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The ELO Experience

Theatre Severn

Friday October 27th

A lot of tribute bands give themselves the accolade of being an experience. Some fall short of delivering that experience …some don’t! ELO Experience does exactly what it say on the tin. With a full band including a string section the ELO Experience played, sang and delivered the greatest tribute that Jeff Lynne and ELO could ever hope for.

With a powerful backline of Voice Synthesiser, Keys, Drums and Percussion, Two Cellos and Violin with Lead, Rhythm and Bass Guitars this little combi is a spectacular homage to the actual band.

Hit after hit kept coming. Celebrating forty years since ELO released the, “Out Of The Blue,” album the group worked their way through that playlist and also sang all the other hits from the extensive ELO hymn book: not a note was misplaced or wasted.

With a sound that was almost realer than ELO themselves and the stage so full of consummate professionals it didn’t take the band long to settle and then create a little space for itself within everyone heart.

From the incredibly well-crafted song, “The Diary Of Horace Wimp” to Chuck Berry’s irreverent look at classical music, “Roll Over Beethoven,” this band proved time and again that they are worthy custodians of the sound. One can even imagine Jeff Lynne himself would have immense pleasure watching these guys work his hits. The audience were certainly not short changed. It was ELO they wanted and it was ELO they got.

Music is such an amazing shortcut to your memories. Anyone over fifty was taken right back to long hot days of Summer and great pop music. The nostalgia dripped like gold. Everyone felt safe and happy in a world they once knew and memory after memory was visited and revisited by the majority of the very full auditorium.

The question burns how does one know how good a tribute band is? The judgement lies in the respectful way the music is handled. One knew from the way this show played through that on the stage as well as in the auditorium there were ELO fans. A band that doesn’t pretend to be anyone but themselves is a true mark of the skill needed to play a decent facsimile. These guys have it in spades.

Lynne is a musical genius as you must know. At least one of his songs has touched all of us. But when you see and hear this music live you can see Lynne’s hand like brushstrokes on a canvas; what he was doing was so fantastically clever. He was a slave to no genre yet master of many. ELO  mixed classical strings with throbbing electric guitar, ballad singing, rock and roll and harmony singing with some of the slickest lines ever written. Lynne build his sound like an onion adding layer after layer of sound. Unlike an onion however the layers are never covered out of sight and each layer is as crucial to the integrity of the onion. Lynne’s music is like that; Every layer adding value and artistry.

Adding to this wonderful spectacle was an amazing lighting plan. The stage danced and buzzed with such cleverly employed lighting. Tough job diligently executed. Well done!

The music industry is one of our toughest industries to make it big in. You know when you have arrived when people as talented as The ELO Experience want to sing and play your music: and more to the point that’s what the audience wanted too. It was a great experience. A great ELO experience.

This Is A Five Star Review

Owen J.Lewis


Sofia Lewis Sofia Lewis
For many years Sofia wrote here under her male name Owen J. Lewis. She is now mostly writing under her own name of Sofia Lewis. Sofia, who worked on independent radio for over ten years, lives in Shrewsbury and writes plays. She has over 15 titles published and her plays are performed all over the world. She is especially popular in America. Her poetry is also often noted and she writes reams of it most weeks. Since graduating in theatre in 1997 Sofia has been an Actor, Filmmaker, and a Secondary School Teacher. Reviewing theatre is something she thoroughly enjoys and she loves to see great theatre. As a musician Sofia is known throughout the UK she is a folk singer, and is often seen or heard around her native county singing and having fun. Sofia has contributed to for over a decade and enjoys sharing her views on theatre. Sofia has one daughter and grew up in Church Stretton.

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