27th September 2009 - Scroll down for Paul's newletter and some more photos
Well, quite a lot has happened since I last put pen to paper. We stormed through the UK in early summer and played some big festivals in Europe. Barry Sparks played bass on the UK leg of the tour and I have to say made a big impression, however due to the imminent arrival of his first child he couldn’t make the European shows so we have welcomed back the ever cool Mr. Rob de Luca who played with us in Italy and will be with us throughout our upcoming US tour.
There were a few memorable gigs along the way on our UK tour. Glasgow was incredible – the crowd was awesome! After the show we were in for a huge surprise – the guys from Nazereth were at the show and came backstage afterwards to say “hello”. It was great to see them again, Dan McCafferty got everyone drinking Vodka & Irn Bru – he seemed to be a connoisseur of the concoction, taking great pains to get just the right quantities of each to make the perfect blend! Towards the end of the evening Vinnie complained that his tongue had gone numb after drinking Dan’s brew – I think it was the amount of sugar in the stuff!
Next it was off to Newcastle – again they love their rock in that part of the country. We were supported by a young band called “Fable’s Last Stand” who came to see us after the show and showered us with gifts of their T-shirts and CDs. Lovely bunch of lads – more front than Harrods but they looked the part and good luck to them!
Leeds was a great city both to play in and to be in. We had a good wander round and I thought it had a great vibe, great shops and I wish we could have spent more time there.
In Nottingham another of our old friends, Martin Nicholas our lighting designer from the old days, came to see us. He is a new man, having changed his ways and given up drink, cigarettes and all other substances, so it was hard finding him something to do in the UFO dressing room! (only kidding Martin!) – it was great to see him again, looking fit and healthy.
The Brook in Southampton was absolutely packed to the rafters. It is a fantastic venue with bags of atmosphere and again the crowd was lively and appreciative. Paul Morgan, our ex tour manager came to see us there. He left the business a few years ago and now has a job in the “real world” but always seeks us out! I think he secretly misses life on the road…. Although UFO have always been a bit of a handful and a tour manager’s nightmare!
This time around we played the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, due to the sad demise of the Astoria which has now been completely demolished to make way for a new “plaza” area. I have to say it is a really nice venue and I really enjoyed playing there. We had loads of guests as always happens in London – friends and family came from far and wide, Barbara Schenker, Leon Lawson (Michael’s ex guitar tech), Tristan Greatrex who does all our artwork and Robin Greatrex (no relation, remarkably) one of our ex managers.
Italy was amazing. The weather was terrific and the food…. Oh boy, REAL Italian food! My waistline still hasn’t recovered but it was worth it! The place where we stayed was a beach resort. Rob and I were lucky enough to get quiet rooms at the back of the hotel. Those who thought they had struck gold by being allocated a poolside room were in for a rude awakening (literally) when they discovered disco music was being blared out of large speakers morning, noon and night to “entertain” the holidaymakers!
So now I find myself only a couple of
days away from embarking on our US tour. I always look forward to going
to the States and can’t wait to get back on the road. I’ve
got a few photos from the last tour, mainly from Glasgow, Newcastle
and Leeds. Also Scott Bond, one of our long term fans has kindly sent
me some photos from the old days, (see below). I hope you like them.