Review by Woody & Pics by Rich Ward
It’s been a week since my last dose of live British classic rock and I’m hoping my trip to Wolvo to see UFO is going to be just as good!
Tonight’s support is cult hard rockers Heavy Metal Kids and given their brand of very British hard rock it’s easy to see why they were ideal for tonight’s slot. Although the band have a loyal cult following I know very little about them, but they got very good reactions tonight and I think there was a fair few HMK fans in the house. They are a very tight unit of musicians, whose confidence on stage showed their wealth of experience in front of crowds of all sizes.
I can’t say I was blown away by these guys, but they did go down well with the audience. Maybe my lack of knowledge of the band’s songs didn’t help, but I found their punk fuelled dirty rock n roll style a bit bland and it’s a style of music that just doesn’t set me alight, perfect for biker rallies and festivals like the Bulldog Bash though.
They played and I do apologise if I get any of these song titles wrong, send complaints to the usual sources, ‘Hanging On’, ‘Far Away’, ‘Chelsea Kids’, ‘Hundred Skeletons’ & ‘Wanna See’. They also played a cover of Montrose’s classic ‘Rock Candy’ and they saved the best until last, ‘She’s No Angel’ which was their stand out performance of the evening.
Over the past year or so I have taken time to check out a few classic bands that I’ve never seen before this week’s visit to the seventies was with immensely popular British hard rockers UFO. I have a good knowledge of these guys so presuming there were plenty of hits amongst the set I was positive I’d enjoy it.
The band came onto a roar from tonight’s sell out and extremely noisy bunch of rockers and kicked straight into opener ‘Mother Mary’! Phil Mogg quickly apologised for having a cold, but you would have never known and I was gobsmacked at how amazing Mogg’s vocals were throughout the set, a true pro delivering the goods! I was also told to expect Mogg to be quite chatty in between songs, tonight he seemed quite quiet and kept the banter to a minimum although he was obviously annoyed at one ‘heckler’ who shouted ‘Get on with it’ on a few occasions. Although to be fair to Mogg, he didn’t really ramble and did keep it short and sweet.
The sound was first rate, as you’d expect at one the premium venues in the Midlands. The band obviously relished the crystal clear sound and made the most of showing off their talents, with Paul Raymond flitting between some awesome keyboard licks and rhythm guitar duties. New boy bassist Rob De Luca was full of energy and so up for putting on a kick ass set while Vinnie Moore did a great job throwing out all those classic UFO riffs immaculately as well as his own on the newbie’s. Rounding the line-up was the thunderous drummer Andy Parker who was doing his best to make sure we were all vibrating!
Yes tonight’s set list may have been a predictable selection of hits, but I don’t think this crowd cared – they wanted the hits and that’s what they got! The band did push in a few new songs from Seven Deadly in the first half of the set and they are definitely far more impressive live.
Tonight’s crowd were well up for it and there was a great cross section of ages with plenty of headbanging and air punching and lots of noisy singing along, it was a fabulous group of rockers tonight and it really made for a great overall gig – hats off to the black country massive as usual, no one rocks like us!
We get a bang on two hour set and we heard ‘Fight Night’, ‘Wonderland’, ‘Let It Roll’, ‘Mojo Town’, ‘Burn Your House Down’, ‘Hell Driver’, ‘Venus’, ‘Too Hot Too Handle’, ‘Lights Out’ & ‘Rock Bottom’. For me the highlights were the extremely melodic ‘I’m A Loser’ and obviously UFO classics ‘Love To Love’ and the crowd go nuts for ‘Only You Can Rock Me’. After much chanting the band cap proceedings off with an encore of ‘Doctor, Doctor’ and ‘Shoot, Shoot’!
Tonight’s kudos and nice funny moment was seeing a security guard limbering up ready for action, I too thought there was going to be a minor domestic disturbance! In all seriousness though I’d just like to thank the very helpful staff at the Wulfrun not that I would expect anything less here!
You want to know how to put on a live performance check out UFO, because this is how it’s done! A fantastic atmosphere and a great bunch of noisy and energetic headbangers to share tonight’s show with really made for a great night rock! Another band to add to my must see again list!