UFO – Starwood 1976 (Shades 520)

Starwood 1976 (Shades 520)

Starwood Club West Hollywood ca. USA May 3, 1976

(74:24) Introduction, Can You Roll Her, Doctor Doctor, Oh My, Out In The Street, Highway Lady, I’m A Loser, Let It Roll, This Kids, Shoot Shoot, Rock Bottom, C’Mon Everybody, Boogie For George

If there is one dark horse in the UFO catalog it is most certainly No Heavy Petting, released in 1976 it built upon the foundation of Phenomenon and Force It but somehow lacked in the anthem department. Personally it has some of my favorite UFO songs, I’m A Loser, On With The Action and the incredible Martian Landscape. The band had a new member, Keyboard player Danny Peyronel formerly of the Heavy Metal Kids to flesh out the bands sound and also to help write, as he is credited with three songs on the record.

This new release from Shades features the Starwood soundboard, it has circulated for some time but I am unsure if it has been available on bootleg before. The recording is excellent, well balanced with a nice fat sounding bottom end but is not a crisp as other soundboard’s like the Roundhouse 1976 (On With The Action Zoom records) or Record Plant 1975 (Live Force- No Label). It is a joy to listen to and although the crowd is low in the mix it has a very intimate atmosphere to it and the band delivery a tight and professional show.

The show starts with the crowd chanting “UFO….UFO” as the band take the stage and an announcer comes on to introduce the band as well as plug the new record. Can You Roll Her is an interesting opening number, kind of like Let It Roll part 2 the song has the same thundering stomp played down by Way and Parker and a chugging riff from Schenker who also delivers a nice set of leads, the audience thinks so and give the band a warm welcome. The band play two songs from the phenomenon record, Doctor Doctor and Oh My, the latter features a great solo by Schenker as the song ends giving the song a strong finish. Peyronel beautifully plays the keyboards for Out In The Street, the song sounds very heavy in this recording.

Highway Lady and the incredible I’m A Loser round out the new songs and things really begin to heat up so much Phil has to ask if “someone jacking off in the audience” and they play the first song on Force It, Let It Roll. The machine gun riff has Michael letting it all go and Peyronel does his best to keep up but does do a nice job during the dramatic harmonizing leads part.

Phil tells the audience that all his life he has been into plastic but never realized it was so hot, he must have been talking in reference to his stage cloths, he has been in constant dialogue with the audience the whole night. This Kids sounds sooo heavy, Michael’s playing is fantastic and his adds little leads fills here and there before the band go into the heavy riff section and he really has room to spread out, the rhythm section provides a solid foundation for which he can solo his ass off with great results. It is the back bone of Parker and Way that make such a strong foundation, their years of playing together and their natural chemistry is an important factor in the UFO sound. hitting on all cylinders the band go right into Shoot Shoot, welcome at any UFO show the band play a great version of the song but it is songs like this that Peyronels limits show, he sounds uncertain how to mesh with Schenker and sticks to a similar style through out the set.

Rock Bottom explodes upon the audience and listener, sounds very powder full, the tape does fluctuate slightly about 30 seconds in but only last for a couple seconds. Again the guitar solo is the showcase, Schenker starts it tentatively, building the notes and melodies in his unique fashion before erupting in a pure musical expression on intensity as only he can.

The band first recorder their cover version of C’Mon Everybody on the UFO 1 record back in 1970 and has been a concert staple from the start. Tonight the song has a slow start, the band were catching their collected breathes and they turn a slow and deliberate version of the song.= that is no doubt a crowd please and finishes the main set. They are called back to the stage to play another from the first record, Boogie For George that was, at the time, another live staple of the bands set. Its free form structure give the band a change to jam and free form with excellent results.

The packaging is full color pictures with a shot from the No Heavy Petting cover shoot on the front, the band with the clear hoses on the front and live shots through out from what I am guessing is the concert itself ?

The sound quality and performance make this a real no brainer and is a must have. I Love UFO and having to relevant releases come out is a real treat, thanks go to the kind folks at Shades for making all this possible !

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