Ufo, Paperback Freud at Sticky Fingers (2010)

Sticky Fingers (Gothenburg, Sweden)

Ufo, Paperback Freud
It was a pleasant surprise to see a quite crowded Sticky Fingers this Sunday evening. […]
By Erika Walberg
October 31, 2010

It was a pleasant surprise to see a quite crowded Sticky Fingers this Sunday evening. Ok, I didn't arrive exactly when the doors opened but still there were more people on this concert at concert start for PAPERBACK FREUD than the others I've been on lately. I admit I didn't do my homework at all, didn't check out PAPERBACK FREUD at all prior to the concert for good and bad. Dry heavy Rock was what they served and at the start the resemblances with THE ALMIGHTY or other of these early 90's British hard rockers was really clear. It turned on and off between that and the Swedish Post-Rock ala HELLACOPTERS or so. A quite nice mix if you're into that. I can't say that's my favorite type of Rock but PAPERBACK FREUD kept my interest up throughout their set. And not only mine, the longer the show went the more people dawdled towards the stage and nodded in an approving way. They had those odd sods which don't appear with any dozen of bands that made the music so much more interesting and vibrant than most other bands in the genre. That's a big plus. Especially "Anthem" together with the rocky set opener stood out for me. Then it isn't fair to judge how great a live-act they are on this gig. Their drum-kit split the stage in two and kept half the band on one side and the rest on the other. It really isn't fair for the openers at Sticky Fingers. But for what they could do I think they did really good.

It was actually quite a surprise to see the wide range in age at this concert. UFO has never really gotten any exposure in the Swedish Hard Rock media so that this many new fans has discovered them came as a surprise. Perhaps some has been digging down the parents' record collections but that's a reason good as any to go and see the band. And damn, this was a concert worth seeing. To start with, Vinnie Moore really has gotten into the role (or perhaps his presence in the band has settled for me since Michael Schenker is one of my absolute favorite guitar players) and obtained a stage personality too. That he's an amazing guitar player it's no question about what so ever. He did great and I almost didn't miss Michael at all. Then, of course it's sad that Pete Way isn't a part of it anymore but Barry Sparks is a really worthy replacement. He too is an excellent musician but compared to many others in his class he plays with such good taste, a little show off, of course, that he must do but he's not over-playing anything. UFO is basic Hard Rock and needs a steady rhythm section to stand on.

The best thing with this whole gig was that UFO showed there's no need for backtracks or pre-recorded stuff to fill out the sound. 100% live is the shit, having Paul Raymond on stage left switching between keyboard and guitar (as usual) solved all of that. The sound was really good at Sticky Fingers this night but UFO took it to yet another level, dynamic! Heavy when that was needed, soft at other times. Sure, with 35 years in the business they should know how to pull it off but looking at other bands in the same category, not all come up to this standard.
The only thing that was a little disturbing though was that Phil Mogg looked like he would pass out from time to time. Leaning on his knees and gasping for breath. Sure, touring the world is a hard job and I still can't understand that he could sing the way he did when looking as battered as he did. But just as the rest of the band Phil too sounded great.
When you have a band like UFO, even 90+ minutes worth of music won't be enough. The time flew by and with a voluminous bunch of highlights, like "Mother Mary", "Love To Love", "Lights Out" and "Rock Bottom" in the list made this concert one of the best things to see this year.

During "Doctor, Doctor" three young girls climbs up on stage and starts dancing, first in the corner. Then they get a little braver, with cheering from Vinnie and Barry and they hit the stage. Phil was hiding as far away in the other corner as possible; he didn't look as amused as his band mates but tags along with the girls when they move over to his corner of the stage. I'd perhaps rather see the band alone on stage but it was fun, it was just a little party thing and then I guess it is ok.

UFO did really a really great concert. They sound amazing still, they have the dynamic and drive only a band with as much experience as the Old School ones can have. That's so relieving to see, that you don't have to have millions of backtracks, effects, stage props or whatever, pure Rock 'N' Roll do just fine on its own, if you still have the spirit in you!

UFO setlist:

  1. "Saving Me"
  2. "Let It Roll"
  3. "Mother Mary"
  4. "When Daylight Goes To Town"
  5. "I'm A Loser"
  6. "This Kid's"
  7. "Hell Driver"
  8. "Only You Can Rock Me"
  9. "Love to Love"
  10. "Ain't No Baby"
  11. "Too Hot To Handle"
  12. "Lights Out"
  13. "Rock Bottom"
  14. "Doctor Doctor"
  15. "Shoot Shoot"

(photos by Doctor Erika)



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