In 1993, Phil Bates met up with old friend Kelly Groucutt, who had been ELO bassist, resulting in Bates joining ELO Part 2, replacing Pete Haycock and Neil Lockwood. ELO Part 2 took the music of ELO around the world, often playing with symphony orchestras in large venues around the globe. Extensive touring in Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile, US, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, South Africa, UK followed … until 1999, when Bates quit to spend more time with his family, and to study for a degree.
Solo work and recent career
After supporting his studies with all manner of gigs, stints in call centres, and a period as a bookseller in Hay-on-Wye, Bates graduated from the University of Wales in 2003 with a History BA Hons. The solo albums ‘Naked’ and ‘Agony & Ecstasy’ were released in 1996 and 1998, plus tours of the UK and Germany with Mik Kaminski. Two further solo albums, Alter Ego (2003) and One Sky (2005) followed. All released on Bates’s own labels, DPP, and latterly Essential Music. A compilation CD Retrospectiv, also on Essential, was released in 2007.
After leaving ELO Part 2, Bates became a member of the Eleanor Rigby Experience, along with Andy Bole, Maartin Allcock, Clive Bunker and Tina McBain, who released 2 CDs and toured extensively in the UK. A short stint with The Bev Bevan Band and “Bev Bevan’s Move” followed (2003/2005), along with the formation in the same year of German-based band, ELB (Electric Light Band). In 2007, Bates rejoined his old mates from ELO Part 2 in The Orchestra (featuring members of ELO and Part 2).
In 2008, Bates formed the Beatles, Blues and Blue Violin project (BBBV) with Mik Kaminski and Tina McBain, resulting in a tour, and the 2010 BBBV album.
In 2022 and 2023, Bates is still gigging extensively with his “Tribute to ELO” throughout Europe as “Phil Bates and Band”. He has often appeared live on German, Swiss and Polish TV playing ELO songs
Price (inc BF):
Wed 22nd November, 2023