Hot off the Press

X-UFO | Vol. 1 The Live Files

by John Kindred
Staff Writer —

What do you get when you take former members of UFO and MSG and throw them in a blender? Well, they call themselves X-UFO. The group comprises Laurence Archer, Danny Peyronel, Clive Edwards and Rocky Newton. Self-described as an “… alternate version of UFO … a spin-off of the classic rock band,” the quartet aims to breathe new life into classic UFO music. While it’s unclear if this is a necessary endeavor, as UFO and MSG are still alive and well, X-UFO are taking a crack at it anyway.

The quartet’s first release as X-UFO is none other than a live recording of its 14-song set. Titled Vol. 1 The Live Files, X-UFO tear into the old UFO standards and some lesser-known classics. From “Love to Love,” “Doctor Doctor,” “Let It Roll,” to “Rock Bottom” and “Lights Out” and finally MSG’s “Armed and Ready,” X-UFO attempts to make these old battle hymns their own.

Who knows if their hearts are in the right place or whether their wallets are slightly empty. The music is performed with the skill that you would expect from former ex-UFO/ex-MSG alumni. But the magic, passion and energy created by Schenker, Mogg, Way and Parker, literally is their torch to bare. Peyronel, while doing an admirable job of singing the vocal melodies made famous by Phil Mogg, is not perfect. Can you name any guitarist that is better at being Michael Schenker than, let’s say, Michael Schenker? You get the drift here. It’s a tough pill to swallow.

Produced by Steve Mann, another former MSG band mate, the music’s strengths fall on the UFO songs that were hits and is weakened by the lesser-known tracks. Again, the musicianship isn’t the question; the question is, “why re-create the music of a band that continues to be in heavy rotation when you could write and release your own original music?”

In essence, X-UFO have pigeonholed themselves into being a cover band. Early this year, X-UFO plans to record a studio album with new material, which should be applauded and help the band create its own identity. Unfortunately, X-UFO aims to capture the essence and magic of UFO by creating new music as well as re-recording and reworking older UFO material.

If X-UFO formed with the intention of writing and releasing original music, the band’s name and union of the musicians would make more sense. Unfortunately, X-UFO is a cover or tribute band that all local music scenes have, so do we really need an international UFO cover band?

Out of 15 UFO and 3 M.S.G. albums, that’s 18 albums, the combined total songs written or co-wriiten by Laurence Archer, Danny Peyronel, Clive Edwards and Rocky Newton is 24. Their total years of experience when complied together is 10 with Archer (UFO) and Newton (MSG) putting in the most timed served.

Known writing credits and time spent in UFO or MSG:

Danny Peyronel – keyboards, piano (1975–1976) with UFO:
co-wrote or wrote on ’76s No Heavy Petting
“Highway Lady” (Peyronel)
“Can You Roll Her” (Danny Peyronel, Mogg, Andy Parker)
“On with the Action” (Schenker, Mogg, Peyronel)
“Martian Landscape” (Peyronel, Mogg, Parker)
“All the Strings” (Peyronel)

Clive Edwards – drums (1992–1993) with UFO:
co-wrote on ’92s High Stakes & Dangerous Men
“Ain’t Life Sweet” (Mogg, Way, Archer, Clive Edwards)

Laurence Archer – guitar (1992–1995) with UFO:
co-wrote on all ’92s High Stakes & Dangerous Men

Rocky Newton (1987-1992) with MSG:

co-wrote on ’87s Perfect Timing
“Gimme Your Love” (Rocky Newton, Robin McAuley)
“Time” (Schenker, McAuley, Newton)

co-wrote on ’89s Save Yourself
“Get Down to Bizness” (McAuley, Rocky Newton)
“This Is My Heart” (Newton, McAuley, Schenker, Mann, Bodo Schopf, Allan Nelson)

co-wrote on ’92s M.S.G. (McAuley Schenker Group album)
“This Night Is Gonna Last Forever” (Rocky Newton, Kenny Stewart)

Laurence Archer (v)(g)
Danny Peyronel (v)(g)
Clive Edwards (d)
Rocky Newton (b)

Track Listing:
1. Intro: Let It Roll
2. Natural Thing
3. Highway Lady
4. Backdoor Man
5. Can You Roll Her
6. Love Deadly Love
7. Armed And Ready
8. She’s The One
9. Love To Love
10. Only You Can Rock Me
11. Rock Bottom
12. Encore 1: Lights Out
13. Encore 2: Doctor Doctor

Label: MCPS


Hardrock Haven rating: 7/10




20 Comments on X-UFO | Vol. 1 The Live Files

  1. Rocky,
    Thx for the corrections. It is hard to find all the correct info when it comes album credits. This comment section blew up, way out of portion. But it is good to see music fans that are still passionate about music. Keep rockin’!


  2. Wow – just saw this and didn’t realise we’d stirred up such a lot of emotion. I and we as a band take on board all criticisms and opinions positive and negative but I’d like to reiterate that the sole reason we do what we do is because we love it period. We are in the process of writing new material which we always intended to do but the first phase of the band which the Live album faithfully documents enabled us to hit the ground running ,get out there, and gel as a unit before we get to the all important new songs which will ultimately decide whether or not we are a viable long term band. I’m sure you guys will be the judge of that when it comes out but it’s sounding pretty damn good to my ears so far!
    Just to correct the fact list up here I actually co-wrote 9 songs from the 3 MSG albums I was involved with. In addition to the 5 mentioned I also co-wrote Love Is Not A Game from Perfect Timing, I Am Your Radio & Take Me Back from Save Yourself, and Crazy from M.S.G. Oh and I actually started playing with Michael in 1985 not 1987. That might not be very important to some but it matters to me not to lose 2 years of my life ;-)
    Thanks for all your comments and hope to see everyone at a gig soon.

  3. ps HEY TED MCKINLEY did you post from the afterlife??????????????????? that great song from making contact ufo wrote about you back in 1982 deisel in the dust just happens to be in my top 20 ufo favorite songs…………… ed

  4. im not going to get involved in a silly argument but i just want to say i have had this cd for about 3 weeks or so now and i would call this THE BEST UFO TRIBUTE BAND MONEY CAN BUY!!!!!!!!!! this is an amazing live cd and archer really smokes, to bad since the real ufo cant work with schenker and chapman does not seem interested or whatever the situation is, lawrance would be the best man for ufo the past 8 or 9 years, no disrespect to vinnie moore, he is great but lawrance is better for ufos sound, looking foward to there new album in late 2012 of original material, keep rockin

  5. Ted McKinley // March 7, 2012 at 1:26 pm //

    Steve, your posts have been completely over the top. Many UFO/MSG feel the same way as John in this regard. Whilst we have the utmost respect for the members of the band and their part in the great history of UFO, the consensus appears to regard this project as a cover/tribute band at this stage in their career. Great, once they develop more of their own material that opinion may change. I hope it does and it certainly won’t stop us enjoying the CD’s and going to the gigs as we appreciate everybody in the UFO family.

    And Eric, for the record ‘Strangers’ was not recorded nor was it released in 1977. Know your UFO history, please.

  6. Jay Villain // March 2, 2012 at 4:48 pm //

    If I may be so forward as to offer my OPINION as well on this subject.

    I’m actually astonished that there would be a conversation that got reduced to schoolyard banter, under a review that received a 7 out of 10 rating, that’s an amazing score; am I missing something here?

    Sometimes the NEED to have the last word surpasses the importance of the original message, which creates and fuels intolerance for our fellow man’s opinion; intolerance is a flaw which is also the forefront of war.

    Take a step back and respect each others opinions, and our ability to continue to communicate with one another; for there will come a day when we will communicate no more.


  7. 1st off I didn’t start this … I was actually trying to explain my point of view.
    Secondly I don’t live in the U.K. How I am supposed to know your laws when come to this?
    All I ever want to say in regards to X-UFO is that I would like to hear original music from them. From the onset Eric and yourself came out slinging mud. While other have left comments, in other posts, to say ‘there is an error here, or that’s not right’ you have both decided that was your forum to spew your negativity. You could have said, “i don’t agree.” Or “I saw them live and they were great.”
    I never said they were bad musicians.
    This band has decided to move forward riding on the coat tails of another’s legacy. It doesn’t matter how they spin it in the press. It is what it is. As you can see from the new info posted in the review that accept for Archer they had a small impact on the output of UFO, except for live performances. Your right this should have ended earlier today.
    For whatever reason, you can’t acknowledge it, that’s fine … just stopping post here.

  8. Steve Knowles // March 2, 2012 at 4:04 pm //

    What are you, twelve?
    Because if you don’t have that excuse, then you’re in serious trouble here.
    If displaying the MCPS logo and fulfilling the requirement that every single CD legitimately made in the UK regarding mechanical royalties must, makes them a cover band, that would make every single record out there a cover band release.
    And you probably mean ‘respectfully’ (judging by your tone) and not ‘respectively’.
    But hey!, what’s a word or two wrong for a writer, eh? what is it you say in one of your previous? ‘scared ground’ instead of ‘sacred’?
    You should probably drop this now.

  9. MCPS logo (Mechanical Copyright Protection Society) – OK you set me straight on that – at least they are respectively paying for the right to cover SOMEONE ELSES MUSIC. Thank you for proving my point that this is a COVER band.

  10. Steve Knowles // March 2, 2012 at 1:20 pm //

    Woooahhh there, JK! You don’t want to dig yourself even deeper, mate!
    I’ve got a copy of this CD and it clearly bears the MCPS logo. I realize that,this being the era of the net, when anyone can write anything they like, without the need to do any research on their subject, or be qualified in any way, you probably have no idea what that is. In fact, I note you mention MCPS as their ‘record label’.
    I’ve spent most of my life in the music business, behind a desk, sure, but at a number of major labels and publishers.
    The MCPS logo (Mechanical Copyright Protection Society) on the CD means these boys have paid for and obtained the necessary license which allows them to release an album containing songs that are registered with MCPS, and which automatically means the correct mechanical royalties are paid to the authors, composers and original publishers of the works.
    They of course need to do this even with their self-penned stuff, and they have done so as is to be expected of professionals of this caliber.

    I’m sure they will just ignore it, but all the same, it’s not right and if you have any sense of what’s right, you should at least own up and apologize to their fans for making completely out of order comments such as the ones you made.

  11. You are taking this way to personally, there is no intent to “slaggy-off dig” anyone … reviews, are at the end of the day opinions based upon the listeners personal preference … again the point is missed, you love UFO music, you don’t mind someone other than the original band performing the music … you see me as the villain? I didn’t put a band together that feeds off the legacy of another band … I am all for new original music, I also like listening to classic rock and metal, this music from a performance standpoint could be the best ever but it’s not theirs … his goes way beyond that they are the best band you ever saw … at the end of the day I personally don’t like what they are doing, I would rather hear their OWN ORIGINAL MUSIC … you want to hear live albums of these songs with modern day production and recording techniques how about: The Michael Schenker Story Live, SHOWTIME, Michael Schenker Group Live In Tokyo …

  12. Hey JK,
    The last line in your defense shows clearly how it’s YOU who missed the point here!
    It’s clear you meant it as another little slaggy-off dig,but I can only think they would take it as a compliment,having seen them do their stuff live.
    You’re right of course, Strangers it isn’t: that was 1977 and this is 2012. X-UFO are NOW and The Live Files blows it away imho.
    Course,your little comment is also an opinion.
    Nothing more.

  13. Who the f@ck wants to listen to someone’s alternative takes on classic UFO songs? Why bother when there are plenty of real UFO live concert recordings to choose from?

  14. I think you missed the point of the review which is that while these are “great musicians” it would be a lot cooler to hear them do 100 percent “their own” original music … also the core of these songs have the same foundation as the originals … I was really excited to hear that X members were getting together, but that dulled when it was them re-creating, re-imagining, whatever you want to call UFO or MSG … as far as the errors in the review, most of the performance info came from the press release … which was vague on where it was recorded … let it be said that I am a huge fan of UFO … I have all the Chrysalis CDs, and I am huge Michael Schenker fan … so when others tread on sacred ground I think we all should be a little defensive and protect the legacy … OH YA I LISTENED TO THE CD! It is not Strangers in the Night by any means …

  15. You’re right Bryan. We don’t ‘need’ an international UFO cover band.
    X-UFO are NOT a cover or tribute band.
    They do very different versions of the original UFO songs,and wrote many of them in the first place!
    The reviewer didn’t listen to this,or to the originals,obviously.
    You wanna go to youtube and listen to some of this stuff.
    And/or see them live and have a wild time like I and many already have.
    Then make your OWN mind up.
    How’s that?

  16. Steve Knowles // March 2, 2012 at 5:53 am //

    Yehhh! Busted!!!
    Anyone who’s got the album,saw the X-men live or even listened to one of the songs on youtube knows you didn’t!
    Otherwise you wouldn’t call em a cover/tribute band…since when does a tribute band do different versions of the originals, dude?
    Have you even bothered to listen to the originals?
    On the other hand,do we really need someone sharing their agendas on a decent rock site like Hardrockhaven?
    Do we need someone not doing the most basic research or even listening to a record they’re meant to be reviewing?

  17. As Steve said in his previous comment:
    Someone made up their mind in advance…

  18. Steve Knowles // March 2, 2012 at 5:43 am //

    Hey Bryan,
    Have YOU listened to the CD? why don’t you check out a couple of the songs from it on youtube first?
    I think you will find they are NOT a tribute or cover band, international or not!
    Tribute and cover bands do the original songs note-by-note exact. These dudes do not. Far from it!
    But the ‘reviewer’ did not listen to the CD! Waddaya think about that? Is it fair,or in any way cool? Hardly.

  19. I agree with the reviewer. MSG and UFO are still out there touring and releasing music. Why do we need a international UFO cover band?

  20. Errr…shouldn’t you actually LISTEN to a CD before ‘reviewing’ it?
    It’s so blatantly plain you’d made your mind up in advance it just reflects poorly on you, I’m afraid.
    As the X boys facepage says,we’re lucky the old days of weekly music press like the MM,NME and that are gone…and journalists have little real power,when we can judge for ourselves at the click of a button.
    You say Peyronel does an admirable job…but is not perfect. Know many people who are, do you? Not that he even appears to be trying to be like Phil, why should he?
    The album is AWESOME and given that so far it’s only been available at gigs and their site,seems to be doing real well.
    BTW,do you or some editor proof-read your stuff before posting? Looking at your last paragraph,it doesn’t seem possible.
    But hey!,guess you’re not perfect.

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