After working nearly 24 hours over the weekend in Speyside, the prospect of a four-hour drive home to Edinburgh late on Sunday was not an enticing one. It was dark, I was knackered, I had little money, food or energy. The packet of crisps, bar of chocolate and can of glucose beside me was of little comfort. But then I switched on the radio, and quite unexpectedly and magnificently my mood lifted completely. Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra made it happen, such is the wonder of his music.
I had no idea of the Hyde Park concert being played on Radio 2. No idea at all about this first full ELO performance in the UK for over 30 years. Joy, joy, joy. I was instantly in heaven. For the next hour I was glad of the darkness and solitude. I must have looked like a crazy; singing like it was 1979 again. Playing with the BBC Concert Orchestra, Jeff Lynne and his band sounded, well… like it was 1979 again. Some of the best things happen when you’re least expecting them, and this was one such time.
I’m taking a lieu day today, and enjoying a repeat performance this time in comfort and with visuals. Sure, there’s a ton of nostalgia listening to these tunes again, but such is the perfection of the performance it is as if the last thirty-five years haven’t happened. Jeff looks the same, sounds the same and from their reaction the audience’s adulation has if anything intensified over time. Best of all, Jeff looked like he loved it, at times almost overwhelmed by the experience. The first hour of my journey home flew by with smiles, for the next three the music continued to play…
If like me you were one of the few numpties who had no idea, it’s all here on BBC iPlayer
Photo from the Birmingham Mail