Just got back from the downtown Palais – and the music was so sweet – it knocked me right back in the alley – I'm ready yea, yea, yea…..
Well last night I had the privilege to see and hear The ELO Encounter at Braintree Arts Theatre , accompanied by Jet Flynne and June Harris…. From the opening 10538 Overture through the thirty two songs to Mr Blue Sky at the end…. was a thoroughly enjoyable night…. The band comprises Simon Rownes on bass and vocals; Jack Rownes on keyboards and vocals – Martin Donald on guitar and vocals, Simon Dove on drums – Jasmine Ali on violin and vocals and young Max on keyboards and technical support and – very importantly – Henry Rownes looking after the lights and sound (which were excellent on both counts). Martin has played with some exalted company to include The Drifters and Simon has played alongside Bev Bevan no less….
Very professional and thoroughly entertaining – and some classics not often heard – to include Nightrider. It was a flawless cover and I have to say that Jack's voice in this has a distinct Kelly Groucutt flavour about it and was exceptional. Can't Get it Out of My Head was outstanding and Wild West Hero had everyone standing clapping; singing along and waving.. Given that this is a new addition to the set-list and Jack asked for understanding – well I would never have known that – as it was perfect……..
Jasmine Ali – violinist sang a wonderful version of Xanadu…..
The band has an obvious passion for the music of the Electric Light Orchestra, which is very evident in the quality of the music and singing.
If you get the chance- please go. It was very good to see too – the venue very close to full – and a very appreciative audience..
We will be following the progress of the band, with great interest and will let you know where and when they will be performing.
And a special thank you to Simon for the shout-out for Jet and me; and was very kind to be invited to meet the band after the show…. and a smashing group of people they all are too .