Opening up tonight’s proceedings are Heavy Metal Kids. They have a decent crowd and work there way through a hard rock, bluesy set with a hint of punk for good measure. Although the crowd are not all that lively (unfortunately, this is something that would continue through the night), they showed their appreciation after each song and the set went down well. A band I would be happy to see again.
Now, with a history and success of a band such as UFO, you might expect a fanfare entrance. But no, the guys just walked on stage, acknowledge the crowd and just got straight down to business opening up with Mother Mary, followed by 2 tracks from their latest album Seven Deadly, Fight Night and Wonderland.
Musically, the band’s performance was tight and there were some outstanding moments. Classic tracks such as Love to Love, Only You Can Rock Me and Lights Out sounded as good as ever, and new tracks such as Mojo Town were received well. Phil’s voice was great (if anything, it has gotten better with age) and Vinnie Moore’s playing was excellent (especially during the extended guitar solo during Rock Bottom). Backed up by Paul Raymond, Andy Parker and new bass player Rob De Luca, the band work through a set that was mainly made up of tracks from the Strangers in the Night live CD including an encore of Doctor Doctor and Shoot Shoot
However, while the band were as good as ever musically on stage, there was no real atmosphere at the gig. There was a lack of energy from both the crowd (one of the quietest crowds I have seen at Rock City for band of UFO’s size) and the band at times, and Phil Mogg’s chats between songs happened too often and affected the pace of the set. (there were even shouts of “get on with it” from the crowd). With regards to the sound, there was no real “punch” which didn’t help and if you stood near the back of the venue, you could comfortably have a conversation without having to shout and the sound bleed from the gig downstairs was very distracting.
This was a gig that I was very much looking forward to and I enjoyed to a certain extent, but ultimately the lack of atmosphere and energy from both the crowd and the band meant that it never really reached it’s true potential.
Mother Mary, Fight Night, Wonderland, Loser, Let It Roll, Mojo Town, Burn Your House Down, Only You Can Rock Me, Love to Love, Hell Driver, Venus, Too Hot To Handle, Lights Out, Rock Bottom, Doctor Doctor, Shoot Shoot