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Glasgow ABC, 11 May 2012
Tony Charles, Joe Geesin, David Wilson
It is easy
to forget how influential Michael Schenker has been in the realms of
rock music over the years. He has had a hand in some of the biggest
bands in rock and has written, or has contributed to, many rock classics
over the course of his career.
of this latest tour is to get together with various musicians he has
worked with over the years, with a different line up for different
continents across the globe and to play said classics. When you look at
the talents that have answered his call for this tour, it is evident
that he still commands a lot of respect from his peers and rightly so.
latest incarnation of the band took to the stage though, the night was
kicked off by Lancashire rockers Exit State. I wasn't familiar
with the name, but with a little help from Google I found out that the
band have been together in various forms for 7 years and that they have
produced two albums in that time with a third being written at the
moment, ahh, the power of the internet.
only had an allotted half hour set, but they managed to impress none the
less. They play melodic hard rock with some excellent melodies and hooky
guitarist Roy Bright constantly tried to whip up some enthusiasm in the
crowd, which after a couple of numbers started to have an effect and
slowly but surely the band won over the crowd. The songs that really
caught my attention were 'Bad Days' and 'Death Of A Rockstar' which were
A good warm
up then for tonight's main event and after an atmospheric intro tape,
Michael Schenker and friends bounced on stage, kicking off with
'Into The Arena'. The band on this leg of the tour are probably the best
of the bunch featuring Michael, Dougie White on vocals, Herman Rarebell
on drums, Francis Buchholz on bass and Wayne Findlay on guitar and
keyboards, an impressive line-up with talent to spare.
Ready' was up next and the near capacity crowd were loving every minute
of it. Dougie White was in fine voice and took great pleasure in
announcing that this was his first large scale hometown gig in 25 years
of touring, including his stints with Rainbow and Yngwie Malmsteen.
pointed out the barrier at the front of the stage which he said was
there for our safety as they had three Scorpions on stage, pun fully
intended, which lead us nicely into 'Lovedrive' the first of many great
Scorpions numbers to be aired. The set was culled from all points of
Schenker's career and ran like the track listing of a 'Greatest Hard
Rock Ever!' CD.
in stunning form, any doubts about his abilities or current state of
mind were very quickly banished, he is definitely back at his rocking
best which was a joy to see. Francis Buchholz and Herman Rarebell were
also in fine form and looked ecstatic to be back on stage and playing
Scorpions numbers once more.
smile of the night though belonged to Dougie White who looked like he
had won the lottery. At one point he got the crowd to sing a rousing
version of 'Flower Of Scotland' which I suspect was the fulfilment of a
long held dream, he was a very happy man.
and classics just kept coming, 'Cry For The Nation',' Coast To Coast',
Assault Attack', 'Shoot Shoot', UFO, MSG, Scorps - all were treated as
old friends and the crowd sang along with gusto.
tracks though stood out above the rest, namely 'Lights Out', 'Rock You
Like A Hurricane' and main set closer 'Rock Bottom' which featured an
elongated solo from Michael which showcased his talents and proved
beyond doubt that he is back at his best.
that followed were straight from the classic rock top drawer. 'Holiday'
was up first, complete with a mass sing-along, a rocking 'Blackout'
followed by (and only one song could round off the night) 'Doctor,Doctor',
which got the whole crowd bouncing as one.
This was an
amazing gig which was enjoyed equally by both band and crowd. As I said
earlier, it is a joy to see Schenker back at his best and on tonight's
evidence there are still plenty of punters willing to come and worship
at this particular Temple Of Rock. Long may it last and, Dougie, make
sure it's not another 25 years before you play in Glasgow again, cheers
use the direction keys on your keyboard to navigate easily through the
writes (London, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, 12 May
A busy night in London and, it has to be said, a very ordinary support
band, who mixed Sabbath with alternative and grunge.
A rousing start with MSG and the 'Into The Arena' intro kicked off a
retro evening. 'Armed And Ready' saw the band in storming form, vocalist
Dougie White being energetic and showing his wide range. The sound
quality, however, started off poor and the mix took a couple of songs to
Scorps Herman Rarebill (drums) and Francis Buchholz (bass) on board,
there were several Scorpions tracks aired, 'Lovedrive' the first of
himself was on form, the guitar work spot on, riffs and shreds alike, he
made plenty of eye contact with the crowd, but the spotlight was on the
band – solid and tight, and that’s what made the evening.
highlight was the melodic rock of 'Cry For The Nations', which sounded
polished, and 'Let Sleeping Dogs Lie' epitomised the classic rock that
had filled the venue.
Attack' was another period classic, but the omission of 'Attack Of The
Mad Axeman' was surprising. 'Before The Devil' was the only number from
the new album, but the Temple Of Rock continued in blistering fashion
with 'Lights Out' and 'Shoot Shoot' taking in some classic UFO, and
Wayne Findlay’s keyboards sounding good leading into 'On And On'.
You Like A Hurricane' took the show into singalong mood, White proving
one of the best frontmen around. The extended songs sounded better than
a plethora of solos, making for one of the better Schenker performances
Bottom' rounded off the main set well, and with 'Holiday', 'Black Out'
and the classic 'Doctor Doctor' in the encore, it was a storming
evening. That said, a little too much emphasis on Scorpions and UFO,
when you consider the strength of the MSG catalogue.
Arena/ Armed And Ready/ Lovedrive/ Another Piece Of Meat/ Cry For The
Nations/ Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
Coast To Coast/ Assault Attack/ Before The Devil Knows Your Dead/ Lights
Out/ On And On/ Let It Roll/ Shoot Shoot/ Rock You Like A Hurricane/
Rock Bottom/ Holiday/ Blackout/ Doctor Doctor
Radio presenter Tony Charles writes (Manchester, The Ritz, 10 May)
last time I saw Michael Schenker was a few years ago with UFO and at
that time the gig was somewhat disastrous. However, this was totally
different! He was on top form, in fact his performance on a number of
Flying Vs was outstanding.
course of the 1 hour 45 minute set he dug deep into his extensive back
repertoire backed by a very good set of musicians, ranging from UFO, The
Michael Shanker Group and course the Scorpions.
Great gig and a welcome
return of the old master!
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