Kelly Groucutt and THE ORCHESTRA
One of my favourite bands of the 1970's and
1980's was E.L.O. - The Electric Light Orchestra - fronted by
Jeff Lynne with and with other members over the years including Kelly
Groucutt, Mik Kaminski, Bev Bevan, Richard Tandy and Louis Clark. ELO
was formed in 1970 and split up in 1986, during which time the group
produced some amazing music - music that I syll play to this day on
some of the original vinyl LP
Some of my favourite ELO albums were: Eldorado, A
Symphony (1974); A New World Record (1976); the amazing Out of the Blue
(1977); the excellent Discovery (1979); Xanadu (1980); Time
(1981); Secret Messages (1983) and Balance of Power (1986).
The original ELO name was co owned by Jeff Lynne and Bev Bevan. After
the band split up in 1986 and Jeff Lyne made it clear, in 1988, that
the band would never reform since he would never get involved again.
However in 1989 Bev Bevan, with agreement from Jeff Lynne formed a
'new' band called ELO Part II with Louis Clark and other non former ELO
musicians. In 1991 they released their first album 'Electric Light
Orchestra Part Two'.
Later Kelly Groucutt, Hugh McDowell and Mik Kaminski joined Bev Bevan
and Louis Clark and went on tour in 1991. However after the tour Hugh
McDowell left the band but Bev Bevan, Kelly Groucutt, Louis Clark and
Mik Kaminski remained and in 1994 released another album
called Moment Of Truth. They toured until 1999 when Bev Bevan
left ELO Part 2 and sold his part in the ELO name to Jeff Lynne in 2000.
Kelly Groucutt and the rest of the musicians renamed the band "The
Orchestra" comprising Kelly Groucutt; Mik Kaminski; Louis
Clark; Eric Troyer; Gordon Townsend; Phil Bates The Orchestra toured
until 2008 - expertly rendering many of the
original ELO hit songs.
The Orchestra still captured the magic sound of ELO and we saw them
perform in Northampton and Birmingham. Another tour was arranged for
2009 and we were due to see Kelly and the guys perfom at The Concert
Hall in Dudley.
However on 19th February 2009 we were vary sad to learn of the untimely
death of Kelly Groucutt. Kelly suffered a heart attack on the evening
of 18th February and died in the Royal Worcestershire Hospital on the
19th February 2009.
The remaining members of the band announced that The Orchestra was to
go ahead with the tour as planned in 2009 as a tribute to Kelly.
Listen: BBC Radio WM on 19th
2009 announcing the sad news followed by
a comment on the Daz Hale show
Bevan pays tribute to Kelly Groucutt on the Phil Upton
Breakfast Show on BBC Radio WM - 20th February 2009
Groucutt talks to Paul Franks on the BBC Radio WM