UFO & Federal Charm Live Review from the Cheese & Grain, Frome

August 10, 2017  •  Leave a Comment


It’s been 11 years, almost to the day, since UFO last played in Frome and if the weather isn’t welcoming then the crowd certainly are, impatiently filling the Cheese & Grain even before the support act takes to the stage.

In the six months since Federal Charm last played live, they've found a new singer and have new material to show off tonight, so it’s no surprise that they attack the stage with such great energy.  What’s immediately obvious is that Tom Guyer possesses an incredible voice, mastering the older material but really showing his range and vocal dexterity on the new.  Best song is new track Death Rattle, which showcases the band well, being a modern rock song with a tremendous blues breakdown towards the end, closely followed by Silhouette which finishes their set strongly.

Before too long UFO take to the stage and immediately mark out the template for their set, mixing classic Schenker-era material with more recent tunes which are almost as popular, proving that they are far more than just a nostalgia act and are still making great music today.

The band are excusably less energetic onstage than the openers but what they may lack in speed they more than make up for with experience.  Phil Mogg, looking very dapper in a black 3-piece suit, is the consummate showman, charming the crowd with banter, stories and humour between songs. He is also still in possession of one of the most distinctive voices in rock and hits all the notes despite being nearly 70 years old. Highly impressive.

Guitarist Vinnie Moore also excels throughout and at one point even plays a solo behind his head without missing a note while still making it look effortless.

Too Hot to Handle, Run Boy Run and Light’s Out are all worthy of the entry fee alone while encores of Doctor Doctor and Shoot Shoot go down a storm and prove to be the perfect end to a fantastic evening of music mixing one of the best new bands with one of the best not-so-new.  Let’s hope it’s not another decade before they return.


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