UFO & Reds’cool @ Manchester Ritz 19/04/2015

 

Looking back over my time writing for Get Your Rock Out I realized that there are very few cornerstones of rock and metal that I haven’t reviewed live. From giants of the various sub genres like thrash, sludge, progressive and doom, to household names like Black Sabbath. I have over the last two and a half years benefited strongly from the rich musical nightlife of Manchester. It is refreshing to know, however, that even after all this time there are still glaring omissions from my “to see” list and the opportunity to cross off the iconic UFO just couldn’t be passed up!

Reds’cool

redscool

Russian rockers Reds’cool started the night off with their AOR infused style. Indeed these guys would have probably fit in quite well at last October’s Firefest, but unfortunately on this night they were very much playing the part of the opening band. With the upstairs portion of the Ritz closed only the gathering of rockers on the floor could give these guys any reaction, and that reaction was limited to polite applause at the end of each number. Attempts by the band to get hands clapping during songs were met with painful silence. Nonetheless these guys warmed the crowd up fairly well musically, taking advantage as the only support of the night of a forty-five minute set. That crowd was only here to see one band though.

UFO

UFOWith the upstairs balcony now open and the audience getting very lively with anticipation, the stage was set for one of hard rock’s most influential acts. Bursting into ‘We Belong to the Night’ and the badass groove of ‘Fight Night’, these legends were treated to a suitably noisy reception. ‘Lights Out’ proved very popular indeed, while the first single from the new album ‘The Killing Time’ as met with similar appreciation.

Front man Phil Mogg held sway over a largely veteran audience of rockers with his exceptional bloke banter. It was like being treated to a good pub comedian between songs as he made the crowd laugh and responded with quick wit to any yells that came his way. This included a fan accurately predicting that the next number would be ‘Makin’ Moves’, which caused Phil to react with faux astonishment.

‘Cherry’, with its tremendous bass line, provoked a brilliantly boisterous clap along. Meanwhile ‘Love to Love’ was the epic highlight of the night. But the biggest reaction was saved for songs which have become all time classics of the genre, and the thunderous sing along to ‘Only You Can Rock Me’ was just the beginning. The mighty and famous riff of ‘Rock Bottom’ had everyone going wild, before an encore of ‘Doctor, Doctor’ and ‘Shoot, Shoot’ brought the night to a tremendous close.

With these guys set to headline Hard Rock Hell in November alongside fellow stalwarts Saxon it is good to know that we haven’t seen the last of these guys in 2015. In a venue that has hosted some of the most outstanding nights of rock and metal in Manchester it felt really good to cross one of the most important rock bands of all time off my gig list, and it felt even better to know that after it was all over I was hungry for more.

Review: Michael Dodd

Photos: Craig Hutton

Headliner Setlist

  • We Belong to the Night
  • Fight Night
  • Run Boy Run
  • Lights Out
  • The Killing Kind
  • Venus
  • Only You Can Rock Me
  • Burn Your House Down
  • Cherry
  • Love to Love
  • Makin’ Moves
  • Rock Bottom
  • Doctor, Doctor
  • Shoot, Shoot

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