First off, why should you bother with UFO and Sweet Savage in the first place?
If you need me to answer that I suggest you hand in your hard rock and metal club membership card, or re-sit your Rocker GCSE right away.
Neither UFO not Sweet Savage have reached the mega-tour status of Maiden or Metallica yet both bands have had a huge influence on not only those two bands, but on a legion of hard rock and metal acts.
UFO kicked off their career in 1969 as a space rock outfit, before successfully pioneering a twin guitar attack that provided power, ranged against the melody and passion of singer Phil Mogg. Classic albums tumbled off the shelves, arguably culminating with the double live Strangers in the Night (the template for basically the majority of live albums throughout the 80s and 90s).
|UFO singer par excellence Phil Mogg croons for another stunned set of |
Marshall stacks...and a willing audience too!
The hits were plentiful: Doctor, Doctor; Mother Mary, Only You Can Rock Me and so on (those re-sitting their Rocker GCSE are permitted to download these on Spotify or iTunes, but beware, the sudden intake of such heady classic rock may make you a tad dizzy until you become acclimatised!)
But as with many great acts UFO were plagued with fall-outs, drink and drug issues, line-up changes and a largely indifferent media. Did they quit? Well they did for a wee while, but have fought back and fought back in style: this is a band well past middle age, still gigging and still releasing new material that stretches their admitted wrinkled hides that little bit further.
Many a man (or woman) who has reached the age of Phil Mogg, Paul Raymond, or even Vinnie Moore and Andy Parker, would consider taking it a wee bit easy and heading for the cabaret tours. Not so UFO, who have returned - yet again - to Belfast and have -yet again - released another fine album in the shape of Seven Deadly. Tracks such as Angel Station, Burn Your House Down and Fight Night will stand up against many a so-called classic rock artiste of today.
And, as if having UFO returning to Belfast in another display of loyalty to Norn Iron, which many acts could learn from, there is also the small matter of Sweet Savage as support.
If you're a fan of Metallica then you should know that 'Tallica covered Killing Time; if you're a fan of Dio you should know that the ex-Savage guitarist who goes by the surname Campbell strummed a few chords for Ronnie, and went on to Whitesnake, Def Leppard etc. You should also, if you are to achieve an A* in your Rocker GCSE, know that Sweet Savage was at the heart of that heady time of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, when Tommy Vance ruled Friday nights, when Maiden, Diamond Head, White Spirit, Saxon, Tank and a host of others were saving our souls from New Wave and terrible hair-dos.
Like UFO, Sweet Savage are still out there turning in new tracks and great live shows. Last year's Regeneration album showcased a band that could bridge the 80s with more contemporary metal, without "selling out".
Okay - you get it why you should go? What? You only want to see UFO play Shoot Shoot and Lights Out and Savage play Killing Time - boy are you in for a night to delight your innocent wee cotton socks.
And - Belfastmetalheadsreunited have teamed up with the ever-generous folks at CDC Leisure to offer you two pairws of tickets to UFO and Sweet Savage on March 21st at the Spring & Airbrake. For clarity that means two winners will get a set of two tickets each - or in simpler terms, if you win you can bring a mate/partner/spouse/live-in lover/random long-haired dude or dudette you met on the bus. A pair of tickets means two, and we have two pair on offer!
To win - just answer this simple question:
What is the name of UFO's new album?
Send your answers here by Saturday 23.59 17th March.