With the onset of February we are getting a little busier. 2nd, Protest The Hero, 6th Del Amitri, 9th Molly Hatchet, 14th Monster Magnet, 15th Dream Theater, 19th, Sons Of Icarus, 20th Skyclad, 25th Soulfly, 26th Cadillac Three

And maybe a couple more to be added.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

UFO, 4Bitten @Institute Library 3/3/13

4Bitten might be from Greece, but you just know that their hearts are in America circa 1987. They are seemingly going all out for the MTV sound that so defined that era. “Games You Play” apes Whitesnake, while “Far From Grace” is a more than decent stab at a Bon Jovi tune.

 Frontwoman Fofi Roussos has a decent voice for this type of thing, though, and they are enjoyable despite offering nothing that could remotely be described as “new.” “Let It all Burn” continues the clichéd song titles, while the last song of their half hour set rather neatly sums them up. Roussos sings about the need to “write a different song,” but does so over a riff that, shall we say, borrows extensively, from Queen’s “Tie Your Mother Down.”

Not that it matters a jot what the support band are up to. Tonight, you see, is all about UFO. Of all the reformed British hard rock bands of that era, Moggy and the boys can perhaps consider themselves the most unlucky. Yes, of course, the glory days are behind them in terms of record sales and yes, they might be best known to a generation of metal fans as the band who’s song is played before Iron Maiden come onstage, but that neglects the fact that out of all of them, UFO are arguably putting out the best records. Certainly last years phenomenal “Seven Deadly” has bothered RTM’s Ipod extensively in the last 13 or so months.

Even tonight’s choice of venue says much for them. Whether by choice or accident, it is in the smaller Library downstairs, but is so packed that surely it could comfortably have took place in the main Institute.

The setlist is largely the same as the one the trailed around the UK about this time last year, although this one does begin with “Lights Out” and if you are going to start with one of your songs, then you had better be confident, this, however, is UFO we are talking about, and by the time “Mother Mary” and “….Deadly.” highlights “Fight Night” and “Wonderland” have been played it is immediately clear we are in the presence of something pretty special.

The band is in fine form, guitar man Vinnie Moore is worthy successor to Michael Schenker, but is singer Phil Mogg that carries the band along. At turns he is both a favourite uncle and looks he would punch you in the face, but still finds time to ask about the Rotunda, tell us he is only touring to get out of the house, argue with the lighting man about the set up and tell us that he has Top Gear recording on his Sky Box.

Back to the songs, “Love To Love” becomes the epic centerpiece and, whilst we can argue about the merits of finishing with a guitar solo, the encore of “Doctor Doctor” (naturally) and “Shoot Shoot” cannot be trifled with.

UFO were truly out of this world tonight, but we should leave the last word to Mogg. “I was determined to have fun tonight,” he tells us. “And luckily you didn’t spoil it too much…” 

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