Power of Metal.dk Live Review

Venue: The Forum, London, England
Date: 4 April, 2012
Bands: UFO & Heavy Metal Kids


That two Rock veterans are to perform together in the city where they were born, decades ago, adds a little bit of significance to tonight’s gig. Wrapping up the first leg of their European tour, UFO are currently promoting the recent “Seven Deadly” album. Way back in 1975, the band had ‘nicked’ keyboardist Danny Peyronel from the Heavy Metal Kids, which is the band that tonight supports UFO.

I instinctively assess the general mood as I enter this North London venue. As expected, most of the audience lies in the 40 years plus age bracket and I recognise a number of musicians amongst them. Before the first band hits the stage, a security rep offers me ear plugs (first time this has happened to me as a journalist) but I politely decline.

My focus suddenly shifts to the stage as the members of the Heavy Metal Kids stroll out to embrace the audience’s applause…..


With a style that seemed to predate both the Punk movement and the NWOBHM, the Heavy Metal Kids had gained fame and notoriety in the 1970s thanks in part to their late vocalist Gary Holton. Justin McConville is currently undertaking lead vocal/guitar duties and I must say his presence bears an uncanny resemblance to Mr. Holton.

Disadvantaged by a poor sound, the band struggled to bring the venue alive. To his credit, Justin came across as an excellent frontman, even though he didn’t have a voice to match his presence. Amidst the aforementioned considerations, classic HMK hits such as ‘She’s No Angel’ and ‘Message’ went down relatively well. ‘Marseilles’, a song originally recorded by The Angels and conspicuous for its AC/DC-style riffs, was another song that compelled some audience members to glance away from their beers and nod in approval at the stage.

Towards the second part of their set, the band paid tribute to the recently deceased Ronnie Montrose (Montrose, Van Morrison, Sammy Hagar, et al) – ‘Rock Candy’ was chosen to represent the music of the ubiquitous and influential guitarist. Kudos to HMK for this initiative.

Hangin’ On
Blow It All Away
Hit The Right Button
Chelsea Kids
100 Skeletons
Rock Candy
She’s No Angel
Squalliday Inn

Rating: 70/100



A flawed sound still dogged the event when UFO took the stage and it wasn’t until ‘Venus’ that things got better. As expected, a significant part of the band’s set-list was taken from the “Strangers In The Night” era but, curiously, one half of the set was taken from the 4 albums the band recorded with guitarist Vinnie Moore. Speaking of whom…..

Doubtlessly it was all smiles and applauses for fans (such as myself) seeing Vinnie Moore play with the Rock icons for the first time. Indeed he treated classic numbers such as ‘Love To Love’ and ‘Doctor Doctor’ with both respect and new-found vigour. But it was when given opportunities for individual unrestraint that he really got the venue alive. As vocalist Phil Mogg confessed: “He’s on fire!”

Regarding the new “Seven Deadly” album, ‘Wonderland’ and ‘Burn Your House Down’ seemed well-suited for a large enthusiastic crowd. Candles might be falling off his birthday cakes but Phil Mogg hasn’t lost his sense of humour or the youthful intensity of his singing. Bass player for this gig and tour was Rob De Luca (Sebastian Bach, Joan Jett, George Lynch, Spread Eagle) who occasionally interacted on stage with Vinnie.

Despite some unexpected trip-ups in the tightness of UFO’s performance, from a personal point of view this was definitely an enjoyable night. As the last encore died out, some lyrics kept ringing in my ears: “Lights out, lights out in London/Hold 'em tight 'til the end/Better now you know we'll never/Wait 'til tomorrow.” Indeed I can’t wait for my next UFO gig!

Mother Mary
Fight Night
Let It Roll
…In The Bottle
Burn The House Down
Only You Can Rock Me
Love To Love
Hell Driver
Too Hot To Handle
Lights Out
Rock Bottom
Doctor Doctor
Shoot Shoot


HEAVY METAL KIDS (www.heavymetalkids.co.uk)

Attending: Chris Galea

UFO Webgallery