Sunday, 31 December 2017

Yours Truly 2017: A Year In Review

What a year 2017 turned out to be for elobeatlesforever (elobf)! So much has happened in the last calendar year that writing this review has taken much time. Where do I start?  I guess the fact that ELO founding trio Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood and Bev Bevan were to be found performing relatively regularly (and will be doing so again in 2018) was again significant, as was their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame alongside Richard Tandy. We missed seeing RT this year and continue to wish him well in his recovery. The year finished with a knighthood for Beatles legend Ringo Starr. Let's hope Sir Jeff will follow in 12 months ...

This was a busy year for Yours Truly KJS with many gigs, albums and gigs to review as well as us seeing the good Dr. Roy Wood (finally) reach 70 years of age with ELO maestro Jeff joining him just yesterday! On a personal level, it was amazing to see elobf achieve the notable milestone of 2 million views in early November just a few days after my 50th birthday and only 17 months after elobf hit its first million in June 2016. On a sadder note, there we lost many musical heroes again in 2017 including Chuck Berry and (most tragically) Tom Petty, not forgetting The ELO Encounter percussionist Simon Dove who passed away just this last week.
There were many gigs in 2017 that literally took ones breath away. the much anticipated Wembley spectacular on Saturday 24th June starring Jeff Lynne's ELO will forever live in my memory yielding a Top 10 album, many magic moments and the opportunity to meet in person friends and followers literally from "All Over The World" including the fabulously talented Jib Khan (the man behind elobf featured artiste Starflight).

It was also great to see The Orchestra (former members of ELO & ELO Part II) perform their excellent cameo at Rewind North in August (to an amazing audience reaction) and, of course, to again savour three superb Roy Wood dates as well as a couple of Stand Up & Rock! shows featuring Bev Bevan and Jasper Carrott (we look forward to the resumption of those SUAR shows in March - I'll be at Chesterfield!). ELO tribute bands were also a plenty in the last twelve months with some sublime live performances by The ELO Experience, ELO Again, Explosive Light Orchestra (ExpLO) and The ELO Encounter constantly raising the bar. Graham Gouldman and 10cc were also awesome in April and Take That delivered a stunning show in Liverpool in May whilst Bob Dylan joined my gig roster at Nottingham, kicking off a trio of Wilbury dates during the Summer that concluded with an absolutely brilliant show by Tom Petty (ably supported by Stevie Nicks) in July at Hyde Park.

elobf Gig of the Year
With TP suddenly passing away just under three months after his sole London appearance, I'd like to remember his two hour headline slot with The Heartbreakers at BST2017 as my fave gig of 2017 with EJLO at Wembley coming a very close second. My multimedia copies of "Wembley Or Bust" and the forthcoming 2018 world tour will provide more opportunities to see/hear Jeff Lynne's ELO live whereas the opportunity to see Charlie T. Wilbury Jr. again has forever passed. (Many thanx to Paul Scott for making sure I got to see TP!)
On the album front, this was another remarkable year for Jeff Lynne's ELO with live album "Wembley Or Bust" following "Alone In The Universe" into the Official UK Top 10 Album Chart and an orchestrated Roy Orbison also returning (in a fashion) with "A Love So Beautiful". The highly collectible (and delayed) "Out Of The Blue" 2LP picture disc set also charted as did "All Over The World" for many weeks. The Move also made a brief but welcome visit to the chart with their career overview "Magnetic Waves Of Sound". Magnificent new albums from Thomas Walsh's Pugwash ("Silverlake"), Judie Tzuke ("Peace Has Broken Out") and Michael Laine Hildebrandt's Bubble Gum Orchestra ("Sixthoverture") were highlights too.

elobf Album of the Year
Which brings me to the very difficult choice as to what was the elobeatlesforever (elobf) Album of the Year for 2017. I loved (and still love) all previously noted releases (and those in the above montage) but the record that stood out for me this year was Iain Hornal's classy 10cc tinged offering "The Game Begins With The Lights Out". A wonderful record worthy of more recognition.

Yours Truly KJS would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every visitor and contributor to elobeatlesforever (elobf) during 2017 and to also wish you a Happy, Peaceful, Prosperous if not ELOtastic New Year. See you in 2018 folks?

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 31-Dec-2017

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Jeff Lynne: Seventy Light Years Today!

By the "Time" that Yours Truly KJS had bought my first record - ELO's "Turn To Stone" at just ten years of age in November 1977, ELO maestro Jeff Lynne was approaching his 30th birthday and, it could be argued, his creative and commercial peak with "Out Of The Blue" about to rule the album charts and a lucrative (if not exhausting) world tour around the corner.

And ever since then, whether I've gone backwards to his tenure with The Rockin' Hellcats, The Andicaps, The Chads, Mike Sheridan & The Nightriders, The Idle Race and The Move or his career thereafter overseeing the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), The Traveling Wilburys, The Beatles, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Tom Petty (& The Heartbreakers), Roy Orbison, Dave Edmunds, Brian Wilson, Joe Walsh, Del Shannon, Regina Spektor, Bryan Adams and latterly Jeff Lynne's ELO (and not a few others), the production, music and lyrics of Jeff Lynne have always been a huge part of my life as well as, of course, the primary reason that elobeatlesforever (elobf) exists and that you can read this very article!

Today is Saturday 30th December so without further ado, both Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf) would like to wish Jeff Lynne a very Happy if not Bostin' 70th Birthday!

elobeatlesforever (elobf) also recommends "Wembley Or Bust" and "All Over The World" to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles, The Traveling Wilburys and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 30-Dec-2017

Friday, 29 December 2017

ChartWatch: Roy Wood & Wizzard Hit 44 Year Christmas High

The Official UK Album Chart Top 100 published earlier today (Friday 29th December) revealed that "Wembley Or Bust" by Jeff Lynne's ELO is down eleven places from #29 to #40 this week whilst "All Over The World" has also slipped seven places from #43 to #50.

In other news, Roy Orbison's orchestral overview "A Love So Beautiful" has clocked up an eighth week in the Top 10 in dropping to #10 from #7 with "The Ultimate Collection" also at #90. Meanwhile, Bryan Adams' latest career compilation "Ultimate" has nudged up from #63 to #61 meaning that ELO maestro Jeff Lynne has a hand in no less than five Top 75 albums this week!

Over in the Official Top 100 Singles Chart, the sensational news is that Wizzard have leaped an impressive eight (8) places from #23 to #15 with "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" meaning that their perennial festive fave has achieved its highest chart placing*** since it peaked at #4 in 1973 (matching its performance in 2007) and also giving Roy Wood his first UK Top 20 single in ten years!

See also: Review: Wembley Or Bust (Jeff Lynne's ELO)
See also: ChartWatch: Out Of The Blue Returns + Wembley Or Bust TV Debut
See also: ChartWatch: ELO/Jeff Lynne Continue + Wizzard Return for Roy Wood
See also: ChartWatch: ELO/Wizzard Consolidate + Wembley Or Bust BBC2 Reminder
See also: ChartWatch: Wembley Or Bust TV Debut Prompts ELO Uplift

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Wembley Or Bust" and "All Over The World" to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

***This article has grown a third eyebrow since first being published.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 29-Dec-2017

Saturday, 23 December 2017

New Year Birthday Party for The Idle Race

Fans, admirers and collectors of ELO/Jeff Lynne and related records will be pleased to see that Music On Vinyl are set to release a new 1LP gatefold edition of the 1968 Idle Race album "The Birthday Party" (MOVLP2006) in 180g black vinyl on Friday 5th January 2018. The Idle Race need no further introduction having, of course, included ELO maestro Jeff Lynne in their ranks alongside Dave Pritchard, Greg Masters and Roger Spencer prior to his transfer to The Move and the creation of the Electric Light Orchestra with Roy Wood and Bev Bevan. You can find out more and/or pre-order thru' amazon (their stated release date, however, is Friday 12th January) via these links thus:


Regular visitors to elobeatlesforever (elobf) will doubtless be aware that both The Idle Race's self-entitled second studio album (1969) and debut release "The Birthday Party" were the subject of highly collectible coloured vinyl releases for Record Store Day (RSD) in 2014 and 2016 respectively. Yours Truly KJS still hopes that their third and final (post-Jeff Lynne) LP, the ultra-rare "Time Is" (1971), will still feature in a RSD yet future ...

See also: RSD14 GALLERY: THE BIRTHDAY PARTY [The Idle Race]
See also: IDLE RACE CONFIRMED AS RSD2016 RELEASE
See also: THE IDLE RACE: DOUBLE RSD VINYL DELIGHT

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "The Birthday Party" (Music On Vinyl, 2018) by The Idle Race to those enlightened folks who love ELOJeff LynneRoy Wood'Brum Beat'The MoveThe Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 23-Dec-2017

Friday, 22 December 2017

ChartWatch: Wembley Or Bust TV Debut Prompts ELO Uplift

The Official UK Album Chart Top 100 published earlier today (Friday 22nd December) revealed that "Wembley Or Bust" by Jeff Lynne's ELO is up six places to #29 from #35 this week whilst "All Over The World" has climbed fifteen places from #58 to #43 primarily as a result of the successful BBC2 TV debut of "Wembley Or Bust" last weekend. Roy Orbison's "A Love So Beautiful" meanwhile has clocked up a seventh week in the Top 10 staying at #7 whilst Bryan Adams' career compilation "Ultimate" has slipped from #54 to #63 meaning that ELO maestro Jeff Lynne still has a hand in four Top 75 albums this week! Over in the Official Top 100 Singles Chart, Roy Wood and Wizzard is down just one place from #22 to #23 with their perennial festive fave "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday".

See also: ChartWatch: Out Of The Blue Returns + Wembley Or Bust TV Debut
See also: ChartWatch: ELO/Jeff Lynne Continue + Wizzard Return for Roy Wood
See also: ChartWatch: ELO/Wizzard Consolidate + Wembley Or Bust BBC2 Reminder

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Wembley Or Bust" and "All Over The World" 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 ... 22-Dec-2017

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Roy Wood: Rockmas 2018 Revealed + Tickets

Hot on the heels of the amazing success of his recent Rockmas 2017 spectacular and available much earlier than last year, Roy Wood has announced that tickets for next years event are now on sale. Rockmas 2018 will once again take place at the iconic Symphony Hall in Birmingham on Sunday 2nd December 2018 at 7:45PM.

2017 Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Roy - founder of The Move, ELO and Wizzard - has previously invited the likes of Quill, Andy Fairweather Low & The Low Riders, Galleon Blast, Rick Wakeman, Mick Miller, The Proclaimers, Kev Orkian, Jasper Carrott and Paul Young to join him so we can look forward to another memorable night with as yet unconfirmed special guests!

Tickets are priced at £32.50 each (*plus booking fees) and can be bought via this link thus:


elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends Roy Wood's Rockmas 2018 to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, Wizzard, The Move, The Idle Race, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 21-Dec-2017

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Guest Review: Christmas Christmas (Cheap Trick)

Whilst travelling to and from Roy Wood's annual Christmas spectacular Rockmas 2017 in Birmingham on Saturday night (16th December), my good friend John Collins (who is also proprietor of the fab Forever web site) ensured that Yours Truly KJS had a blast or three of Cheap Trick's impressive "Christmas Christmas" album, being as it includes their take on a certain festive fave as penned by Dr. Roy Wood. It therefore seemed like a good idea for John to write the very first guest album review for elobeatlesforever (elobf), so here it is:

"Good friends and long time fans of Roy Wood, US Rock band Cheap Trick have just released their new album "Christmas Christmas". Anyone who is anyone these days eventually has the idea of recording a Christmas album, the problem is they are all a variation on the same theme. Where this album differs somewhat, is that although there are covers, they are not the normal ones you would hear on 90% of Christmas albums. There are three songs written by Cheap Trick for the album, including the opening track "Merry Christmas Darlings", a great catchy track which is just fun, a theme running through the album. The other two songs by the band are "Our Father Of Life", a nice ballad (its not all 100MPH rock!) and the title track which is another fun rock and roll number, with an interesting party like ending!

Track two comes as no surprise, a cover of Wizzard's "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday", and track four is Mr. Lea and Mr. Holder's "Merry Xmas Everybody". Not a bad stab at either of them. Great to see those covered, as you must remember this album will be played and sold mainly in the US. Some other stand out tracks on the album is a cover of The Kinks' "Father Christmas", some rather amusing lyrics in this one.

There is a cracking version of The Ramones "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight)" and there is a wonderful ballad called "Remember Christmas", written by Harry Nilsson. I think you will also enjoy two cracking rock (almost punk) versions of "I Wish It Was Christmas Today" and "Run Rudolph Run" - I know I did! Other tracks include rather nice versions of "Silent Night" and "Please Come Home For Christmas". I have heard the album five or six times now and thoroughly enjoyed it, please have a listen. I am recommending it to you all!" ~ John Collins/Forever

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Christmas Christmas" by Cheap Trick to those enlightened folks who love ELOJeff LynneRoy Wood'Brum Beat'The Idle RaceThe MoveThe Beatles and related artistes.

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

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Caught Live (13): Roy Wood's Rockmas 2017

When Roy Wood's Rockmas 2017 was announced back in August , the man who brought us The Move, ELO, Wizzard and a plethora of hit records promised that his annual festive bash would "rock the roof off Symphony Hall". And Rockmas 2017 did not disappoint as the 2,000 strong audience were treated to a musical variety showcase with Mark Radcliffe's Galleon Blast, comedian extraordinaire Kev Orkian, acclaimed singer Paul YoungThe Enigma Strings and Birmingham Irish Pipes & Drums all contributing to a thoroughly enjoyable evening at the aforementioned Symphony Hall in Birmingham last night (Saturday 16th December).
Galleon Blast - headed up my BBC Radio 6 folk maestro Mark Radcliffe - were first up on stage and instantly evoked memories of the first Electric Light Orchestra album with their tricorn hats and pirate garb before embarking on a colourful 45 minutes set of self composed sea shanties and the odd cover. The effervescent Cheshire septet were a revelation were warmly received by their audience with "Port Satan" catching the eye (and ear) as well as their excellent renditions of The Pogue's "Fairytale Of New York" and "Shakin' All Over" - not surprisingly their interpretation of a song originally recorded by Johnnie Kidd & The Pirates!

Armenian comic Kev Orkian is very funny. He was last year and he was again this time around with an inspired routine including his take on Armenian versus pop music through the decades. Kev is still one of the funniest if not inventive comedians that Yours Truly KJS has come across.

A few eyebrows were raised when it was revealed that Paul Young of Streetband, Q-Tips, Los Pacaminos and (of course) major solo eighties fame was unveiled as the special guest for this years Rockmas show. And it proved to be an inspired choice as Paul delivered a fab four song cameo in the midst of Roy's set that included all three Top 10 hit singles from his 1983 "No Parlez" album and a smooth cover of "Some Kind Of Wonderful".
Either side of Paul's soul interlude was another storming set from our very own Wizzard Dr. Roy Wood. All the hits were there as Roy gave his fans and followers another reminder of his astounding career with the help of his superb Rock & Roll Band. The now familiar sight of Roy manhandling his bagpipes during "R U Red E 2 Rock" with the massed ranks of the Birmingham Irish Pipes & Drums band in support is always a highlight and it was no different this year!
This concert was also a mutual admiration society reunion as songs such as "Fire Brigade", "California Man" and "See My Baby Jive" (perhaps the most perfect pop song ever in my opinion) had us all singing (and dancing) in unison as in advance of a finale that included those lovely orchestrated versions of "Flowers In The Rain" and "Blackberry Way" with The Enigma Strings in full sway before all descended on the stage for the barnstorming if not much anticipated closer (and current #22 single"I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday". If nothing else, this event should remind all in the Midlands - if not the country and beyond - that Roy Wood is a modern music legend and worthy of significantly more recognition beyond a certain Christmas classic (this was echoed heartily by Mark Radcliffe on the night). The news gets even better as tickets for next years Rockmas on Sunday 2nd December 2018 are already on sale via this link thus:

www.thsh.co.uk/event/roy-woods-rockmas-2018

The Roy Wood Rock & Roll Band performed: "Brontosaurus/Intro" ~ "California Man" ~ "Ball Park Incident" ~ "Kiss Me Goodnight, Boadicea" ~ "Fire Brigade" ~ "New York City" ~  "I Can Hear The Grass Grow" ~ "Angel Fingers" ~ "R U Ready 2 Rock" ~ "See My Baby Jive" ~ "Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)" (with Paul Young) ~ "Love Of The Common People" (with Paul Young) ~ "Some Kind Of Wonderful" (with Paul Young) ~ "Come Back And Stay" (with Paul Young) ~ "Flowers In The Rain" (with The Enigma Strings) ~ "Blackberry Way" (with The Enigma Strings) ~ "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" (with Galleon Blast, Kev Orkian, Paul Young and  The Enigma Strings)

The Roy Wood Rock 'n' Roll Band are: Roy Wood, Danny McCormack, Shell Naylor, Neil Simpson, Roy Adams, Paul Corry, Jim Corry, James Russell and John 'Boysey' Battrum

See also: Caught Live (12): Roy Wood @ The Robin 12/12/17
See also: Caught Live (11): Roy Wood @ Shrewsbury 15/11/17

elobeatlesforever (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 ... 17-Dec-2017

Saturday, 16 December 2017

ChartWatch: ELO/Wizzard Consolidate + Wembley Or Bust BBC2 Reminder

The Official UK Album Chart Top 100 published yesterday (Friday 15th December) revealed that "Wembley Or Bust" by Jeff Lynne's ELO is holding on tight at #35 this week whilst "All Over The World" has climbed from #61 to #58. Roy Orbison's "A Love So Beautiful" has clocked up a sixth week in the Top 10 rising from #8 to #7 and Bryan Adams' career compilation "Ultimate" has slipped from #44 to #54 meaning that ELO maestro Jeff Lynne still has a hand in four Top 60 albums this week! Over in the Official Top 100 Singles ChartRoy Wood and Wizzard have edged up a further two places from #24 to #22 with their perennial festive fave "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday". Yours Truly KJS hopes that IWICBCE crashes the Christmas Top 20 next week for the first time since 1984 ...
Please be reminded that an edited version of "Wembley Or Bust" will be broadcast tonight (Saturday 16th Decemberon BBC2 at 11:30PM (or 30 minutes later in Scotland).

See also: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09jxc84
See also: ChartWatch: Out Of The Blue Returns + Wembley Or Bust TV Debut
See also: ChartWatch: ELO/Jeff Lynne Continue + Wizzard Return for Roy Wood

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Wembley Or Bust" and "All Over The World" 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-Dec-2017

Friday, 15 December 2017

Caught Live (8): ELO Again @ The Robin 14/12/17

ELO Again landed at The Robin 2 in Bilston last night (Thursday 14th December) for the penultimate date of their successful Return To The Blue tour delivering a cohesive, powerful performance of classic ELO tunes from their iconic hit debut single "10538 Overture" all the way through to "When I Was A Boy". Just over nine months had elapsed since Yours Truly KJS had seen this particular orchestral septet in Lichfield and, from the evidence on view here, the band have matured significantly in a tight musical outfit with a flair for enjoyable showmanship courtesy of the experience of their many theatre shows.

What I liked about their 25 song set on this occasion was their relaxed demeanour as Jeff Lynne penned classics such as "Evil Woman", "Showdown", "Telephone Line", "Mr. Blue Sky" and "Livin' Thing" were given the ELO Again treatment, delighting the buoyant audience. My faves this time around were "Tightrope", "Can't Get It Out Of My Head", "10538 Overture", "Do Ya" and an excellent (if not welcome) live rendition of the vastly underrated "Calling America". This was a high tempo and energetic concert - a delight to attend, watch and review. We now look forward to what ELO Again will play in 2018 ...

ELO Again performed: "Tightrope" ~ "Evil Woman" ~ "Livin' Thing" ~ "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" ~ "Confusion" ~ "Hold On Tight" ~ "10538 Overture" ~ "Wild West Hero" ~ "Showdown" ~ "Sweet Talkin' Woman" ~ "The Diary Of Horace Wimp" ~ "Calling America" ~ "All Over The World" ~ "Twilight" ~ "Do Ya" ~ "When I Was A Boy" ~ "Shine A Little Love" ~ "Last Train To London" ~ "Telephone Line" ~ "Rock 'n' Roll Is King" ~ "Turn To Stone" ~ "Rockaria!" ~ "Mr. Blue Sky" ~ "Don't Bring Me Down" ~ "Roll Over Beethoven"
"Is It All White?" (Photo: Christian Evans)
ELO Again were: Colin Smith [Guitar/Lead Vocals]; Mike McGibney [Bass Guitar/Vox]; Andy Smith [Synths/Keys/Vox]; Pete Burrows [Piano/Keys/Vocoder]; Matt Weston [Drums]; Ruth Rose [Violin/Vox] and Sion Dafydd Dawson [Cello/guitar]

Find out more about ELO Again and their show via their official web site thus:


elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends ELO Again to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, Wizzard, The Move, The Idle Race, 'Brum Beat', The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 15-Dec-2017

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Caught Live (12): Roy Wood @ The Robin 12/12/17

Roy Wood, the man who brought you The MoveELO and Wizzard put on another stellar show at one of his fave haunts on Tuesday night (12th December) as the 2017 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee rock and rolled into The Robin 2 in Bilston with his fab band to take the 700 assembled devotees on another top class musical trawl through his classics.

Having seen Woody not a few times more through the years and having once again enjoyed the bostin' banter, particularly on the subject of a certain Englebert Humperdinck preventing even more Move chart toppers, Yours Truly KJS still gets a lump in my throat when seeing Roy and the band perform the likes of "See My Baby Jive""Fire Brigade""California Man""Flowers In The Rain""Blackberry Way" and a certain Christmas classic live alongside lesser known faves "New York City" and "Big Girls Blues". The set list is pretty much set these days so bumping into a gentleman by the name of Jimmy McMichael, who had travelled solo from Co. Antrim in Northern Ireland to take in his first Roy Wood gig, spoke volumes for its content and the stage presence of Dr. Wood. Jimmy was completely taken aback and literally in awe of the show in hand and that, my friends, sums up another hugely enjoyable Woody gig for me. Mention needs also be made of both support acts on the night: Black Country singer/songwriter/comic Jonny Cole was very funny if not excellent and the all girl quartet JOANovARC truly rocked the joint ... literally!

With just a few more dates still to come on the current tour, there are still five opportunities to go see Dr. Roy Wood yourselves including Rockmas 2017 at Birmingham Symphony Hall on Saturday 16th December where you might also have the misfortune to bump into this writer.
The Roy Wood Rock & Roll Band performed: "Brontosaurus/Intro" ~ "California Man" ~ "Ball Park Incident" ~ "Kiss Me Goodnight, Boadicea" ~ "Fire Brigade" ~ "Big Girls Blues" ~ "New York City" ~  "I Can Hear The Grass Grow" ~ "Angel Fingers" ~ "Roy's Revenge" (Instrumental) ~ "R U Ready 2 Rock?" ~ "See My Baby Jive" ~ "Flowers In The Rain" ~ "Blackberry Way" ~ "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday"
Caught Live (11): Roy Wood @ Shrewsbury 15/11/17
Roy Wood: Rockmas 2017 Revealed + Tickets

elobeatlesforever (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 ... 14-Dec-2017

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Review: Optimistic State Of Mind (Tokyo Storm)

The title says it all. Once you've listened to the debut album from new Midlands based rock quartet Tokyo Storm, you will enter into an "Optimistic State Of Mind" thanx to an impressive array of well crafted songs underpinned by the guitar craft of Joe Bartnicki, top class vocalist Ben Green, ace drummer Bob Peach and bassist Jason Edwards, their latest recruit.

Admirers of the rockier edge of ELO, Paul Rodgers/FreeJourney, WhitesnakeForeignerYes, Kansas and those classic American rock bands we all know and love will find "Optimistic State Of Mind" an approachable and familiar album blended with instantly likeable guitar licks, searching lyrics with meaning and the heartbeat of superb percussion. If the title track doesn't grab your attention, then the moody "Silent Obsession" and "Lady Darkness" will if not the jealousy tinged "Is This Love", the driving anthem that is "Tune" or elevated ballad "Stormy Night". "Kill The Machines" is a call to arms hard to ignore too. The song that makes this album and closes it is my personal fave, the wonderful eleven minute instrumental piece entitled "Signals". With elements of Pink Floyd and some superlative musicianship on display, it provides balance and a fitting album closer leaving the listener with a knowing smile that they have just experienced a stunning rock album from start to finish. Tokyo Storm are looking for a label to provide a platform for their music. The likes of Frontiers, SPV, Angel Air and Cherry Red would do well to sit up and take notice. A Tokyo Storm is coming! ★★

Trax: "Optimistic State Of Mind" ~ "Is This Love" ~ "Tune" ~ "Stormy Night" ~ "Kill The Machines" ~ "Silent Obsession" ~ "Fire In Your Eyes" ~ "Lady Darkness" ~ "Summer Feeling" ~ "Signals"

Tokyo Storm are: Ben Green (Vocals) + Bob Peach (Drums, Percussion) + Joe Bartnicki (Guitars, Bass, Keyboards) + Jason Edwards (Bass, Vocals)

Find out more about Tokyo Storm via info@tokyo-storm.com and these official links thus:

tokyo-storm.com   
www.facebook.com/tokyostormband   twitter.com/tokyostormband

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Optimistic State Of Mind" by Tokyo Storm to those enlightened folks who love ELOJeff LynneRoy Wood'Brum Beat'The Idle RaceThe MoveThe Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 12-Dec-2017

Friday, 8 December 2017

ChartWatch: ELO/Jeff Lynne Continue + Wizzard Return for Roy Wood

The Official UK Album Chart published today (Friday 8th December) revealed that "Wembley Or Bust" by Jeff Lynne's ELO has slipped from #27 to #35 this week whilst "All Over The World" has climbed from #70 to #61. Roy Orbison's "A Love So Beautiful" has clocked up a fifth week in the Top 10 rising from #9 to #8 with Bryan Adams' career compilation "Ultimate" also up to #44 from #45 meaning that Jeff Lynne still has a hand in four Top 100 albums this week. Over in the vinyl chart, the 2LP "All Over The World" is down from #25 to #35 with the "Out Of The Blue" 2LP picture disc set dropping out from #2 after a week.
Meanwhile, over the Official Top 100 Singles Chart, Roy Wood and Wizzard have jumped a staggering 76 places from #98 last week to #24 with the perennial festive fave "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday". Yours Truly KJS suggests that you keep an eye on the chart performance of IWICBCE this year to see if it can eclipse the #16 it reached in 1984, not forgetting that it peaked at #4 upon its original release in 1973.
Please be reminded that an edited version of "Wembley Or Bust" will be broadcast on BBC2 on Saturday 16th December at 11:30PM (or 30 minutes later in Scotland).

See also: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09jxc84
See also: ChartWatch: Out Of The Blue Returns + Wembley Or Bust TV Debut

elobeatlesforever (elobf) recommends "Wembley Or Bust" and "All Over The World" to those enlightened folks who enjoy the music of ELOJeff LynneRoy WoodThe MoveThe Idle Race'Brum Beat'The Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 08-Dec-2017

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

elobeatlesforever (elobf) Gig Guide #30: Q1 2018

Winter into Spring (Q1) 2018 means that it's "Time" for the latest elobeatlesforever (elobf) Quarterly Gig Guide to be published once again! This is #30 and (hopefully) you will find my compilation of selected dates below (with more to follow when confirmed) between Monday 1st January and Saturday 31st March (plus individual artist links) helpful thus:

Saturday 6th January
Roy Wood Rock & Roll Band @ Cheltenham Town Hall, Gloucestershire
Tickets: £30 each (*plus booking fee)
www.cheltenhamtownhall.org.uk/event/roy-wood-rock-n-roll-band-red-e-2-rock-tour

Thursday 18th January

The 286 @ The Prince of Greenwich, London
Free entry
www.facebook.com/events/1936553866671347

Friday 26th January

The Trevor Burton Band @ The Queen's Head, Wolverley
Free entry
www.queensheadwolverley.com/events

Roy Orbison & The Traveling Wilburys Experience @ The Winding Wheel, Chesterfield

Tickets: £25 each (*plus booking fee)
www.chesterfieldtheatres.co.uk/shows/roy-orbison-the-traveling-wilburys-experience

An Intimate Evening with Mark Stanway @ Newhampton Arts Centre, Wolverhampton
Tickets: £9.50 each  (advance) or £10.50 each (door)(*plus booking fee)
www.ticketsource.co.uk/event/FEGEHJ

Wednesday 31st January

The Roy Orbison Story with Barry Steele @ The Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton
Tickets: from £18.50 each (*plus booking fee)
www.grandtheatre.co.uk/whats-on/concerts/the-roy-orbison-story

Thursday 8th February

ELO Again @ The Place, Oakengates Theatre, Telford
Tickets: up to £21 each (*plus booking fee)
www.theplacetelford.com/whats-on/music/elo-again/643

Friday 9th February

ELO Again @ The Deco, Northampton
Tickets: up to £19.50 each (*plus booking fee)
thedeco.co.uk/event/elo-again

Saturday 10th February

Roy Orbison & The Traveling Wilburys Experience @ The Civic, Stourport-on-Severn
Tickets: from £18 each (*plus booking fee)
www.thecivicstourport.co.uk/Orbison.php-wilburys-experience

Sunday 11th February

King's Heath Walk of Fame Beatles Fest 2018
The Beatles All You Need Is Love Session: Tickets: £4.40 each (advance) or £5 each (door)
Made In Liverpool: Tickets: £10 each (*plus booking fee)

Friday 16th February

Magic: A Kind Of ELO @ The Platform, Morecambe
Tickets: £19.50 each (*plus booking fee)
www.ents24.com/morecambe-events/the-platform/magic-a-kind-of-elo/5153452

Saturday 17th February

The ELO Experience @ The Winding Wheel, Chesterfield
Tickets: £25.50 each (*plus booking fee)
www.chesterfieldtheatres.co.uk/shows/the-elo-experience

Quill with Bev Bevan @ The Assembly Rooms, Ludlow
Tickets: £20 each (*plus booking fee)
ludlowassemblyrooms.co.uk/events-calendar-list/2018/2/17/quill-with-bev-bevan

Sunday 18th February

Record & CD Fair @ The Robin 2, Bilston
Entry: £1 each
www.therobin.co.uk/whats_on/giginfo.asp?gigid=4900

Thursday 22nd February

The Roy Orbison Story with Barry Steele @ Theatre Severn. Shrewsbury
Tickets: £23.50 each (*plus booking fee)
www.theatresevern.co.uk/shows/whatson/the-roy-orbison-story

Friday 23rd February

Roy Orbison & The Traveling Wilburys Experience @ The Civic Hall, Brierley Hill
Tickets: from £18 each (*plus booking fee)
www.bhillcivic.co.uk/whats-on/event/181/roy-orbison-and-the-traveling-wilburys

Wednesday 28th February

Pete Kent @ The Robin 2, Bilston
Tickets: £7 (advance) or £9 (door)(*plus booking fee)
www.therobin.co.uk/whats_on/giginfo.asp?gigid=4914

Friday 2nd March

The ELO Experience @ The Town Hall, Cheltenham
Tickets: £25 each (*plus booking fee)
www.cheltenhamtownhall.org.uk/event/the-elo-experience-2018-205755

The 286 @ The Trafalgar Freehouse, London
Free entry
www.facebook.com/events/158771791564092

Saturday 3rd March
The Trevor Burton Band @ The Black Country Arms, Walsall
Free entry
www.blackcountryarms.co.uk/whats_on.htm

Stand Up & Rock! @ The Winding Wheel, Chesterfield *** Now Tuesday 17th April ***
Tickets: £27.50 each (*plus booking fee)
www.chesterfieldtheatres.co.uk/shows/jasper-carrotts-stand-up-and-rock

Wednesday 7th March
Stand Up & Rock! @ Shanklin Theatre, Isle of Wight
Tickets: £27 each (*plus booking fee)
www.shanklintheatre.com/events/jasper_carrott__stand_up_and_rock

Thursday 8th March

Stand Up & Rock! @ The Pavilion Theatre, Weymouth
Tickets: £27.50 each (*plus booking fee)
weymouthpavilion.com/event/jasper-carrott

Friday 9th March

The ELO Experience @ New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham
Tickets: £25.50 each (*plus booking fee)
www.atgtickets.com/shows/the-elo-experience/new-alexandra-theatre-birmingham

Stand Up & Rock! @ The Lighthouse, Poole
Tickets: up to £27.50 each (*plus booking fee)
www.lighthousepoole.co.uk/whats-on/2017/jasper-carrott,-stand-up-and-rock

Saturday 10th March
Quill @ The Garrick Theatre, Lichfield *** Postponed from Friday 2nd March ***
Tickets: £22 each (*plus booking fee)
www.lichfieldgarrick.com/whats-on/music/quill-bev-bevan-2018-riding-rainbows-tour

"Jeff Fest" Fan Get Together @ Elite Party Venues, Birmingham

Free entry
www.facebook.com/groups/846779368813351

ELOquence @ The Merry Hill, Wolverhampton
Free entry
www.eloquence-tribute.co.uk/news

Wings Over Abbey Road @ Theatre On The Steps, Bridgnorth
Tickets: from £12 each (*plus booking fee)
www.theatreonthesteps.co.uk/product/wings-abbey-road

Tuesday 13th March

Stand Up & Rock! @ The Cliffs Pavilion, Southend-on-Sea
Tickets: from £27.50 each (*plus booking fee)
southendtheatres.org.uk/Online/tickets-jasper-carrott-stand-up-and-rock-southend-2017

Friday 16th March

Stand Up & Rock! @ The Corn Exchange, King's Lynn
Tickets: from £26.50 each (*plus booking fee)
www.kingslynncornexchange.co.uk/whats-on/comedy/jasper-carrotts-stand-up-rock

The 286 @ The Morden Arms, London
Free entry
www.facebook.com/events/1777699602523918

Sunday 18th March

The 286 @ The Lamb, Surbiton
Free entry
www.facebook.com/events/1769112009775378

Thursday 22nd March

The Steve Gibbons Band @ The Robin 2, Bilston
Tickets: £13.50 (advance) or £15 (door)(*plus booking fee)
www.therobin.co.uk/whats_on/giginfo.asp?gigid=5080

Saturday 24th March
The ELO Experience @ The Palace Theatre, Redditch
Tickets: £22 each (*plus booking fee)
www.redditchpalacetheatre.co.uk/whats-on/all-shows/the-elo-experience

Sunday 25th March
Stand Up & Rock! @ Venue Cymru, Llandudno
Tickets: £25 each (*plus booking fee)
venuecymru.co.uk/jasper-carrott

Monday 26th March

Stand Up & Rock! @ The Opera House, Buxton
Tickets: from £30 each (*plus booking fee)
buxtonoperahouse.org.uk/event/jasper-carrotts-stand-up-and-rock

Wednesday 28th March
Stand Up & Rock! @ The Princess Theatre, Torquay
Tickets: from £25.90 each (*plus booking fee)
www.atgtickets.com/shows/jasper-carrotts-stand-up-and-rock/princess-theatre-torquay

Saturday 31st March

Stand Up & Rock! @ The Britannia Pier Theatre, Great Yarmouth
Tickets: from £19 each (*plus booking fee)
www.britannia-pier.co.uk/show_detail.php?id=198

Jeff Lynne's ELO After a stint with classic Birmingham bands The Idle Race and The Move, Jeff Lynne co-founded 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 Wilson, Paul 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 Petty, Bob Dylan, George 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: www.jefflynneselo.com

Roy Wood The co-founder of The Move and ELO and the founder of Wizzard, The Helicopters et al will [hopefully] be on the road again during 2017! Find out where to see Dr. Roy Wood and what he is up to with his Rock 'n' Roll Band via his official web site thus: www.roywood.co.uk

The Orchestra Former members of ELO and ELO Part II: Mik Kaminski, Louis Clark, Eric Troyer, Parthenon Huxley, Glen Burtnik and Gordon Townsend continue to tour the world extensively. Find out where to see them via their official web site thus: www.theorchestra.net

Quill Legendary Midlands Celtic tinged Americana rockers Quill, led by the incomparable Joy Strachan-Brain, have built up an impressive live reputation over a four decade span and now feature Tony Kelsey and Abby Brant in their ranks. Find out where to see them via their official web site thus: www.quilluk.com

The Trevor Burton Band A co-founding member of The Move, Trevor Burton can be found performing regularly at various venues in the Midlands with his fantastic band. Find out where on their web site thus: www.thetrevorburtonband.co.uk

The ELO Experience Based in Hull, The ELO Experience 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 now via their official web site thus: www.elotribute.com

ELO Again Based in South Wales, ELO Again 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 now via their official web site thus: www.eloagain.co.uk

Explosive Light Orchestra Not only an ELO tribute act but an original, independent artiste in their own right, The Explosive Light Orchestra - also known as Symphonika - have reproduced the exciting works of ELO at packed theatres and live music venues all around Europe. Find out where to see them now via their official web site thus: www.elotributeband.com

ELO Light Years A new ELO tribute band and another from South Wales, ELO Light Years are headed up by Jim Ramsey alongside Mike 'Chas' Holcombe, Sarah Waycott, Richard Watson, Robin Davey and Claire Brewster with Angharad and Rhiannon Griffiths. Find out where to see them now via their official web site thus: www.elolightyears.com

The ELO Encounter Another new ELO tribute band, this time from Essex, The ELO Encounter feature Simon Rownes and three members of his family: Jack, Max and Henry alongside Martin Donald, Jasmine Ali and Simon Dove. Find out where to see them now via their official web site thus: www.elo-encounter.co.uk

The Trembling Wilburys One of two world class UK based Traveling Wilburys' tribute bands, The Trembling Wilburys were founded by drummer Dave Stark in 2010 and feature Dave Collison as Roy Orbison and Glen Knowler as George Harrison performing Wilburys and solo classics to rave reviews. The septet also feature top guitarist Dzal Martin, Andy McNish, Marko Laver and Howard Robin. Find out where to see them now via their official web site thus: www.tremblingwilburys.co.uk

The Big O & The Traveling Wilburys Experience One of two world class UK based Traveling Wilburys' tribute bands, The Big O & The Traveling Wilburys Experience are a multi-talented group featuring Paul Hopkins as Roy Orbison performing Wilburys and solo classics to rave reviews. The sextet is completed by Richard Gibson, Owen James, Aubrey Robinson, Matt Gaffiney and Andrew Whittaker. Find out where to see them now via their official web site thus: www.travelingwilburystribute.co.uk

The artistes and shows listed above are recommended by Yours Truly KJS and elobeatlesforever (elobf)This listing is not exhaustive. Please contact elobf should you wish events to be considered for the above roster. It'll be nice to see you at some of the above gigs for a chat!

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 05-Dec-2017