Looking back over my time writing for Get Your Rock Out I realized that there are very few cornerstones of rock and metal that I haven’t reviewed live. From giants of the various sub genres like thrash, sludge, progressive and doom, to household names like Black Sabbath. I have over the last two and a half years benefited strongly from the rich musical nightlife of Manchester. It is refreshing to know, however, that even after all this time there are still glaring omissions from my “to see” list and the opportunity to cross off the iconic UFO just couldn’t be passed up!
With the upstairs balcony now open and the audience getting very lively with anticipation, the stage was set for one of hard rock’s most influential acts. Bursting into ‘We Belong to the Night’ and the badass groove of ‘Fight Night’, these legends were treated to a suitably noisy reception. ‘Lights Out’ proved very popular indeed, while the first single from the new album ‘The Killing Time’ as met with similar appreciation.
Front man Phil Mogg held sway over a largely veteran audience of rockers with his exceptional bloke banter. It was like being treated to a good pub comedian between songs as he made the crowd laugh and responded with quick wit to any yells that came his way. This included a fan accurately predicting that the next number would be ‘Makin’ Moves’, which caused Phil to react with faux astonishment.
‘Cherry’, with its tremendous bass line, provoked a brilliantly boisterous clap along. Meanwhile ‘Love to Love’ was the epic highlight of the night. But the biggest reaction was saved for songs which have become all time classics of the genre, and the thunderous sing along to ‘Only You Can Rock Me’ was just the beginning. The mighty and famous riff of ‘Rock Bottom’ had everyone going wild, before an encore of ‘Doctor, Doctor’ and ‘Shoot, Shoot’ brought the night to a tremendous close.
With these guys set to headline Hard Rock Hell in November alongside fellow stalwarts Saxon it is good to know that we haven’t seen the last of these guys in 2015. In a venue that has hosted some of the most outstanding nights of rock and metal in Manchester it felt really good to cross one of the most important rock bands of all time off my gig list, and it felt even better to know that after it was all over I was hungry for more.
Line-up: Phil Mogg / Vinnie Moore / Paul Raymond / Andy Parker / Rob De Luca
**** WIN TICKETS WITH MEET & GREET *****
Overdrive spoke with Phil Mogg of UFO about the bands new album and their forthcoming show in
Dublin's Academy on April 21st (next Tuesday).
For your chance to win a pair of tickets and an exclusive meet and greet with UFO,
simply click on the graphic above and share / like on your facebook page, tagging Overdrive!
We will pick a winner on Monday 20th April (day before the show)!
A wise man invented Beer. A smart man drinks it.
But a genius drinks Guiness whilst watching UFO live.
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REVIEW AND PHOTOS - UFO LIVE AT THE ACADEMY, DUBLIN
The attentive Dublin crowd were thoroughly transfixed, even the hardest of rockers had their
heartstrings tugged with no resistance. Rock Bottom once again showcased Vinnie Moore’s
incomparable genius, and giving the well lubricated Mogga brief sit down. READ FULL REVIEW...
Interviewed by Mark Dean (Journalist/Writer/Contributor) Myglobalmind Webzine
One benefit that working for an International Website like Myglobalmind can bring is that doors are opened that other smaller media outlets cannot obtain. So it was when legendary British rock band UFO rolled into Belfast on their Conspiracy of Stars tour. We were fortunate enough to be granted the only after show interview that the band did in the city. I sat down with guitarist Vinnie Moore to discuss a variety of topics from music to cooking…
MGM”Okay then Vinnie as a young rock fan from growing up in America what was your first introduction to the music of UFO was the band big in America?
Vinnie “Yes they were pretty big in America had a few of their records when I was a kid. The Lights Out record,”Obsession and “Force It” and I grew up on those records. “Strangers in the night” had a couple of friends and we were all into rock and guitar orientated stuff. That was one of the bands that we were definitely in to".
Mgm ” How did you feel when you actually had the opportunity to go and actually join the band?
Vinnie “It was kind of surreal when I was a kid in my bedroom playing along with the records and stuff I would never have imagined that there would have been a chance that I would play be playing with them someday. When it happened it was kind of surreal for me”
Mgm ”Looking back at your musical career what would you say what was your proudest moment
Vinnie ” I don’t know that I would have one proudest moment. I guess the fact that I still I am able to do what I love doing after all these years it’s a gift to me and I am proud that I have been able to do what I love after all these years ”
Mgm”Any low points then?
Vinnie ” There is always low points all the time but I guess the most lowest of the low was like back in the nineties. The whole music business changed. The grunge and alternative music got big. The guitar wasn’t cool anymore. I had recorded this record and I got dropped from a label. I sat around for a couple of years just trying to get the rights to the record back. It just sucked really badly. Business was not good at that point.”
Mgm “If you were not a guitar player what would you be?
Vinnie ”An entrepreneur millionaire. Something making big money. Attracting hot girls everywhere I go. (Laughs) it’s really hard to say what direction I would have or could have followed. I just hope that it would be something that I had a passion for and loved doing, which is what I have for guitar.
Mgm ”You he started playing live gigs from a very young age the licensing laws must have been very flexible in the States….
Vinnie ”I play in a band at high school when I was maybe 16 or 17 and you could go in if your parent was there or if you had a certain permit. You could get away with it as long as you didn’t drink. Or go anywhere near the bar or the alcohol”
Mgm” That is different from over here as the venues sell alcohol they do not allow young people in the venue so they cannot attend shows. Have you ever felt intimidated by other guitarists perhaps on a festival bill that you have shared?
Vinnie “No but I have felt intimidated by beautiful women women looking at me
Mgm”And yes they are quite scary at times” Vinnie you have been playing music for a long time do you have any unfulfilled ambitions”?
Vinnie ”I still have ambitions and goals it’s kind of a work in progress actually. ”
Mgm”Does music encompass everything in your life or do you have any interests or hobbies outside music?
Vinnie ”I am a big sports fan American football hockey and baseball. I have a wife and two kids so it is not only music there are other things…yeah it is hard when you are on the road. When I first started there were not even cell phones.you had to use the phone in the hotel and call home at a particular time and it was crazy."
Mgm”How have you changed as a person since you first started playing music?
Vinnie ”UFO with Phil Mogg has aged me(laughs) 100 years no I am just joking. Everybody matures as they go along and musically I think that I have grown, spiritually emotionally I have grown. That probably reflects me in my playing. Maybe I’m just dreaming I don’t know”
Mgm”What advice would you give a young kid starting out and wants to be a guitarist?
Vinnie ”I would just say do it because you love doing it. Find a teacher, and a group of friends that you can play with because you can all learn from each other. Find a band and just jam with people. Take lessons to learn and just love what you are doing.”
Mgm”You seem a generally laid-back and easy-going kind of guy but what really annoys you what angers you?”
Vinnie”Traffic, I hate driving and being stuck in traffic. I just don’t understand it. I have no patience”
Mgm”What about on those long tour bus journeys?
Vinnie “On the tour bus? We actually get along pretty well. We have fun together and that makes it easier. I have been on the road a lot by myself doing guitar clinics and stuff that is way harder, when you are by yourself. It’s a pleasure to be with friends on tour.”
Mgm”Well you have had a long relationship with Rob. Where you responsible for introducing him to the band?
Vinnie “Actually I met him after I joined Ufo. I didn’t know him. We grew up probably 10 miles away from each other. I didn’t know him, I heard about him actually from Bumblefoot, Ron Thal from Guns n Roses. When we were looking for a bass player Bumble foot recommended him. It turned out that Rob was from Delaware where I am from. It was just kind of a coincidence.”
Mgm”Has the music business adversely affected your health? Obviously you were involved in music and touring in the eighties years of excess. Were you ever in danger of becoming another rock and roll casualty?
Vinnie “No I mean I went through years of when I didn’t even drink. I have never been into drugs, I don’t smoke weed. I am probably the most boring guy that you could ever meet. I mean there was some party years when I was in high school actually. I got it out of my system early. I got serious about playing guitar and music and I didn’t even drink for nearly eight years. It was pretty crazy so yeah never drugs with me or snorting anything.”
Mgm”What was it then like working with Alice Cooper? Obviously you played on the “Hey Stupid “album.
Vinnie ”It was a lot of fun I went in for one day to do 2 songs. The rhythm and the lead for these two songs. It went really well and they asked me to do the tour also which was a blast. I went out for like 3 months with Alice in the summer of 91 I think it was in America. I enjoyed it a lot and we had a great time.
Mgm ”Was he one of your musical heroes growing up?
Vinnie ”I had” Welcome to my nightmare “so yes I was definitely a fan of Alice”
Mgm ”Did he give you any career advice?
Vinnie ”I didn’t really talk to him deeply about anything like that but he was a nice guy and a pleasure to be around. We played a lot of poker together.”
Mgm”Not golf then?
Vinnie ”I grew up playing sports but that was one thing that I never actually did play. We would travel on the bus and he would actually fly every morning to the next city and golf all day even on gig days. Every day he would golf.”
Mgm”We have mentioned both Ufo, and Alice Cooper as being musical heroes when you were growing up that you later played with. Any other bands that you listened to as a young rock fan growing up? Have you remained a fan or indeed do you listen to what’s current and new?
Vinnie ”I find that a lot of my heroes are still the people that I listen to but I just like music. Anything that’s good is good. I know that there are people that I am forgetting. I always get asked that and I just draw a blank.”
Mgm”Just a couple of questions to finish on then. Do you think that you have ever made a bad album?
Vinnie “No there are some songs that I listen to that I think “that’s weaker than other songs “but Man I would think that I would need to have been really out of it to have that much of a major failure.”
Mgm”Do you look back on your career? Or do you prefer to focus on what lies ahead?
Vinnie” I do everything actually. You shouldn’t look back and just kind of live in the moment. I think that everybody looks ahead and that is the worry part of your life. Looking into the past is like the regret part. I should be in the future but I tend to worry and always be looking ahead thinking “What should I do next”
Mgm”If Vinnie Moore was to sit down and be the interviewer who would you like to talk to. What would you ask them?
Mgm”It would all be about guitars then?
Vinnie “Yes definitely”
Mgm”What can you do apart from playing guitar? Any hidden talents, perhaps cooking for example?
Vinnie “Well the guys are making fun of me, I made two pumpkin pies before I left home a few weeks ago. It was my wife’s birthday and she likes pumpkin pie. I took a lot of laughs, a lot of heat from the guys about that. I used to make beer, I haven’t done that in a while. That was a fun hobby.”
Mgm”What is your greatest fear?
Vinnie “Not being able to play anymore I guess.”
Mgm”When you initially got the call to join UFO (you are not the new boy anymore) what was your initial thoughts? Did you think “God those are pretty big shoes to fill”?
Vinnie” For some reason I was asked to send a CD of songs to Phil. I thought “ahh I would probably not get the gig “Then about ten days later I got a call saying he likes your stuff and he wants you to do it. There was never really any worry about it. It wasn’t a real stretch for me I think to fit into the band. I grew up with their music and I am a rock guy and it’s a rock band. Whereas maybe if I got a gig with somebody like a real progressive band or somebody like Sting or something… that would be really worrisome. I would have to get really in to it and work harder to fit in.With Ufo I just felt that I would fit in, it was more natural.
Mgm “Appreciate you taking the time after the show tonight to talk to Myglobalmind webzine. Thanks very much.
Line-up: Phil Mogg / Vinnie Moore / Paul Raymond / Andy Parker / Rob De Luca
BAND ADD NEW SONG TO THEIR SET LIST from
MESSIAH OF LOVE
The Limelight, Belfast: Vinnie Moore - Phil Mogg - Andy Parker - Rob De Luca - Paul Raymond
Andy Parker - Phil Mogg
Messiah Of Love
Vinnie Moore - Phil Mogg
Vinnie Moore - Andy Parker - Phil Mogg - Rob De Luca - Paul Raymond
MESSIAH OF LOVE
UFO just get better and better as they return once again to Belfast
UFO were amongst a very select few of bands, who, during the 'Troubles' that afflicted Northern Ireland, played in the city despite the world crumbling down around many of the citizens.
While the mainstream media focusses on the punk reaction to the Troubles, hard rock and metal acts were consistent visitors during those dark days. Phil Mogg and his band mates first played in Belfast in 1979, and have been consistent visitors ever since.
On April 22nd in Limelight1 they were once again on a Belfast stage proving to all in attendance that age isn't slowing them down.
Before UFO once again strode Northern Ireland's boards they brought with them St Petersburg rockers Reds'cool. And what a treat they turned out to be!
The vast, vast majority of the audience had never heard of Reds'cool before apart from a few Youtibe visits to check them out.
Things didn't start too auspiciously, howeer, with Slava's vocals lost in the mix for the first two songs, but from there it was apparent that Reds'cool are a special live act.
They have the onstage chops, songs that soar with hard rockin' excellence, great stage presence and an easy charm that had the men laughing and the ladies admiring the music and the 'eye candy'.
While Reds'cool proved that the young breed can cut it, UFO are masters of the hard rock scene.
It seems ridiculous that they first formed in 1969 (Phil Mogg and Andy Parker have been there ever since); it seems ridiculous that Mogg will be 70 next year, but set that all aside and this is a five-piece that simply plays with an easy aplomb.
Many bands of their ilk are content to trot out the 'hits' collect their cheque and move on. Not so UFO.
Opening with 'We Belong to the Night' from 'Conspiracy of Stars' and then hitting us with 'Fight Night' in a one-two combination as if to prove they can still write great tracks.
Mogg has been visibly less mobile over the past two tours, but there is nothing halting or faltering about his voice. He can still hit it on classics like 'Lights Out' and 'Only You Can Rock Me' plus he is velvet smooth on 'Love To Love'.
While there may be a few who still harken back to Schenker days for most Vinnie Moore is now entrenched as the UFO guitarist. His guitar tone is sweet, yet powerful when needed; his playing goes from under-stated to outrageously good; and, he manages to perfectly blend the classic sounds with a contemporary feel.
His solo slot was jaw-droppingly good - well paced, perfectly executed and aurally fun to partake in.
Of course the UFO sound is that classic twin-guitar sound, and Paul Raymond riffs along in an almost casual way when he steps away from the keyboards.
Mogg was enjoying himself on stage, his banter (slightly, ahem, slurry banter) was funny, and not the banter of the wannabes who repeat the same schtick night after night. Clearly enjoying the interaction with the audience in between increasingly excellent songs this is one pensioner who shows no signs of slowing down.
'Rock Bottom'? It looks like it will be a long time before UFO hit rock bottom: as they did in 1979 they had Belfast rocking in sheer delight.
With PM’s illustrious (!) Ireland editor laid low with a dose of the lurgy, it was up to yours truly to venture first into the rare bright sunny evening and then into the darkened venue for what promises to be rip roaring gig – and my first encounter with the legendary UFO.
Unfortunately the crowd is quite small as the Russian quintet Reds’cool take to the stage, and immediately the twin guitars tear through the venue. They are as tight as a badgers ass. The vocals and drums kick in and the first problem of the night is clearly evident: singer Slava Spark can not be heard. Unaware of the problem, the frontman is very animated and his amazing stage presence shines as bright as the lights. As they run straight into the next song, the band come across a bit nervous. The vocalist banters with the crowd, but we can’t make him out apart from the title of the next song: ‘The Way I Am’ begins just vocals and a drum beat, but really comes to life when the guitars burst to life, but the problems with the sound mix continue. Nevertheless, the growing crowd are really enjoying this wee band, from the 80s influence to their music through to the performance from the frontman as he pulls all the classic stage poses – and the fact that he has picked out two ladies near the front to flirt with.
As their set progresses their confidence grows. ‘Hey You’ (not a cover, lol) is a real sleaze song, as Spark rubs his groin erotically, telling us he’s gonna give us what’s he got. The high energy and very sexual performance have won this crowd over, especially the females. As their power ballad ‘Strangers Eyes’ ends, he stares straight into my eyes smiling as he sings “I love you” (must have singled out my PlanetMosh shirt, lol); it is safe to say he knows his trade and does it well. The sound is finally sorted and they power through their last few songs, whipping the crowd up as they go and, as they leave the stage, it’s clear they have gained a few new fans in our wee country.
UFO amble on to the stage in a very understated manner; but, as the the appropriate ‘We Belong To The Night’ begins, they prove that their music doesn’t need any flamboyance, and quickly envelopes the whole place. The sound problems continue as Phil Mogg’s vocal mix is way too low. However, as they fire straight into the second song, ‘Fight Night’, the band’s experience is clear for all to see and hear.
‘Run Boy Run’, the first song of their new album ‘A Conspiracy Of Stars’ is next and, when the mix allows us, when can hear that Mogg has not lost his voice, it is still as clear as it was 30 (and more) years ago. But, there is one question nearly everyone is asking: wtf is wrong at the mixing desk? Feedback and distortion plague their set. Although the band is quite static on stage – well they are (mostly) in their 60s – the passion and the full power of their music resounds around the venue – and the crowd are loving it. The sound improves slightly, allowing ‘Lights Out’ to showcase Mogg’s amazing vocal range to be heard. ‘Killing Kind’, another new song, proves that UFO can still give a lot of younger bands a run for their money.
With the sound improving again the true masterfulness of this band is actually on show, and the mix of young and older fans are eating up the electric atmosphere and ‘Only You Can Rock Me’ has the crowd going nuts. ‘Burn Your House Down’ slows the pace a bit as the bass line takes precedence on this track and vibrates throughout the room. There is another blast of feedback as ‘Cherry’ begins – but with this the sound finally seems to be right and we can enjoy the quality of music that UFO are known for. ‘Love To Love’, with its slower bass driven riff fills the PA with the clearest sound of the night while main set closer ‘Rock Bottom’ has everyone dancing around me.
The encore has the crowd going wild as the room explodes with ‘Doctor Doctor’ and the best sound of the night. This is hard rock at its best and the calibre of these musicians really shines through as they rip the Limelight a new one with a blasting ‘Shoot Shoot’. Finally, it’s cameras out and the band taking photos of the crowd before leaving the stage, bringing to an end a night of fantastic performances from both bands. The two performances may both have been plagued by bad sound – but everyone has thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
UFO’s tour continues in Exeter tonight (Saturday), with the remaining dates as follows:
Line-up: Phil Mogg / Vinnie Moore / Paul Raymond / Andy Parker / Rob De Luca
UFO at the O2 in Newcastle
Andy Parker and Paul Raymond
Rob De Luca
Vinnie Moore and Phil Mogg
UFO played the O2 Academy Newcastle and fans were ecstatic with the setlist as favourite oldies were given a revival
Sometimes having not just a career-defining album but a genre-defining album can be something of a double edged sword.
UFO’s Strangers In The Night double live album encapsulated everything that was great about the classic live albums of the 70s.
It was bold, energetic, exciting and featured the very best of their career to date standing proudly beside other landmark live albums by Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy and KISS.
Over the years however, some UFO fans have bemoaned the over reliance of the material from that album in their set and at times they have had a point.
Regardless of the quality of those songs and the difficulty of omitting fan favourites, the desire to hear some of the more obscure classics has grown.
UFO have clearly been listening as to just about everyone’s surprise the show opened with We Belong To The Night from the hugely under rated Mechanix album. No-one was expecting that. Cue many happy faces amongst the UFO old guard.
Further surprises came later in the set with Making Moves from the criminally overlooked Paul “Tonka” Chapman era of the band while rare appearances of Cherry and Venus from their classic line up comeback release, Walk on Water were greeted like long lost friends.
Since they reconvened two decades ago UFO have continued to write and record new material and their new album, A Conspiracy of Stars, their highest charting album since 1983, might well be the best thing they’ve done in years and Run Boy Run, Messiah of Love and Killing Kind sound every bit as tasty live as on record while Burn Your House Down from the recent Seven Deadly album, stands proudly next to those 70s classics and is surely one of UFO’s finest ballads..
Frontman Phil Mogg, the only constant in an ever changing line up over a 45 year career, still retains his dry wit and caustic delivery.
Joining Mogg on stage were original drummer Andy Parker along with guitarist/keyboardist Paul Raymond, both veterans of the Strangers in the Night era.
Blond bombshell Michael Schenker may be long gone but American six slinger Vinnie Moore was every bit as able delivering his solos with the flair and melody UFO fans demand.
Sure the chaotic charismas of bassist Pete Way was sorely missed and replacing him is nigh on impossible but full credit to Rob De Luca, who did a sterling job filling Way’s polkadot jumpsuit.
Of course it would be unthinkable for UFO to leave out those songs from THAT album. Love To Love, Lights Out and Only You Can Rock Me still sounded vibrant while the guitar show piece Rock Bottom and the inevitable Doctor Doctor continue to show why UFO were and still are one of the UK’s most revered and loved Hard Rock bands.
This was the most well rounded, balanced set that UFO have delivered in years.
In 1969 future US President Jimmy Carter was busy filing a report relating to a UFO sighting that he and a number of others saw in Georgia USA. Around this time in the UK some cockney types were busy creating their own UFO in London and they are still being sighted on a regular basis 46 years later.
It is an early 8pm start on a Saturday evening for Phil Mogg and the gang as they amble on to the stage looking incredibly relaxed; and fair play to them they kick off at a canny kilter with ‘We Belong To The Night’ from the 1982 Mechanix album. The sound is a bit fudgy at first, as is sometimes the case at the Academy but it improves quickly.
Sadly when the first song finishes and they have just built up a head of steam they decide to a play a couple of real plodders – Run Boy Run from their latest offering Conspiracy Of Stars and Fight Night from their previous release Seven Deadly. This is all rather confusing given that neither are the strongest tracks from those respective albums not to mention the array of songs they could have chosen from. However, they then quickly redeemed themselves by blasting into the classic Lights Out.
Aside from the obvious Michael Schenker it is fair to say that UFO have had some great guitarists in their ranks in their time and Vinnie Moore who has been with the band since the early noughties is no exception. This whizz shredder came to prominence during the mid 1980’s in his own right and having owned a couple of his solo albums from way back then I wondered how his incredibly technical virtuoso style would work in a rock band rather than in a strictly metal arena. I need not have worried; he knows exactly when to put his foot to the floor and when to ease off the gas. Likewise Phil’s voice is coming over wonderfully during the songs but his between song banter is somehow getting lost in the hall.
There is no point kidding ourselves, set highlights are the older classic stuff; my personal highpoint being the wonderful Love To Love; who can resist that haunting piano refrain and how the mood builds and falls before finally climaxing in crescendo of guitar trickery. In between the classics there is still time for notable tunes from the new album such as The Killing Kind, but before we know it Rock Bottom is pounding out and we know the end is near. Vinnie Moore blitzes the solo and it is all over…apart from the encores which include Doctor Doctor and then it really is all over.
All in all, a highly commendable and enjoyable performance but for this reviewer it was punctuated with some strange song choices.
By the way, experts finally concluded that Jimmy Carter had probably witnessed the planet Venus that evening in 1969 rather than an alien object – I forgot to mention that UFO also played the song Venus tonight.
With a career spanning over 40 years and including 21 studio albums, rock legends UFO have hit the road once again in support of their latest album.
Kicking off the show was Russian five-piece AOR outfit Reds’Cool, who brought their brand of upbeat rock and roll to the North East crowd. Charismatic front man Slava Spark leading the band through a set including the likes of “The Way I Am,” “Hey You” and “Stranger’s Eyes,” and left the audience suitably warmed for the mighty UFO.
It was a busy Saturday night as the region’s loyal rock fans descended upon the O2 Academy Newcastle, the majority of whom would have grown up listening to UFO. Some of those in attendance even brought the next generation of fans along with them to witness their heroes in action.
Tonight UFO delved deep into their back catalog as they walked the packed room down memory lane, with a set composed largely of the band’s greatest hits from the 70s and 80s, opening with “We Belong to the Night” from their 1982 album Mechanix. However, it wasn’t long into their set before we got our first live taste of the new album with the excellent “Run Boy Run.”
The band sounding tight, Phil Mogg engaged the audience by raising his mic stand aloft as he holds it out to the crowd to massive cheers. The incredible Vinnie Moore shreds his way through the classic “Lights Out” much to the pleasing of the crowd, before we are led into a superb rendition of a new track, “The Killing Kind.”
The crowd hang on every word of “Only You Can Rock Me,” with some sublime keyboard playing from the versatile Paul Raymond throughout. Bass player Rob De Luca leads the band into “Cherry” which also features on the band’s 1978 album Obsession.
“Messiah of Love” is the only other track from their new album, Conspiracy of Stars, to feature in the band’s set tonight, Mogg informing the crowd that the band has only played this track live a couple of times before, and it sounded great.
The band finished their main set with an incredible rendition of “Rock Bottom,” the Geordie crowd singing back every word. Mogg leaving the stage allowing the rest of the band to break into an epic instrumental with Vinnie Moore soloing throughout before Mogg rejoined the band to finish the song. UFO left the crowd wanting more.
Only too happy to oblige, the band returned to the stage as they launched into “Doctor Doctor.” You could see the look of jubilation upon the faces in the crowd as they were transported back to their youth; the room was jumping. UFO brought the evening to a close with “Shoot Shoot” from their 1975 album Force It leaving the stage to rapturous applause.
"After all these years, UFO has still got it, and long may they continue."
Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.
On entering the venue it was apparent that most of the audience were of a certain age. Whether or not those present were coming to hear the UFO older tracks or to hear their new material was debatable.
It must be said that the band have got some of the rock classics like Doctor Doctor and Lights Out to entertain us with, which they eventually do.
These days the band consists of original members Phil Mogg - vocals, Paul Raymond - keyboards and guitars, Andy Parker - Drums and new members Vinnie Moore - lead guitarist and American bassist Rob De Luca.
Phil Mogg nowadays looks like that crazy uncle you used to have and his introductions between the songs makes for good listening. "Leeds, you've smartened the place up since we used to come here in the 70's" he informs the audience.
Wisely the band play tracks off the new album, a Conspiracy of Stars mixed in with their old classic tracks.
There is no denying that Love to Love You, Rock Bottom, Only You can Rock Me and Shoot Shoot are now rock standards and the band still make the tracks shine. Newer tracks off the latest album follow a more blues orientated direction with The Killing Kind and Run Boy Run sounding good.
After just over 75 minutes on stage it was all over and this current line up keeps the UFO reputation intact.
Graham Clark can be contacted via Twitter: @Maxximum23Clark
UFO have been around for 45 years and still pull a crowd, touring tonight to support their new album, one that matches the quality of those from decades ago. “Leeds has smartened up since the seventies” quips Phil Mogg as he swigs from a bottle of water. “Comes from a well – Peckham Well”. He’s on chatty form tonight and that only increases as he switches off water half way through; “we’re halfway through the set, I‘m safe now”. At 67, Mogg is the voice of UFO, a distinctive yearning voice that epitomises UFO’s melodic hard rock. Other members come and go, Andy Parker on drums being the only other member from the band’s formation and he’s been in and out umpteen times.
Tonight’s line-up is strong, with essential and atmospheric keyboards in places from long term on-and-off member, Paul Raymond. Pete Way is missed on bass, leaving due to health problems but the star of the show is Vinnie Moore. Vinnie has only been with the band five years but has grown his input hugely. From solid input last time Vanguard saw them, Vinnie now rips out long and soaring metal solos – Love To Love gets a solo that would probably have had its own side of vinyl back in the day.
Opening with a relatively obscure song and following it with one off the last album and one off the new one, UFO declare themselves to be more than a nostalgia act, even if the average audience member is a middle-aged man. And why not; Phil Mogg, at 67, apparently intends to keep pumping out the high-passion vocals for a long time yet. That said, you have to play the favourites and, though they lose some of the old standards to make room for the new stuff, Lights Out is the fourth song, more or less bringing the house down. Then it’s on with a new one – The Killing Kind, a strong effort, and another relatively recent one. Only You Can Rock Me gets big recognition, being off one of the best live albums ever. A heavy Burn Your House Down from the last album but one and we’re back with Cherry, a loved oldie.
By now Phil Mogg has moved onto stronger drinks and the show threatens to become “An Evening With Phil Mogg” as he rambles and chats affably. Fortunately the band are not afraid to give him a boot back on track with a quick word or a special cymbal sound that seems to be reserved for the purpose and into Messiah Of Love, a new and gloriously silly opportunity for him to strut and wave his mic stand around. Rock Bottom gets a monstrously long guitar solo and an excellent trio slot. In an absolutely unsurprising move, the encore is two more from Strangers In The Night. First a pounding Doctor Doctor, then “our grand finale- it predates electricity”, Shoot Shoot. Guitars are strangled, crowd members play air guitar, guitar faces are pulled and Mogg punches the air.
The show tonight has been all about the guitar mangling, melodic vocals and blues-soaked hard rock. No-one can argue with a band that can put on a show of over an hour and a half and half-fill it with material from the last few years. Call them surprising but dependable.
Line-up: Phil Mogg / Vinnie Moore / Paul Raymond / Andy Parker / Rob De Luca
UFO in Britol - Thanks to John Wilde for keeping us updated on his Facebook site
Review: U.F.O, O2 Academy
Jonathon Kardasz, May 5, 2015
The discerning rock fan was once again forced to choose between two cracking gigs: veteran hard rock act UFO at the Academy and the superb Blues Pills at the Bierkeller (seriously, why aren’t these things being scheduled to avoid serial gig clashes?). Some fans may have chosen BP on the basis that UFO always play a set heavily based on the seminal Strangers in the Night LP so they could afford to miss this tour – promoting new recording A Conspiracy of Stars. Were they right to do so? Well, before we find out how did the support act do?
Reds’Cool are from St.Petersburg and they came to rock. The band played quality hard rock that would have found a natural home on the Neat label back in NWoBHM days but more Heavy Pettin’ than Venom. They sing in English rather than Russian and gave us a quality live set. Unlike other European contemporaries (especially the Scandinavian crews) the music didn’t push many boundaries – rather than integrating indigenous sounds & instruments within the genre tropes, the band stuck to the basics. So we had plenty of well crafted, technically excellent tunes that received a warm welcome from the crowd. The guys were clearly enjoying themselves and are worth keeping an eye on if they return.
Despite being one of the finest hard rock bands the UK has ever produced, UFO have had a career full of…variety…encompassing the discovery of a German wunderkind on lead guitar, arena status in the US, top 40 singles in the UK; and a fall from grace that encompassed more debauchery than Mötley Crüe on a night out with lame dilettante Pete Doherty; shambolic live shows, line-up soap operas and a welcome return to form. They’ve a run of decent LPs now and have a stable line up that delivers a consistently enjoyable set on any given night. But as mentioned, they’ve relied heavily on the Strangers… track listing. This time around though, there was a very welcome reboot of the set: only six tunes from that LP and the majority from other LPs old and new.
As usual front man Phil Mogg was on form, wit as dry as a bone and voice in fine fettle, and the band were firing on all four too – the senior three somewhat more sedate than their younger colleagues on guitar and bass, but then the music doesn’t need gymnastic presentation, just a decent sound (tick), enthusiastic audience (tick) and a raucous atmosphere (tick). As for the songs, Cherry was very well received, Venus a pleasurable surprise and both Makin’ Moves and We Belong to the Night reminding us that even during the wilderness years & dark days the band could produce a decent ditty.
So if you went to Blues Pills you probably had a great night, but you missed a bit of a treat – UFO delivering quality yet again with a great set of songs. Catch ‘em next time if you’re a fan and see where the set goes next, if you’re not come and find out why they’re as highly regarded as Thin Lizzy by hard rock aficionados.
Line-up: Phil Mogg / Vinnie Moore / Paul Raymond / Andy Parker / Rob De Luca
Mark - UFO's Sound Engineer - Preparing for the concert
90 minutes and counting down...
Wonderful UFO rock the Princess Pavilion, Falmouth
Falmouth Princess Pavilion
Friday, May 1
Review by Peter Harlow
WHAT can you say about a rock band that's been about for more than four decades and has had success after success, other than you would expect them to be very, very good?
UFO were more than that on Friday night – they absolutely oozed class and quality.
This was very good news as I had been waiting to see them for more than 30 years, and they proved well worth the wait.
As well as stuff from their new album, A Conspiracy Of Stars, they dropped in tracks from their extensive back catalogue as well as all the hits you wanted to hear, from Lights Out to Only You Can Rock Me to Doctor Doctor and Shoot Shoot, to a simply staggering version of Rock Bottom which had the whole place rocking.
This was no patched-up version of these rock giants, either, as it featured original members vocalist Phil Mogg and drummer Andy Parker, as well as guitarist/keyboard player Paul Raymond who has been with the rockers since the mid-1970s. Add in the brilliant guitar playing of Vinnie Moore and bassist Paul De Luca and this was the real UFO deal....
... You don't get to see real rock of this quality very often and it was a joy to find it in Falmouth on a Friday night. Loved it, just loved it.
Highlights - 'We Belong To The Night', 'Fight Night', 'Run Boy Run', 'The Killing Kind', Messiah Of Love',
'Burn Your House Down', 'Love to Love', 'Rock Bottom', 'Shoot Shoot' - To be honest, every
song was amazing - 'Lights Out', 'Venus', ''Only You Can Rock Me', 'Cherry', 'Makin' Moves', 'Doctor Doctor'.
UFO - Phil Mogg, Vinnie Moore - Andy Parker - Rob De Luca - Paul Raymond
PERFORMANCE AT THE FORUM was absolutely amazing - There was so much 'Energy' and 'Spark' to UFO's performance,
truly the best I have seen the band play - EVER! Here is the performance of 'Love to Love' - quality is shot from
my phone, so apologies on sound (does improve slightly), but you will get the feel of the 'vibe' and just how much
Phil is enjoying his performance and interaction with the rest of the band.
Highlight songs - 'Run Boy Run', 'Burn Your House Down' and 'Messiah Of Love'.