Show: ELO Again – The ELO Experience (Electric Light Orchestra)
Location: Floral Pavilion, New Brighton
Date: Friday October 29 2021
Running Time: 140 Minutes incl. interval
Performers: Andy Louis, Pete Smith, Chris Marsh, Jan Christiansen, Tony Lawson
Age Rating: 8+
Jeff Lynne’s Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) is a legendary band from the 70s and 80s. A tribute band, ELO Again and their ELO Experience production took us straight back to those days – hot summers and different times. The memories came flooding back with every song of this theatre show.
Led by singer, Andy Louis, the live band is made up of a combination of keyboard player, electronic and acoustic lead guitar and bass guitar. An excellent drummer plus a violinist and cellist (who also provided backing vocals). They really did worthy homage to the prog-rock heroes. The Floral was back to full capacity and it was clear that The ELO Experience was a very popular show to go see!
The back of the stage served as a large screen. Throughout the show, there were special effects and animations to accompany these iconic tunes. One criticism would be that the lighting to the rear of the stage was very poor. To be fair, you couldn’t see the drummer and keyboard player at all! I was so surprised by just how many hits they had. Indeed, how many of the lyrics I remembered, I sang myself hoarse. The audience enjoyed every minute, clapping and singing as the tunes kept coming. I also recognised the Beatles influence in many of the songs. And I hadn’t really appreciated it so much before.
A special mention must be made of the two strings musicians. The violinist and cellist took the performance to another level. Additionally, crystal clear vocals brought songs like ‘Sweet Talkin’ Woman’ and ‘Evil Woman’ to life. The ‘Diary of Horace Wimp’ was accompanied by animations. (I found them a bit distracting, to be honest.) Now, the audience was a little staid earlier on in the show but seemed to pick up in the second half. We were treated to further numbers from ELO’s Out of the Blue album. There was dancing in the aisles, after an invitation from the band. Consequently, everyone was on their feet by the time we reached ‘Roll over Beethoven’, ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’ and finishing with the brilliant ‘Mr Blue Sky’.
A deserved standing ovation was afforded to this seriously good ELO tribute band who are obviously all accomplished musicians and professional performers.