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UFO, Manchester Academy 2, 20 June 2009

Phil Mogg, photo by Lee Millward
Photo: Lee Millward

It's amazing that this band are still going strong in their 40th year. So, Phil Mogg's voice might not be as powerful as it once was but in terms of live appearances when the likes of Meat Loaf and David Coverdale are a shadow of their former selves, Mr. Mogg is still worth listening too. His voice held up remarkably well (much better than the last time I saw UFO at Liverpool Academy a couple of years ago) and his witticisms and in-between song banter was typically humorous.

Barry Sparks, photo by Lee Millward
Photo: Lee Millward

The set-list was well paced even though they did lean a little too heavily on new material what was played from their latest CD 'The Visitor' and from the excellent 'You Are Here' were engaging. Sure, 'Baby Blue' was a little boring but as Mogg told the audience, it gives drummer Andy Parker a break.

The tour marks the absence of legendary bassist Pete Way who is on leave from the band due to a medical condition so he is temporarily replaced by Barry Sparks (Dokken, MSG, Ted Nugent) who did an excellent job and he is no stranger to UFO fans. As expected from a guitarist like Vinnie Moore, his riffs were on form and despite the odd bit of feedback the sound was excellent.

Vinnie Moore, photo by Lee Millward
Photo: Lee Millward

As is often the case with a band like UFO, it's the legendary anthemic songs like 'Only You Can Rock Me,' 'Too Hot To Handle,' 'Lights Out,' 'Cherry' and 'Rock Bottom' which lifted the ceiling and got the biggest applause. It was a predicable evening but like Status Quo, Motorhead and Saxon, UFO are a still a great live act and it's always a joy to watch them every couple of years.

Review by Neil Daniels

Photos by Lee Millward

UFO, photo by Lee Millward
Photo: Lee Millward

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