X-UFO - 'Vol 1 The Live Files' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 10, 2012    
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Great rock music played with enthusiasm by some great musicians.

X-UFO is a strange one, not a tribute band, not former members carrying on or making any pretence to be the band itself. Three quarters of the band in Danny Peyronel, Laurence Archer and Clive Edwards do have genuine UFO history, albeit with only one studio and one live album each to their credit. Ex MSG bassist Rocky Newton completes the lineup.

So, ‘Live Files’, recorded last Summer over a couple of European Festivals, introduces the band with a live set taken from albums the band members played on and genuine UFO classics. From ‘No Heavy Pettin’’ we’ve got ‘Natural Thing’ together with ‘Highway Lady’ and ‘Can You Roll Her’, long since dropped by the original band. ‘Back Door Man’, ‘Love Deadly Love’ and ‘She’s The One’ showcase Laurence and Clive’s contribution to UFO history from the ‘High Stakes’ album.

Danny’s vocals are no Phil Mogg, but then why try to be, his own style, phrasing and pitch do the songs justice in their own right. Although UFOs keyboards man Danny concentrates almost entirely upon being frontman here, essential parts of ‘Love To Love’ and the intro to ‘Doctor Doctor’ see him augmenting a straight forward Guitar, Bass, Drums live sound. Clive Edwards’ drums are as solid as anyone with his CV would be and despite ten years away from the music industry, Laurence and Rocky certainly sound back to their best.

Laurence though is the star here; whilst I’ve long been an admirer of his work, he now seems to be playing better than ever. The lack of second guitar or keyboards does give different feel to the songs. ‘Rock Bottom’ is a particular highlight with Laurence managing to stick to the structure of the original solo whilst still showing his own style but avoiding the lengthy meandering that Schenker has brought to the song. ‘Doctor Doctor’ too incorporates a solo from Archer that may not be original, but in no way detracts from the unmistakable riff.

Rocky’s MSG cohort Steve Mann gives a clear, crisp production to the album and whilst this is no ‘Strangers In The Night’, if you like your UFO played loud and clear, stripped down to a single guitar there’s no doubting the quality in here. Many will dismiss this, former band members trying to cash in on their past, with the UFO name on a high at the moment. But forget any preconceptions, any misgivings as to the motives behind the band and enjoy it for what it is. Some great rock music played with enthusiasm by some great musicians.

The legitimacy of X-UFO as a band will come later in the year with the plan to write and record some original material to sit alongside their UFO history. Now that will be interesting.

Ian Parry

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