The Auction Mart, Skipton

The Auction Mart, Skipton
Review by Martin Williamson

Sat 23rd Feb 2008

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I would not call myself a true ELO aficionado: I couldn't tell you the names of the original line up, neither could I tell you what Jeff Lynne eats for breakfast. I do not even own every album that ELO created. However I would
say that I am a true fan of the music of ELO, music which defined my teenage years, oh so long ago.

Tribute bands take on a huge risk: fans have such easy access to so much high-quality, post-produced and refined music from their heroes that nothing but the very best is considered normal. Any live tribute performance that delivers less than this standard would fail miserably. Fortunately for fans
of ELO, The ELO Experience performance is of such amazing quality and attention to detail that any initial reservations or cynicism disappear within the first few moments. Indeed, one has to keep reminding oneself that whilst Mr Lynne enjoyed the backing of female vocalists and numerous string musicians to produce the rich sounds that he did, the five guys and their
handful of instruments that make up The ELO Experience manage to recreate those sounds...and in a live show, too.

The evening at the Mart was a great success: the seats were almost all full for the performance, but were almost all empty towards the end, as everyone danced to hit after hit. For two glorious hours I was transported back nearly 30 years as the songs kept rolling out, back to back, each one a mini-masterpiece and a true tribute to the genius of Jeff Lynne. The final
encore of 'Mr Blue Sky' received a huge cheer during the intro and an even bigger cheer as the final notes receded. The feeling was one of wanting more - where had the evening gone? Where had 30 years gone?!

If you get the chance to see The ELO Experience, then take it. You won't regret it.
Martin Williamson

Martin Williamson