Late, Late Night FDL: Anarchy In The U.K.

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain – Anarchy In The U.K.

As an Uke afficionado, I’d been following this British High Court case…

The Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain (UOGB) has won a High Court ruling against a rival group which it accused of trading off its reputation.

The group challenged the German-based United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra (UKUO) over the similarity in name.

It argued the German group had copied its format and fans were getting confused between the two.

The judge agreed and said its “passing off” claim had succeeded.

The legal battle kicked off last September when the UOGB filed a claim for trademark infringement as the UKUO was preparing for its first tour of the UK.

In his initial ruling, Judge Richard Halcon sided with the German group, agreeing that it was not in competition and adding the British group should have mounted a legal challenge earlier.

Made up of British musicians, the UKUO was founded in 2009, while the UOGB has been going since 1985.

But in his ruling on Thursday, Judge Halcon said he was satisfied “the United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra’ misrepresents to a substantial proportion of the public in this country who recognise the Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain’ as the trade name of a particular musical group”.

He added: “I am also satisfied that this has caused damage to the Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain’s goodwill, particularly by way of loss of control over the Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain’s reputation as performers.”

‘Unique show’

The case was brought by the founder of the UOGB, George Hinchliffe, who told the court he was approached in 2009 by a German producer who wanted to franchise the band in Germany.

The request was turned down, but Erwin Clausen, director of Yellow Promotions, set up the United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra, promoting a similar style of musical comedy.

Mr Hinchliffe said: “We have worked hard for 30 years to create a unique show and the court has now recognised that copycat musical performances cannot trade off the reputation of established groups.”

Mr Hinchliffe added: “We have an international and celebrity fan base who have stood by us and who will be very pleased.”

Seriously, I like the both of’em, so where’s the real harm here…?

What’s on your mind tonite…?

Late, Late Night FDL: Mr Blue Sky

ELO – Mr Blue Sky

Jeff Lynne and ELO plan to release a new DVD and a new album soon…

Jeff Lynne‘s triumphant revival of the Electric Light Orchestra banner for a Sept. 2014 festival performance will get the home video treatment this fall, when Jeff Lynne’s ELO: Live in Hyde Park is scheduled to arrive in stores.

The concert film, due Sept. 11, is being released on DVD, Blu-ray and digital formats, and will include the documentary Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne & ELO alongside the band’s Hyde Park live performance, which marked ELO’s first appearance on a festival stage in nearly three decades. According to the Live in Hyde Park press release, Lynne “has been involved every step of the way with every aspect of this production, especially the audio delivery.”

“It seemed like the entire 50,000 were singing and clapping along, which carried on for the whole night. The Hyde Park concert turned out to be one of the most memorable shows ever for me,” says Lynne in a statement. “It’s important to me that viewers experience the Hyde Park show exactly as it was performed on the night … in stereo.”

For Lynne, who’s spent most of the last 25 years focusing on studio work, returning to the concert stage was an experience not without its share of jitters — but one that ultimately left him wanting more.

“For the last 20 years, I’ve been sitting down in the studio playing, so you have to learn all over again how to stand up and sing and play,” he admitted last year. “Once we got that good, that tight, we wanted to play another gig, but my manager said no. We were all fired up and it would’ve been perfect time to do it.”

Happily for fans who’ve been patiently waiting for new music, Lynne evidently feels that time hasn’t passed. Saying he’s “definitely” planning on scheduling some U.S. tour dates in the near future, he revealed, “I’m working on a new album, and that’ll be involved in the new times when we play.”

What’s on your mind tonite…?

Late, Late Night FDL: I’ve Seen All Good People

Yes – I’ve Seen All Good People

R.I.P. Chris Squires…!

Chris Squire, the influential rock bassist who was a founding member of the celebrated British band Yes, died on Saturday in Phoenix. He was 67.

His death was confirmed by the band’s keyboardist, Geoffrey Downes. Mr. Squire, the only member to have played on every one of Yes’s albums and participated in every one of its tours, was being treated for acute erythroid leukemia and said last month that he would not be with Yes for its summer and fall tour, scheduled to begin on Aug. 7.

“I’m in pieces over it,” Mr. Downes said in a phone interview from his home in Wales. “The guy was a total legend.”

Yes, formed in 1968, was known for its blend of rock, jazz, folk and classical influences and also for its complex time signatures and pristine vocal harmonies. One of the first of the so-called progressive (or prog) rock bands — among the others were King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer — it went on to become the most successful and longest-lasting.

The first Yes albums to reach a wide international audience were the group’s third and fourth, “The Yes Album” (1971) and “Fragile” (1972), both released in the United States on Atlantic. The group’s most recent studio album, “Heaven & Earth,” was released by Frontiers Records last year.

Mr. Squire’s propulsive and often melodic bass playing was a key element of the Yes sound. A self-taught virtuoso, he has been cited as an influence by many other rock bassists.

What’s on your mind…?