|UFO - London, Kentish Town, The Forum - 7th May 2015|
|Written by Jim Rowland|
|Saturday, 16 May 2015 03:00|
As election fever struggles to grip the nation today, I vote for rock ’n’ roll as I head down to Kentish Town for a slice of UFO to provide a much needed distraction. At least the turnout here is good. I never saw UFO in the Schenker or Tonka glory days, and in fact the first couple of times I saw them was the Atomic Tommy M era, which was hardly the best time to start. Since then I’ve seen them countless times. I know a few people who didn’t bother with this one tonight, citing the fact that the last couple of tours have been a bit underwhelming. Well, they may have had a point, but they certainly missed out this time, as tonight provides one of the best UFO shows, if not the best, that I’ve seen.
That’s no mean feat considering it’s at The Forum, which is never a great place to see a band these days, due to the extortionate bar prices and the questionable sound quality. Indeed, once again the sound is a bit dodgy at the start tonight, but thankfully that sorts itself out relatively quickly. One of the reasons this is such a great show is the set list, which for UFO in 2015 is spot on. The opener, ‘We Belong To The Night’, is an unexpected but inspired choice, and despite the sound still sorting itself out still packs a powerful punch. Of course this tour is promoting the recent ‘A Conspiracy Of Stars’ album, but they don’t overdo it with the material from that album, sticking to just three very decent cuts, with ‘Run Boy Run’ and ‘The Killing Kind’ sounding particularly impressive. ‘Lights Out’, my personal favourite UFO song, is dedicated to the recently departed Errol Brown, who Phil Mogg admits having a bit of a soft spot for, and ‘Venus’ is a welcome addition from the Schenker comeback era. ‘Only You Can Rock Me’ gets a reasonably early outing in the set, and certainly gets a huge sing along, which isn’t too surprising, although ‘Seven Deadly’s ‘Burn Your House Down’ is really the only one I could have done without in the set.
This does, however, lead into the highlight of the set for me. ‘Cherry’ and ‘Love To Love’ are every bit what classic UFO is all about – epic, grandiose, heavy and dramatic, they are delivered to perfection - inspired choices indeed. And talking of inspired choices, how about ‘The Wild The Willing And The Innocent’ Side 2 , Track 1 - ‘Makin Moves’, a welcome and unexpected choice from the ‘Tonka’ Chapman era. From then on in, it’s the ones that no UFO gig would be complete without. ‘Rock Bottom’ is spot on with Vinnie Moore making a fine job of that most famous of Michael Schenker solos, with of course ‘Doctor Doctor’ and ‘Shoot Shoot’ providing some serious singing along for the encore.
This was one seriously good UFO gig. The atmosphere was great, and there was a real buzz about the place that UFO were delivering the goods that they may not always have done in recent years. Phil Mogg is his usual jovial self, and compared to a fair few of his contemporaries still retains that voice in extremely good nick. Andy Parker can still bash seven bells out of the kit, and Paul Raymond, from a distance at least, doesn’t look like he’s aged at all. And let’s not forget relatively new man Rob Da Luca who does a sterling job filling some pretty big shoes on bass.
As we head out into the night, the news channels are buzzing with news of the election that tonight took our minds away from, and pretty soon we’ll learn that we’ve got five more years of Cameron. Five more years of UFO would be greatly appreciated.
Photos courtesy of Noel Buckley http://www.noelbuckleyimages.co.uk/