UFO (Live)

at the O2 Academy, Newcastle, U.K., April 25, 2015

Sometimes having not just a career defining album but a genre defining album can be something of a double edged sword. UFO’s Strangers In The Night double live album encapsulated everything that was great about the classic live albums of the ’70s. It was bold, energetic, exciting and featured the very best of their career to date standing proudly beside other landmark live albums by Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy and KISS.

Over the years however, some UFO fans have bemoaned the over reliance of the material from that album in their set and at times they have had a point. Regardless of the quality of those songs and the difficulty of omitting fan favourites, the desire to hear some of the more obscure classics has grown.


UFO have clearly been listening as to just about everyone’s surprise the show opened with “We Belong To The Night” from the hugely under rated Mechanix album. No one was expecting that. Cue many happy faces amongst the UFO old guard.

Further surprises came later in the set with “Making Moves” from the criminally overlooked Paul “Tonka” Chapman era of the band while rare appearances of “Cherry” and “Venus” from their classic line up comeback release, Walk on Water were greeted like long lost friends.

Since they reconvened two decades ago UFO have continued to write and record new material and their new album, A Conspiracy of Stars, their highest charting album since 1983, might well be the best thing they’ve done in years and “Run Boy Run”, “Messiah of Love” and “Killing Kind” sound every bit as tasty live as on record while” Burn Your House Down” from the recent Seven Deadly album, stands proudly next to those ’70s classics and is surely one of UFO’s finest ballads.


Frontman Phil Mogg, the only constant in an ever changing line up over a 45 year career, still retains his dry wit and caustic delivery. Joining Mogg on stage were original drummer Andy Parker along with guitarist/keyboardist Paul Raymond, both veterans of the Strangers in the Night era. Blond bombshell Michael Schenker may be long gone but American six slinger Vinnie Moore was every bit as able delivering his solos with the flair and melody UFO fans demand. Sure the chaotic charismas of bassist Pete Way was sorely missed and replacing him is nigh on impossible but full credit to Rob De Luca, who did a sterling job filling Way’s polkadot jumpsuit.


Of course it would be unthinkable for UFO to leave out those songs from THAT album. “Love To Love”, “Lights Out” and “Only You Can Rock Me” still sounded vibrant while the guitar show piece “Rock Bottom” and the inevitable “Doctor Doctor” continue to show why UFO were and still are one of the UK’s most revered and loved Hard Rock bands. This was the most well rounded, balanced set that UFO have delivered in years.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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