Thursday, March 22, 2012
THERE comes a time of life when each and every band must hang up their axes, retire the mic and step away from the monitors. Band break-ups and age can often be the cue to look for the pipe, slippers and comfy armchair. Well thankfully UFO have decided that there time has not come yet.
Because for a band that started life in 1969 Phil Mogg, Andy Parker, Paul Raymond and Vinnie Moore still know how to deliver a power-packed set.
A sold-out Spring and Airbrake had its arse well and truly warmed up with Sweet Savage’s first gig of 2012 before a series of summer festival dates across Europe. While many of crowd will only know Killing Time from Metallica’s cover version, title track of the 2012 album Regenerator is immense live.
UFO – well they know how to Let It Roll, and that was precisely how they opened up; sort of easing the crowd into a finely balanced set which included a nice cull of tracks from new platter Seven Deadly and the crowd pleasers which could have been plucked from Strangers in the Night.
Yes – if one was a cynic one could view this type of tour as a pension gig for the band and a nostalgia trip for ageing rockers.
Sod that! Each and every one of the last three gigs in Belfast, including this one has seen the band open a cracking bunch from their current releases. From Monkey Puzzle to The Visitor and now to Seven Deadly UFO are relevant in a world where many bands have stood still, failed to develop, and have released nothing new.
While it is reassuring to hear tracks from Seven Deadly (buy it now if you want to hear how relevant UFO are to the modern ‘classic rock’ genre – and you really got to unpick that phrase to understand exactly it means!) a few from the Visitor and more recent albums might not have appealed to the Phenomenon era fans, but for die-hards would have demonstrated a commitment to their commitment and perhaps opened a few eyes to the dynamism of these bunch of nearly pensioners. Heck I’d even beg for the likes of Profession of Violence.
As to the rest of the set: Too Hot To Handle; yep, Only You Can Rock Me; yep; pointless banter; yep, Shoot Shoot; yep, Vinni Moore, guitar solo; yep, Doctor Doctor; yep, Lights Out; yep etc. If you’re a fan you’ll know the score.
Delivered with aplomb and a backing choir of several hundred increasingly hoarse fans UFO proved that they, on form, really are one of the very veteran bands who can still punch with the best. And on Andy Parker’s birthday…we thought it best not to ask his age because while some may regard them as Golden Oldies they are simply glorious on stage!
As your faithful scribe was not able to make it in to see Vain, owing to being distracted by Guinness, any reviews of this (preferably in something approximating grammatically correct English) would be appreciated: we can't pay in anything other than our gratitude.