Now that made me feel old, which of course I am: Jeff Lynne at Hyde Park on BBC 2, playing all the old ELO hits.
I know I looked a lot different when I saw him 40 years ago at the Colston Hall but he doesn’t seem to have aged at all. Lucky with his hair, or someone else’s, which I suppose helps, but the music hasn’t changed a note.
The first time I came across Jeff, as I call him, was when he joined The Move and played on hits like Chinatown, California Man and Tonight and – quite wonderfully – on their epic album Message from the country which no self-respecting music fan should be without. There was plenty of evidence of what was soon to come from Mr Lynne.
In the 1970s, all the big bands came to Bristol because there was no arena, so I was very lucky. Well, not that lucky since I couldn’t get a ticket for Bob Marley and the Wailers having joined the queue about a day late.
ELO first came in, I think, 1972 and the band included all three members of The Move – Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood and beg Bevan. Barely 400 people turned up and it wasn’t all that good, the music basically being a classical mash up and no obvious direction. But two years later, and then two years after that, they returned without Roy but with the sound that still remained tonight.
Lynne can’t write a note of music, but then neither could the Bee Gees, and that makes his musical achievement even greater.
Until tonight, he had not played a show for 28 years and he had been basically shoved into doing it by Radio Two’s Chris Evans and you could tell how he enjoyed it.
There will be a world tour next which will be good for Lynne’s pension pot but I won’t be going because I am pretty sure it will be an arena tour and I avoid arenas rather like I avoid cliches: like the plague.
Great to see the old boy roll back the years and to be reminded how great he was.
Always Mr Blue Sky.