Saturday, 20 May 2017

REVIEW: WALL TO WALL (Dave Scott-Morgan)

Aside from his assured place in 'Brum Beat' folklore and a successful songwriting career (including, of course, a stint with Jeff Lynne and ELO betwixt "Time" and "Balance Of Power") and when he's teaching folks to fly "On A Plane", Dave Scott-Morgan is first and foremost a pastor, teacher and evangelist. One of the thrills of running elobeatlesforever (elobf) is that Yours Truly KJS sometimes gets to listen to the odd advance release and publish my thoughts and opinions on those recordings. So when a copy of Dave's forthcoming new album of Christian themed songs arrived literally in a "Letter From Spain" recently, courtesy of my good friend Luis Miguel Alcalá Ortiz, my interest was indeed piqued.

"Wall To Wall" is a nine track sampler with a strong Gospel message underpinned by some truly inspired songs. With hints of ELO (naturally) throughout alongside the familiar rasping voice of DSM as well as some catchy guitar riffs and lush keyboard and vocal arrangements, listening to "Wall To Wall" with its witty yet challenging lyrics (particularly if you are of a Judeo-Christian disposition) is also a hugely enjoyable musical experience at the same time.

"... an album that has had heart, soul and life experience poured into it."

Reassuring ELOesque opener "It's Alright" instantly grabs your attention followed by a musical interpretation of "Numbers 23" with a smooth bluegrass intro and, at times, with a Chris Rea feel to it reminding the listener of the validity of God's promises. "Jabez" (a renowned character whose heartfelt prayer is found in I Chronicles chapter 4) is also given a musical outing next replete with its a cappella interludes. "No One Else" is a guitar driven laced testimonial rocker followed in the same vein by the more sedate title track proclaiming the goodness of God. The classy acoustic take on the familiar "Abide With Me" also impresses as does "The Jeremiah Tree" (both have a definite Dylan feel to them). "Matthew 24" tackles the subject of the Second Coming as cited in The Olivet Discourse and is carried by more folksy-bluesy guitar riffs, being a Christian call to arms for what the Bible terms the Last Days before the dreamy "All True Love" looks forward to the eternal state. This is an album that should appeal to those who enjoy the musical outpourings of both ELO, Dave Scott-Morgan and Morganisation - whatever their current worldview happens to be. "Wall To Wall" sounds and feels like an album that has had heart, soul and life experience poured into it. (10/10)

Trax (31:06): "It's Alright" (3:22) ~ "Numbers 23" (3:39) ~ "Jabez" (3:43) ~ "No One Else" (3:44) ~ "Wall To Wall" (2:39) ~ "Abide With Me" (2:28) ~ "The Jeremiah Tree" (3:42) ~ "Matthew 24" (3:47) ~ "All True Love" (4:02)

"Wall To Wall" is due for release later this year. In the meantime, you can find out more about Dave Scott-Morgan and/or Morganisation and/or buy selected tracks from "Wall To Wall" in digital format via these links thus:

www.scottmorgan.co.uk  mandy016.wixsite.com/davescottmorgan
www.123mga.com/wp2016   mandy016.wixsite.com/mysite
earthrise-tm.blogspot.com   twitter.com/_morganisation   twitter.com/zn102
www.youtube.com/davescottmorgan   soundcloud.com/davescottmorgan

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Wall To Wall" by Dave Scott-Morgan 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-2017

Friday, 19 May 2017

ERIC TROYER: CLASSIC VIDEO CAMEO UNCOVERED

Eric Troyer is a familiar name to fans and followers of ELO Part II and The Orchestra (former members of ELO & ELO Part II). As a co-founder member of ELO Part II alongside Bev Bevan, Pete Haycock and Neil Lockwood, Eric is responsible for a large proportion of the songs recorded by ELO Part II and The Orchestra including their sole charting UK single "Honest Men", "1000 Eyes" and many more. Yet many folks don't realize that the career of the Elkhart, Indiana born musical journeyman extends far beyond the twenty six (26) years of his performing the music of Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra on stage.

Aside from his minor hit "Mirage" b/w "Meet Me At Midnight" (Chrysalis #CHS2445) in 1980, Eric has worked on albums with the likes of John Lennon ("Double Fantasy"), Billy Joel ("An Innocent Man"), Bonnie Tyler ("Faster Than The Speed Of Night"), Meat Loaf ("Bat Out Of Hell II"), Jim Steinman ("Bad For Good"), Julian Lennon ("Valotte") and Celine Dion ("Falling Into You") et al. In fact, it was the legendary Jim Steinman, with whom Eric has been associated for very many years, who recommended that Eric join ELO Part II back in the day (Steinman was reportedly being lined up as producer for their first album at the time). Which leads me to the reason for this elobf article.
Hence, not only has Eric appeared on many a well known album and been a long time cohort of Jim Steinman, he can also be found in a certain classic eighties music video. And if you look carefully in the above video for "Dead Ringer For Love" by Meat Loaf - also starring (of course) Cher - you'll find Eric in the background dusting down the bar!
KJS with Eric @ Sheffield, February 2014
Some call it trivia but it's something that has always bemused Yours Truly KJS and others when I've pointed it out to fans and general music enthusiasts alike. "Honest Men" remains my fave ELO Part II song to this day, being the subject of these (and other) elobf articles down the years:

CALLING ALL HONEST MEN [1]   CALLING ALL HONEST MEN [2]
CHART TRAGEDY: HONEST MEN

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 19-May-2017

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

WELCOME TO THE ELO SHOW

A measure of the popularity of the music of ELO and Jeff Lynne is the incredible rise in the number of ELO tribute bands in the UK in recent years. Brian Cummins contacted elobeatlesforever (elobf) earlier this year to introduce his new project: The ELO Show. Having been privy to some impressive rehearsal recordings, Yours Truly KJS asked Brian, born and bred in Liverpool, about his career to date and The ELO Show in this recent mini-interview thus:

KJS: Please tell me about The ELO Show?
BC: We started rehearsals as The ELO Show earlier this year in preparation of our launch show in November at the O2 Academy here in Liverpool. The band consists mainly of members from established Genesis tribute show The Carpet Crawlers including Raymond Pitt, Chris Watt and Daniel Saleh so hopefully we will be able to do justice to ELO's amazing legacy of songs. We'll also be joined by four ladies who've also worked with the Liverpool Philharmonic on violin and cello.
KJS: What do you feel will attract ELO fans to your shows?
BC: A big factor of the band's appeal will I'm sure will be the production values that we will bring from our Genesis shows including lighting, sound and a top class stage crew.
KJS: You've been an ELO fan since childhood. How excited are you about this project?
BC: I cannot wait to launch this new project! I'm a bit of a chameleon of a vocalist having toured the world performing with some of  my musical heroes such as The Mick Pointer Band (performing the early material of Marillion as 'Fish'), The Security Project USA (performing the early solo material of Peter Gabriel with members of Peter's band and King Crimson) and solo with my 'Plays Live' show. I'm already counting down the days to November!
KJS: The transition from playing the music of Genesis to that of ELO must be interesting?
BC: A lot of work has already gone into this project and it's fantastic music to play, quite tricky but nowhere near as intense as some of the Genesis stuff so we are all just smiling at each other as we play these beautiful songs. I've grown up with a lot of this material since a kid. Obviously coming from Liverpool means that The Beatles are instilled in us from birth, so to play this stuff live really is a dream come true. I'm positive the ELO and Jeff fans (and music fans in general) will enjoy the night.
KJS: Finally - for the "Time" being - how can folks find out more about The ELO Show?
BC: Right now we have a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TheEloShow and our new web site is coming soon!

The ELO Show perform at The O2 Academy in Liverpool on Friday 10th November. Tickets are priced at £17.50 each (plus booking fee) and can be purchased via these links thus:

seetickets.com/event/the-elo-show/o2-academy-liverpool
academymusicgroup.com/events/962204/elo-show-tickets

Find out more about The ELO Show via their official sites thus:

www.facebook.com/TheEloShow

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends The ELO Show 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 ... 16-May-2017

Saturday, 13 May 2017

ROCKHALL2017: A NEW AWARD RECORD

Earlier this week, Bev Bevan published a quartet of photos on his official Facebook page showing the ELO co-founder looking pleased as punch with his RRHOF award (having sadly missed the induction ceremony at The Brooklyn Center in NYC on Friday 7th April) meaning that Bev, Roy Wood (via Twitter) and Jeff Lynne have all now been snapped with their RRHOF statues with the absent Richard Tandy the only remaining ELO inductee not pictured in possession of his award to date.

Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf) wish Richard all the very best and look forward to his return to the Jeff Lynne's ELO line-up for their Summer stadium dates in Sheffield, London, Glasgow and Hull. And - if RT just happens to read this elobf article - please consider letting the fans also see you proudly holding your RRHOF gong too for an ELO Rock & Roll Hall of Fame full house!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 13-May-2017

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

CAUGHT LIVE: A Fusion of Music and Dance ft. Bev Bevan

Yours Truly KJS completed a busy weekend by following up gigs by Bob Dylan and the Explosive Light Orchestra with a return visit to Birmingham Symphony Hall on the evening of Sunday 7th May to attend Dorridge Music School's seventh annual charity extravaganza A Fusion of Music and Dance featuring their patron Bev Bevan, a whole host of home grown talent and some very special guests in aid of Birmingham Dogs Home, The MS Society Solihull as well as raising much needed awareness for Delete Blood Cancer, in memory of DMS student Riya Dandekar.

The Move and ELO founder and recent Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee was involved throughout, either co-presenting the proceedings from behind his podium or playing percussion/drums during performances of "Let And Let Die", "Writing's On The Wall", "The Final Countdown", "Living On A Prayer" et al. A packed programme of dance and music from classical to opera, the musicals and gospel as well as a Rock and Motown/Soul medley ensured that all tastes were catered for in a production that did not fail to entertain and impress the many onlookers with an amazing twenty three acts. Richard and Adam, Soul Kinda Wonderful and Kyle Passmore provided great entertainment as did the very many DMS school music students, dancers and choirs - all orchestrated by the wonderful Leigh Perry - who truly ensured that the joint was well and truly rocked!

Fave moments had to be the stunning vocals of Tom Bleasby (singing the Bob Dylan classic "Make You Feel My Love" and Faith Tucker (singing "Defying Gravity") plus the thundering drums of Bev 'Basher' Bevan underpinning both "Live And Let Die" and the aforementioned Rock Medley. The rendition of "Hey Jude" was also noteworthy but the beautiful, and somewhat moving "Run", an emotional tribute to Riya Dandekar, truly stole the show for me. You can be sure that elobeatlesforever (elobf) will be back in 2018 to further support this fantastic event!

See also: BEV BEVAN: Music & Dance Fusion Charity Patronage + RRHOF Thoughts

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends A Fusion of Music & Dance presented by Dorridge Music School (DMS) to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff LynneThe MoveRoy WoodThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 09-May-2017

Monday, 8 May 2017

CAUGHT LIVE [6]: EXPLOSIVE LIGHT ORCHESTRA

Yours Truly KJS has keenly watched and featured Robin Myles and his Explosive Light Orchestra here at elobeatlesforever (elobf) over the last few years as the South Wales based band have developed and grown. It was therefore most pleasing to be in attendance on the night of Saturday 6th May when the band I affectionately call ExpLO made their debut at my regular haunt The Robin 2 in nearby Bilston. Featuring their full eight member line-up, the Explosive Light Orchestra proceeded to not only own the stage but also take their audience on a light fantastic trip through the ELO/Jeff Lynne songbook with a performance that left many impressed by their Black Country bow and ensured a charged atmosphere throughout.

This was my sixth ExpLO gig and most certainly the best as Robin Myles - thankfully well on the road to recovery after a serious illness - belted out the songs of the Electric Light Orchestra with confidence and assurance ably assisted by long time cohort Aidan Thorne on bass, lead guitarist Jason Ball (who gets better every time and loves a banter or three with the crowd), Dave Purkiss (truly a top notch drummer and the loudest basher in Wales), keyboard wizardess Sarah Fowler (with her assured vocal/vocoder contribution duly noted) and virtuoso violinist Xenia Porteous with cello duo Jimmy Ottley and Mel Sadie also vital cogs in the ExpLO machinery.
 The Explosive Light Orchestra clearly enjoyed each others company on stage and did not take themselves too seriously. They've managed to find a lovely balance combining their note perfect interpretation of works of ELO maestro Jeff Lynne whilst having genuine fun. That mix was infectious and soon had the 500+ crowd singing in unison. Make no mistake about it, ExpLO are an excellent example as to why tribute bands should be valued, especially when they reproduce ELO classics with such respect. Twenty one songs were played from "10538 Overture" to "Hold On Tight" - a decade of hits from 1971-81 - with some quite exquisite renditions of "Can't Get It Out Of My Head", "Strange Magic", "Telephone Line" and "Steppin' Out" alongside their enjoyable takes on "Showdown", "Turn To Stone", "All Over The World" and "Mr. Blue Sky". ExpLO's two hour set left a memorable afterglow with calls for a prompt return visit ringing in their ears. I've seen a not a few ELO tribute shows down the years and in all honesty, this was one of the best. 
Photograph courtesy John Collins/Forever ...
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) were (l-r):
Jimmy Ottley, Xenia Porteous, Mel Sadie, Jason Ball, Robin Myles, Aidan Thorne, Sarah Fowler and Dave Purkiss
You can find out more about ExpLO and their 2017 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 ... 08-May-2017

Saturday, 6 May 2017

CAUGHT LIVE: BOB DYLAN @ NOTTINGHAM 05/05/17

Photograph courtesy of  Randolph Wilbury ...
Having been a rather young if not avid ELO fan and collector, I only discovered Bob Dylan in my late teens a few years before his involvement with the band of brothers who were The Traveling Wilburys. That's why his 1985 album "Empire Burlesque" was the first Bob Dylan record that I bought. Hence, when a series of 2017 UK dates were announced featuring the man whom many regard as one of the finest songwriters in the modern era, this was an opportunity to see (and hear) for myself one of the greats. It will therefore come as no surprise to regular visitors here at elobeatlesforever (elobf) that Yours Truly KJS was in attendance at The Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham "Last Night" (Friday 5th May) when Bob and his quintet rolled into town.

This was the most surreal of gigs. Nearly all of the 10,000 seats were occupied and every one of the twenty one songs played were greeted the reactions ranging from warm applause to ovations when the more familiar Dylan classics were performed. Yet at no time did Lucky Wilbury speak or interact with his audience in a polished and classy two hour set of originals and covers. It was surely an experience hard to define and one that I most surely enjoyed, be it Bob crooning with microphone in hands or behind his piano, whether sitting or standing. Highlights for me included "Highway 61 Revisited", "Tangled Up In Blue", "Desolation Row" and (naturally) "Blowin' In The Wind". Especially noteworthy was the inclusion of  "Stormy Weather" in the set - a song also covered, of course, by his Wilbury pal Jeff Lynne in 1990's "Armchair Theatre". Many who were there had doubtless seen Dylan many times down the years and the concert had the feel of a reunion, For first timers like me, this was an encounter with the enigma who is Bob Dylan.

Bob Dylan and his Band performed: "Things Have Changed" ~ "To Ramona" ~ "Highway 61 Revisited" ~ "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'" ~ "Why Try To Change Me Now?" ~ "Pay In Blood" ~ "Melancholy Mood" ~ "Duquesne Whistle" ~ "Stormy Weather" ~ "Tangled Up In Blue" ~ "Early Roman Kings" ~ "Spirit On The Water" ~ "Love Sick" ~ "All Or Nothing At All" ~ "Desolation Row" ~ "Soon After Midnight" ~ "That Old Black Magic" ~ "Long And Wasted Years" ~ "Autumn Leaves" ~ "Blowin' In The Wind" ~ "Ballad Of A Thin Man"

The Bob Dylan Band were Bob Dylan (Vocals/Piano), Tony Garnier (Bass/Double Bass). Charlie Sexton (Guitar), Donnie Herron (Pedal Steel/Violin), Stu Kimball (Guitars) and George Receli (Drums). Find out more about Bob Dylan via his official web site thus: 


elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends Bob Dylan to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff Lynne, The Traveling Wilburys, Roy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 06-May-2017