U.F.O. in Germany

- not exactly a concert Review but very German aspects of the U.F.O. phenomenon

Bonn or Berlin? is a main question in modern Germany. The arguments of the opponents are harsh but well known British rock-legend U.F.O. is clever enough to play in both towns. A proof that the band can handle both: The glory past and the uncertain future.

The Bonn gig was held at December 8 in the Biskuithalle. Biskuithalle? A good idea? I remember a gig at the end of the 80s where fresh-platinized Americans GREAT WHITE (with German hope VICTORY as support) played there in front of exactly 134 people! But I remember also that nearly every U.F.O. gig here in Germany was sold out. It didn't matter if they played as special guest or headlined and played with Bolton, Schenker, Chapman or Archer. And the times for hard'n heavy are (as usual) good in Germany. METALLICA set new standards these days: Within two weeks their new album RELOAD reached No. 1 in Germany and got platinum for more than 500.000 sold copies. They played a gig at the Hamburg docks in front of 1000 loaded guests, among them players of Champions League winners Borussia Dortmund (will ManU ever be able to beat BvB when ManU players listen to the SPICE GIRLS but Dortmunders listen to METALLICA?).

The popularity of U.F.O. in Germany has only in pieces to do with the fact that Michael Schenker is a countryman. The foundation of the respect and love for this band here was laid in the early 70s as they achieved massive chart-success with their first two records. In the 70s the band really was as big as Sabbath, Deep Purple or Led Zeppelin in Germany. A fact that sometimes seems unbelievable for Anglo-American U.F.O. lunatics and it's painful for me to visit Wendi's U.F.O. homepage and see that U.F.O. had to support bands like ATLANTA RHYTHM SECTION in the U.S. of A.

Back to Bonn: Chancellor Kohl wasn't here. The crowd, mostly men between 30 and 50, some younger guys, some girls was cool but loyal. I've seen in the U.F.O. newsgroup that an American or English girl was surprised that the crowd in Hildesheim was cool but that's typical for German audiences. QUEEN'S Roger Taylor said once about touring: "Americans make a party, Brits dance, Japanese scream and Germans listen to the music..." Well, after probably more than 200 gigs here in Germany Phil Mogg knows this behaviour. The sound was good and the song-list as expected. But the performance? There were rumours that they don't speak and don't smile. Well, Michael Schenker never was a smiler and Phil Mogg was very concentrated. It seems that the band want to play absolutely perfect - perhaps to convince some people of the record-industry? Man of the day was Pete Way - inventor of the "moving bass player". Pete obviously is the good ghost of the re-re-union. He is the link between Michael Schenker and Phil Mogg, smiles with both, performs powerful and enthusiastic as always and is as important as Phil Mogg and Michael Schenker for U.F.O. In my review of EoTW I've written "Thanx Mr. Way" [for Fortune Town]. On 8th December Bonn was a "Fortune Town" and I must repeat: "Thanx, Mr. Way!"

Something about touring in Germany these days:

The U.F.O. tour here is very successful. They play the same venues as German chart breakers RAMMSTEIN, which had some weeks ago two records in the German top ten album charts and play in bigger halls as long-time concurrents URIAH HEEP. What do they need? A good new record and a deal with a label like BMG and we will see them in the [German] charts again. Too optimistic? No, Judas Priest achieved No. 26 here with their new record. And U.F.O. are for sure as big as Priest... The tour-dates are now on BTX page 770 of German TV-pendant VIVA.


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