Michael Schenker’s Temple Of Rock performing their Spirit On A Mission tour at Rock City Nottingham on Friday 29th January 2016

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

A few years ago, former UFO and Scorpions guitarist, Michael Schenker was in a dark place. With erratic performances on stage and personal problems off it, his fans could have been forgiven if they thought that they had seen the last of him. But not so, as he has somehow grabbed himself by the scruff of the neck and turned his life well and truly around, much to the delight of this Rock City crowd.

On tour to promote their latest album, Spirit On A Mission, Michael Schenker’s Temple Of Rock have the same line up. The rhythm section features former Scorpion band mates Herman Rarebell on drums and Francis Buchholz on bass, along with former Rainbow vocalist Doogie White. And of course there was the great Michael Schenker to complete this power house of a line up.

Schenker, now lean and fit, continually ran around the stage with his iconic flying V guitar, to rattle through an hour and a half long set that was packed with both the crowd’s favourites and new material.

Opening with UFO number, Doctor Doctor, the crowd were quickly singing along, as Schenker’s enthusiasm for his craft became infectious. Further UFO numbers followed, like Lights Out and Natural Thing as well as the Scorpion’s Lovedrive and a truly magnificent instrumental, Coast To Coast, whilst Victim Of Illusion was taken from his classic Michael Schenker Group album.

New songs Live And Let Live was fast paced and energetic, whilst Communion was a slower bluesy number. Vigilante Man, with its driving hard yet melodic riff had all the hallmarks of classic Schenker, and with the man now looking happy and more settled on stage than he ever has, he launched into a shredder of a solo towards the end of the set, midway through classic hit Rock Bottom, which had the audience roaring their approval.

Truly this is a man who was preserved for this moment.