Friday, 31 December 2010

YOURS TRULY 2010: A YEAR IN REVIEW

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! I would just like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for visiting my blog ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] this year and to wish you a magnificent, musical and ELOtastic New Year!

2010 has quite simply been a marvellous year for ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] thanx to you! There have been many highs and no significant lows to mention. Joining Facebook has also opened up a new avenue of contacts both in 2010 and going forward into 2011. But let us briefly review the gigs that I can remember at the time of writing: two [2] Beatles Blues & Blue Violin Project [BBBV] gigs, two [2] Wheels Of Fire gigs, two [2] ELO Experience gigs, one [1] Roy Wood gig, two [2] Animals with The Move gigs and one [1] BeatBack Brothers gig.

Highlights have also included taking James and Rebekah to their first ever live gig by The ELO Experience, introducing you to Sean Mack Page and his bands Fragile X and Imaginos, introducing you to Pete Dicks and his Beatles and Beyond Radio Show; introducing you to Hamilton Radio and interviewing Julianna Raye. Youts truly KJS have a number of projects in hand for 2011 including not a few interviews, [hopefully] some ELO based radio shows and some assistance with the 2011 ELO Fan Convention in August.

We lost Mike Edwards and Tony Curtis in 2010 and we remembered their ELO legacies ... we saw the long awaited DVD release of the 1976 Fusion gig with other material but we sadly did not see any new ELO & Jeff Lynne album release.

We do however look forward to said Jeff Lynne release in 2011 and more The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II], Phil Bates, BBBV, The ELO Experience, BeatBack Brothers, The Move, Roy Wood gigs et al in the coming year. 2011 is set yo be an exciting year not only for ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] but for all ELO [and related artistes] fans!

"Just on the border of your waking mind, there lies another Time ..." in 2011 so you'd better "Hold On Tight to your dreams" ... See you there folks!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 31-Dec-2010

Friday, 24 December 2010

CHRISTMAS GREETINGS FROM ELOBF

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Yours Truly KJS would just like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for visiting ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] this year and to wish you [and your families] not only a Merry Christmas but also a magnificent, musical and ELOtastic New Year!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 24-Dec-2010

Saturday, 18 December 2010

CAUGHT LIVE: THE BEATBACK BROTHERS

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! We had the great pleasure last night of [at long last] witnessing a gig by The BeatBack Brothers at the Goodrich Club here in Winterful Wolverhampton for my last musical musing of 2010. Last night's set was varied and the guys produced a great show that paid tribute to the original artists but at the same time displayed their own skills and personality. In particular, I was impressed not only with their covers of those Beatles classics but also of Wings and Paul McCartney songs amongst many others. It was a fantastic Christmassy evening and it was my great pleasure to re-meet Craig and also meet his BeatBack Bro Adam.

The BeatBack Brothers are Craig Whale [Guitar/Vocals] and Adam Willetts [Keyboards/Vocals]. With great skill, they cover classic songs by the likes of ELO, The Beatles, Wings and T.Rex et al:


I look forward to hearing their take on ELO classics "Do Ya" and "Evil Woman". Me thinx also that they are well suited to covering those seminal Jeff Lynne songs: "Hold On Tight", "Rock 'n' Roll Is King" and "Calling America". I am also looking forward to seeing TBBB again  - maybe even their cover of "Battle Of Marston Moor [July 2nd 1644]" - only joking folks!

Hence whether you be a pub, club or other entertainment venue here in the [West] Midlands of England or if you are planning an event, then take it as read that Yours Truly KJS and ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] reckon that you give these talented individuals an opportunity to rock your house and - naturally - your customers too!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 18-Dec-2010

Thursday, 16 December 2010

CAUGHT LIVE: ROY WOOD ROCK & ROLL BAND

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! When you have the opportunity to attend and witness a Roy Wood concert at this time of year, you have to grab it! Yours Truly KJS joined the throng at The Robin 2 in Bilston near Wolverhampton last night [Wednesday 15th December] alongside my ELO gig buddy Chris 'Mustard' Evans and we found a nice spot to view and hear the proceedings behind the sound and lighting desk.

There is no doubting the song writing legacy and instrumental prowess of this former leading light in The Move, co-founder of the Electric Light Orchestra [ELO], Wizzard and other notable projects. The full house were treated to a great performance last night that included the seminal classics "Blackberry Way", "Flowers In The Rain", "I Can Hear The Grass Grow", "See My Baby Jive", "California Man""Ball Park Incident", "Angel Fingers" and - naturally - "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day".

This writer was most pleased to hear two [2] new songs entitled "Big Girl Blues" and "New York City" as well as the excellent "Kiss Me Goodnight, Boadicea". This was an excellent concert. I loved the four piece brass section, the ripping bass guitar solo and even a failed bagpipe blasting! It was also great to bump into Craig Whale from The BeatBack Brothers [whom I plan to be checking out tomorrow night for the first time] plus Facebook pals Paul Richardson and Geoff Cook. All in all - despite a comical taxi journey home - it was well worth the effort!

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends Roy Wood 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 ... 16-Dec-2010

Sunday, 12 December 2010

TICKET TO A MAGICAL MYSTERY RIDE!

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Today I would like to highlight a marvellous amateur dramatic production that we witnessed today over in Llanymynech on the Welsh/English border. The Role Play Theatre Workshop presented a fantastic Beatles based pantomime entitled TICKET to RIDE: the Magical Mystery Tour to The Snow Queen by Helen Chapman. This production was in aid of Hope House Children's Hospices with the goal of raising a cool £1,000.

This was a wonderful theatrical creation weaving together those classic Beatles tracks into an entertaining seasonal special, acted and sung well by a bunch of talented kids with one or two adults in tow! I have to say that it was an absolute pleasure to hear songs like "Yesterday", "Eleanor Rigby", "All You Need Is Love" and "Help!" performed so heartily by this company. A special mention for the musical quartet of our friends Dickon and Trish Faux-Nightingale plus Helen Chapman [the writer] and Janet Browne is most assuredly deserved. It's a good thing to see the grandchildren of the Beatles generation belting out their songs in this kind of setting. Well done guys! Now for that ELO themed musical of mine ...

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 12-Dec-2010

Sunday, 5 December 2010

CAUGHT LIVE [3]: WHEELS OF FIRE

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! It was my great pleasure to be among the audience last night [Saturday 4th December 2010] with friends at the Whitmore Reans Conservative Club in Wolverhampton, England to witness the latest of those rare events which is a Wheels Of Fire gig.

On a night when most of the nations attention was focused on The X Factor and most of the attention in Wolverhampton was seemingly on whether yet another manufactured boy band will play a 'gig' in one of their members home town, the real and true business of talented and professional musicians coming together like hand and glove to produce a memorable and entertaining performance was happening right under their noses.
Quite simply, for those seeking an introduction into classic R 'n' B and for those of us who appreciate the great sound and construction of songs by The Beatles [THE inspiration for ELO], Cream, Free, Peter Green, Jimi Hendrix et al, last nights Wheels Of Fire concert was like honey melting in the mouth.

The quartet of Brian Badhams on bass guitar, Clive Bunker on drums/percussion, Mark Stanway and our very own Phil Bates on lead/rhythm guitar and vocals were - to this writer - stunning. I absolutely love their funked up version of "Daytripper"! It is hard to pick out highlights when the standard was so very high. Folks ... you missed out hearing the sublime "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "Oh Well", "Wishing Well" and "Layla" and the rest of the set. There are connections here for the fans of The Beatles and ELO to enjoy in particular. My friends and fellow attendees Andy and Jonathan were mightily impressed with what they saw and heard last night.
It was nice to touch base with Mark Stanway - whom I shall be interviewing for ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] in the near future. It was also great to chat with Phil after the gig on many and various subject matter. All in all, Yours Truly KJS thinks that this was one of the best gigs I have attended in respect of the musicianship and tightness of a given band. Don't  miss out on the opportunity to support Wheels Of Fire lest you will miss out on the heartbeat of True Blues.

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends Wheels Of Fire to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 05-Dec-2010

Saturday, 4 December 2010

ROY WOOD: FRONT PAGE

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Yours Truly KJS thought it apt that ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] should highlight the front page report in tonight's edition of the Wolverhampton based "Express & Star" newspaper [Saturday 4th December 2010] on the subject of the Roy Wood gig at Birmingham Town Hall last night:
Isn't it great to see this Midlands music legend, the man who gave us The Move, ELO, Wizzard and some of the greatest pop songs ever written receiving the correct amount of media attention?
ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends Roy Wood to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff LynneThe MoveWizzardThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 04-Dec-2010

Friday, 3 December 2010

LAST CALL: WHEELS OF FIRE @ 04/12/10

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Please be reminded that Yours Truly KJS shall be in attendance at Whitmore Reans Cons Club in Wolverhampton tomorrow [Saturday 4th December] at 9:00PM to [once again] see and hear Phil Bates' perform with Wheels Of Fire - who also feature Mark Stanway [Magnum], Clive Bunker [Jethro Tull] and Brian Badhams [The Elkie Brooks Band]. Further information can be found via these links thus:

www.phil-bates.co.uk
RECOMMENDED: WHEELS OF FIRE @ 04/12/10
www.wherecanwego.com/search/ViewEvent=393882

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends Wheels Of Fire 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. See you there?

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 03-Dec-2010

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

INTERVIEW INFUSION [1]

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Today is just an ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] update to let you know that Yours Truly KJS is in the process of garnering several interviews with some great musicians who have direct or indirect connections with the Electric Light Orchestra [ELO] via various means.

I'm also hoping to work with Pete Dicks - who produces that superb radio programme Beatles and Beyond and is involved also with the forthcoming ELO-centred radio show entitled "Out of the Blue Radio" - with the intent of compiling and producing a Beatles/ELO Special in the New Year.

And as we approach the 40,000 visitor mark, may I take this opportunity to thank my each and every one of you for visiting ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] past, present and future!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 30-Nov-2010

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

RECOMMENDED: GROUCUTT & HAYNES @ 01/12/10

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Just a quick reminder that Groucutt & Haynes are live at The Robin 2 in Bilston near Wolverhampton on Wednesday 1st December. Their album "Another Good reason" is excellent and their live show is superb.

Yours Truly KJS has had the great pleasure of witnessing Rob and cohort Dan Haynes in concert on a number of occasions and the duo are well worth checking out. You probably do not need reminding that Rob is the son of the late, great and beloved ELO talisman Kelly Groucutt and is continuing his musical legacy. This will be their their last gig with a full band for a while hence this is a good opportunity to support them as we approach the New Year?

Here are two [2] links to their official web site and The Robin 2 ticket office:

Groucutt & Haynes
www.therobin.co.uk/whats_on/giginfo.asp?gigid=2243

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommend Groucutt & Haynes to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 24-Nov-2010

TWO KINDS OF MAGIC: ELO & QUEEN

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! It's quite true that fans of ELO and Queen are of the same music mindset. So when Yours Truly KJS made the "Discovery" that the much acclaimed Magic are now combining both "A Kind Of Queen" and "A Kind Of ELO" in the same show, it made sense to inform regular [and irregular] visitors to ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] of the following:


Yours Truly KJS is pleased to inform you that Magic have now scheduled a gig at the Wulfrun Hall in Wolverhampton on Sunday 13th March 2011. This looks to be an attractive concert to look forward to next Spring and is worthy of an ELOBF recommendation. See you there?

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 24-Nov-2010

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

CAUGHT LIVE: THE MOVE & THE ANIMALS

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! The Animals and their friends The Move [featuring ELO's Bev Bevan and Trevor Burton et al] served up a great concert at The Slade Rooms in Wolverhampton city centre last Saturday night. Yours Truly KJS has to say that the performance of The Animals [fronted by Pete Barton with John E. Williamson and original members John Steel and Micky Gallagher] was excellent in terms of the tightness of the performance and the PA sound quality.

The raw sound of The Move came later as they flew through their back catalogue of hits and gave us a sample of those heady Marquee days. One truly has to marvel at the guitar prowess of Trevor Burton and his stage presence as well as the established supreme percussion work of one the worlds greatest drummers. It was also to be noted that when Trevor re-stated the bands frequent request to Roy Wood to re-join his old band mates, he said that he felt that Roy was "softening".

It would indeed be great for Roy and Ace [Kefford] to come on aboard The Move again. You never know what is around the corner as life in the musical world is full of surprises. In summary, it was a great gig and if either or both groups come down your way, ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends that you seize the chance to go see and hear them!

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends The Move [featuring Bev Bevan and Trevor Burton] to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneThe MoveRoy WoodThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 23-Nov-2010

Friday, 19 November 2010

RECOMMENDED: THE ANIMALS & THE MOVE @ 20/11/10

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Just a quick reminder that The Animals and their friends The Move [featuring, of course, ELO's Bev Bevan, Trevor Burton, Neil Lockwood, Phil Tree and Tony Kelsey] are "Down Home Town" [almost] tomorrow night [Saturday 20th November] for their gig at The Slade Rooms in Broad Street, Wolverhampton thus:

www.wolvescivic.co.uk/index.asp?loc=whatsonshow&woid=14351

Yours Truly KJS shall also be there with my ELO gig buddy Chris "Is It Alright?" Evans and pals to savour the atmosphere and legendary music of both bands [especially the latter] as a belated birthday treat. You simply can't beat live music by talented musicians - especially those of the ELO [and related] kind! I would be most pleased to make your acquaintance. See you there?

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 19-Nov-2010

RECOMMENDED: WHEELS OF FIRE @ 04/12/10

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Please be advised that I shall, in all probability, be over at Whitmore Reans Conservative Club in Wolverhampton on Saturday 4th December to once again see and hear Phil Bates' latest project Wheels Of Fire performed with fellow founders Mark Stanway, Clive Bunker and Brian Badhams.

Yours Truly KJS is expecting a few friends and work colleagues to be there too. It's a great opportunity for a really good musicfest and it would be nice to make your acquaintance. You simply can't beat live music by talented musicians - especially those of the ELO [and related] kind! On top of that, I'm also hoping to have some more news re: Wheels Of Fire and ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] in the near future too.

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends Wheels Of Fire 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. See you there?

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 19-Nov-2010

Thursday, 18 November 2010

RECOMMENDED: THE BOOTLEG BEATLES

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! It really does seems like "Yesterday" since Yours Truly KJS picked up the above flyer for The Bootleg Beatles at the fantastic ELO Experience gig in Stoke-on-Trent last Sunday 14th November [see my review here]. This established Beatles tribute act are well worth going to see/hear and an ELOBF endorsement.


ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends The Bootleg Beatles to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneThe MoveRoy WoodThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles [of course!] and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 18-Nov-2010

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

CAUGHT LIVE [2]: THE ELO EXPERIENCE

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! One of the many pleasures of being in the ELO [and related] universe is meeting fantastic folks as well as hearing music that truly caresses the ear drums. Last Sunday 14th November, Yours truly KJS [and family] ventured up to The New Victoria Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent to witness another concert by the fantastic ELO Experience. It was a pleasure to me personally that Rebekah and James' first ever live gig was listening to these chaps and not to teenage manufactured pop star cardboard cut-outs ... or even Riff Pilchard! And we were not disappointed as this most accurate and professional of tribute bands belted out a large chunk of the ELO classics back catalogue with their wonderful cello ensemble in full effect!

And this all despite Andy Louis' croaky throat. I didn't even notice that they omitted "Don't Walk Away" and "Big Wheels" from the set to protect his voice from those higher notes. It was such a great gig with some great guitar work from Jan Christiansen that seemingly fascinated James. The encore song of "Mr. Blue Sky" brought the whole audience to their feet and rounded off an ELOtastic night.

After gig, the band were just as obliging and talkative as they were at Shrewsbury back in July. Rebekah took great pleasure in garnering their autographs and meeting the band. I managed a chat and laugh or two with the group too.  A measure of how honest this band is can be derived from the fact that Andy Louis told me that at 2 o'clock that afternoon the gig was likely to be cancelled due to his throat problems. But still the band overcame this hurdle ably to not only avoid letting down this family but also the audience.

I'm told that their set list will next year include "Standin' In The Rain"  - but sadly not "The Battle Of Marston Moor [July 2nd 1644]" - as I later joked! There is also a strong chance that they will be featuring on Pete Dicks' forthcoming Out Of The Blue radio show. They will also be performing at The Robin 2 in Bilston near Wolverhampton on the same weekend as the 2011 ELO Fan Convention next August. All in all, it was a lovely night and a credit to those rare purveyors of the wonderful ELO sound. Their web site features all their tour dates and much more ... and in addition they have now launched their new Facebook page thus:

www.elotribute.com
www.facebook.com/The-ELO-Experience


ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends The ELO Experience to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff LynneThe MoveRoy WoodThe Idle RaceThe Beatles'Brum Beat' and all related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 16-Nov-2010

Monday, 15 November 2010

ELO BEATLES AND BEYOND FOREVER!

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! It is, of course, a natural extension of ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] to explore the commonalities and similarities between The Beatles and the Electric Light Orchestra [ELO]. One band was the inspiration for the other and the latter's musical heroes were the former. So it was great to briefly touch base yesterday [Sunday 14th November] with Pete Dicks, who presents and produces the widely broadcast and famed long running Beatles radio programme that is: Beatles and Beyond.

Pete may also be involved with a potentially new radio show called Out Of The Blue Radio. If it becomes a reality, it would be an ELO-centered programme, in a similar format to Pete's Beatles and Beyond show. Yours Truly KJS also hopes to meet up with Pete in the not-too-distant-future to put together a short Beatles and ELO special for inclusion in one of his Beatles and Beyond shows. Being as "I Am The Walrus" is thought to be the inspiration for ELO and their last studio album "Zoom" in 2001, featuring two original Beatles in George Harrison and Ringo Starr, there is plenty of material to consider and compile. You can find out more about Beatles and Beyond and where to find it via this link thus:


ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends Beatles and Beyond 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 ... 15-Nov-2010

Friday, 12 November 2010

REVIEW: PATHWAYS [Imaginos]

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Yours Truly KJS was delighted on several levels when I finally received a promo CD copy of Imaginos' new album entitled "Pathways" from my good buddy Sean Mack Page [SMP]. This new release is the musical sister to SMP's previous release via his Fragile X vehicle entitled "Drop In Time", as previously mentioned by ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF]"Pathways" does have a strong earthy, Celtic feel about it and a lot of deference to Rush. Within "Pathways", one can identify with some ELO influence, particularly in "Winter Gift", a track that reminds me somewhat of ELO's 1973 take on "In The Hall Of The Mountain King".


"Pathways" is largely written by Brian Nicks but - as with all class bands - it is the percussion of SMP that drives the heartbeat of the music. Whilst my own world view sometimes collides with the lyrics, I find this a well-produced and listenable package.

Tracks: [1] Pathways [2] I, King [3] Promethius Heart [4] Dark Embrace [5] And She Says
[6] The Warhound [7] Seas Of Fate [8] Kiss Of The Martyr [9] Nocturne [10] Winter Gift

There is a wide variety of styles to be found here with the bonus of Elise Winters' haunting vocals on some of the tracks. It is almost a throwback and a tribute to those great prog rock bands we all know and love but yet it stands up as an original work too. My favourite three [3] tracks are the title track "Pathways", the excellent guitar work of "Seas Of Fate" and the aforementioned "Winters Gift". As with most things, to garner your own opinion, it is best to check it out for yourself.

"Pathways" by Imaginos can currently be procured from amazon.com thus:

www.amazon.com/Pathways-Imaginos/dp/B004FN27VS

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Pathways" by Imaginos to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 12-Nov-2010

Thursday, 11 November 2010

INTERVIEW: JULIANNA RAYE

"Something Peculiar" by Julianna Raye
Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! One of the benefits of getting onto Facebook is that Yours Truly KJS has managed to touch base with not a few folks who share the same love and interest in in the ELO Beatles Forever [and related artistes] universe.

One of those blessings is being able to converse with and interact with those musicians who inspire us so much. I have had the pleasure this last week of conducting an interview with Julianna Raye, who released her critically acclaimed album back in 1992 entitled "Something Peculiar". produced by Jeff Lynne and also featuring Richard Tandy, Mike Campbell and Richard Dodd.

I approached Julianna after getting a hold of said album from amazon.com and quite frankly, I think that it's a fine set of well written, witty and enjoyable songs. The eleven compositions on "Something Peculiar" are [1] "Limbo" [2] "I'll Get You Back" [3] "Tell Me I'm Alright" [4] "Taking Steps" [5] "Peach Window" [6] "Something Peculiar" [7] "Roses" [8] "Laughing Wild" [9] "In My Time" [10] "My Tribe" [11] "Nicola". From a personal perspective, my favourites are "Limbo", "Peach Window", the title track, "Roses", "My Tribe" and "Nicola". I asked Julianna these half dozen questions and here are her answers:

KJS: What was your goal for this album at the time?
JR:. At the time grunge was happening and I didn’t relate to it particularly. I wanted to focus on classic pop songwriting with sing-able melodies people would remember for years to come. Growing up I was very influenced by the Beatles and I think that’s what caught Jeff’s ear and made him decide to work with me.
KJS: What was it like working with Jeff Lynne but also the then team that included Richard Tandy, Richard Dodd and Mike Campbell?
JR: Well, it was mainly Jeff and Richard on the day to day. Richard Tandy and Mike Campbell came in for some sessions and they played beautifully!! With Jeff and Richard D., it was a bit intimidating because I was so green and they were used to working with people who had spent loads of time in the studio. There was a tremendous learning curve just getting to understand my voice in the mic and how to correct pitch and take direction. Also their British accents sometimes made it hard to understand them! Plus they were used to working with boys, who typically don’t cry when they get frustrated. J Looking back it all seems quite funny now. At the time it was like being in recording artist boot camp! Jeff taught me a tremendous amount about songwriting … he was my first and best editor. He really helped me understand the structure of a pop song. He also defined my sound as a vocalist. He cut the vibrato out and exposed the pure voice underneath. He gave me my foundation as a singer/songwriter.
KJS: For me all the songs have a familiar [if not "Something Peculiar"] sound but taking aside Jeff's 'flavour', please tell me briefly about their inspiration?
JR: I was writing about what was familiar and meaningful to me so personal relationships on songs like My Tribe, In My Time, Something Peculiar, etc. and portraits of the people I love, like Laughing Wild, Nicola and Taking Steps. I was writing about people and situations where I had a message or insight I felt strongly about and wanted to communicate.
KJS: I particularly like the track "My Tribe" but what is your favourite track?
JR: The track I always go back to on that record is "Laughing Wild". It seems to do all the things I want it to do and I really like the feel of it.
KJS: What is Julianna Raye doing now in 2010?
JR: My most recent project was a Bossa Nova inspired CD called Dominoes. Dominoes has gotten some cool opportunities. In 2009, it was nominated for an Independent Music Award and Peter Gabriel hand-picked it to be part of his B&W Music Club series. Dominoes has just been licensed by a Japanese label, Vivid Sound for release in Japan in 2011. I’m also a long time meditation practitioner and trainer and I’ve started a company called Pop Go Zen, which integrates meditation techniques with listening to pop music. Lots of people want and need to meditate but sometimes it can be hard to make the time. Pop Go Zen teaches people a method that’s fun and engaging to make the process easier.
KJS: Could "Something Peculiar" ever be re-mastered and/or re-released?
JR: Well legally it's available for that so if a company came along and wanted to do that it could happen. At this point there are no plans for that. Sadly when people purchase it, I don’t see a penny! You never know what’s around the corner though. When I moved to LA I never expected to get the opportunity to work with someone like Jeff. Life is full of surprises!
Another Jeff Lynne production that hits the mark ...
"My Tribe" is certainly a musical relative of "I Am The Walrus" and within Jeff's production values lie his trademark 'sound', underpinning this strong set of songs.This CD is something that is not so much peculiar as something that is to be prized! Once again, my humble gratitude and thanx are extended to Julianna for her time and grace in this interview. You can still obtain "Something Peculiar" from amazon.com and amazon.co.uk via these links thus:


ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Something Peculiar" by Julianna Raye 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 ... 11-Nov-2010

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

IMAGINOS: WHAT A WONDERFUL DISC-OVERY!


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! What more can I say? Yours Truly KJS and ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] are truly gobsmacked!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 09-Nov-2010

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

RECOMMENDED: PATHWAYS [Imaginos]

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! My good friend, top drummer, percussionist, singer and producer Sean Mack Page has just released his new album "Pathways" by his ELO and Rush influenced band: Imaginos.

RECOMMENDED: SEAN MACK PAGE

Sean has mailed me a promotional copy of his album which is still eagerly awaited on this side of the Atlantic for me to peruse and review. In the meantime, "Pathways" is available from reputable music vending sites including amazon.com thus:


Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 03-Nov-2010

Saturday, 30 October 2010

SWITCHED ON AT THE LIZARD

Look At Me Now ... with those light bulbs!
Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! I was visiting the Lizard Point lighthouse in south Cornwall earlier this week and, whilst touring the facility, I asked the very obliging guide whether I could have a photo taken with some of the light bulbs that are used within the refractory!

Naturally, as an avid Electric Light Orchestra [ELO] fan, this photograph reminds me of the familiar light bulb artwork that was so heavily utilized by EMI/Harvest for ELO's self-titled first album [or "No Answer" as it was called in the US] and it just so happened that Yours Truly KJS was wearing [for the first time in ages] my 1994 ELO Part II "Moment Of Truth" tour T-shirt. "After All", they are a good match and I really felt that I was in my element! What "Do Ya" think?

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 30-Oct-2010

Sunday, 24 October 2010

RECOMMENDED: SEAN MACK PAGE

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Today we have the three [3] only available videos for you to peruse which feature Sean Mack Page, via his YouTube channel at:

www.youtube.com/user/oldwestlvr

We have the music video for Fragile X's single "Colorado Way Of Feeling" plus a couple of nice SMP drum solos for your perusal and delectation. And all three [3] tracks can also be found at the ELO Beatles Forever YouTube channel too:

Sean Page Drum Solo
Sean Page Drum Solo 2

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 24-Oct-2010

Saturday, 23 October 2010

IMAGINOS: PATHWAYS NOW OPEN

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! #150: My good friend Sean Mack Page is a top drummer, percussionist, singer and producer. A new album with his latest project Imaginos has now been released and is now available in CD format from amazon.com thus:


Meanwhile, why not have a read of the two [2] articles written by Yours Truly KJS that launched Sean Mack Page into the ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] universe thus:


Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 23-Oct-2010

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

RECOMMENDED: BEATLES & BEYOND RADIO SHOW [Pete Dicks]

The Beatles' "I Am The Walrus" inspired the concept of ELO by Roy Wood ...
Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Being as the concept of the Electric Light Orchestra was inspired by that classic Beatles song entitled "I Am The Walrus" and the love of the music of The Beatles musicology by ELO's mainstay Jeff Lynne is well documented as well as the fact that the jewel of the "Secret Messages" crown is that 'missing' gem "Beatles Forever", there has long been a true and strong connection between The Beatles musical family and ELO [for very many other reasons].

It should therefore be of no surprise to regular visitors, friends and followers of ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] that Yours Truly KJS recommends that you tune into Pete Dicks' fantastic Beatles and Beyond radio show thus whenever the occasion arises thus:


Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 19-Oct-2010

Saturday, 16 October 2010

INTRODUCING: HAMILTON RADIO

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! If you are looking for a great local radio station over in NJ or if you are looking for one to listen to on the internet, Yours Truly KJS can do no better than recommend THE most family friendly, ELO [and related artistes] friendly and fantastic radio station which is Hamilton Radio.

I've not heard so much consistently good music on a radio station for absolutely ages and ELO, ELO Part II, The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II] et al are also no strangers here too. Hamilton Radio also play tracks by Sean Mack Page's two [2] bands Fragile X and Imaginos as well as Phil Hatton's project WelshMansHill. So if I were you, I'd go listen to:

Hamilton Radio

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends Hamilton Radio 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-Oct-2010

Sunday, 10 October 2010

RECOMMENDED: JANE WILKINSON'S AUTUMN 2010 NEWSLETTER

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Please be advised that Jane Wilkinson of the fantastic elo.rockfans.co.uk web site has now issued her Autumn 2010 The Orchestra NewsletterJane often has the 'inside track' on all things The Orchestra and her site is one of my prized recommendations for ELO fans! You can access the fruit of her labour directly by clicking on the link below thus:


Yours Truly KJS is also pleased to announce that Jane will shortly be also publishing her new Beatles Blues and Blue Violin Project [BBBV] Newsletter too. As with both of Jane's fantastic publications, there is an open offer from ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] to assist in her endeavours!

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends Jane Wilkinson's 'The Orchestra' Newsletter to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO & Jeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 10-Oct-2010

Friday, 8 October 2010

FIRST LIGHT: 2011 ELO CONVENTION

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! On the 18th anniversary of that great Barnardos charity concert at the NEC headlined by ELO Part II and Roy Woodthere is now more meat on the bone regarding the first night of the 2011 ELO Convention in Tamworth, Staffordshire thus.

Friday 19th August 2011
"Out Of The Blue" Radio Disco with Tina McBain, Alex Farrell, Pete Dicks and Jeff Cooper. An evening designed so that we can all get together, chat, chill, have a social and a good 'ol dance.

The tickets for the Friday evening of the ELO Convention 2011 Weekender will be on sale next week from the Tamworth Tourist Information Centre [TIC] and are attractively priced at £8.00 each. The venue has a capacity of approximately three hundred [300] so you had better get your Credit/Debit cards out and ready folks! Here are the contact details for TIC:

Tamworth Information Centre, 29 Market Street,
Tamworth, Staffordshire, B79 7LR

t: ++ 44 [0] 1827 709581 or ++ 44 [0] 1827 709618
f: ++ 44 [0] 1827 709582
Opening hours: Monday [09:00 to 15:30] and Tuesday to Saturday [09:30 to 16:30]

COMING SOON: 2011 ELO CONVENTION
REVEALED: 2011 ELO CONVENTION DATES

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 08-Oct-2010

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

REVEALED: 2011 ELO CONVENTION DATES

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Tina McBain of The Beatles Blues and Blue Violin Project [BBBV] has now revealed the dates for the 2011 ELO Convention in Tamworth, Staffordshire. More details will follow when known:

Friday 19th August 2011
"Out of the Blue" Radio Disco with Tina McBain, Alex Farrell, Pete Dicks and Jeff Cooper - First night is simply dance yourself dizzy!

Saturday 20th August 2011
"A Little Light On An Electric Night II" - Second night is an acoustic garden party and barbecue!

Sunday 21st August 2011
The main convention event at Tamworth Assembly Rooms from 12:00PM until 10:00PM - lots of stuff in a fun packed day!
Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 06-Oct-2010

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

COMING SOON: PATHWAYS [Imaginos]

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! This is an unashamed advertisement for my good buddy Sean Mack Page's new album by his latest band Imaginos. You may recall my recent article: RECOMMENDED: SEAN MACK PAGE which detailed the ELO connection with Sean's previous band Fragile X. The new recording is entitled "Pathways" and is heavily influenced by both ELO and The Move. You can now download tracks at myspace.com and Yours Truly KJS is told that a CD will be released soon!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 05-Oct-2010

Thursday, 30 September 2010

REMEMBERING TONY CURTIS


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! We are all doubtless saddened by the announcement of the death of the legendary Tony Curtis yesterday [Wednesday 29th September].

Much as I have always liked the film "Some Like It Hot" which [of course] co-starred Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon, as an ELO fan one always remembers with great fondness his eclectic and memorable introduction to that charity gig at Wembley by the Electric Light Orchestra as part of their "Out Of The Blue" world tour in 1978, as broadcast by the Beeb at the time and available in its releases and re-releases in various versions and formats since. ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] leave you with these immortal words as a fitting tribute to remember this fine actor by:

"Your Royal Highnesses, Ladies, Gentlemen and Children. And to those of you who are not Highnesses or Ladies or Gentlemen. All who are here. I bid you welcome. And peace and happiness to all of you. For the disabled children. And for this great, great honour that's been presented to me. To present to you, the most outstanding rock group in the world today. My friends... the Electric Light Orchestra!"

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 30-Sep-2010

Saturday, 25 September 2010

HERE IS THE NEWS [4]

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Some snippets of ELO related news today. On the left is a scan of a report in South Devon's Herald Express from Thursday 23rd September on the subject of former ELO cellist Mike Edwards' recent funeral. On the right is a photograph that Yours Truly KJS took earlier today promoting an upcoming gig featuring co-founding ELO and The Move drummer Bev Bevan here in downtown Wolverhampton. There's always something going on somewhere in the ELO [and related] universe ...

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 25-Sep-2010