Archive for ELO

Jeff Lynne’s ELO Birmingham Arena, 13 October 2018

Posted in ELO, gigs, Jeff Lynne, pop, Pop rock, Stoke City FC with tags , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2018 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

To say I was excited at seeing Jeff Lynne and ELO play his home town of Birmingham would be an understatement! I have only see the Jeff Lynne fronted ELO once back at his comeback gig at Hyde Park in 2014. But first we had a wander around the local area near the Arena which has changed a lot since I was last in Birmingham back in the late 1980’s. The area has changed a lot needless to say with the canals area restored and plenty of restaurants and bars nearby, along with the impressive new Birmingham Rep/library building. Mind you avoid the library cafe as it is overpriced. This fella was outside the Legoland Experience…

Billy Lockett was the support, an up and coming singer/songwriter who I had not heard of prior to tonight. Backed by a guitarist and a drummer, with himself centre stage on keyboards, Billy Lockett was impressive with his songs going from the grandiose, to more reflective songs. He has a great ear for melody and impressed the arena crowd, most of whom had taken their seats unlike many rock gigs where the audience prop up the bars during a support act. ‘Fading Into Gray’ was a stand out and I am off to hear more from this artist who is on the up and up.

Jeff Lynne was backed by twelve highly talented musicians, led by musical director Mike Stevens (10CC, Take That), although sadly no Richard Tandy on piano this time around. Most of the band were at the Hyde Park show in 2014, bar a new string trio and keyboards player Jo Webb.

Opening with ‘Standin’ In The Rain’ and what a way to start with an orchestral piece full of strings, keys, guitar and Jeff Lynne’s distinctive vocals that are still sounding good. Added to that the first look at the wondrous light and visuals, an integral part of any ELO performance.

It was a hit filled set including ‘Telephone Line’, ‘Wild West Hero’, ‘Do Ya’, ‘Turn To Stone’ and being a Saturday night, a little disco in ‘Last Train To London’. The only time the spotlight literally fell on Jeff Lynne was on the ‘comeback’ single ‘When I Was A Boy’ – the only ELO song since 1980 played this evening.

A personal highlight was hearing ‘Rockaria!’ performed live with backing vocalist Melanie Lewis-McDonald hitting those operatic high notes perfectly.

Jeff Lynne doesn’t really do much in between song chat, even leaving the band introductions to Mike Stevens. He did however give an introduction to his ‘other band’ the Travelling Wilburys, before launching into ‘Handle With Care’, with Iain Hornal taking on the lead vocals.

The whole band seemed to be having a great time, none more so than bassist Lee Pomeroy (It Bites, Take That) who seemed to be performing the dying fly on stage at one point!

‘Mr Blue Sky’ closed the show in style with every person in the arena singing along, even some of the arena staff. To hear that live is a real musical high point.

Chuck Berry’s ‘Roll Over Beethoven’ was the encore which allowed the band to have an extended rock ‘n’ roll jam session.

Jeff Lynne was suitably humbled by the reception he received from the audience tonight and long may he continue touring ELO. A wonderful night of classic ELO songs played by a talented set of musicians, with lights and visuals to dazzle and of course, Jeff Lynne at the centre of it all, navigating the ELO spaceship.

Setlist –
Standin’ In The Rain
Evil Woman
All Over The World
Do Ya
When I Was A Boy
Livin’ Thing
Handle With Care (The Travellng Wilburys)
Last Train to London
10538 Overture
Shine A Little Love
Wild West Hero
Sweet Talkin’ Woman
Don’t Bring Me Down
Turn To Stone
Mr Blue Sky

Roll Over Beethoven

What does music mean to you?

Posted in ELO, Jeff Lynne, Queen, rock with tags , , , on October 1, 2018 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

‘A good song never lets you down’

Music has been and always will be a big part of my life. My musical tastes have changed a little down the years and I am more eclectic in my tastes now than I was back in my teens and 20’s. One thing that always makes a song got me is the melody is king, although you do need a good lyric to make it that extra bit special. It can lift you up in tough times, although when Freddie Mercury died back in November 1991 I didn’t listen to much music for a few months. To quote the Don McLean song it was ‘the day the music died’ for me as Queen were, and still are, one of the major musical impacts on my listening, along with Jeff Lynne and ELO.

Music therapy can do wonderful things to help people with confidence/learning issues, long term illness as the wonderful work done by the Nordoff Robbins charity and others shows.

Music can be and should be enjoyed by all. There are a lot of musical snobs about and more genres than you can shake a stick at, however if you like a song then that is what counts. I would add though do explore music more, don’t go by radio playlists or the streaming sites playlists – look beyond as there is plenty of amazing and enjoyable music out there and some still to be made in the future…

If you only by a few albums this month…

Posted in Albums of the Year, AOR, Blues rock, hard rock, Music for 2016, pop, Pop rock, Power pop with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Hard to pick one single ‘must have’ album from the April releases as there are a lot…

Tax The Heat released their debut on Nuclear Blast and it is chock full of catchy blues/hard rocking tunes with a modern edge.

The Dowling Poole return with their second album ‘One Hyde Park’, a delight from start to finish. If you like quirky pop with a message – think XTC, Squeeze, the instant appeal of ELO songs – this is for you.

Left With Pictures new album ‘Afterlife’ took me by surprise, with its sparse, yet melodic arrangements and haunting vocals. Not for everyone but if like me you love  music regardless of its ‘genre’, have a listen.

And finally the new Cheap Trick ‘Bang, Zoom, Crazy…Hello’…the band have continued their fine run of form since 1997’s self-titled album (I still can’t get into their 1992 release ‘Woke Up With A Monster’), with their first new album since 2009. It really does hark back at times to their classic 70’s/early 80’s sound. If you are a fan doubtless you will already have this, if not try this album and then work your way back through their fine back catalogue.

Music for 2016: The 286

Posted in ELO, Jeff Lynne, Melodic rock, Music for 2016 with tags , , , , , on February 26, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Thanks to Keith James Sinclair and his rather good ELO/Roy Wood related blog ELO Beatles Forever for the ‘heads up’ on the 286. Like early ELO mixed with the more pop moments of latter day ELO, the 286 are not bad at all! They nail that classic ELO sound with a proper string section, drums that recall Bev Bevan and a guitar sound that Jeff Lynne would be happy with. If you are an ELO fan highly recommended.

As the band themselves say:

‘The 286 include a string section of electric cellos and violins who play a feature role in the band, both in terms of style and sound. We aim to fuse rock & pop with classical music, creating something entirely original and different in the process.

The 286 were formed by Spencer Hannabuss (guitar/vocals), looking to achieve a long held ambition to break away from the tried and tested indie rock band line up, and create a band that had a less conventional approach to songwriting and performing.’

JEFF LYNNE’S ELO UK tour dates announced :-)

Posted in ELO, Jeff Lynne, Melodic rock, Music for 2015 with tags , , , , , , on November 9, 2015 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

It’s all go with ELO at the moment! The new album is out this Friday, the same day as the UK dates go on pre-sale. A decent run of arena dates here, although only one in Scotland and no Welsh date. The live line-up is set to include long time ELO member Richard Tandy along with Gary Barlow’s backing band again, although this has yet to be confirmed.

April 2016
Tue 05 Liverpool Echo Arena
Thu 07 Nottingham Capital FM Arena
Sat 09 Leeds First Direct Arena
Sun 10 Manchester Arena
Tue 12 Glasgow The SSE Hydro
Thu 14 Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
Sat 16 Birmingham Genting Arena
Sun 17 Birmingham Genting Arena
Wed 20 London The O2
Fri 22 London The O2

elo tour


Posted in ELO, Melodic rock, Music for 2015 with tags , , , , , on November 4, 2015 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Fans can now register for the UK tour with Ticketmaster. Sign up right away to gain first access to tour information and Pre-sale access.

Still no official tour dates announced but they are due soon 🙂

Jeff Lynne’s ELO are on the UK TV show TFI Friday this Friday 6th November at 8pm GMT.

Jeff Lynne on BBC Radio 2 this Thursday 12th November plus gig!

Posted in Classic rock, ELO, Melodic rock, Music for 2015 with tags , , , , , on November 1, 2015 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake


On Thursday 12 November, Radio 2 welcomes Jeff Lynne’s ELO to the
BBC, and you could be there!

Ticket registration opens on the Monday 2nd November at 8:30am until
10:00pm on Thursday 5 November.

On the day…

Soundcheck with Ken Bruce

From 11:00am Ken Bruce welcomes Jeff Lynne’s ELO to perform two exclusive tracks in the BBC Radio Theatre.

Simon Mayo Drivetime

From 5:20pm Jeff joins Simon Mayo to preview the evening’s performance.

Ask Jeff
After Jeff’s chat with Simon on Drivetime, he’ll join Jo Whiley for
an exclusive ‘Ask Jeff’ video Q&A from the stage of the BBC Radio Theatre.

Watch Jeff answer your questions at

Send your questions to:
Text: 88291 (Please start your text with JEFF)
Twitter: @BBCRadio2
Use the hashtag: #R2JeffLynneELO

Radio 2 In Concert

From 8:00pm it’s the main event!
Watch In Concert live from the BBC Radio Theatre at
and on BBC Red Button

Missed it?
After the gig you can watch video highlights on iPlayer and on the
BBC Red Button.