Tribute show offers double the fun for Orchestra fans

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ELO EXperience, Sheffield City Hall, Saturday, July 15 {|ELO Tribute|click here}

Fans of rock veterans the Electric Light Orchestra can enjoy double the fun in Sheffield this summer.

You can’t leave the greatest hits out as the audience come for those

As well as the real thing – Jeff Lynne’s ELO play Sheffield Arena on Wednesday, June 21 – acclaimed tribute act ELO Experience are coming to the city less than a month later.

The tribute band, formed in Hull more than a decade ago, have been building up their fan-base with excellent reproductions of the best of the iconic Birmingham band, writes Martin Hutchinson.

In 2012, they were named Britain’s best tribute band and have gone from strength to strength with great musicians and superb backdrops and animations. They even have their own version of the famous ‘flying saucer’.

But the band had a glitch earlier this year...

Founder member and singer Andy Louis, who performs as Jeff, says: “I’d been playing squash over Christmas and afterward felt very uncomfortable.

“At first I thought I’d been overdoing it, but when it happened again I had it checked out.

“It turned out that I’d had a heart attack, so I went in and had a procedure where the doctors inserted three stents into some major arteries.”

“I had to take six weeks off, and even though I’m not yet fully recovered I’m okay to do what I do.”

The band returned to the stage with gigs in Burnley and Chesterfield.

“Those shows went well,” Andy says. “We have put some new songs in which went great, but I was aching afterwards.”

The tour this year is entitled Back To The Blue, marking the 40th anniversary of ELO’s Out Of The Blue album, which contains ELO classics such as Sweet Talkin’ Woman, Wild West Hero, Turn To Stone and the anthemic Mr Blue Sky.

The band covers the whole of ELO’s career, and sometimes includes a Travelling Wilburys song, in honour of the band Jeff formed with music royalty.

But Andy has always had the ambition to perform the whole of Out Of The Blue.

“Some of the tracks, like the instrumental The Whale may not appeal to the audience, but for this year we’ve got 11 songs from the album in the set,” he says.

“Standing In The Rain is in, it’s a really great track, but not Big Wheels.

“Jeff wrote some great slow ballads, but we like to go for the more upbeat songs – especially in the second half of the show.”

But the band will still play the hits.

“You can’t leave the greatest hits out as most of the audience come for those,” says Andy.

“People know what they’re coming to see and we do what we call an ‘umbrella’ show and try to do a balance of songs.

“Those that will appeal to everyone, and some that will appeal to the die-hard ELO fans.”