DVD review: JEFF LYNNE’S ELO – Live In Hyde Park

JEFF LYNNE'S ELO - Live In Hyde Park

Eagle Vision [Release date 11.09.15]

Having being very lucky to be at this concert I was witness to Jeff Lynne and ELO’s first UK gig in nearly thirty years. Jeff Lynne was joined by longtime ELO member Richard Tandy, with the rest of the band mainly drawn for Gary Barlow’s backing band (including Lee Pomeroy sometimes seen in It Bites!), under the watchful eye of musical director Mike Stevens. Plus to give that full string and orchestral sound the BBC Concert Orchestra added that special touch to an already magical night.

The setlist may miss a few fan favorites, for me would have loved to have heard ‘Rockaria!’ or ‘Diary Of Horace Wimp’ (just for the strings intro if nothing else!), but you can’t argue with the songs chosen and performed.

‘All Over The World’ is a real feel good tune to start the show and great to hear all the classics with a full orchestra, with ‘Turn To Stone’ and ‘Steppin’ Out’ personal highlights. Nice tribute to Roy Orbison on the Traveling Wilburys’ cover ‘Handle With Care’ the video screens showing footage of that band.

The concert filming gives a good feel of the special event this was, lots of focus on Mr Lynne of course, plus the band and some panoramic crowd shots which look stunning against the September sunset.

‘Mr Blue Sky’ is simply the business and is one of the greatest songs ever written, fact. Every member of the 50,000 audience is singing along and no wonder Jeff Lynne was genuinely moved by the crowd’s reception to the gig.

Bonus features are an interview with Jeff Lynne which fans will love as he recounts how the songs originally come about. The real treat is the addition of the documentary ‘Mr Blue Sky: The Story Of Jeff Lynne & ELO’, first shown on BBC4. A fascinating documentary and insight to Jeff Lynne, a man who literally lives for his music and making it. Interesting interviews with Tom Petty, Sir Paul McCartney and many more, plus some footage of the Traveling Wilburys rehearsing.

If you have even a passing interest in the music of Jeff Lynne and ELO this DVD is a must. For fans of the band you will doubtless have brought it already and be enjoying watching it over and over. Okay I am biased, as along with Queen, ELO are my all time favorite band, but I doubt anyone would not enjoy watching and hearing the music on this DVD.

Best news? Jeff Lynne’s ELO have signed a new record contract and a new album is imminent.  *****

Review by Jason Ritchie

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