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Bev Bevan interview - Part 1

Sunday, 06 May, 2012 - Modified on Monday, 07 May, 2012 at 11:42 am


 Brewood Music Festival takes place in July and Village Times starts the build up to the 2012 event with an interview with The Move, ELO and Black Sabbath legend Bev Bevan.


Bev Bevan was born in Sparkhill, Birmingham on 24th November 1945. He was educated at Moseley Grammar School, gaining two O levels passes before starting work as a trainee buyer at the Beehive department store in Birmingham with school friend Bob Davis (Jasper Carrott).


His professional music career began with Denny Laine & The Diplomats (Denny Laine later of Moody Blues & Wings fame) before a stint with Carl Wayne & The Vikings. Bev was a founder member of The Move in late 1965 along with Roy Wood, Trevor Burton, Ace Kefford and Carl Wayne.

Bev was a founder member of the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) in 1972 and was also a member of Black Sabbath in the 1980’s.


Village Times caught up with Bev recently ahead of his performance with Trevor Burton at this years’ Brewood Music Festival. Over the next four weeks you can read our interview with Bev as he talks about The Move, ELO, touring and lots more!


Do you see the current line-up as a continuation of The Move or a case revisiting the band?


I think revisiting is a nice expression. It’s born out of when ELO part 2 finished in 1999, I took a bit of a sabbatical and started doing some radio station work, which I’m still doing, and got the urge to play and form my own band which was the Bev Bevan Band. I actually just bumped into Trevor Burton one day and we ended up doing a gig together and he said I wouldn’t mind doing more of the old Move stuff. So his band still exists and so does mine but from time to time we get together and do these Move shows and do some of the old Move tracks.


Has Roy Wood ever been tempted to get involved?


He’s been asked! I don’t think he’s ever been tempted. He’s very reclusive, I last saw him in January at the funeral of an old rock singer, Gerry Levene. But Roy very rarely comes out to play, he did the Status Quo Christmas Tour, guested on that, but probably the next time you see him will be next December!


What are the strengths of this incarnation of The Move that we’ll see at Brewood?


They’re great people to work with. Of course Trevor Burton was a founder member of The Move along with me so we’ve got two original members which in this day and age is pretty good. A lot of 60’s bands have only got one or even none in some cases. The rest of the guys are terrific players. Phil Tree, the bass player, has been with the Bev Bevan Band since the outset and spent around 12 years as Roy Wood’s bass player. Neil Lockwood on keyboards was with me in ELO part 2, again he’s been with me right from the start of the BB Band and he was lead singer with the Alan Parsons Project for some time. So, he’s a really talented keyboard player and singer. The lead guitarist, a guy called Tony Kelsey, right now he’s working with Steve Winwood and he’s a really terrific guitarist.


We obviously do several Move tracks but we try and evoke, unlike many other 60’s bands I think, the rockier side of the time. A lot of the 60’s bands can be a bit cabaret but we do things like ‘Gimme Some Lovin’’ or we do versions of ‘Purple Haze’ and ‘Hey Joe’. We do some Cream songs, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac songs so we’re trying to remind people of the rockier side of the 60’s.


We did a 60’s weekend at Butlins recently and we were discussing what to put in the set and we actually said that Hey Joe might be a bit much for this crowd, but then thought oh no we’ll put it in anyway. It went down better than anything, standing ovations for Hey Joe, which just goes to show you that people are quite shocked to begin with because it’s quite loud and jammy but absolutely went down a storm with the Butlins crowd which speaks for itself really.


Birmingham was a real hotbed of talent in the 60’s?


Yeah, it was an incredibly healthy time that. I started out with Denny Laine, and what a talented guy he is! We went to see the Spencer Davis Group at Birmingham University, when I was with Denny Laine & The Diplomats, and he just fell in love with what Steve Winwood was doing, found the blues and then went and formed The Moody Blues and went on to Wings after that. There’s so much talent around this area, Tony Iommi’s still my best friend in the music business, Robert Plant’s a good friend, Steve Winwood I’ve just mentioned, Roy Wood, Jeff Lynne, it really was a great place to be in the 60’s.


Similarly to Liverpool I guess there were lots of great bands working who just never got discovered?


Oh yes, definitely. I also play in a little music revue that goes around the area usually once a year called “It’s only Rock n Roll”. It’s basically my band and we’re backing Jeff Turton, lead singer with The Rockin’ Berries, Raymond Froggatt, another very talented singer-songwriter, Trevor Burton, who comes on and does some bluesy type stuff and also a guy called Danny King. Danny was the original Birmingham rock ‘n’ roller going way back to the 50’s and what a talented guy he is. He goes down a storm every single night but he never really made it. Steve Gibbons is another one who never really made it but should have.


Next week Bev talks about The Move during the 60’s and their impact on the music scene at the time.


Brewood Music Festival takes place between Thursday 12th July and Sunday 15th July with The Move and The Manfreds headlining the Festival at St. Dominic’s School on Saturday 14th July. Tickets are available from The Swan and The Mess in Brewood and also from the Festival website – www.brewoodmusicfestival.com.


For more information on the Festival check out our ‘Things to do’ page and calendar at www.villagetimes.co.uk/things-to-do.htm.