Jeff Lynne's ELO + The Feeling
Wednesday 20th April
O2 Arena, London
So: There we were on Wednesday evening, heading towards the O2, a world class venue with a totally sorted sound system, to see ELO, completing a journey that you could say started last summer when Wrinkly organised a trip to Hampton Court to see an ELO tribute band which unfortunately, thanks to the incompetence of our national rail system, we never got to see! So when Wrinkly said he had a spare ticket to see the real thing I grabbed it with both hands!"
I think at this point that I ought to fess up to the fact that whilst ELO were part of the soundtrack of my youth and I can name at least a dozen of their hits, I don’t think I ever bought one of their singles or albums and have always thought of them as a “Pop Group”, rather than a “Rock Band”; and in any case, didn’t they disband in the mid 80’s?
The answer to that question is yes; which, in its turn, raises the question of who we were actually going to see then? Well the answer to that one is that we were going to see “Jeff Lynne’s ELO”, a creation dating from 2014 and in which, as is the case of many of 70’s & 80’s bands that are still touring in the 21st century, Mr Lynne is the only original member of The Electric Light Orchestra in the new line up.
That said, on to the main event! The current live line up has 13 people on stage, and is a reassuring mix of classical and modern instruments, that played a 19 tune set which included many old favourites including 'Evil Woman', 'Wild West Hero', 'Telephone Line', 'Don’t Bring Me Down', 'Sweet Talking Woman' and 'Mr. Blue Sky'. Also included, were a sprinkling of newer songs such as 'When I Was a Boy'. The old favourites had the crowd on their feet singing along, great atmosphere all round.
After a well-deserved standing ovation following the main set, the band returned to stage and to the cheers of the crowd the opening bars of Beethoven’s Fifth boomed over the auditorium, unfortunately the lead guitarist fluffed the opening riff, but that apart, 'Roll Over Beethoven' (my personal favourite), bought a great gig to a brilliant conclusion; more cheers and richly deserved!
So, Jeff Lynne’s ELO, would I go and see them again? Well, the answer to that is an emphatic YES and since Saturday I now have an ELO greatest hits CD in the car. I had forgotten just how good ELO are.