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The Relentless Garage, London 1 November 2009
weekend, there was only one real treat in town - a rare chance to see
Swedish maestros Europe play one of the smallest gigs in their history,
before a packed house of 600 at the recently refurbished Garage.
The gig was
effectively a warm up for their upcoming European tour but the band were
on top form, assisted by a superb sound, far better than I remember from
this venue in its previous incarnation. They have the new Last Look at
Eden album to promote and started in fine style with the title track and
Gonna Get Ready, both with an updated seventies feel to them, before
playing a mix of pre- and post-reunion songs.
former, the Out of This World album got a generous airing with
Superstitious, Sign of the Times and Let the Good Times Rock all played,
while a frantic Scream of Anger harked back to even earlier days.
material is heavier and darker, largely thanks to John Norum"s downtuned
guitar, but nothing Joey Tempest sings can fail to be melodic and a
stunning Always the Pretenders showed off this contrast.
days as a teenage heart throb may have given the former Mr Larsson a
credibility problem, but he has always been a masterful frontman and I was
struck by the precision of his vocals with scarcely a note missed.
Two more new
songs were played: No Stone Unturned came across as Rising-era Rainbow
meets Zeppelin, with some progressive keyboards from Mic Michaeli and an
eastern flavour, while New Girl in Town was simply a classic Europe
inevitably set closer Rock the Night got the best reception to date (oddly
some of the old favourites like Cherokee and Carrie were omitted).
moment of all came when they returned and Joey said "this song is going to
expand your mind" and John cranked out the riff to Only You Can Rock Me as
they played homage to their heroes.
some of the blank looks around me though, a quick UFO induction course was
in order for most of the crowd (were my fellow GRTR! scribe Mark Taylor
and I the only ones to laugh at Joey"s "they"re changing the mikes- can I
fill in" ad lib?)
inevitable closer of the Final Countdown, the band"s greatest blessing and
curse. However cheesy, it never fails to get people going and pockets of
pogoing erupted around the venue.
A full UK
tour is slated for early 2010 and whatever your preconceptions, on this
evidence it is one not to miss at any cost.
and photos by Andy Nathan
1). Last Look At Eden
2). Gonna Get Ready
4). Love Is Not The Enemy
5). Sign Of The Times
6). Always The Pretender
7). No Stone Unturned
8). New Love In Town
9). Scream Of Anger
10). Optimus (John Norum Instrumental Interlude)
11). Seventh Sign
12). Good Times
13). Start From The Dark
14). Rock The Night
15). Only You Can Rock Me (UFO Cover Version)
16). The Final Countdown
Podcasts (Joey Tempest/ John Norum)
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