It’s February, it’s cold as to be expected, but I did not expect the neighbouring bar to be packed full to bursting with people chatting excitedly, so much so, I had to stand in said cold waiting to get in, simply because there was no room. Music journalists and old friends of the band fed the buzz and as people made their way next door I got a cheeky drink in before taking the five strides to Orange Yard, The Borderline.
I got my spot by the sound desk and was immediately impressed. Reuben Archer (Stampede Stampede, Wild Horses, Lautrec, Lionheart) got straight in to it on vocals despite having a slight huskiness to his voice due to a cold, opening with Just Another Suicide from UFO’s 1977 album Lights Out.
It took one or two numbers before everyone relaxed fully, but when they did, oh my, it was brilliant. Paul Raymond (UFO , Savoy Brown, Chicken Shack, Michael Schenker Group, Waysted) stood by his keyboard off to the left (audience point of view) for the first couple of songs but then wondered out with guitar, smiling and relaxing in to the vibe emanating from the audience and treated us to some fantastic parts on both guitar and keys throughout.
The drummer played tight grooves, the backing singer was enthusiastic and great support, rocking away with his headband on. I’d have to say the bass player was not only solid musically, but the most energetic, at some points almost pogoing, he travelled about having fun with everyone on stage and throwing shapes to the audience.
After that it got even better, but I don’t think anyone would have predicted how good ‘Love to Love’ would be. The crowd joined in on the chorus led by Reuben, everything built. They had us in the palm of their hands, and then pushed the bar, soaring us in to the air with the guitar section from Rob Wolverson (Stampede). Marvellous became spectacular and the crowd stood starry eyed. I think someone filmed it, so look out for that! It got more intricate, winding everyone in until the end which was met with much appreciation, cheers, raised drinks and applause.
UFO hits played quite a part to the album launch much to the delight of the crowd, especially with ‘Doctor Doctor’ as the finale, but I heard a few people singing along to the new tracks from Terms and Conditions Apply. The title track was introduced by Paul himself with a little nod to the lyrics and to the state of financial affairs. ‘C-List Celebrity’ was well received, as was ‘Born and Raised on Rock and Roll’. Heads nodded as expected and a few of us had a little shimmy.
On the whole the night was like a big group of friends sharing a massive catch up, instigated by the banter on stage about age and how this was a night out for them as they have to go back to work on Monday, along with a few laughs about bus passes.
A mutual respect beams between these gentle souls. It really does go to show how being a good person bodes well for the future and how long lasting friendships will bring you happiness today and for the next 40 years.
Great band, great music, great gig, great album!
Over the weekend Reuben’s Facebook update read “We had a ball and the band ( Neil Ablard, Drums, Rob Wolverson, Guitar, Mark Coles, Bass, Andy Dodds, Backing vocals, and of course PR himself were really cooking. Like to thank Big Nige Littlewood, and Vinnie Neades for tech-ing and once again all you guys...you really made our night !!!”
Just Another Suicide
Born And Raised On Rock 'N' Roll
Out In The Streets
Can't Let Go
Man On A Mission
Take It Or Leave It
Hero To Zero
Still The Same
C List Celebrity
Love To Love
Terms And Conditions
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