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X-UFO: Vol1 The Live Files

With the current line-up of UFO currently on a hot streak of excellent albums and gaining rave reviews for their live shows, the question has to be, is there a need for X-UFO?

The premise is pretty simple, take a bunch of guys who have cut their teeth in UFO at one point or another (OK we'll ignore that bassist Rocky Newton played alongside UFO legend Michael Schenker in various guises of MSG rather than UFO itself) and then head out on the road blasting out an interesting mix of UFO classics, alongside some of the lesser celebrated, but still excellent tracks from the band's long running career. So with Newton on bass, the three genuine X-UFO'ers arrive in the shape of keyboard player Danny Peyronel, who also handles vocals in this band (he appeared on 1 UFO album), drummer Clive Edwards (3 albums) and six stringer Laurence Archer (2 albums). Now while that haul of releases recorded with the parent band may not seem all that many, you have to take into account that UFO have had something like 39 members go through their ranks over the years. Giving credence that this line-up is possibly more authentic that some "real" versions of the band. More importantly there seems to be a real passion for the songs and respect for UFO in general among the X ranks, with a thanks to Phil Mogg, Pete Way, Schenker and Andy Parker in the liner notes. Indeed Way has performed with the band live on occasion.

The album itself is credited as having been recorded during the band's 2011 European tour, although judging by the crowd noise on the disc, I seemed to miss X-UFO's recent stadium tour. Either that, or they used the same backing track as Judas Priest did on Unleashed In The East.... That aside, what you get are twelve excellently performed UFO numbers and the stonking MSG classic "Armed & Ready". The usual suspects are in place and fired out with intent. "Doctor Doctor", "Lights Out", "Rock Bottom" and "Only You Can Rock Me" are all faithfully and enthusiastically torn through. However what does make this album far more interesting is hearing the likes of "She's The One", "Love Deadly Love" and "Back Door Man" from the Archer and Edwards featuring High Stakes And Dangerous Men release, and the Peyronel penned "Highway Lady" and co-written "Can You Roll Her" from No Heavy Petting. Considering how conservative Mogg and Co are with their set these days, getting the chance to hear these songs live is a real boon and it has to be said that X-UFO really do manage to do them justice.

I have to admit to approaching this album with more than a little trepidation, however, with performances as strong as this four-piece put in and an excellent set list, in truth there's very little to criticise indeed.

On the strength of Vol1 The Live Files, I'd happily pay to see X-UFO on stage any day of the week, which is more than can be said for the effect that many live albums have these days. Oh, and the promise of an album of all new material later this year has me rather intrigued as well.

Track Listing
1. Let It Roll
2. Natural Thing
3. Highway Lady
4. Back Door Man
5. Can You Roll Her
6. Love Deadly Love
7. Armed & Ready
8. She's The One
9. Love To Love
10. Only You Can Rock Me
11. Rock Bottom
12. Lights Out
13. Doctor Doctor

Added: March 24th 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: X-UFO Online
Hits: 3017
Language: english

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