We live in a time when the epithets “legendary” and “iconic” are chucked about like so much confetti at a wedding. So much so that do any of us really know what they really mean anymore? Well on a red hot June Saturday night (who would believe it, the rain had stopped!) 200 happy believers were reminded just what the words meant as Uli Jon Roth (yes, him…ex-Scorpions…mega Hendrix fan…..superstar guitar player!) arrived at The Railway Venue for the most stunning and intimate showcase of his talents.
After a number of weeks where the standard line “you mean the “REAL” Uli Jon Roth is coming to Bolton?” became something of a cliche in the area, the day was finally on us and you could feel the excitement build as the day went on – in fact happy Uli fans were waiting on the car park hoping to catch a glimpse as soon as the great man arrived! This was not, however, the first time that Uli had played in Bolton – a number of the crowd were delighted that he remembered playing the Institute with the Scorpions in the 1970s, asking how many of the capacity crowd had been there that night.
And so to showtime. With a crack team of musicians as his backing band (including the rather spectacularly young and unfeasibily taented Ali Clinton) Uli took to the stage and for the next couple of hours blew the minds of the crowd at the venue. With a set made up of his solo work, classics from his days with The Scorpions and some stunning covers (from Hendrix and a beautiful version of “Yesterday”, a video of which can be found on Youtube) Uli and band kept the crowd totally mesmerised. As his fingers created magic from his stunning Sky guitars it was clear that the crowd wanted the night to last forever (despite the ever rising temperature!) however, after a number of encore numbers the show did have to come to an end.
Except the final notes were not to be the last the crowd saw of Uli – after a quick freshen up the great man joined in with what has become a tradition at The Railway and spent some time with the crowd happily having his photograph taken, signing autographs and talking with the adoring crowd. It certainly appeared that Uli and band had thorughly enjoyed their night (another notch in the belt for The Railway – two years of hard work is starting to come to fruition) and would clearly look forward to returning in the near future.
For more information see: www.ulijonroth.com
Review by David Wilson
Photography by Jan Sanders