|X-UFO - Tropic At Ruislip - 25th November 2011|
|Written by Jim Rowland|
|Wednesday, 07 December 2011 05:00|
When a UFO lands on your doorstep, you've got to investigate, right? Well let me explain. X-UFO formed this year, made up of three card carrying ex UFO members, plus one with very close connections. Those concerned being Danny Peyronel, Laurence Archer, Clive Edwards and Rocky Newton.
Peyronel, who more recently served time back in the Heavy Metal Kids, was the first UFO keyboard player, appearing on the excellent and underrated 'No Heavy Petting' album in 1976. He takes on vocal and keyboard duties here. Guitarist Laurence Archer is a current member of Stampede, played in Phil Lynott's Grand Slam, and was a UFO member between '92 and '95, mostly alongside drummer Clive Edwards. Bassist Rocky Newton meanwhile has spent some time with MSG in their Robin McCauley fronted days. If you actually look at a list of former members of UFO, it's huge, so it can't be that difficult to pluck four out, can it?
Anyway, for some bizarre reason, X-UFO have decided to play their first gig in England in my home town of Ruislip, within staggering distance of my abode, at the local non-league football ground which is home to the world famous Wealdstone FC. Never heard of them? Well they've produced Vinnie Jones and Stuart Pearce in the past - two of the hardest hitters in the game. So are X-UFO going to hit me hard, or just leave a circle in my crops?
Judging by the size of the amps on stage here, I could safely predict we were going to be hit hard, and indeed, this band are loud. With Peyronel fronting the band, we get three gems from 'No Heavy Petting' in the shape of the excellent 'Natural Thing', 'Highway Lady' and 'Can You Roll Her' - a forgotten UFO gem and one of my faves, although this version is a vicious rendition about three times the speed of the original. From Archer & Edwards' time in UFO we also get 'Love Deadly Love' and 'She's The One', two tracks unlikely to grace a UFO setlist these days. MSG's classic 'Armed and Ready' gets the X-UFO treatment, and there's also a few bonafide UFO classics in there too such as 'Only You Can Rock Me', 'Rock Bottom', 'Love To Love', 'Lights Out' and the inevitable encore of 'Doctor Doctor', all of which get the air guitar treatment, heads banging and big singalongs.
Now speaking as a local, the audience in these parts are used to long sets as this venue usually serves up rock tribute bands who often play in excess of two hours, as do most of the original bands they get down here like Stray and Nik Turner's Space Ritual. X-UFO's set is considerably shorter tonight, and with no support, a few punters appear to feel a little short changed. To be fair to the band though, they probably weren't aware of this.
X-UFO then are a louder and rawer version of UFO, an X-rated version if you like. They're a lot of fun, but most definitely for UFO fans only.
Photo Kudos; Andy Rawlls