Jayson Burns (Photo Credits: David Sansoni)
Northamptonshire’s Wild, Willing and Innocent are out in force tonight. The denim and leather started queuing in the rain 45 minutes before the doors opened, a very 70’s scene. Inside the 850 capacity venue, if not sold out must have been very close. Tour shirts plentiful, hair not so. When a band are approaching 50 years and 22 studio albums down the line you know your audience will be of a certain vintage.
The final night of the 2017 tour opens with a classic, 1982’s ‘We Belong To The Night’. The faithful singing every word. If you have not seen UFO in a while you may think can the 69 year old Phil Mogg still cut it vocally. He hits the highs and the lows with ease. If he struggles anywhere he doesn’t give it away. ‘Run Boy Run’ and ‘Ain’t No Baby’ follow before the first of the big hitters 1977’s ‘Lights Out’. The band clearly still enjoy performing this track and this is where you start to take a little more notice of Vinnie Moore’s Guitar. As the show progresses Vinnie’s solo’s get more elaborate much to the appreciation of the crowd. The Roadmender is in full voice now and the band gives them no rest bursting straight into ‘Only You Can Rock Me’. This is UFO doing what UFO do best. 70’s melodic rock.
“I don’t normally read reviews but I did the other day. Phil Mogg has a shiny head. What the f**k is that all about” says Mogg to the laughter of the crowd, before launching into ‘Love To Love’. With ‘Too Hot To Handle’ we are treated to another of those favourites from the 1977 Lights Out album. The new material from last year’s Conspiracy Of Stars is well received but those 70’s/80’s tracks are the ones that keep the arms waving, hands clapping, heads banging and vocal chords pushed to the limits. The band finish with ‘Rock Bottom’ Half way through Mogg leaves stage and the spot light falls on Moore, Paul Raymond, Guitars and Keys, and Bass player Rob De Luca to strut their stuff. It’s easy to focus on Phil Mogg, Frontman and the only member of the band to have appeared on all 22 studio albums but the band is completed by excellent musicians. Phil returns for the final verse of the track before the band thanks everyone and leaves stage. There is even a note for ‘The Merchandise Lady’ as Mogg say’s “boy can she talk, look at her, look at her, you wouldn’t want to out for a meal with her” much to the amusement of all. Yes, we all know there is an encore to come, we can even guess what the encore will be. This is where UFO blow the roof off The Roadmender as they finish with the anthems ‘Doctor Doctor’ and ‘Shoot Shoot’. They have no choice if they want to get out of the place alive and the crowd go balmy.
Another UK tour over. It’s been a busy year. But the band that were releasing material at the same time as The Beatles show no sign of slowing down. The wild, the willing and the innocent leave having seen something very special tonight.
**PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DAVID SANSONI / DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA**