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Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 31, 2016    
 
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UFO - Parr Hall, Warrington (UK) - 26 October 2016

It's hard to believe that UFO will be celebrating their 48th birthday in 2017, thankfully there seems to be no indication of the band calling it a day. They have been criticized constantly for only playing the "greatest hits" but, as lead singer Phil Mogg jokingly quips mid-set, "I didn't even know we had any great hits". They have a loyal fan base and can still pull in a crowd so they must be doing something right. Their studio output is still of a high standard and on the basis of tonight's show there is still life in the old dog yet.

Mogg, Andy Parker (drums), Paul Raymond (keyboards/guitar), Vinnie Moore (guitar) and Rob DeLuca (bass) make a low key entrance but storm into 'We Belong To The Night' and get a hero's welcome at its conclusion. There are one or two surprises in the set tonight, yet pretty much every era is covered. With over twenty albums and the best part of two hundred and fifty songs to choose from, it must be something of a headache to select what to play without disappointing those who still come to hear those "greatest hits". 'Fight Night' gets the heads nodding and 'Ain't No Baby' is the first of the surprises, because apparently Moore really likes the song. Mogg is on form and the between song ramblings get more bizarre and alcohol-affected as the show goes on. The introduction to 'Run Boy Run' is a great example – "This is a song from the last album. It was massive and went cardboard in seven countries". I've never been sure whether he is just playing to a reputation (the legend goes that the set never changes because Mogg can't remember the words to new songs) or whether he is drawing on a wicked sense of humour. He is seventy in a couple of years so maybe we can just put it down to senility now.... "We played here about four years ago, was I wearing the same clothes?"

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Moore is still regarded as the new guitarist even though he has been part of the line-up for the best part of fourteen years now. He puts a new spin on some famous solos without deviating too far from their original arrangements and has also helped create a stable environment that has allowed the band to stay on track when they could have imploded following Michael Schenker's final departure after a disastrous night in Manchester back in November 2000. Paul Raymond's contribution to the UFO sound can never be underestimated and he also adds some much needed backing vocals with DeLuca. Both Raymond and Parker have an unassuming stage manner but are essential in their roles and content to let Mogg and Moore take the spotlight.

It is great to hear 'Venus' and 'Makin' Moves' again, and 'Cherry' has been brought back this year after being left out of the set for a long time. Both 'Lights Out' and 'Only You Can Rock Me' are pure Rock classics and greeted as such, whilst 'Messiah Of Love' (from 2015's 'Conspiracy Of Stars' album) gives Moore the chance to show just how versatile a guitarist he is. Raymond's keyboard intro to 'Love To Love' still gives me goose-bumps and even though the song is now forty years old, and I have seen it performed live a dozen times, I never get tired of hearing it. The main set is brought to a close by 'Rock Bottom', a Moore tour-de-force that sees him solo like his life depends on it, a song justifiably tagged as an anthem that always gets the crowd excited. The encore of 'Doctor Doctor' and 'Shoot Shoot' maintain the energy levels until the end and are backed by several hundred extra singers.

UFO may not be playing in stadium sized venues anymore, and they have never been high profile media darlings, but they are an established band who rely on musical skills rather than flashy stage shows. They played for the best part of two hours and though I have seen them play better, I was still impressed by the overall performance. Finally, I know the audience for UFO shows are generally on the mature side but did we really need the heating on at Parr Hall tonight?

Dave Bott

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  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
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  • Berny : @zom414: Fireworks Magazine #89 will be available at selected UK based newsagents on December 16th. The digital version can already be purchased in our Download Store.
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  • l.thijs : Hi Fireworks Magazine. I made a purchase on 10 nov and I paid by Paypall. I bought the #85 fireworks mag download for GBP3,50. But I didn,t receive anything. Please can you find out what's going on?
  • kazooba : I have digital versions of every issue from 27 thru 88, any way I can get issues 1 - 26 with cd's digitally?
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: The links are in the Fireworks menu. Have you tried scrolling down? Maybe your screen size is too small...
  • SeaDog57 : Berny; there are only links up to Fireworks 86. Which is kinda strange because i already downloaded CD 87 but i'm looking for the link to CD 88...Chris
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  • bpomper : i found the problem..old email i can not access.i have tried to change it by editing my info but it wont allow. any suggestions
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  • bpomper : Thanks didnt of that. I still have not heard about fireworks 88 was it sent out. Thankyou
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  • bpomper : Thanks for the reply. I see download but can you confirm that hardcopy was or is sent ou .thanks.the email i used is inder the contact me info of the website
  • Berny : @bpomper: Apologies for your troubles. Where did you send the email to? We haven't received anything. I will send you a longer reply via mail. Also, you can download the free CD from the "Fireworks" menu on top, but the CD links are only shown if you are logged in.
  • bpomper : 3rd email inquiring about my purchase of fireworks #88. i purchased on the 2oth of sept and today is the 24 with no response...paypal has taken the payment. should i have a down load of the cd for mu usa magazine. Looking forward to an answer
  • bpomper : hello i purchased fireworks #88 through paypal on9/23 and have not recieved an email from rocktopia. purchase is for a hard copy of the mag. should i have cd download instructions.when should i expect it
  • Berny : @Johns Band: I've just sent you an e - mail. Best regards, B.

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