Ugly Kid Joe/Tim McMillan/Tropical Contact –
O2 Academy 2, Sheffield, Tuesday 4th October, 2016
Now this was a show which I knew wanted to see as soon as I saw it announced since I never got see the headliner in their heyday unfortunately. Ugly Kid Joe played the UK last year but it’s been a while since they were in Sheffield last.
Anyways before they took to the stage we had a local young set of guys that had come all the way from Huddersfield – okay, not that far but just over the hill right. They grew on the crowd pretty quick! Maybe they had been here in the city before or brought a few friends with them because they went down superb with their rollicking crashy brand of rock that was not unlike The Wildhearts with elements of artists like Therapy?
They even brought one of their buddies on stage too who did a duet in one of their songa about drinking and stuff who they referred to as a member of Mumford and Sons! Good set overall and a perfect start to the night.
Now I’ve never known a direct support to be a quirky Australian freaky dude freak with a an acoustic guitar quite grab a crowd on this term before but that’s now been ticked off in the gig list. Tim McMillan is a 1 man comedy routine who must have may years of experience of this but looks in his early 30’s tops. To say he can make that bit of wood talk would be an understatement.
Throwing in madcap stories about life and times in Australia at an after show party, playing ‘Seasons Of The Abyss’ by Slayer to an 80 odd year old that went wrong or talking about how his mom pushed to do what he did because he’d be no good as a gangster rapper are just a couple of them on off. Tim is too funny and a real find by the headliners.
The amount of excitement when the lights go down again in here, so to speak, is utterly rapturous and these fans in Steel City are totally hardcore. Taking to the stage first off are Zac Morris C (Drums), Klaus Eichstadt & Chris Catalyst (both on Guitar) and Cordell Crockett (Bass) who get the crowd crazier still with some instrumentality of tonight’s opener ‘Neighbour’ before Whitfield Crane bounds on in perfect voice and ecstatic enthusiasm.
The entire set was jam packed with zany humour and non-stop fun such as Whit imitating the sound of the feedback that appeared to be resonating via Chris’s guitar amp and had us making the sound on numerous occasions in the show for everyone’s amusement. Or what about asking who bought the last album – a tumbleweed moment it seemed from where I was standing – I bought it that night actually before you ask!
Mr. Crane also asked us what the local songs were here with many chanting, “Yorkshire, Yorkshire”, “What? Yorkstian?” which was utterly hilarious – talk about a mishearing unless he said that on purpose right? Getting personally invited by Whitfield himself second song in was one hell of an appreciated privilidge which enable me to get a bands eye view of the gig.
Guitarist, Chris got his moment in the limelight too since he had been given the assignment to play a song or two that came from the town or city that the band was playing that night. As a joke he started up with Pulp’s ‘Disco 2000’ that got a mass of boos before tearing the place apart with a fantastic rendition of The Human League’s ‘Don’t You Want Me?’ that had everyone singing along – proof that the old pop is definitely way more preferred by the ladies and gents here tonight.
So there’s less hair these days but who cares since they are still as tight as hell and can totally teach any up and coming kid bands stage skills and lasting respect for their audience and each other. Such an uplifting show! Many, many song highlights came from the set that were both old and newer that included ‘I’m Alright’; ‘Milkman’s Son’; ‘God Damn Devil’ ‘ Under The Bottom’ (if I remember right) & ‘So Cool’. The material goes down well from all parts of the bands career which really is a pivotal moment for any band to have the newer stuff given as much enthusiasm.
Even more outstanding highlights were the likes of a momentous take of Motorhead’s ‘Ace Of Spades’ which actually features Phil Campbell on their album version of the cut. Or what about Klaus getting a vocal spotlight too where he splendidly entertained us with ‘Mr. Recordman’ who I am sure must know who he is by now – well you would hope so! Hey, they even invited a fan onstage who sang the song with him! How cool is that?!?!?
Something that I personally didn’t expect was a cool acoustic moment whereby all the band members left the stage apart from Whit and their main support, Tim McMillan was invited back on for the two to duet on the classic old numbers ‘Cloudy Skies’ & ‘Come Tomorrow’ proving how Whit could really nail those vocals since there was no safety net in sight – separating the wanna-be’s from the real performers. Tim really compliments him too on that six stringer as well – not to mention in the larynx lounge.
Now the concert wouldn’t be complete without those two songs – ones a cover and ones their own penned hit – yes, I am referring to ‘Cats In The Cradle’ and tonight’s closer ‘(I Hate) Everything About You’ that both had the entire audience singing along. Whit complimented the crowd on how good they sounded – it was such a spiritual happening right here tonight in Sheffield.
There’s little doubt that the rest of the tour and beyond will also be a massive bundle of stage-bounding, fun-filled rock ‘n’ roll action like this show was. A thoroughly successful and enjoyable night was had by all in Sheffield in here tonight!
Review By Glenn Milligan
Photos by Glenn Milligan & Steve Cooper
UFO/10 To Midnite –
Whisky A Go-Go, West Hollywood, California, USA, Friday 25th March, 2016
Set List: Crazy Nights/Do Or Die/Dirty Movies/Succatush Blues/Bang Bang Baby/Lie To Me.
The second visit of the week to the Whisky is one I’ve been really looking forward to for a few months. After recently interviewing Vinnie Moore (UFO’s Guitarist) it made this night even more special. Bit let’s not rush ahead, since we also got to witness the local support band, 10 To Midnite (recently reviewed at a benefit at a famous venue in Tarazana) which I find out later was their last ever gig together.
These guys have that old school Sunset Strip 80’s Rock thang going down. In fact, the vocalist, Tommy Delaney in my humble opinion looks like a cross between Vince Neil and Seb Bach with some Bret Michaels thrown in their too but had a deeper, bawly baritone voice with high falsetto squealing now and again. During the first couple of numbers, the crowd were got getting into it enough but bit by bit they got locked into the groove of the band after being lifted up somewhat by Tommy and the flamboyant and exquisite axe work of Alex O’Neill.
Mr. O is originally from the UK I am proud to say as well. Overall this was a decent performance and kinda like being transported back to around 1988 when bands like this ruled the strip. Look out for the new band that features both Alex and Tommy soon called ‘Angel City Rockers’.
Set List: We Belong To The Night/Fight Night/Run Boy Run/Lights Out/Too Hot To Handle/Venus/Only You Can Rock Me/Burn The House Down/Cherry/Love To Love/Messiah Of Love/Makin’ Moves/Rock Bottom.
Encore: Doctor Doctor/Shoot Shoot.
Now when it comes to UFO, you know you are in for something cool from these veterans of Classic Rock since they’ve been around since the late 60’s and still going strong today – albeit a few line-up changes over the years, but this is usually the case with most bands.Back at the Whisky in support of 2015’s album, ‘A Conspiracy Of Stars’ with a set that sees a couple of numbers played tonight too ‘Run Boy Run’ and the funky rock of ‘Messiah Of Love’ that work just as well as anthems like ‘Too Hot To Handle’ & ‘Only You Can Rock Me’.
Phil Mogg’s voice is sounding so good tonight – crystal clarity throughout the gig and hehas a laugh with the crowd. He’s talking a-plenty between the songs about things such as looking into the sun, football and other random topics not to mention with smiles galore coming from this iconic frontman. Hit after hit delighted the sell-out crowd in the whisky tonight with faves including ‘Love To Love’; ‘Cherry’ and the home-run as they call it in the form of ‘Doctor Doctor’ and ‘Shoot Shoot’.
Vinnie Moore is on fire tonight and switches between electric guitars and acoustic when needed for various songs; while Paul Raymond does the same going from keyboard to guitar when either instrument is required. Rob De Luca (formerly of Spread Eagle & Sebastian Bach) is having a party on bass too with Andy Parker forever crashing and thumping out those brilliant beats as good as he ever had done.
What makes UFO songs keep so strong is that you never seem to get tired of them due to their addictive riffery, fabulous singalong chorus’s and hooks to die for! Okay, I'm going off route a bit here but I must mention a funny part of the show that I I do remember was when Vinnie Moore showed the fans the rude little buddha toy that was perched on top of the Marshall stack for the entire show when it was....... errrr..... more tea vicar??? Lol!
One of those concerts that goes so so quick even though the guys are on-stage for two hours – that’s how shows should be. I’ve got to say that this must be the best show I’ve seen them perform since Pete Way was in the band. Afterwards they even took time to talk to fans, sign autographs and pose for photos with them too before some decided a beer or two at the ‘Bow was in order after a momentous milestone of a show indeed.
Review & Colour Photographs By Glenn Milligan
Black & White Photographs & Bottom Far Right Colour Photograph By David Klein
U.D.O./Sister Sin/Garage Days – O2 Academy 2, Sheffield, Friday April 2nd, 2015
Set List: Streets (Intro)/Bleeding Days/Never Give Up/Lord Of Darkness/Scars Of Life/Paradise Lost (Ballad)/Piece Of Sh*t.
Time to bring Euro-Metal to Steel City in early April was the mission on the label right here which started rather early (around 7pm) with tonight’s openers, Garage Days from Rattenburg, Austria. They are easily the loudest band I have seen in this room and have to bung the plugs in my tabs right away.
We only catch about half the set but holy hell these guys are brutal – imagine Testament meets Slayer with a bombastic, bawling vocalist in Marco Kern who also plays the rhythm guitar too. Listening to guy sing is like being in front of Tom Araya & Chuck Billy at the same time. They go down real well even though I doubt many here knew their material much at all. A total triumph.
Set List: Food For Worms/Outrage/Chaos Royale/Heading For Hell/24/7 (Accept Cover)/Desert Queen/Fight Song/Sail North.
The Gothenburg group, Sister Sin really grab my attention with a musical & vocal style of artists like Hellion & Doro to name but a few. They are good old 80’s Metal through and through and you wouldn’t want to cross their feisty frontess, Liv with her dark vampiric looks and hot sultry manner.
She has a real powerful set of pipes on her with the guys in the band right behind her proving you don’t have to have been around 25+ years ago to be able to deliver the goods extremely authentically. An act that are so together and even dare to throw in a cover of an old Accept classic – now that takes some guts, seeing as they are special guests to the original singer and his own band up next.
Highlights of their set included the pounding single ‘Chaos Royale’ and the punching at you ‘Fight Song’. Sister Sin are a band that I recommend you check out one way or another as they are as real as it gets when it comes to horns, studs, leather and all things metal – they well and truly tick every box. Would love to see these superb Swedes on a headline tour of their own later in the year over here.
Set List: Speeder/Blitz Of Lightning/King Of Mean/Decadent/Independence Day/Black Widow/Never Cross My Way/The Bullet And The Bomb/Under Your Skin/Tears Of A Clown/Secrets In Paradise (Both Acoustic)/Faceless World/Pain/Untouchable/Let Me Out/Metal Machine/Metal Eater.
Encore: Break The Rules/Princess Of The Dawn/I’m A Rebel/Fast As A Shark/Balls To The Wall.
So I missed the Queen of England hit the City of Sheffield today but what the hell, I got to see the German King of Metal instead and I reckon I got the better deal as well. He has been around since the 80’s and fronted that well known band that begins with A and been a solo artist for a good while now.
Right away you sensed there was a strong feeling of brotherhood between the band members that manifested around the room making it a real, loving tight night of metal. The quintet comprised of the man himself, Udo Dirkschneider (Vocals) Andrey Smirnov & Kasperi Heikkinen (both on Guitar), Fitty Wienhold (Bass), Son, Sven Dirkschneider (Drums) and newest member of the team, Harrison Young (Keyboards).
Without sounding too cheesy and clichéd, it was a show that was virtually nothing but a full-on metal assault all the way from the opening of the epic and vicious number ‘Speeder’ to the classic well known Accept hit ‘Balls To The Wall’. Sound-wise, nothing short of absolutely outstanding with everything cutting through really well. Saying that though, you had to listen hard at times to pick out the many words in the verses of UDO’s songs due to his high-ended pitch and German accent coupled with the serious pace of some of the songs.
Highlights of this mammoth set included the moderately paced, Saxon like ‘Princess Of The Dawn’; the slow priestique of ‘Metal Machine’ or the hammering at you like there’s no tomorrow in ‘Metal Eater’. I must give the glorious ‘Black Widow’ a mention with it’s straight to the point chorus and the beautiful, radio-friendly ‘Never Cross My Way’ too although there was so much more delivered to us. We were so spoiled here in Sheffield tonight.
It was a really nice touch to the night to feature a couple of acoustic numbers (in the form of ‘Tears Of A Clown’ & ‘Secrets In Paradise’ about halfway through the set. This proved you don’t lose any potential power when those electric axes are put down for a few minutes as these are great songs regardless if not having intense volume to them.
The main man kept chatting to an absolute minimum and let the music do the talking which nobody in here had a problem with. Many a man of the age of 50+ seemed to become 25 or less again as they joyously let loose to their favourite songs by the Metal Maestro, sticking fists in the air and happily singing along too.
A glorious night of old school Metal was enjoyed by all!
Review by Glenn Milligan
Photographs of Sister Sin & UDO taken by Glenn Milligan
Photographs of Garage Days taken by Jason Brown of www.friday13thmetal.co.uk
UFO – O2 Academy, Sheffield, Friday, 21st March, 2014
Set List: Lights Out/Fight Night/Wonderland/Let It Roll/When Daylight Comes To Town/Baby Blue/Pushed To The Limit/Makin’ Moves/Ain’t No Baby/Only You Can Rock Me/Too Hot To Handle/Love To Love/Rock Bottom.
Encore: Doctor Doctor.
Well I saw UFO in this vey venue just under 4 years ago and was really pleased to see that it was completely packed out so credit to the promoters for doing a grand job of getting the word out.
It was only the night before I was here reviewing a younger now world renowned band in this very room to an enthusiastic audience like it was tonight – albeit older though – but still with some enthusiasm left in them. Unfortunately I missed the first hour of the show due to the fact that thy came on around 8pm due to a club night starting at 10pm in there – damn!
As luck would have it though I was able to catch the last hour that as they say in America is the home run where the band play all the classics that made them famous in the first place both studio and live-wise respectively. The band themselves played really well throughout from what I saw from ‘Only You Can Rock Me’ to the end but I just got the impression that they were simply going through the motions even though they were great songs that were being performed, there was just something lacking.
Although he was singing pretty well, Phil Mogg just seemed tired and haggered to what I remember from before in past years – maybe he is getting too old for it and needs to sit back and remember his glory days and let the young bands take the reigns now. On a better note, Vinnie Moore was outstanding though and staggered everyone with his precision playing and even played the guitar on his back at one point with Paul Raymond going from organ & keyboards to guitar when it was necessary which is always a cool thing to see.
Maybe it was simply an off night for Phil, I can’t put my finger on it but at least he did go out his way to say he remembered his mum having cutlery that was all made in Sheffield – those were the days right? Overall, I was disappointed with the gig, I’m sad to say and expected much more from it. The comments from folk coming out after the show were mixed with one guy saying it was worth twice the price while another coming out of the gents said something to the tune of, “UFO in the 70’s – spot on, in the 80’s, yep, in the 90’s ok but in the 2000’s – nah”, with others agreeing with him too. Sad really as I’ve seen the band in a much better light previously but we all have our off days - don't we?
Maybe a reunion is in order with Pete Way and Michael Schenker in the line-up to put the spark back in there. If Status Quo can do it then why not UFO? Never Say Never – even Kiss managed it for a while.
Ultimate Eagles -
O2 Academy 2, Sheffield, Monday, 22nd November, 2010
Due to them featuring Danny Vaughan (of Tyketto) and Chris Childs (ex-Thunder) in the line-up I reckoned these guys would be one hell of a good band - I guessed right!
They opened with 'Heartache Tonight' and grabbed the attention of everyone immediately with their exquisite vocal harmonies and excellent musicianship. OK, it wasn't exactly packed but the crowd in here definately made up for in ecstatic enthusiasm. 2nd song in and Mr. Vaughan picks up the wrong acoustic guitar with one of the other band members taking the p*ss out of him and saying that it ain't a set list either.
"I'll say when it's a set list", Danny quips (all in fun of course). Dan says he is the only one who can do yeeha properly as he is American - hahaha - there's humourous patriotism for ya - or should that be spelt humorous in this case. To say these guys are good with the audience would be an understatement with funny banter in between the songs.
It turns out that 'Witchy Woman' was the 1st song the original band ever learnt (we won't say the name of the and though!!) and played it for 4 hours! LOL. A major highlight in the set was 'The Long Run' number with vocoder effects - now what was that one called again?
Talk about amazingly strong voices throughout as good as or better than the real thing (but don't Henley's lot that - hahaha). In the set they changed guitars a plenty and I am sure just about every one that stage got a strum at least once if not more.
Ultimate' got the crowd going even more and encouraged a barrage of yeehaws much to everyones enjoyment and amusement as it was back to country for 'Lyin Eyes' - "A buckle polishing song" as they put it.
New member, Christian got the crowd to sing the main line of the chorus in 'Take It To the Limit' and they even threw in the Joe Walsh hit 'Rocky Mountain Way' for good measures too that of course comes complete with some killer vocoder sounds.
The guys even went onto mention about a performance of certain number of theirs being banned on youtube ( but more on that shortly) with only one number to finish off the main set - yep - that song about a place to stay in one of my favourite states of the USA - the epic 'Hotel California' that was beautifully done (well to be honest every single song was).
Of course the crowd went nuts for more and got a 3 song encore that started with 'Funk 49' where Danny ditched the axe-playing and got down to some serious bopping and hair flow - oh and not forgetting some cool percussion happenings too which added to the coolness of the already amazing vibe in the room.
"You got some more rock n roll in ya?"as if we hadn't and we get a knockout 'Life In The Fast Lane'. We find out the full facts about the youtube story how The Eagles werent happy about an infringement of copyright - 'F*ck 'Warner Chappel', they say - "As if The Eagles ain't got enough money!" and dedicate the last number of the night 'Desperado' to them.
OK, they don't exactly look like The Eagles - but they got the instrumental and vocal chops to match them - so it'd be criminal not to award them good marks.
By Glenn Milligan
The Union - O2 Academy 2, Sheffield, Sunday 26th September, 2010
There's only one good thing that takes place after the demise of one of the UK's fondly loved bands, in this case Thunder, and that's the formation of some new outfits, in this case, 'The Union' featuring guitarist, Luke Morley & Bassist, Chris Childs (also of The Ultimate Eagles, Eagles Tribute band, who are playing at the venue later this year).
Frontman/Guitarist has one hell of a set of pipes on him and goes by the name of Pete Shoulder (ex-Winterville), with the band line-up completed with Dep Live Drummer, Dave from Glasgow who had been with the band for only a week, since the bands original drummer, Phil Martini couldn't make the tour.
Bit by bit the small room got fuller and fuller, so word must have got around - little wonder since Planet Rock have got behind the band and plugged their songs ever since - in fact, in between support bands, the radio station sounds were piped into the room and you can't argue with the sounds of Cinderella & Great White can you?
Anyways, back to the band before I go off at a tangent. When the guys hit the stage to the pre-recorded music of 'Part Of The Union' by The Strawbs we get a nice healthy applause but as soon as Luke Morley is spotted the fans go Thunderously nuts as thier main hero has hit the deck.
Throughout the 75 minute set they play for us virtually all of the album or was it all of it (no actually they missed out 'Amazon'), since we all enjoyed the proceedings so much that it all simply flows into 1 brilliant blues-laden acoustic and electric vibe and groove.
They open with 'Easy Street' and before long they dive into acoustic territory with the outstanding earth blues of 'Holy Roller' that is about that Devil and is ironically or purposely followed up by the quieter gorgious ballad 'Saviour'.
Well it's less than 2 months to crimbo so 'This Time Next Year' about Christmas is a perfect endearing song in the set to get us in the mood that features Luke on both electric and classic retro-Thunder sat on a stand acoustic guitar playing.
I hope they release it as a single in December as it should do well as it's pure gospel beautifulness. There are awesome voicings all round especially from frontman, Pete. Towards the end of the main set Mr. Morely introduces all the band members, with Mr. Shoulder introducing Luke - just how it should be really and proceed into the building up Thunder-like 'The Space Between Us' .
'Step Up To The Plate' gets the crowd to clap along and rocks us out like there's no tomoro & 'Watch The River Flow' follows suit with old school blues going electric with Pete sounding like the son of David Coverdale & Glenn Hughes combined. The fans simply couldn't get enough and they showed their enthusiasm with plenty of cheering and clapping wanting more and more of from this excellent brand new British band - they got it too with a 2 song encore.
In fact, they messed up the song 'Come Rain Or Shine' and we all laugh about the fact (the band included) but pull it off perfect on take two. They finishes it with a kickin' cookin' cover of CCR's 'Proud Mary' and believe me they made us just that - proud that is.
There's tons of milage in this band and I hope they get as big as Thunder as they totally deserve to be.
By Glenn Milligan
UFO/Crimes OF Passion -
O2 Academy, Sheffield, Tuesday 27th April, 2010
Set-List: Be Careful/Unbreakable/Pretty In.../Body And Soul/Blackened H/Angel/Holy Diver.
And here we are again in the big room at O2 - the floors are still as sticky as ever - lol. Anyways, on the internet it said that Voodoo Six were supporting the headliners who I ain't seen since they played at Download 2007.
So the band came on the stage and I thought, 'Hang on, how long has Crimes fronty Dale Radcliffe been moonlighting for a different band?' but after getting closer in I realised that in fact, it was Crimes Of Passion supporting UFO? Now this proves you can't believe everything you read on the Internet. Wonder why the 'Six pulled out of the show?
All the same they gave the 3/4 downstairs audience a good enough set that included 'Body and Soul' & Pretty In...' and ended with Dio's 'Holy Diver' which has been the last number for quite a good while now.
Dale told us they had a CD for sale for £5 and had a new one coming out soon. They were pleased to be entertaining their Sheffield audience yet again and they went down ok too.
Let It Roll/Mother Mary/Saving Me/Out In The Street/Stop Breaking Down/This Kidds/Hell Driver/Cherry/Hell Driver/Daylight/Only You Can Rock Me/Love To Love/Ain't No Baby/Too Hot To Handle/Lights Out.
Rock Bottom/Doctor Doctor.
Phil Mogg, their always ‘been-there’ frontman told us that they'd been to one of Sheffield's great curry houses and pointed out the direction it was in, then realised he was pointing the wrong way (not the Pete one either) hahaha which got a good laugh from the audience. Is it me or does the ex-bassists replacement pose as much as his predecessor but without the in-ya-dace black and white striped spandex?
It seems we get a treat tonight in the form of a number called 'Stop Breaking Down' that they've only performed a couple of times before - so I'll let him off if he appeared to look down onto the lyrics at his feet now and again - thankfully there was no dry ice (Gillan era Sabbath classic story not relevant here).
The party really got started when he announced 'Only You Can Rock Me' much to mine and Al’s and no doubt everyone elses delight - who can deny the love of that great old riff. Mr. Mogg gets the crowd singing away the chorus section and it features an excellent keyboard section from Paul Raymond not to mention exceptional solo from Vinnie Moore.
Phil tells us that he has got 10 inch pushed down his undies and jokes about socks before announcing ‘Hell Driver’ that f*ck*ng rocks majorly only for them to slow it down on us with ? Not too later we get Vinnie Moore biting on his guitar strings with Phil quipping that his wife ain't into that but wont go any further into it than that – hahaha.
It’s onto the homerun with ‘Lights out that has a really long solo from Vinnie and ‘Doctor Doctor’ is knock-out as ever where Mr. Raymond helps out on backing vocals quite a bit that features mike posin a plenty in a variety of positions from old Phil.
The last number of the entire night turns out to be ‘Rock Bottom’ that simply lasts forever with the extensive elongated soloing from Vinnie Moore with some helping out from Paul on the Keyboards at times before Phil join them again to finish off the song. Then its all over, they get together take a quick bow and leave the stage with a happy Sheffield crowd going towards the exit doors before the lights go up.
A decent gig.
The Plug, Sheffield, Friday 31st August 2007
Times ~ 8:30 – 10.30
I have been meaning to check out this venue for quite a few months (situated down the Moor around the corner from Wollies on Matilda Street) since I have heard how good the sound is in there, so what better reason to go than to see some True Legends Of Hard Rock, UFO who are still going strong after a good 3 decades and many a beer and bottle being emptied. Hey, hang on a minute I was in here a few years ago to see a band called ‘Four Star Mary’ but at that point in time it was known as ‘Club Zero’ I reckon.
Sadly I missed the support band, ‘Free For All’ – that everyone thought were a Free but turned out not to be. A few locals were that impressed but I guess I’ll find out some other time. I did see a fan of there’s with a CD of theirs so there they must have done something right. I was mightily impressed to see just how many people were in the Plug tonight who were more than happy to be blasted with some electrifying 70’s styled rock at its best – plenty of old geezers and gals that could have been long lost friends of Tommy Saxondale – now I wonder if he was once a roadie for UFO as well?
With the sounds of ‘Alex Harvey’s'The Healer ringing through the PA, the lads touch down on earth from a round silver flying disk that was seen earlier in the skies of Sheffield that day – nah only kidding brothers and sisters, they use a tour bus these days, and they amble onto the platform for some solid rockin’ sounds for the next 2 hours where we are treated to songs of new and old, kicking the gig off with ‘Mother Mary’ which is greeted with rapturous applause and closely followed by ‘Letting Go’.
It’s hard to believe after listening to vocalist Phil Mogg that he is 60 on his next birthday as he hits every note spot on with crystal clear clarity – talk about being better than most of the up and coming singers of nowadays so-called rock – they’ve got nothing on this boy let me tell ya.
Bandwise they are tight as tight with the supreme Vinnie Moore really holding everything together with his tremendous playing on both acoustic and electric guitars – stealing the show on many an occasion with his lighting powered fingers.
Andy Parker is up there keeping the solid backbeat while Paul Raymond warms up the vibe with his exquisite keyboard and guitar skills throughout the whole show – swapping from once instrument to the other mid-song at the appropriate given time in the number.
Pete Way is well, Pete Way – simply as that – pounding out the bass notes like he’s a lead guitarist and posing as often as he can in his red and black tight strides. It was funny at times to see him try and take over the vocals during the classic chorus of ‘Lights Out’. “You should never let a bass player near a microphone as they can’t sing” Phil Mogg says or words to that effect.
Pete even decides to have a lie down on the stage while Vinnie is doing a crackin’ solo – Way don’t fall asleep though as he plays along most of the time. Well it’s Rock ‘n’ Roll and who says you can’t have a bit of Jesterism going down on the stage – whether it was all part of the act for the night or what, I’ll guess we’ll never know.
Anyways, the night was damn good to put it bluntly and full of great songs – we were encouraged to clap along to many of the songs – as if anyone needed prompting for that.
Highlights of the gig included obviously the classics that were of course played at the end like ‘Doctor, Doctor’ and ‘Too Hot To Handle’ but also the opening number from the current album ‘The Money Puzzle’ called ‘Hard Being Me that everyone loved and the odd ballad as well due to guys of this standard being able touch the hearts as well as to rock up the house.
Looking forward to seeing the lads return back to Sheffield soon.
By Glenn Milligan
UNHOLY ALLIANCE 2 -
BIRMINGHAM NEC 1st November, 2006
Twenty-seven quid for five metal bands, including two of my favourites? Oh all right then. Unfortunately the NEC was by no means full, perhaps 5,000 were in attendance.
Proceedings began at the unholy hour of 17:50, when Canada's Thine Eyes Bleed bounded onstage and played twenty-five minutes of solid thrash. The interval (just 15 minutes) featured an advert for the new Mortal Kombat videogame. Crass commercialism.
Children of Bodom are the best band from Finland ever, it's really as simple as that. With the exception of In Flames, no one plays melodic death metal with more fire and passion. Their forty-minute set went down a storm with the crowd, which didn't seem too familiar with the band's material. Alexi Laiho's solos were stunning, and the truncated set left the crowd desperate for more. Maybe my 3rd favourite band will do a club tour next year.
1. Theme from 'Naked Gun' Intro
Lamb Of God's Metalcore has largely passed me
by, but the boys from Virginia were a firm favourite with the crowd.
They played for forty-five minutes and highlights included 'Walk With
Me In Hell', 'Redneck' (both of which are from their new CD 'Sacrament'),
and 'Now You've Got Something To Die For'. Randy Blythe is a superb
frontman, and cajoled the crowd into several
In Flames from Stockholm are my 2nd favourite
band. This was the third time I have seen them in the past year, and
was probably the best show yet. Inspite of rhythm guitarist Jesper Stromblod
having to return home, the jesters played a varied set of crowd pleasers
instead of just plugging 'Come Clarity'. Anders Friden proved that he
can easily handle a crowd this size, hopefully
1. Pinball Map
There are many adjectives I could use to describe Slayer, but sadly 'original', 'innovative', and 'interesting' are not among them. What they do, they do very well, Dave Lombardo in particular is a fine drummer and Jeff Hanneman defies his years impressively, looking exactly as he did on the 'South of Heaven' tour in 1988.
Unfortunately after producing one of the best lp's ever made in 1986, they have spent the last 20 years playing the same songs or writing new ones that sound bar-for-bar identical. The crowd reacted insanely to their every move, but I found Los Angles' answer to Status Quo to be a trifle tedious. Never mind, it was a terrific night, and next week I get to see my number one band - the peerless Opeth.
Slayer set list:
Encore Raining Blood
Sorry, just my little Slayer joke - the setlist, which only seemed like one song, actually ran:
By Roy Evans