UFO – 28th March 2019 – Newcastle O2 Academy – UFO Last Orders 50 years and 50 photos

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

Walking into the pit I’m still looking at the half-empty pint and brass bell that is on top of the amps and stupidly thinking “I can’t remember any UFO song featuring a bell“ then it dawns on me just as the last bars of intro music Faith Healer (SAHB) are leaving the PA and a crew member starts ringing the bell very loudly …. of course! IT’S LAST ORDERS LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. The clever cheeky nod to the boozy tales of old and the final farewell after 50 years of making some wonderful music.

Three generations of UFO are acknowledged in the first three songs with Mother Mary (Schenker era) We Belong To The Night (Chapman) and Run Boy Run (current axeman Vinnie Moore) and from the outset it’s plain to see that whilst they could easily (and lazily) just come out and perform Strangers In The Night in full (and to be fair that would actually work for the sold out Newcastle crowd tonight!) however, they have other ideas up their sleeve pulling out Venus from 1995’s Walk On Water followed by a blistering Lights Out, a song most bands would keep back as an encore but such is the quality of UFOs legacy they can afford to bang it in here early on!!

It has to be said Vinnie Moore absolutely played his heart out every single song of the set. It’s not an easy task taking on some of the most revered guitar parts in rock history but he does it with just the right amount of feeling, tone and shred to make it his own but never shying away too far from the original.

Phil Mogg has still got one of the best voices around with no signs of faltering after 50 years in the band Baby Blue being a case in point an absolute showcase for him singing over Vinnie’s acoustic melody before the song kicks in properly.

All the big guns are out tonight Only You Can Rock Me, Cherry, Too Hot To Handle. But a brooding Burn Your House Down gives Vinnie a chance to shine and shine he does tearing out the solo as if it was his last!

You’d think going to a bands 50th year tour would make you feel a bit old but far from it there were all ages there loving every bit of it and when Paul Raymond’s keyboards intro to Love To Love kicked in I was a kid again fist in the air “misty green and blue “ top of my voice !!!

Rock Bottom as always sees the set out with the guitar /keyboard back n forth from Moore and Raymond stretched to limit all the while being superbly backed by the fine rhythm section of Rob De Luca on bass and UFO veteran Andy Parker on drums

It’s never a UFO gig without Doctor Doctor getting the crowd bouncing and a rousing Shoot Shoot ends not just the night but that’s the last ever UFO gig in Newcastle. That thought saddens me a lot but I can be happy knowing I’ve seen them many times in many guises and this was quite a fitting end. Yeah there were tracks I’d have liked to heard again but as I said earlier the quality of the back catalogue is so good they’d have to do a Springsteenesque length set to include it all.

TIME AT THE BAR LADIES AND GENTS SEE YOUR DRINKS OFF PLEASE

PHOTO GALLERY

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Images Copyright Gordon Armstrong. For permission to use these images please contact G’s Gig Shots


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