UFO Last Orders 50th Anniversary Tour Newcastle Academy 28 March 2019

UFO TIX

UFO have always been one of my favourite rock bands. I saw them in the very early days when (I think) Larry Wallis was on guitar, and then slightly later with the great Michael Schenker on guitar, the late great enigmatic Pete Way on bass (his bass guitar almost down around his knees) at Sunderland Mecca and Newcastle Mayfair in the days when “Doctor Doctor” was simply class, and remains one of my favourite songs to this day. They soon graduated from ballrooms to headlining Newcastle City Hall and the Reading Festival once, as I recall. Their classic take on rock with poppy “hooks” made them stand out from other rock bands of the time and they had some great songs, particularly those on the Lights Out album. These included “Love to Love”, “Rock Bottom” and “Shoot Shoot”. The one constant throughout this period, and to this day, was, and is, singer Phil Mogg who has fronted the band for some 50 years. Sadly, this era is coming to an end as Phil Mogg has announced his retirement and this tour was thus named the Last Orders tour. The tour was announced: “This decision has been a long time coming. I’ve considered stepping down at the end of UFO’s previous tours in 2016,” Mogg explained. “I don’t want to call this a farewell tour as I hate that word, but this year’s gigs will represent my final tap-dancing appearances with the band.”

UFO PIX 3I caught up with the tour, with my carer Jackie, when they visited Newcastle Academy last year. To get into the venue in my wheelchair we had to squeeze into one small lift which took us up to the bar level of the venue where our places were waiting for us, with a great view of the stage, looking over the heads of the crowd in front. The venue was packed, with lots of familiar faces from the days of the Mayfair Friday night rock nights. The band came onstage to the sounds of Alex Harvey’s “Faith Healer” as an introduction (great choice) and then launched into a set of old favourites and newer songs, some of which were less familiar to me. But the classics were all there; the aforementioned “Lights Out”, “Love to Love” and “Only You Can Rock Me”. They closed the set with “Rock Bottom”. Perfect. The volume was loud and the songs as classic as ever. We all knew they were going to return and we also knew that there would play “Doctor Doctor”. This was followed by the final song, the great, rocking “Shoot Shoot”.

Sadly, a couple of weeks after seeing the band, longtime guitarist and keyboard player Paul Raymond passed away. The sad news was broken on his Facebook page. “Hi to all the fans and people who knew Paul! This is Sandra, Paul’s life partner speaking,” she wrote. “With a desperate and broken heart, fully in tears and pains that feel like they will kill me I have to tell you that my most beautiful and beloved darling Paul Raymond has passed away today……. He absolutely enjoyed the last couple of weeks touring with UFO in the U.K. & Ireland and he was looking forward to the rest of this year’s tour.”

RIP Paul Raymond. Great memories of a great musician and a great band.

UFO 19 PIXThe tour continues (currently halted because of the coronavirus). The official statement after Paul’s passing was: “On April 13, 2019, the UFO family got the tragic news that our bandmate Paul Raymond had died of a heart attack. It had been just a week since we finished the first leg of our Last Orders tour in the UK. While mourning his loss, sadly we also had to face the reality of what to do with the band. We feel moving forward with the tour is the right thing to do. We all know this is what Paul would have wanted us to do. We are therefore very pleased to announce that our friend and former bandmate Neil Carter has agreed to join us again and take over the keyboards/guitar and vocals slot for the remainder of the tour…. We want to make sure that all our amazing fans get a fantastic experience out of it one more time.“

The current lineup of UFO is Phil Mogg (vocals), the excellent Vinnie Moore (guitar), long standing member Andy Parker (drums), Rob De Luca (bass) who plays a similar Gibson Thunderbird bass to Pete Way, low down on his knees in true Pete Way style and returning member Neil Carter (guitar).

Setlist: Faith Healer (Sensational Alex Harvey Band song as intro); Mother Mary; We Belong to the Night; Messiah of Love; Ain’t No Baby; Lights Out; Baby Blue; Only You Can Rock Me; Burn Your House Down; Cherry; Love to Love; Makin’ Moves; Too Hot to Handle; Rock Bottom. Encore: Doctor Doctor; Shoot Shoot

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Kevin Geraghty-Shewan on September 14, 2020 at 9:59 am

    I wish I’d gone now!

    Sadly Pete Way has died recently as well

    Reply

  2. love your content! keep up the great work!

    Reply

  3. Posted by RestlessHarry on October 24, 2020 at 7:53 pm

    Was hoping to catch up for ‘last orders’ but sadly looks like that’s it. Those days at the Mayfair seem like yesterday….

    Reply

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