Concert Report by Wolfie
Michael Schenker & Friends at 12 Bar Swindon, Swindon, UK
January 10, 2008
Added on 01/11/2008

Tonight I saw a very different Michael Schenker to the one last August. The show at 12Bar in swindon saw some superb playing from Michael. He was sounding and looking great. He was clearly having a good time throughout with lots of smiles. It was basically a greatest hits set including Let It Roll, Lights Out, Too Hot To Handle, Rock Bottom, Doctor Doctor, On And On, Armed and Ready, Attack of the Mad Axeman, etc and a recent song Angel Of Avalon from Tales of RNR. Solid backing band, Leif has a great voice even if he did miss a few lines of a couple of the UFO tunes. The venue was small but packed out - it took me half as long to find somewhere to park than it did to get there from B'ham. So I was late in and didn't get a great position, but enough to get a pint of 6X before MSG went on. He's got a load of merch for sale. This was by far the smallest venue I have seen him play, but I suppose that's what he needs to do to regain some credibility. As it was Schenker's birthday, they had got him a cake and we all sang happy birthday.

So the short of it is, if you're in two minds about catching MSG at one these dates, and decide to go, you may well have a very pleasant surprise. It certainly made up for a very crappy and stressful day at work.

Concert Report by Owen
Michael Schenker & Friends at 12 Bar Swindon, Swindon, UK
January 10, 2008
Added on 01/11/2008

That's more like it....

We last saw Michael at Frome, a show that certainly could not be deemed a classic. Last night, however, was a different story - Michael looked and played every bit the rock star. The band were tight, the setlist was as near perfect as you could get and I got my Assault Attack and Michael Schenker Group CDs signed by the great man. The whole event was much more professional, really well organised and it was a tidy little venue too. Schenk is back - the next stop for us is the Bristol show, and then roll on the new album and the return of Gary Barden. These are exciting times to be a MSG fan...

A worthy mention too must go to Iron Hearse. The image of a denim and leather-clad octopus (opening track "Rocktopus") emerging from the ocean kept us amused all the way home to Bristol...

Concert Report by Adrian
Michael Schenker & Friends at 12 Bar Swindon, Swindon, UK
January 10, 2008
Added on 01/11/2008

Re: Micheal blows away the 12 Bar Swindon

Hello Ritchie,

Just want to agree totally with Wolfie and Owen on a great show at the 12 Bar. Even my Wife (Lynda) enjoyed the show and she's not a great fan of heavy rock music. What a difference to the Frome show. Lynda came to that too and was not impressed. You can understand she wasn't best pleased when I told her I got her a ticket for last night. But, in the end, even she had to admit it was Top Class stuff. Welcome back the Axeman. My mate Jim who came to Frome didn't bother, he's regretting it now and we're looking to catch Michael at the Thekla.

Concert Report by Rob Knowles
Michael Schenker & Friends at 12 Bar Swindon, Swindon, UK
January 10, 2008
Added on 01/30/2008

It was great to see Michael Schenker on top form again this week in Swindon, particularly given his ill-fated tour last summer. The Swindon gig coincided with Michael's 53rd birthday, but he looked fully ten years younger and was rocking around his corner of the stage with impressive agility (he put me to shame, and I'm only 41)! Indeed, as a friend remarked, Michael seemed like a completely different person when compared to the fragile figure who struggled through last year's shows. Whatever Michael had been doing in the meantime, it was obviously the right thing!

Not only did Michael look good, but he sounded good too. In fact, the Swindon gig was possibly my favourite of all Michael's concerts that I've been to. His playing was razor-sharp, and he had obviously been practising hard. Not only did he nail all the riffs and solos, but he was adding further solo-bursts as well. The only exception was in the opener - Assault Attack - where he missed part of the melodic break from the middle of the track. Otherwise, he played brilliantly, often breath-takingly, with repeated injections of fresh energy throughout. I remember the set-list as follows:

Assault Attack
Are You Ready to Rock
Let it Roll
Angel of Avalon
Lights Out
Into the Arena
Too Hot to Handle
But I Want More
On and On
Only You Can Rock Me
Armed and Ready
Attack of the Mad Axeman
Doctor Doctor
Rock Bottom

Of particular note were Lights Out, Only You Can Rock Me, and Rock Bottom. It is fair to say that Michael's rendition of Rock Bottom was outstanding on this occasion, but the 200 or so people packed into the tiny venue roared with appreciation throughout the whole gig. Half-way through the set, somebody brought a birthday-cake on stage for Michael and shouted, "I think we can all agree that we have here probably the greatest guitar-player on the face of the planet". From the audience's reaction, it seemed that everybody agreed.

Michael's band was entitled 'Michael Schenker and Friends', and was headed up very ably by Lief Sundin on vocals. The band performed superbly, and were just as good as the MSG line-up, which means they were very tight. Personally, I particularly noted the excellent drumming and key-boards, though the person next to me commented in equally glowing terms about the vocals and bass.

All in all, the gig was a complete repudiation of the false rumours of Michael's demise as an artist that had circulated last year. Nobody who was fortunate enough to be honoured by Michael's performance in Swindon last week could even begin to entertain such rumours. On the contrary, one left the venue feeling that one had probably witnessed a pivotal moment in rock history. Of all the gigs that took place in the world last week, I for one felt that that I had been in the right place at the right time. Our ongoing prayers for Michael have evidently been answered!

Thanks Ritchie!


Rob Knowles

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