SUCH is Andy Louis’ dedication to the music of the band he loves that even discovering he’d had a heart attack couldn’t stop him touring with one of the country’s leading tribute bands.

On Tuesday, the ELO Experience which Andy leads, will play Manchester Opera House as part of their Back to the Blue tour. But it could have all been so different.

“I’d been playing squash over Christmas and afterwards felt very uncomfortable,” said Andy. “At first I thought I’d been overdoing it, but when it happened again I had it checked out

“It turned out that I’d had a heart attack, so I went in and had a procedure where the doctors inserted three stents into some major arteries.”

As a result, the band had to postpone a number of dates, but Andy and co were soon back on the road.

“ I had to take six weeks off,” said Andy, “and even though I’m not yet fully recovered, I’m OK to do what I do.

“Those early shows went well. We put some new songs in which went great, but I was aching a bit afterwards.”

Formed in Hull over a decade ago, the ELO Experience have built up a major following for their authentic portrayal of the the iconic Birmingham band, being named Britain’s best tribute band in 2012.

The Back to the Blue tour will mark the 40th anniversary of ELO’s album Out of the Blue which contains classics such as Sweet Talkin’ Woman, Wild West Hero, Turn To Stone and the anthemic Mr Blue Sky.

Andy would love at some stage to perform the album in its entirety.

“Some of the tracks, like the instrumental The Whale may not appeal to the audience,” he said, “but for this year we’ve got 11 songs from the album in the set.

“Standing In The Rain is in which is a really great track, but not Big Wheels. Jeff Lynne has written some great slow ballads,” Andy explains, “but we like to go for the more upbeat songs – especially in the second half of the show.

“We’ve also introduced Steppin’ Out which Jeff performs these days and Night In The City which we’ve also never done before.”

As well as 11 songs from Out of the Blue, the show next week will also include many of ELO’s other hits.

“You can’t leave the greatest hits out as most of the audience come for those,” said Andy.

As a result, the band covers the whole of ELO’s career including the most recent Jeff Lynne’s ELO album Alone in the Universe plus his work with the Traveling Wilburys alongside George Harrison and Bob Dylan.

“People know what they’re coming to see and we do what we call and ‘umbrella’ show and try to do a balance of songs,” he said, “those songs that will appeal to everyone and some that will appeal to the die-hard ELO fans.”

“The thing is that we always play songs that we like, which is mainly the catchy and popular songs.”

The show will also feature backdrops and animations and the ELO Experience even have their own version of the famous ‘flying saucer’ which was a centrepiece of many of ELO’s shows.

Andy, like all the other members of the band, is an ELO fan first and foremost. And for him it was the band’s album Discovery which inspired him.

“That album is the reason I got into wanting to do ELO music,” he said. “Everybody has a favourite album, one that was an integral part of their teenage years and that was mine.”

ELO Experience, Manchester Opera House, Tuesday, October 3. Details from 0844 871 3018