Tuesday, 29 March 2011

ELOBF GIG GUIDE [4]

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Hot on the heels of the fantastic BeatBack Brothers gig at The Falcon over in Bridgnorth, Shropshire last weekend [which included a nice version of The Move and ELO classic "Do Ya"], April is shaping up to being a great month for ELO themed concerts here in the [West] Midlands of England thus:

Saturday 2nd April
Electric Live Orchestra @ The Tackeroo, Hednesford, Staffordshire
www.tackeroo.co.uk
On stage @ 9:00PM; Tickets: £6.00 each

Thursday 7th April
Beatles Blues and Blue Violin Project @ The Walker Theatre, Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury
www.theatresevern.co.uk/WhatsOn_focus.asp?ShowId=659&sC=page10
On stage @ 7:30PM; Tickets: £16.00 each

Sunday 10th April
Beatles Blues and Blue Violin Project at The Robin 2, Bilston, Wolverhampton
www.therobin.co.uk/whats_on/giginfo.asp?gigid=2345
On stage @ 9:00PM; Tickets: £12.00 each [door] or £10.00 each [advance]

Yours Truly KJS hopes to interview some or all of the above artistes [and not a few others] in the coming weeks and months for ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF]. See you there?

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 29-March-2011

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

HAMILTON RADIO: KJS SUGGESTS THIS WEEK 25/03/11

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! This weeks' Keith James Sinclair Suggests show over on Hamilton Radio will feature artistes including Electric Light Orchestra [ELO], The Move, Kelly GroucuttWelshMansHill, The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II], The Beatles and not a few others. The show will also feature cover versions of two [2] classic ELO songs by Fragile X and Velvet Revolver.

The show goes out on a Friday between 10:00AM and 12:00 Midday EST which equates [at the time of writing] here in the UK as 2:00PM to 4:00PM. Please feel free to click on the links below to reach Hamilton Radio - a friend of ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] and a wonderful family friendly radio station located in Hamilton, New Jersey, USA that plays a fair proportion of ELO and related artists music 24/7 - and also hosts Pete Dicks' Beatles & Beyond and Martin Kinch's Cherry Blossom Clinic shows too:

www.hamiltonradio.net
hamiltonradio.net/listen2.php


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 ... 23-March-2011

Sunday, 20 March 2011

RECOMMENDED: WELSHMANSHILL

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! If you tuned into KJS Suggests over on Hamilton Radio today or in previous weeks, you may have heard a couple of songs by a band named WelshMansHill entitled "When It Rains" and "Nobody Came" - from their forthcoming album "Poparama" - on which there is an amazing, eclectic and great set of songs that I've been listening to recently - and firmly believe that all ELO and Beatles fans will enjoy.

WelshMansHill [WMH] are Phil Hatton, Steve Turner and Phil Ridden. I shall be reviewing their debut CD and hopefully interviewing all or some of WMH in the not-too-distant future.

But before I do that, Yours Truly KJS thought that I would introduce them to you by quoting the text of their introductory promotion letter. You will also find below news of the track listing and also a couple of links so that you can visit their web site at: welshmanshill.com and listen to three [3] of the album tracks for your good selves. Here is an overview of WMH for you to peruse:

"Musically, these are exciting times. It's the distinctive artists that are connecting and selling. Acts that have made unique sounding records do not fit the mainstream, but it is this very uniqueness that connects with an audience who want something original, honest and fresh. That's where the unique sound of WMH comes to the fore. WMH have an established song writing, producing and performing relationship dating back many years, and have followed various musical paths around the world. WMH are Phil Hatton, Steve Turner and Phil Ridden.

Phil Hatton
Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Del Shannon - Phil has sung backing vocals with all these artists. As PA to Jeff for over 20 years, he worked on George Harrison's "Cloud Nine"; Paul McCartney's "Flaming Pie" and The Traveling Wilburys' "Volume 1" and "Volume 3" to name but a few.

Steve Turner
Steve played guitar for Brian Connolly's Sweet on many world tours including Scandinavia, Australia, Dubai and Western Europe. He recorded albums with 'Blackfoot Sue' and 'Outside Edge' and has material currently released worldwide.

Phil Ridden
Phil played drums with Steve in Brian Connolly's Sweet for many years, touring extensively. He played with the renowned 'Ziggy Stardust' tribute "Gene Jeanie" and various other bands such as 'Ghost'. He has appeared on live TV, the Gods of AOR and many festivals, including 'Rock on the Rock' in Gibraltar. He has CD releases worldwide including Japan and the USA.

From the concise electric pop of "Nobody Came" to the sublime solemnity of "Sunshine In The Morning", WMH's POPARAMA has something for everyone - a body of work that will leave the listener somewhere other than it found them. Natural organic instrumentation blends with dance friendly themes, creating the vibrant and individual sound of WMH. The eclectic mix of influences significantly compliments WMH's worldview."

"Poparama" will be officially released soon and a new web site for WMH is under construction where you'll be able to listen to: "In Tomorrow's World"; "Alaska"; "Not Really A ..."; "Sunset In The Morning"; "Postmodernism Bluesman"; "Nobody Came"; "Catch A Train"; "When It Rains"; Wendy's Farm"; "Endorphic" and "Getcha" in the very near future.

Click on this link to download and listen to the fantastic track: "Nobody Came" here:
welshmanshill.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/09track9.wav

Click on this link to download and listen to the fantastic track: "In Tomorrow's World" here:
welshmanshill.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/01track1.wav

Click on this link to download and listen to the fantastic track: "Catch A Train" here:
philhatton.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/04track4.wav

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends WelshMansHill 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 ... 20-March-2011

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

HAMILTON RADIO: KJS SUGGESTS THIS WEEK 18/03/11

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! This weeks "Keith James Sinclair Suggests" slot over on Hamilton Radio will feature artistes including ELO & Jeff Lynne, The Move, Paul McCartney, Fleetwood Mac, WelshMansHill and not a few others.

The show goes out every Friday between 10:00AM and 12:00 Midday EST which equates to [at the time of writing] here in the UK as 3:00PM to 5:00PM. Please feel free to click on the links below to reach Hamilton Radio - a partner of ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] and a wonderful family friendly radio station located in Hamilton, New Jersey, USA that plays a fair proportion of ELO and related artists music 24/7 - and also hosts both Pete Dicks' Beatles & Beyond and Martin Kinch's Cherry Blossom Clinic shows too:


ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends Hamilton Radio 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 ... 16-March-2011

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

MIKE EDWARDS VERDICT: ACCIDENTAL DEATH

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Yours Truly KJS received a call earlier today when I arrived home from work from Pete Reynolds [who is the roving reporter for ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] down in South Devon] for informing me that the inquest into the tragic death of that enigmatic ELO cellist Mike Edwards last Autumn had reached a verdict of "accidental death". I've collated a few of the reports from national and local UK newspapers for you to peruse and draw your own conclusions thus:

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 15-March-2011

Saturday, 12 March 2011

RECOMMENDED: TINA McBAIN

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] would like to share with you today a new web site for your perusal. Tina McBain is a wonderful vocalist who has worked in several ELO and Beatles related projects including [of course] The Eleanor Rigby Experience and the Beatles Blues & Blue Violin Project [BBBV]. She has also just launched her new official web site thus:


There are links within this excellent site to all of her musical activities including her work with BBBV, who also feature former ELO and The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II] stalwarts Mik Kaminski [violin] and Phil Bates [Guitar/Vocals], her new "folky, funky, rootsy [and] very eclectic" collaboration with Maartin Allcock and Nigel Merritt entitled M74, her work with Sir Bob Geldof and her new project The Your Song Studio & Gallery near Tamworth, in Staffordshire, which, by the way, opens tomorrow on Sunday 13th March!

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends Tina McBain 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-March-2011

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

ROCKIN' BERRIES & MAGIC GIGS POSTPONED

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! My good friend and gig buddy Chris 'Balance Of Power' Evans has just informed me that the "Two Kinds Of Magic" gig at Wolverhampton's Wulfrun Hall on Sunday 13th March by Magic featuring [strangely enough] the music of Queen and ELO has been postponed.

Sadly, The Rockin' Berries gig at the same venue on the night before [Saturday 12th March] that was to feature Move and Wizzard bassist Rick Price has also been cancelled. There goes the weekend!

Yours Truly KJS contacted the Wolverhampton Civic Hall Box Office and was told that one gig had been postponed and the other had been cancelled "due to reasons beyond their control". Better get those Beatles Blues & Blue Violin [BBBV] tickets procured then folks!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 09-March-2011

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

INTERVIEW: ANDY LOUIS [The ELO Experience]

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Yours Truly KJS managed to catch up recently with Andy Louis from The ELO Experience. And when The Orchestra [former members of ELO & ELO Part II] are not touring, there are few things better than to go listen to bands who pay tribute to "the most outstanding rock group in the world" [a quote from the late, great Tony Curtis]. I hope you enjoy my interview with Andy for ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] thus:

KJS: Greetings Andy! You're the Lead Vocalist and guitarist with The ELO Experience. Where did your musical journey take you before you joined the band?
AL: For many years I performed with different bands and even on my own in the Northern Club Circuit. I was also an Elvis impersonator for a while!
KJS: How did you become a part of The ELO Experience?
AL: After performing in clubs I wanted to do something different without leaving music, which I loved. I have always loved ELO and grew up with the songs. No-one was doing a tribute to ELO and Jeff was not touring it seemed an obvious move. I contacted a few guys who I knew very well and were incredibly talented and we took it from there.
KJS: The ELO Experience have a growing legion of followers both on-line and at your concerts. How important are those fans to you?
AL: The fans are as important as it gets to us. We are so lucky in that for a very short time on stage we get to feel how Jeff and the boys must have felt. The people who come to our shows are the best. They make us feel great and I can personally feel the joy they get from this great music and that pushes me and the rest of the band on to make sure we give everything we have every time. We are a tribute show to Jeff and ELO and no more. I am humbled by the great and loud reception we receive everywhere we perform the show. We are genuinely trying to be as respectful as we can to the great man and his superb band and take nothing and no-one for granted. We are very lucky!
KJS: The ELO Experience are currently your good self, Steve Hemsley [Keyboards/Special Effects/Vocals], Pete Johnson [Bass Guitar/Vocals], Jan Christiansen [Lead Guitar/Vocals], Tony Lawson [Drums/Percussion], Viv Blackledge [Cello] and Marissa Steer [Cello]. Can you tell us about the mechanics of the band and the personalities?
AL: When working so closely with people, especially talented and artistic people, can be sometimes testing, however I can honestly say that we, as a group get on superbly and that is key in my opinion to having a successful show. We all have our roles to play and no single one is more or less valuable than the other, we rely on each other and all know what is expected after all we are professional musicians and have to do what it takes. We have just had to make a change in our line up. Pete Johnson who has been superb over the last 18 months since he joined "The ELO Experience" has had to leave due to other commitments. This is sad for us as Pete is a great guy as well as a talented band member. We have searched and found a great replacement for Pete and YES it is another Pete; this time 'Smith'! We have known Pete [#3] for a long time and he has worked with the show from time to time initially when Pete Allison was very ill and again when Pete Johnson was ill. He will be a great addition and we are looking forward to the future. As for personalities what you see is basically what you get. We all love what we do and do not take our selves too seriously. Our feet are well and truly on the ground.
KJS: We were all shocked when Pete Allison passed away within a few weeks of ELO's Kelly Groucutt. How did these twin blows affect the band?
AL: Pete A was a great musician and superb ambassador for our show but to me and all the other members he was our friend first and foremost. His illness and passing hit all of us so hard and was almost the end for the show. If it had not been for the feeling of letting Pete down we probably would have walked away - this is how low we got. But in true Pete style we picked ourselves up! He is still with us in many ways and there is not a time when we do not think and talk about our time with him, we were blessed to know him. Kelly was a shock and I thought someone was playing a sick joke when I received a text message saying he had died. I only met him a few times but he was always very complimentary to the show and had no edge to him. I just wish we had got to know him better. He came across as a fun loving, warm and genuine man. We miss them both incredibly.
KJS: What are your musical influences besides ELO?
AL: All the band members have their own heroes and favourites. The common ones are The Beach Boys, The Beatles and any great harmony bands. I was brought up with the sound of Elvis in my ears for many years and I am a massive fan. Someone we admire from today's music would probably be Michael Buble.
KJS: Do you have any other musical projects ongoing and, if so, what are they?
AL: Nothing at present. We are very busy developing our show and reputation with The ELO Experience!
KJS: Your set list includes a wide range of the ELO songs would you like to recreate on stage and/or do you plan to perform in future?
AL: We try to put a new 'album' song in once a year just to add some freshness to the show. Last year it was "Big Wheels" from "Out Of The Blue" and this year it is "Standin' In The Rain", also from OOTB. Songs for the future. Well, there are so many that I like! "So Fine" and "Four Little Diamonds" are amongst the 50 or so others I would like to do! I would like the band to get to the stage where we can re-create the full OOTB album [or most of it anyway]!
KJS: How difficult is it to reproduce those very multi-layered and unique Jeff Lynne compositions and orchestral ELO arrangements on stage?
AL: For me impossible, however Steve Hemsley is probably the most gifted musician I know and he works extremely hard on getting every little detail correct. The task is obviously made a great deal easier when you work with gifted and willing people. We work together and if something is not right, we are in an environment where it is said as it is and no one gets upset. The end result of the show is all important and the finished result has to be no less than the best it can be - after all people pay good money to see the show and deserve only the best we can offer. Being a tribute band means we cannot cut corners - we must deliver as near as we can to the record! After all, this is what the majority of people remember.
KJS: A question I always ask next ... What are your personal favourite ELO tracks?
AL: As I have said previously I love "So Fine" and "Four Little Diamonds" but I genuinely love most of them. Some I find difficult to sing - as Jeff had a unique and great voice - songs such as "Ma Ma Ma Belle" and "10538 Overture" for example. We tried these and did not feel we could do them justice. We have worked on "It's Over" and "The Way Life Meant To Be" which are also great songs - but I love 'em all!
KJS: How can folks find out where and when The ELO Experience are playing?
The best way is to visit www.elotribute.com and visit the tour page and/or visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/The-ELO-Experience
KJS: Finally ... Has Pete Johnson now recovered from being "cut ‘orf" in that infamous July 2010 photograph at Shrewsbury?
AL: Yes he has -  just! This was NOT the reason for him leaving - 'onest!


Many thanx to Andy for participating in this interview. ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends The ELO Experience 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 ... 08-March-2011

Saturday, 5 March 2011

REVIEW: LIVE IN LONDON 1976 [ELO]

Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! When the above DigiPack CD entitled "Live London 1976" popped up on amazon.co.uk recently, Yours Truly KJS just couldn't resist buying a copy for the sake of curiosity. Remember these ELOBF articles last year?

ELO: LIVE IN LONDON 1976 [1]   ELO: LIVE IN LONDON 1976 [2]
What can I say about this EU release on the Immortal label [IMC Music #IMA104164]? The words "Nice packaging - shame about the audio!" come to mind. Compared to that fine Eagle DVD release last Summer that also included the 1976 "Fusion" concert at the New Victoria Theatre in London, the sound quality on this CD is 2/10 at best. I should have known better when I played it on my PC and these words came up: "Live London 1976 [Official Bootleg Bad Quality]" ... and it is precisely that! But the sleeve work - apart from the later "Discovery" photo shoots on the front cover - is really quite good [see above images]. It's a gatefold pack with a nice close-up of Bev, Jeff and Kelly doing "Strange Magic" and a nice overview of the history of ELO written by William Hogeland. I'll leave you with the sleeve notes [transliterated below] and leave the decision as to whether to procure said CD [or not as the case may be] with you:

"This 1976 London concert finds Electric Light Orchestra in the midst of its breakout moment, when songs like "Evil Woman" and "Strange Magic" were becoming huge U.S. hits for one of the more accessible of the British progressive rock bands. The band began in 1971, when Birmingham, UK guitarist and singer Jeff Lynne, formerly of the Idle Race, joined up with guitarist and singer Roy Wood, of the Move, and drummer Bev Bevan. Wood and Lynne were heavily influenced by recent Beatles albums, which extended rock into symphonic and other classical sounds.

At first ELO might have appeared to be an extension of the Move: the earlier band continued to release albums that helped pay for ELO's experimentations in recording. For their later albums the Beatles had been able to avail themselves of sophisticated resources and technology - and they no longer performed live. Developing late-Beatles musical elaborations for a gigging stage act by a new recording outfit was an ambitious project. ELO soon added Bill Hunt on keyboards and horns and Steve Woolam on violin. For live shows, they brought in other classically trained and rock sidemen.

The first album featured "10538 Overture", which the band performs here; it became a top-ten hit in the U.K. Wood soon left the band with Hunt and Woolam. Lynne stepped into a leadership role, and brought in new players. He also wrote the songs. The band now had a huge sound, mixing synthesizers, brass, strings, and hard driving rock in ambitious songs. Lynne began learning how to balance the acoustic and amplified instruments for an integrated sound that worked well in arenas. "ELO II" featured a cover of Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven", another top-ten U.K. hit, also heard in this concert. Further personnel changes occurred and stabilized as the band began to achieve its mature sound under Lynne's direction. The fourth album, "Eldorado, A Symphony" put the string section live in the studio, not overdubbed, and Louis Clark became a member of the band as a string arranger.

By the time this concert was recorded in 1976, ELO had also developed a strong following in the U.S. Rock television was evolving, with shows like "Rock Concert" and "Midnight Special" bringing the big, flashy arena sound of the early 1970's to the TV studio and the small screen. ELO appeared repeatedly on "Midnight Special". "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" reached the U.S. top-ten. "Evil Woman", from the 1975 album "Face The Music", had an edge-of-disco sound that also crossed over to U.S. pop, as did "Strange Magic". In 1976, ELO played an intense, gruelling tour throughout the U.S. The band was now an established international touring and recording phenomenon.

This concert thus finds ELO right in the middle of its breakout. The concert is characteristic of the mixture of innovation and accessibility the band was purveying in the mid-1970's. The strings, amplified with pickups, are played with rock drive and intensity. Speed and virtuosity are at a premium, but so is a kind of innocent appeal and Brit cheekiness and fun, and absence of anything approaching punk edge or metal aggression. In the years following this concert, ELO would become even bigger, managing to have prog-rock hits in the disco and punk eras."

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 05-March-2011

Thursday, 3 March 2011

INTERVIEW: BOB LAWTON [The Rockin' Berries]

Hello again folks! Following on from my recent interview with Rick Price - former bassist with The Move and Wizzard - I am pleased to publish this interview with Bob Lawton - current Tour Manager and close associate of  The Rockin' Berries - who are currently touring the UK celebrating their 50th Anniversary featuring Rick Price.

The Rockin' Berries are a well known band to the Sixties generation and beyond. They were one of those many excellent ‘Beat’ bands that this decade produced and were indeed one of – if not – the first 'Brum Beat' bands that emerged nationally and internationally thereafter. They were contemporaries of the Birmingham groups that merged to form the likes of The Nightriders, The Idle Race and, of course, The Move – and the rest, of course, is history. The Berries enjoyed notable success including a Top 20 album and they also scored six [6] hit singles which included “He’s In Town” [UK #3] and “Poor Man’s Son” [UK #5]Yours Truly KJS caught up recently with Bob, a close associate of and the premier ‘subject matter’ expert with respect to the Berries and asked him these ten [10] questions:

KJS:  How did you become so closely associated with The Rockin' Berries?
BL: I became so closely associated with the lads from schooldays. In the same class as Geoff Turton and Bryan [Chuck] Botfield. They played clarinets in the school band, I played tuba. We have remained friends over the years and when I retired from my proper job to become an OAP they selected me to manage their 50th Anniversary year. An honour indeed.
KJS: I note with interest that there is a link between the The Berries and Fleetwood Mac. Can you elaborate?
BL: Chuck left our SM school to go to Moseley Art School. He formed a skiffle/rock band called The Bobcats, later to become the Berries. The pianist was a young lady whose name was Christine Perfect [later Christine McVie]. She later formed Chicken Shack ["I'd Rather Go Blind" - UK #14; 1969] and then became part of the Fleetwood Mac phenomenon.
KJS: Tell me about your longstanding friendship with Geoff Turton. It started at school and then with The Chimes didn’t it?
BL: Back at Turves Green Secondary Modern, Geoff Turton formed a band that we named The Swingin' Chimes. I was the singer. We were quite busy on the Midlands scene with a regular spot at The Orchid Ballroom in Coventry - then under the management of Larry Page. Our biggest claim to fame was probably playing with The Beatles at Smethwick Baths in October 1962. "Love Me Do" had just charted.
KJS: In my recent interview with Rick Price, the connections with fellow Midlands band Sight 'n' Sound soon became apparent. Rick is not the only member of The Berries who has a link with Sight 'n' Sound and by extension Roy Wood and Wizzard. What are the other parts of this musical membership interchange?
BL: When Geoff first left the Berries, and prior to having his solo hits as Jefferson, he joined a band named Sight 'n' Sound. Rick Price, now playing with the Berries, was the bass man. Unfortunately, it didn't last too long because Roy Wood came calling and Rick joined The Move.
KJS: The Berries also played at that famous venue The Marquee back then, as did The Move. What are your memories of those days?
BL: The Marquee is very special to the Berries. After doing a gig there, PJ Proby and his manager Kim Fowley heard the Berries and were impressed. PJ invited them to a party and it was there that Kim Fowley suggested they do a cover of the US hit "He's in Town" written by Goffin & King. The Berries version was cut and was in the shops within seven [7] days! And the rest is history, as they say.
KJS: Did The Berries cross paths with Mike Sheridan, The Idle Race, Jeff LynneRoy Wood or The Move at that time?
BL: Yes, the Berries and the Chimes played with Mike Sheridan and The Nightriders a number of times in the early Sixties. It has been said that by the year 2050, half the world's population would have either been an Elvis Presley impersonator or a Nightrider!
KJS: So here in 2011, The Berries are touring again and celebrating their 50th Anniversary. Tell me about what you would consider the absolute high point of The Rockin' Berries career?
BL: The high point of The Rockin' Berries career has to be appearing on The Royal Command Performance back in 1967. We were only the second beat group to do so after The Beatles. The famous after-show story about Tommy Cooper asking the Queen if he could have her FA Cup Final tickets happened that year ... and stood next to him were ... The Rockin' Berries!
KJS: The tour is now well under way. The Berries are playing all around their Midlands heartland and beyond. What have been the audience reactions this year to the tour?
BL: The first two concerts of the 50th Anniversary tour were both sell-outs and the opener at The Palace in Redditch was a real high with amazing chemistry between the lads and the audience. It was almost a throwback to the Sixties. As Geoff said: "In those days we had screaming girls storming the stage. We still get the odd scream, but nowadays we have to give them a hand up!"
KJS: I know that the guys are playing in my home town Wolverhampton’s Wulfrun Hall on Saturday 12th March. How can folks find out about the current tour and buy tickets?
BL: All the tour dates are on The Rockin' Berries web site and also on our Facebook page:
KJS: Finally Bob - a question that I always ask! What are your favourite ELO songs?
BL: Favourite ELO track? Mine would be "Turn To Stone". But Geoff, being a 'blue nose' [Birmingham City fan], would pick "Mr. Blue Sky" - which prompts me to think this: Us Wolves [Wolverhampton Wanderers] fans will have to come up with a new song to chant when the 'Blues' come to 'Molineux' - because now they have actually won something!

Once again, my wholehearted thanx are extended to Bob Lawton for sparing his time and agreeing to participate in this interview. ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends Rick Price and The Rockin' Berries to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, Wizzard, 'Brum Beat', The Move, The Idle Race, The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 03-March-2011