Thursday, June 3, 2010
Michael Schenker - Live in Donington DVD review
Michael Schenker – Doctor, Doctor – Live in Donington - DVD review
(Released through Rockline records, licensed by SPV GmbH through MVD) March 2010.
OK, this is a funny one, where you have to kind of wonder just who had the gall to put this one out there?!
The DVD release itself contains just 5 songs with a total running time of just 34 minutes, yes, that’s right.
It’s a really weird one too as it’s titled ‘Michael Schenker – Live in Donington’ and the footage comes from the 2001 Rock and Blues festival at Donington that year, where conflicting reports indicate that UFO and Uli Jon Roth (Ex-Scorpions) were both playing on the Sunday that year. Other sources say this was during Uli Jon Roth’s set, where the ex-UFO members joined in and another says this was a special Michael Schenker all star line up. So make of it what you will!
Searching for accurate information through the web on this is a nightmare and MVD who distribute this release give very little in detail with this release.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved Schenker’s playing and have to say, he’s probably my favourite guitarist, I just find that this release itself, is a little disappointing overall and not because of the content, but more so due to the lack of it!
This was from a time when UFO’s line up was from somewhere between their ‘Covenant’ and ‘Sharks’ CD releases, when Schenker was still with the band.
I can tell you that Uli Jon Roth released a ‘full’ concert video from the show, that includes these tracks and apparently Michael Schenker was due to do the same, based on a ‘Blabbermouth’ press release:
The DVD cover is a little misleading too, as the front cover features a more recent shot of Schenker, looking in reasonable shape and playing one of the ‘Schenker Brothers’ limited edition Dean Flying V’s.
The back cover shows less flattering pictures of Schenker, looking very rough as he indeed looks in the DVD footage.
The opening song is ‘Doctor, Doctor,’ possibly UFO’s best known track among general rock fans and the line up appears to be an all star cast of Phil Mogg (Vocals), Schenker (Guitars), Pete Way on bass (UFO), Don Airey on keyboards (Rainbow, Ozzy, Deep Purple – To name just three!), Uli Jon Roth (Guitars) and Clive Bunker on drums (Ex-Jethro Tull). There’s also another guitarist who I’m not sure on the guys identity. Some indication is that it may be Barry Sparks who has played bass with both Schenker and UFO line ups on tour.
It’s certainly ‘interesting’ to see Schenker play alongside the guy who replaced him in the Scorpions and how they play off one another. Similar styles at times, at other moments Uli goes into his Space rock mode!
The UFO catalogue continues after a what seemed to be a little uncertain start with ‘Let It Roll’ and Pete Way is in fine form leaping around all over the stage. Phil Mogg standing his ground centre stage.
‘Midnight Train’ from UFO’s ‘Covenant’ release is next and to be honest I think Uli does well to stay the distance over all these songs. It’s clear Phil Mogg is in his element, having all these guys backing him up.
12 Minutes of possibly UFO’s fans ‘favourite track, ‘Rock Bottom’ is next where Schenker usually comes into his own and drifts away, but it’s great to see how almost playful – For want of a better word ... – the guy is, playing off Uli Jon Roth.
It’s certainly a different version for UFO fans who do their utmost to try and track down and collect every single version of every track the band and linked line ups have ever released / performed.
Then comes the funny bit to the DVD that really makes no sense at all!
If this is really a Michael Schenker release, then why does he and the other UFO guys – Mogg and Way – leave the stage at this point, when Cream bassist / vocalist Jack Bruce steps out to join Roth, Airey and Bunker to jam White Room.
It’s again, an interesting version where Bruce at times shakes his head, as if to say, ‘No, not yet,’ or ‘No, not like that!’ Funny …!
So that’s it, no bonus features at all … That is seriously it. Would I recommend it?
Hmm, I’d really have liked to have owned a full set from the show to be honest and if those DVD’s exist, I’d probably urge you to track those down.
In reality, if you see this selling for full price I’d say leave it to be honest, if you see it under $10 or say £5 or £6, if you’re a fan and can’t find the other released DVD’s, go for it.
Overall rating: 3 out of 5. – It’s OK.