UFO Newcastle Academy March 17th 2012

UFO Newcastle Academy March 17th 2012
Its around five years since I last saw UFO, although it doesn’t seem it. I’ve been preparing myself for the gig, by blogging about UFO during the week, and by playing their live album Strangers in the Night and their classic Phenomenon lp, of which I have a signed copy, which I found at a car boot sale for 50p many years ago! (I have no way, of course, of knowing if the signatures are genuine; but they look pretty authentic to me). I arrived at the Academy early, just after 7pm so that I could catch support act The Heavy Metal Kids. I was intrigued to see what the new incarnation of the Kids would be like, particular without the charismatic Gary Holton. I’ll blog on them separately later this week. They were on stage when I arrived; Saturday gigs at the Academy start and finish early, as the venue turns into a night club at 11pm. UFO came on stage just after 8pm. By then the venue was packed, and the crowd gave the band a great Geordie reception. They started with Mother Mary; the set was a mix of old and new with all of the old favourites featured. Phil Mogg is lean and fit, and his voice is as strong as ever. Old timers Paul Raymond (keyboard and second guitar) and Andy Parker (drums) are still there alongside, and (now well established in the band) guitarist Vinnie Moore played some great solos, and easily matches up to the legend of Schenker and Tonka. Stand outs for me were Only You Can Rock Me, Love to Love, Lights Out and, of course, Doctor Doctor, which is one of my all time fave rock songs. Great night; from a band that never ceases to amaze. Setlist: something like (although I may well have the order wrong): Mother Mary; Let It Roll; Fight Night; a couple of songs from the new album; Wonderland; Only You Can Rock Me; Love to Love; Hell Driver; Venus; Too Hot To Handle; Lights Out; Rock Bottom. Encore: Doctor Doctor; Shoot Shoot.

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