Jeff Lynne hints at further dates as ELO play first full show in 28 years

Reclusive performer paid tribute to Traveling Wilburys bandmates Roy Orbison and George Harrison during BBC Radio 2 Festival In A Day set

Jeff Lynne’s Electric Light Orchestra performed at BBC Radio 2’s Festival In A Day in Hyde Park, London, last night – marking the infuential pop group’s return to the UK stage 28 years after their last full concert performance.

During the 75-minute set, Birmingham-born Lynne told the 50,000-strong crowd: “I’ll do this again.”

The reluctant frontman had been talked into performing at the annual event by BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show host Chris Evans, who introduced the band with a specially created VT.

The show saw Lynne head a band that included original ELO keyboard player Richard Tandy and the BBC Concert Orchestra, who fleshed out his compositions with record-perfect renditions.

Lynne seemed overwhelmed by the reaction, sticking two thumbs up to the crowd after an opening ‘All Over The World’. He said: “Wow, fantastic. It’s unbelievable this really. I haven’t done anything like this for so long, I can’t believe it.”

A run of big singles continued with ‘Evil Woman’, ‘Ma Ma Ma Belle’, ‘Showdown’, ‘Livin’ Thing’ and ‘Strange Magic’. Before ‘Livin’ Thing’, Lynne made a light-hearted reference to the heavy hitting setlist, saying: “Here’s one you might know. Have a listen.” Debut single ‘10538 Overture’, originally released in 1972, was perhaps the first song not known by the majority of the audience.

Later, Lynne paid tribute to his late bandmates from “the other group I was in – The Traveling Wilburys”, dedicating the supergroup’s ‘Handle With Care’ to George Harrison and Roy Orbison.

‘Mr Blue Sky’ concluded the main part of the set, and after an encore performance of ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, Lynne departed telling the crowd it was “the best fun we’ve ever had.”

ELO enjoyed a run of 27 Top 40 hits from 1972 to 1986, when Lynne retired the group. He went on to produce the reunited Beatles’ ‘new’ songs for 1995’s ‘Anthology’ albums. A planned ELO reunion tour was scrapped in 2000.

Jeff Lynne’s ELO played:

‘All Over The World’
‘Evil Woman’
‘Ma Ma Ma Belle’
‘Showdown’
‘Living Thing’
‘Strange Magic’
‘10538 Overture’
‘Can’t Get It Out Of My Head’
‘Sweet Talkin’ Woman’
‘Turn To Stone’
‘Steppin’ Out’
‘Handle With Care’
‘Don’t Bring Me Down’
‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Is King’
‘Telephone Line’
‘Mr Blue Sky’
‘Roll over Beethoven’

The full performance is available to view in the UK on the Red Button.
https://link.brightcove.com/services/player/?bctid=37994932001