Thursday, 18 December 2014

ELOBF GIG GUIDE [18]: Q1 2015

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Winter into Spring 2015 sees the latest ELOBF Quarterly Gig Guide packed to the rafters with some great gigs to relish. So without further ado, here are some selected dates and general links [with more to follow when confirmed] for you to consider checking out during between 1st January and 31st March [Q1] thus:

Wednesday 14th January 2015
Rebecca Downes [supporting Matt Woosey] @ The Robin 2, Bilston
Tickets: £8.00 each [advance]; £10.00 [door] [* plus booking fee]

Thursday 15th to Friday 16th January 2015
The ELO Experience @ The Arts Complex, Solihull
Tickets: £20.00 each [* plus booking fee]

Friday 23rd January 2015
The Trevor Burton Band @ The Queen's Head, Wolverley
Free entry

Saturday 24th January 2015
The ELO Experience @ Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury
Tickets: £20.00 each [* plus booking fee]

Saturday 31st January 2015
The Trevor Burton Band @ Katie Fitzgerald's, Stourbridge
Free entry

Friday 6th February 2015
Quill @ The Garrick Theatre, Lichfield
Tickets: £19.50 each [* plus booking fee]

Friday 13th February 2015
The Trembling Wilburys @ The Roadhouse, Birmingham
Tickets: £6.00 each

Wednesday 19th February 2015
Rebecca Downes [supporting The Blues Band] @ The Robin 2, Bilston
Tickets: £18.50 each [advance]; £19.50 [door] [* plus booking fee]

Saturday 20th February 2015
The Trevor Burton Band @ Legends Blues Club, Tamworth
Tickets: £TBA each [* plus booking fee]

Sunday 21st February 2015
Quill [supported by Under A Banner@ The Robin 2, Bilston
Tickets: £12.50 each [advance]; £15.00 [door] [* plus booking fee]

Saturday 27th February 2015
The Trevor Burton Band @ The Marr's Bar, Worcester
Tickets: £TBA each [* plus booking fee]

Thursday 5th March 2015
The Steve Gibbons Band @ The Robin 2, Bilston
Tickets: £12.50 each [advance]; £15.00 [door] [* plus booking fee]

Friday 6th March 2015
ELO Again @ Baddeley Green WMC, Stoke-on-Trent
Tickets: £10.00 each

Saturday 7th March 2015
ELO Again @ The Grand Opera House, York
Tickets: £23.90 each [* plus booking fee]

Wednesday 11th March 2015
ELO Again @ New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham
Tickets: £23.90 each [* plus booking fee]

Saturday 14th March 2015
Wings Over Abbey Road @ The Theatre On The Steps, Bridgnorth
Tickets: £12.00 each [* plus booking fee]

Thursday 26th March 2015
The ELO Experience @ The Swan Theatre, Worcester
Tickets: £20.00 each [* plus booking fee]

Friday 27th March 2015
Quill @ The Arts Complex, Solihull
Tickets: £17.00 each [* plus booking fee]

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, Del Shannon and The Everly Brothers. He also found time to co-found the ultimate 'supergroup' in 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 2015! 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:

Legendary Midlands Celtic-tinged rockers Quill, led by the incomparable Joy Strachan-Brain, have built up an impressive live reputation over a four [4] decade span and now feature Bev Bevan and Tony Kelsey in their ranks. 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:

The BeatBack Brothers
The BeatBack Brothers featuring Craig Whale and Adam Willetts will be performing regularly at various Midlands venues. Find out where to see them via their official Facebook page 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 for ELOBFSee you at one or three of the above gigs for a chat?

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

Monday, 15 December 2014


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! It was a weekend when Jeff Lynne returned to The Troubadour in Los Angeles for the Third Annual Merry Minstrel Musical Circus to sing "Runaway" and "Roll Over Beethoven" and a diminishing number of viewers tuned in for the final of a certain overhyped TV singing competition. But for me, last night [Sunday 14th December], a long overdue visit to see The BeatBack Brothers, performing literally just down the road, was a must.

And nearly four [4] years since my last ELOBF review, I found that the talented duo of Craig Whale [Guitars/Vocals] and Adam Willetts [Keyboards/Vocals] had not only matured as musicians and performers, but also that they had added some great songs to a repertoire dominated by The Beatles but with welcome sprinklings of ELO, T.Rex, Wings and not a few others. Highlights for me were "Evil Woman" and "Ride A White Swan" but make no mistake about it, this was a cracking gig!

Set list: "Drive My Car"; "All My Loving"; "Stuck In The Middle With You"; "Coz I Luv You"; "Lucille"; "Please Please Me"; "Make Me Smile"; "Dance With Me Tonight"; "Ride A White Swan"; "Walk Of Life"; "I Saw Her Standing There"; "Evil Woman"; "Mustang Sally"; "Listen To What The Man Said"; "Can't Buy Me Love"; "Under The Moon Of Love"; "Twist & Shout"; "Come On Eileen"; "I Love To Boogie"; "Everybody Needs Somebody"; "Hey Jude"

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends:The BeatBack Brothers to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of: ELO & Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 15-Dec-2014

Saturday, 13 December 2014


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The funeral for the late Mike Burney will be held on Thursday 18th December 2014 at Sandwell Valley Crematorium, Newton Road, West Bromwich from 2:30PM until 4:00PM. Mike's wife Sue also said recently on Facebook that the former Wizzard saxophonist will be led down the path to the crematorium by a New Orleans marching band.

During the service, Mike's body will be placed, rather fittingly, on a plinth whilst his song "Rob Roy's Nightmare [A Bit More H.A.]" - which was of course, the 'B' side to that perennial festive favourite "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" - is played.

This will be followed by a speaker, some music and a reading by Sue before an instrumental piece by Donaldson called "The Long Goodbye" closes out the ceremony. The wake will take place thereafter at The Wheatsheaf pub in Walsall.

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] wishes to send its condolences to Sue and the family at this time.

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

Thursday, 11 December 2014


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Roy Wood made a triumphant return to Birmingham Symphony Hall on the night of Tuesday 9th December 2014 in another hugely enjoyable Christmas show packed with top class music and humour, with a little help from [naturally] his Rock 'n' Roll Band, Andy Fairweather Low and The Low RidersRick and Adam Wakeman as well as comic Mick Miller, the very talented Emmie Beckett, a festive choir and some magnificent strings!

Andy Fairweather Low and The Low Riders
There were many highlights during the evening and the first of those was the entertaining set provided by Andy Fairweather Low and The Low Riders. The eclectic former Amen Corner head man, with former Wizzard saxophonist Nick Pentelow in tow, packed an amazing amount of songs into his 45 minute slot with well known hits including "Bend Me Shape Me", "Wide Eyed And Legless", "[If Paradise Is] Half As Nice" and, of course, The Move's "Hello Suzie" were intermingled with songs such as "Baby What Do You Want Me To Do", "When Things Go Wrong" and "So Glad You're Mine" as well as instrumentals "Tequila", "Peter Gunn" and "Apache". On this impressive evidence, a trip to see Andy Fairweather Low and The Low Riders in their own right is a certainty for 2015.

Once again, Roy Wood and his Rock 'n' Roll Band enthused the lively audience ...
An amusing cameo by comedian Mick Miller was next on the agenda with the legendary comic creating ripples of laughter throughout his spot. And what shall we say of the return of Dr. Roy Wood? Only that, again, as soon as The Move, Electric Light Orchestra [ELO] and Wizzard founder walked on stage, the effect of the reaction of the audience and Roy's legendary live reputation combined to provide a charged atmosphere of the highest mutual respect. There were no surprises in the set with raucous Move classics "California Man" and "I Can Hear The Grass Grow" alongside the likes of Wizzard anthems "Ball Park Incident", "Angel Fingers" and "See My Baby Jive" and the more recent "New York City" and "Kiss Me Goodnight, Boadicea".

Adam and Rick Wakeman re-inventing "Eleanor Rigby" ...
A rousing "Are You Ready To Rock?" preceded the arrival of fellow Water Rat and 'Pointless' co-star Rick Wakeman, in tandem with son Adam. The renowned keyboard genius was completely at home as he delivered amusing monologues on subjects including ex-wives and how the creation of "Morning Has Broken" with Cat Stevens came about back in the day. We were also treated to the Wakeman's rendition of "White Rock" and an extended interpretation of The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby".

Emmie Beckett - and with Rick Wakeman looking on [R]

Perhaps the most moving and touching moment of the evening was our introduction to the angelic voice of Emmie Beckett, a talented fourteen [14] year old spotted by Rick. She enchanted all with her solo performance of "Pie Jesu" and the theme from "The Godfather". I discovered that Emmie also sings in aid of  'Kids 'n' Cancer UK' - a Chesterfield based charity well deserving of our support.

After Emmie had received her well deserved standing ovation, it was time for Roy and the band to return, initially with "See My Baby Jive" and then, complete with string octet and a rather fetching star-adorned choir, with a musical feast comprising "Flowers In The Rain", "Blackberry Way" and the most fitting of festive closing anthems [of course!] in "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday". Make no mistake about it, this was a fantastic concert, full of variety and loaded with seasonal cheer.

My thanx are extended to John Collins from the excellent ELOBF recommended 'Forever' web site for his kind permission to publish four [4] photographs within this article.

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 RaceThe Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] universe ... KJS ... 11-Dec-2014

Saturday, 6 December 2014


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The question that no journalist dared ask has finally been asked. In a recent interview featured in Classic Rock magazine [issue #205; January 2015; pages 100-101], Jeff Lynne was asked the above question on the subject of ELO Part II by interviewer Nick Hasted, with the above terse reply.

And earlier this year, Martin Kinch from the ELOBF recommended Cherry Blossom Clinic web site interviewed Bev Bevan and Trevor Burton [see above] in advance of their gig at The Robin 2 on Thursday 5th June 2014. Martin was somewhat surprised to be told by the former ELO drummer that he did not want to talk about ELO. Bev also stated that, in retrospect, his forming of ELO Part II "was probably a mistake" and that he "should probably have gone out with his own band" at the time.

So we have Jeff talking about ELO but not ELO Part II and Bev not talking about ELO and seemingly regretting ELO Part II, within months of each other. Has the Part II hatchet now been buried by the former band mates? Here's hoping is that this apparent truce develops into a formal reconciliation down the road.

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends: Classic Rock magazine and Cherry Blossom Clinic 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 universe ... KJS ... 06-Dec-2014


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The latest edition of the excellent Classic Rock magazine [issue #205; January 2015; pages 100-101] features an interview with Jeff Lynne [JL] by Nick Hasted [NH]. The special issue is dedicated to reviewing 2014 and also features extensive coverage of the 10th Annual Classic Rock Roll Of Honour awards held in Los Angeles earlier this year, making it well worth purchasing for fans of ELO & Jeff Lynne. Here is a transcript of the interview for you to peruse thus:

"Nobody expected the best gig of the year to be by a bunch of soft-rock relics who haven't toured since 1986. Least of all the bloke behind it all. The last time Jeff Lynne attempted to resurrect the ELO name it ended in failure; back in 2001 an entire US tour was aborted before it even began, due to low ticket sales. What a difference 13 years make. In September this year Lynne and his band - now billed as Jeff Lynne's ELO - made a triumphant appearance at London's Hyde Park. The ecstatic reaction from the 50,000-strong crowd was matched by rave reviews across the media board, of the type that the band never received during their 70's heyday. But ingeniously built, Beatlesque songs such as "Mr. Blue Sky" and "10538 Overture" have outlasted their critics, and now the softly spoken 66-year-old Brummie finds himself adored again:

NH: How was the gig for you Jeff?
JL: It was bloody marvellous, actually. I enjoyed it probably more than I've ever enjoyed it, because I wasn't expecting that at all. I didn't know what to expect, to be honest, because it's been so long since I did it. But as soon as I stepped on stage, it was like: "Wow!" It was this warmth, this really nice atmosphere. nothing like I've experienced before.
NH: Had doubts crept in about being able to hold a big stage after so long away?
JL: My worst fear was: what if no one takes any notice? If they just go [weak sigh] about it. But I was really hoping it would be absolutely marvellous. Which it was for me. I was chuffed to bits.
NH: In ELO's later tours, was there an element of both you and the audience taking it for granted?
JL: Yeah. And now it's different altogether from what it was. I've never seen people that attentive before, and that interested in songs, and thousands and thousands of people really enjoying singing along to them. That's a great feeling when you're a songwriter.
NH: Do you feel your work is loved, in a way that you hadn't realised?
JL: To be honest, yes I do. I don't want to sound like a bighead when I say that. It's a surprise to me, because it's been so long since I did it. And people think about my music slightly differently now than they did in the seventies or eighties. For some reason the people who were always sceptical before have changed their minds about it. Some of the people who used to have a go seem to have changed to a more civilised approach!
NH: The studio has always been your favourite place to make music. But did the success of the Hyde Park gig make you wonder why you hadn't done it before?
JL: Not really. It never felt right before. But this time it did, because of the buzz I was getting about the music now. I was astonished to see the amount of people - I've never seen that for probably thirty-five years, in American stadiums. I won't do it again quickly. But I certainly will do it again. Because I know that I can now.
NH: Is ELO a going concern again?
JL: Yeah. Because it really felt nice to finally have my name in it, and not just be hiding behind those letters all the time. It gave me a lot more confidence.
NH: Was it painful for you when the name wasn't wholly yours, and drummer Bev Bevan was touring with ELO Part II in the 90's?
JL: There were quite a few of the old band members going off doing weird things. That's not something I want to talk about, if you don't mind.
NH: You said recently that all your dreams have come true, because you wished for them so hard. Is that a problem, as far as what you do next?
JL: I know what you mean. But I still love music so much. I've had all the treats that I've had so far, but there might still be ones lurking from new artists that I could produce, where I go: "Wow! That's the best voice I've ever heard!" I've not given up on having new, fun things, and being excited about stuff. And I am working on my new album at the moment. I've got about half a dozen new tracks that I'm proud of, and a few that aren't quite finished yet, and I'll be doing a couple more new ones when I get home. That will probably be as Jeff Lynne's ELO - because I enjoyed Hyde Park so much that I think that's the way it should be.
NH: As a producer you've worked with a lot of your childhood heroes. You became a friend of George Harrison's after producing his Cloud 9 album, but on another level was he always Beatles George?
JL: There was still always a bit of Beatle George. But he became my pal, more than anything, and my music-making partner. He taught me the banjolele, and I'm quite nifty on it now. I still like to play the Traveling Wilburys every now and again, and it brings back all of that fun stuff. I miss him very often. It's been a long time now - thirteen years.
NH: What about Bob Dylan? How did you meet him?
JL: The first time I met Bob Dylan it was to get his autograph. ELO were playing at the Budokan, and I was doing autographs in one line. And I heard: "It's Bob Dylan doing autographs over there, what's going on?" So I asked this teenage girl if I could borrow a page out of her book and she looked at me puzzled. I ripped this page out, and I left my queue and I went and joined in his queue and got his autograph. And these people who were waiting for me were going: "He's nuts, this bloke."
NH: Do you go back to Birmingham often?
JL: I went back last year. It was fantastic. I got an honorary doctorate from Birmingham City University, and then I got my star on the Walk of Stars outside Symphony Hall. Loads of people came to see me putting my star in the ground. That's when I really started getting that people like me and my music. Because I'd been away from it for so long and just making records, seeing all those people there was really touching." [end quote]
Interview: Copyright © TeamRock Limited 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Classic Rock magazine issue #205 and/or a six month, one year or two year subscription to Classic Rock magazine can be purchased via this link thus:

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends and endorses: Classic Rock magazine 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 universe ... KJS ... 06-Dec-2014

Friday, 5 December 2014


Jeff Lynne originally received his Broad Street star on 13th March 2014
Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! You may recall that ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] reported back in September that the 'Broad Street Walk of Stars' award presented to The Idle Race, The Move, ELO and Traveling Wilburys maestro Jeff Lynne in March had been covered up due to extensive and irreparable damage. Rather belatedly, I'm pleased to confirm that earlier this week, I found that Jeff's star [which is located adjacent to the corner of the Symphony Hall building on Broad Street] has now been replaced [see above photograph].

Bev Bevan received his Broad Street star in April 2011
Roy Wood received his Broad Street star in November 2010
This means that the Broad Street stars for Electric Light Orchestra [ELO] founders Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood and Bev Bevan can now be found in close proximity to each other. Now, would it not be great to also see ELO locals Richard Tandy and the late, great Kelly Groucutt given the same accolade?

Until next "Time" in the ELO universe ... KJS ... 05-Dec-2014