When is a tribute act not a tribute act? No, it’s not some kind of joke – it’s a serious question. With the growth in “nostagia bands” it could be argued that many of the current incarnations of once great rock bands are merely top of the range tribute acts – separated from the pack because they have one of the original line-up taking part in the current guise (or in the current guises in some cases!). I don’t have a problem with it, there’s a market and I can remember seeing Brian Connolly’s Sweet play the May Ball when I was at university and thinking it was great. However, back to my question……
X-UFO is the ultimate, does what it says on the tin band – all four members having played a part in the history of UFO. Danny Peyronel (vocals and keyboards), Laurence Archer (guitar) and Clive Edwards (drums) have all been in UFO over the years (Rocky Newton (bass) although not in UFO did play in the Michael Schenker Group) and are now touring with a mission to to promote the whole saga. Their website says “we do it because we love it….” and they’re not kidding. They don’t mimic, playing in their own unique style – bringing a new, alternative energy. They describe themselves as a UFO spin-off and that is what they are.
The guys hit the stage of The Railway with an intensity that was quite immense. Playing a selection of songs from across the UFO back catalogue it was clear to the audience that this was going to be a special night. They say that age and experience will always win over youthful cockiness and X-UFO delivered that in spades. Although the night belonged to the songs of UFO, the history that each band member brings to the party is clear to see in the tightness and slick delivery – between them the guys have worked with Phil Lynott, Meatloaf, Def Leppard, Saxon, Michael Schenker…………..
I have to admit that UFO had kind of passed me by over the years. Sure I know “Doctor, Doctor” and “Lights Out” but other than that, tonight was going to be a new part of my rock ‘n’ roll education. Wrong, I knew loads of the songs (Only You Can Rock Me, Love to Love, Highway Lady and more) – I just didn’t know they were originally by UFO. In the words of the great philosopher Homer……DOH!
The band rocked their set which featured some amazing guitar work from Laurence Archer – who made it very easy to see why Phil Lynott got Archer into his post-Thin Lizzy band, Grand Slam ) The flamboyant Danny Peyronel was out front with mic in hand, clearly enjoying himself, doing this purely for the sheer fun of it all. The rhythm section of Clive and Rocky were also clearly enjoying themselves and were so tight that you would have thought this band had played together for decades.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and far too soon, X-UFO were announcing the last song. Fortunately for us in the crowd they did have another one for us – Shoot, Shoot. The only downside being that the following night would see Pete Way join them on stage for that number.
Then, all too soon the show was over – but not quite. The band took time to talk to the audience, answerifn questions and having photographs taken with the very appreciative crowd – to quote one of the audience, X-UFO ” blew my socks off ”
For more info: xufo.co.uk
By David Wilson
Photographs by John McGibbon