Paul Raymond Project at The Asylum 24/1/15

paul-raymond-project-asylum While we await the next UFO album (A Conspiracy of Stars, release date Feb 23rd in UK) band stalwart Paul Raymond has released an album (Rewind 50, track listing below) and embarked on a mini UK tour under his Paul Raymond Project moniker to celebrate his 50 years in the music industry (or “50 years since I had a proper job” in his own words). The final date of this tour was on 24th January when the band arrived at The Asylum 2 in Birmingham, an intimate venue in the centre of the city, which I last visited to see Uli Jon Roth blast through an unforgettable set.

There is no stage as such, just a staging area, and the crowd is separated from the band only by the row of monitor speakers making the event even more of a pure rock ‘n’ roll in your living room experience. Paul has also put together a class band to tour with, as one would expect if he were to do justice to his back catalogue (considering the extensive list of very talented musicians he has toured and recorded with over the past half century). The UFO classics were there, Doctor Doctor, Love to Love, but also gems such as Just Another Suicide, Take it or Leave it and Lettin’ Go. His time in MSG was less well represented, but in Never Trust a Stranger we were reminded just what an influential member of that band he was and you forget that he was in Waysted, but All Belongs To You was thrown in to jog our memory. These were interspersed with offerings from various incarnations of the Paul Raymond Project, which again reminded us what strong songs there are on what are essentially little-known cult albums. The set was wrapped up with a second encore (which had not happened at many of the other gigs) of Natural Thing: usually a rabble rousing opener but here used to finish the gig, and the tour, with a bang. I say “encore”, but the band were forced to stay on the stage between encores since the way to the dressing room was through the audience!

Throughout guitarist Dave Burn ripped through the songs with ease, adding his own personal takes on the classics and showcasing his substantial talent. Drums and bass from Tony Steel and Mark Coles were spot on, and gave the impression that this whole band had been touring a lot longer than the reality. Finally, vocalist Andy Dodds more than ably took on the role of covering a multitude of songs whilst resisting the temptation to try and sound like a Mogg or Barden. Quite often I cringe when other vocalists try to pull of a UFO classic, but here Dodds came across very naturally and owned them.

It felt like the evening finished too soon. There were many more songs I’m sure that the crowd wanted to hear, perhaps a Savoy Brown, more MSG, personal favourites from PRP, but alas time was against them and the venue needed to kick everyone out to ready itself to become a night club apparently! Still, it was a most enjoyable evening, Paul will be touring with “his other band” shortly and I’m sure the other band members on show tonight we will be seeing again!

Post-script: I only caught the back end of the support band (due to being nervous about leaving my car parked on the streets outside for too long!) but Voodoo Sioux were a blast and I wish I’d seen more.

Line-up

Paul Raymond (vocals, keyboard, rhythm guitar)
Andy Dodds (vocals)
Dave Burn (lead guitar)
Mark Coles (bass guitar)
Tony Steel (drums)

Set List:

Just Another Suicide
Born and Raised
Exorcise the Demon
Michael Caine
Never Trust a Stranger
Out in the Street
Man on a Mission
Take it or Leave it
Scream Blue Murder
All Belongs to You
Love to Love
Burned Again
Terms & Conditions
Still the Same
———-
Doctor Doctor
Lettin’ Go
———-
Natural Thing

Rewind 50 Track Listing (available to buy on CD from CDBaby)

Unfinished Business
Sympathy
Scream Blue Murder
Welcome To The Real World
All Belongs To You
The Sky And You
Never Trust A Stranger
Lookin’ Out For No. 1
Twice Nightly
Reconsider Baby
Waiting
Bye Bye Baby

4.75 avg. rating (95% score) - 4 votes

Dave

Mathematician at the University of Warwick in the UK with research interests in equivariant bifurcation theory and applications, especially in modelling of insect locomotion. Teaching interests include online learning and innovative teaching methods. Also occasionally creates material for the University's "International Gateway for Gifted Youth". He has been active on the Internet since 1995, initially though his UFO and Michael Schenker website, but now through a multitude of projects.

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