It's been a long-awaited return for Jeff Lynne's Electric Light Orchestra. With the announcement of a brand new album full of original material (the first in nearly 15 years) Alone in the Universe, it was only a matter of time before the band would take to the stage. After having performed at BBC's Hyde Park last year, a year later a quick announcement of an intimate one-off London show just three hours before tickets were released, Elo made the statement that they were back.
Porchester Hall isn't as well-known as a music venue in London like the Roundhouse, the Koko or the 02 Academies are, and that's because it's a venue where you're more likely to attend for a dinner-dance. But it was magnificent. With a capacity of only around 400 people, the towering ceiling, the red curtains and the chandeliers made it the perfect venue for ELO's intimate show.
The excitement was building ecstatically during the build up to the gig. With no openers (because was no-one needed to hype the crowd up), as soon as the small strings section walked onto the stage cheers and shouts erupted around the small crowd. In comparison, it was almost like a crowd of middle-aged men and women suddenly acting like pre-pubescent teenagers at a One Direction concert (without the crying and the fainting). As soon as Jeff Lynne appeared it was easy to see who everybody was waiting for and shouts of 'I love you Jeff' echoed around the hall.
Continue reading: Jeff Lynne's ELO - Porchester Hall, London 9 November Live Review
Elo - The 2014 Gumball 3000 arrives on London's Regent Street. Thousand's of people gathered on a very warm Sunday afternoon to catch a glimpse of the exotic cars as they made their way down one of the city's main thoroughfares. The drivers will rest in London overnight before heading to Paris, which is the next stop of the rally. - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 8th June 2014
Coldplay live CD/DVD Cover
Albums of Note... Coldplay’s Live 2012 album shows a band far more at ease with themselves than their previous live release, from 2003. The Live 2012 package includes both blu-ray and CD. The footage is punctuated by behind-the-scenes interludes and these excerpts showcase each band member’s enthusiasm for their live shows as well as revealing how the material from Mylo Xyloto evolved over time and culminated with them band playing to a vast stadium audiences across the globe. “Live 2012 includes some nice musical moments... the low-key piano intro to 'Yellow', a guest appearance from Rihanna during 'Princess Of China', and the stripped back intimacy of 'Us Against The World'. All of the other elements of big choruses and sing-along's spanning the entire Coldplay back catalogue are present and correct… and Chris Martin's voice seems to have found a renewed strength to cope with the massive venues the band now fills.”
One band member taking it upon themselves to re-record all of the band's old classics is a bold statement at the best of times. It can come across as pretty arrogant of that member to think they can do it all better than if the whole band was there. One of the few who would be able to pull this off is Jeff Lynne, the mastermind behind Electric Light Orchestra, who has taken it upon himself to re-record all of Elo's old favourites. The album, entitled Mr Blue Sky - The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra, is out now.
At first glance, it seems like re-recording ELO's old favourites was a great idea. The songs now sound great (not that they didn't before) and, more importantly, they don't sound too different either (so those expecting a dramatic re-mastering and remixing of all the old classics can rest easy, it hasn't happened!). Lynne also plays everything on the album (with a couple of tiny exceptions) which can come across as slightly arrogant but, if ignored, is actually quite impressive.
Probably one of the best things about this album is its timing of release. Listeners who might be a bit younger might not think they know anything by ELO, and then end up listening to this album and realising they actually know at least half of them - Mr. Blue Sky, Telephone Line... It's a great move for Electric Light Orchestra. Way to resurface.