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The Moody Blues at LG Arena, Birmingham

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
Veteran band's hometown gig
The Moody Blues are heading home for a gig at Birmingham's LG Arena on June 8. The veteran band formed in the Second City in 1964 but bass player John Lodge says they won't be marking their 50th anniversary next year.

''We're not ones for celebrating history, we all think there's always something new around the corner,'' says 67-year-old John who, along with Justin Hayward, joined The Moody Blues in 1966.

Moody Blues, John Lodge
The Moody Blues: Justin Hayward, Graeme Edge, John Lodge

The band's latest innovative move is using a new type of concert venue – one that floats.

''This year we've had a Moody Blues cruise, sailing from Miami to Jamaica to the Cayman Islands then back to Fort Lauderdale,'' explains John. ''If somebody told me three or four years ago there would be another kind of venue and it would be something really special I'd have said you must be joking! But it was just brilliant – 3,000 people on board, a new kind of festival.''

During the five day cruise the Moodies played a couple of concerts and participated in 'Storytellers' sessions in which they related the history of the band. There were also special guests like The Strawbs and Rod Argent to entertain the fans, along with concert screenings.

Moody Blues, John Lodge
Innovative: John Lodge

Says John: ''It was quite amazing to be wandering along the deck at midnight under a Caribbean sky and there's a huge screen playing videos of Moody Blues live at the Albert Hall, with hundreds of people sitting out watching it.''

There are already plans to repeat the cruise next year but in the meantime The Moody Blues are back on dry land for the UK tour.

With the core of the band consisting of John, Justin and drummer Graeme Edge there's the promise of a very special night at the NEC.

''We'll obviously be playing the major hits but thinking of the whole show as an album,'' says John. ''We like to take the audience with us on a musical journey, take them up, bring them down, take them back up again, and hopefully when they leave the concert they'll take an emotion away with them that lasts and makes them feel happy.''
The experience can also be replicated by fans at home thanks to a new 17-disc Moody Blues box set, Timeless Flight, released on June 3.

Moody Blues, John Lodge
Moody Blues box set: Timeless Flight

The lavish set includes 11 remastered CDs, three DVDs of live performances, three audio DVDs of surround sound mixes of six albums and a 120 page book with rare photographs.
John says: ''Universal said they wanted to make a beautiful box set for the Moody Blues. They said, 'We want to make it really big, a huge amount of CDs and a huge amount of DVDs and a huge amount of live performances that no one's ever heard before.' They came up with gems even I hadn't heard before.''

Moody Blues, John Lodge
Past times: Moody Blues in 1969
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Why? Veteran band's hometown show
When: June 8, 2013
Phone: 0844 338 8000
Where: LG Arena, NEC, Birmingham
Cost: £43.75 plus fees
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