sky" and my favourite of the evening: "Strange Magic". All in all, it was a fantastic return to ELO's backyard by ExpLO with the icing on the cake being the announcement that they are to return to The Roadhouse for a very special concert on Boxing Day ~ Friday 26th December 2014. See you there?

ExpLO + 1 [L-R]: Dave Purkiss, Aidan Thorne, KJS, Robin Myles [and wig], Jason Ball
Set list: "Standin' In The Rain"; "Evil Woman"; "Showdown"; "Livin' Thing"; "Telephone Line"; "The Diary Of Horace Wimp" ~ "Yellow Polka Dot Moon" ~ "Can't Get It Out Of My Head"; "Hold On Tight"; "Last Train To London"; "10538 Overture"; "Turn To Stone"; "Prologue/Twilight"; "Confusion"; "Shine A Little Love"; "Mr. Blue Sky"; "Wild West Hero"; "Ma Ma Ma Belle"/Drum Solo; "Strange Magic"; "All Over The World"; "Xanadu"; "Calling America"; "Sweet Talkin' Woman"; "Don't Bring Me Down"; "Roll Over Beethoven"

The Explosive Light Orchestra are: Robin Myles [Guitar/vocals]; Aidan Thorne [Bass/backing vocals]; Jason Ball [Guitars/backing vocals] and: Dave Purkiss [Drums]. Check out the band via their official web site thus:


ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends: The Explosive Light Orchestra 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-Aug-2014

REVIEW: HYPNOTIC EYE [Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers]


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! First thing first ... This LP is so good, I had to offer up an ELOBF overview! The only tentative link with former producer and fellow Traveling Wilbury Jeff Lynne for this the thirteenth [13th] album - "Hypnotic Eye" - by Tom Petty and his legendary Heartbreakers outfit is the input of co-producer Ryan Ulyate, who worked with Jeff for those ELO remasters and, of course, "Zoom" back in 2001. Although there are elements within the album that ooze with the production values of Jeff, this release is a real return to the early days of the band, particularly their eponymously entitled 1976 debut album and "You're Gonna Get It" [1978].

This is a strong record and a return to form for Tom and the gang with some cutting lyrics matched by the guitar artistry of Mike Campbell throughout. The record is announced by stomping lead single "American Dream Plan B" and it not only grabs your attention, it keeps your attention throughout with the familiar Petty storytelling of "Red River" contrasting with the jazzy "Full Grown Boy" and pensive "Sins Of My Youth". The R 'n' B of "Burnt Out Town" and "Power Drunk" is sheer class too. It is indeed difficult to select favourites from the eleven [11] tracks on show but, for me, the repeat button is pressed most often for "All You Can Carry" and final cut "Shadow People". These are simply magnificent creations on a release that not only rolls back the years, it rightly returns TP, literally a "21st Century Man", to the forefront of American [and world] rock. [10/10]


Track listing: [1] "American Dream Plan B" [2:59]; [2] "Fault Lines" [4:27]; [3] "Red River" [3:59]; [4] "Full Grown Boy" [3:26]; [5] "All You Can Carry" [4:34]; [6] "Power Drunk" [4:39]; [7] "Forgotten Man" [2:48]; [8] "Sins Of My Youth" [3:49]; [9] "U Get Me High" [4:11]; [10] "Burnt Out Town" [3:04]; [11] "Shadow People" [6:43]

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Hypnotic Eye" and Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of: ELOJeff Lynne, The Traveling WilburysThe MoveRoy Wood, The Idle RaceThe Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 03-Aug-2014

Friday, 1 August 2014

ROY WOOD IN ROBIN RETURN FOR 2014 CHRISTMAS SHOW

With thanx to ELOBF gig buddy Christian "Look At Me Now" Evans for his role in this gig alert ...
Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The Robin 2 R 'n' B Club have just revealed that ROY WOOD and his Rock 'n' Roll Band are set to return to the Bilston venue on Tuesday 18th November 2014 for an exclusive Black Country Pre-Christmas Show.

Expect further gig announcements soon. Advance tickets are priced at just £17.50 each [* plus booking fee] or £20.00 each on the door [subject to availability] and can be purchased via this link thus:


ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] endorses and recommends: ROY WOOD to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of: ELOJeff LynneThe Move, WizzardThe Idle RaceThe Beatles'Brum Beat' and related artistes. See you there?

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 01-Aug-2014

UPDATE: SEARCHING FOR TERRY

Joe Walsh was interviewed by Michelle Kath Sinclair for the film "Searching For Terry"
Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Joe Walsh recently tweeted that Michelle Kath Sinclair had launched a second Kickstarter campaign to fund the post-production finishing touches to the film she is making about her father Terry Kath, the legendary original guitarist, co-lead singer and a founding member of American classic rock band Chicago.

Her first Kickstarter campaign was featured by ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] back in October 2011 here and successfully raised the necessary $40,000 to initially make the film, to be titled: "Searching For Terry: The Man Behind The Guitar".

At the time of writing, nearly 50% of the $40,000 target has been pledged with just nineteen [19] days to go to the deadline on Thursday 21st August 2014. Please consider supporting this the second phase of Michelle's exciting project via this link thus:


ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] endorses "Searching For Terry: The Man Behind The Guitar" to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of: ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle RaceThe BeatlesJoe WalshThe Eagles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO universe ... KJS ... 01-Aug-2014

Thursday, 31 July 2014

RECOMMENDED: 21 TODAY: JUSTICE 4 FOR THE 21

Julie Hambleton [L] lost her sister Maxine in the atrocity and has been ably supported by Phil Hatton [R]

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! A very special concert has just been announced in memory of the twenty one [21] victims of the Birmingham pub bombings on Thursday 21st November 1974. 21 TODAY: JUSTICE 4 THE 21 has been organised by campaign group Justice 4 The 21 and will be held on the eve of the fortieth [40th] anniversary of the outrage on Thursday 20th November 2014 at Birmingham Town Hall.


Steve Gibbons, QuillPhil Hatton, former ELO musicians Dave Scott-Morgan and Martin Smith, Dave Pegg [of Fairport Convention], Zero Navigator [featuring author R J Ellory], King Pleasure and the Biscuit Boys [amongst not a few others] plus classical musicians from Birmingham Conservatoire will perform during the event, which will be by respected Midlands historian Carl Chinn.

A song written by Phil Hatton and Dave Scott-Morgan called "21 Today" will be performed live for the first time during the evening. It can be viewed via this Birmingham Mail article covering the event. All artistes and personalities will be appearing free of charge with the proceeds split between the Acorns Trust and Birmingham Children's Hospital.

Tickets are priced at just £12.00 each [* plus booking fee] and go on sale from 10:00AM tomorrow [Friday 1st August 2014] via this link thus:


ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] endorses the Justice 4 The 21 campaign. For further information, please visit their official web site.

Until next "Time" in the ELO universe ... KJS ... 31-July-2014

PUGWASH ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM & 2014 US TOUR


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Legendary Los Angeles based label Omnivore Recordings released news of an exciting new Pugwash compilation yesterday [30th July 2014] and also confirmed that the acclaimed Irish quartet would soon be embarking on their maiden US tour later this year via this You Tube video.

"A Rose In A Bed Of Weeds: A Preamble Through The History Of Pugwash" has been pencilled in for release on Tuesday 23rd September 2014 and will include seventeen [17] tracks personally chosen by heavily influenced ELO and Jeff Lynne founder member Thomas Walsh from their "Almond Tea" debut all the way through to latest studio album "The Olympus Sound".


Gig dates for the 2014 Pugwash US tour will be announced in the near future. "A Rose In A Bed Of Weeds" can now be ordered diectly from Omnivore Recordings. The CD is priced at $16.98 [plus P+P] with the download priced at $9.99 and both can be pre-ordered via this link thus:

www.omnivorerecordings.com/music/a-rose-in-a-garden-of-weeds-a-preamble-through-the-history-of-pugwash

Why not check out what Pugwash are presently up to via their excellent Facebook page thus:

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends: "A Rose In A Bed Of Weeds" by: Pugwash to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of: ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle RaceThe Beatles'Brum Beat' and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 31-July-2014