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Michael Schenker Group The 30th Anniversary Concert Live In Tokyo

One Night At Budokan it ain’t.

Yeehargh! Metal Mickey’s back (again)! And he’s once again doing the business in fine form.

He’s got legendary session drummer Simon Phillips (who played on that classic first Michael Schenker Group album) and bassist Neil Murray as his rhythm section. On top of that there’s a killer setlist with 10 of the 18 from the band’s first two albums, plus Rock Bottom and Doctor Doctor from his days at the guitar helm of UFO.

But there’s an elephant in the room and – judging by the pictures on the booklet – it’s wearing a very loud black-and-white shirt. The elephant is Gary Barden’s voice – too often sounding flat, tired and just a touch wince-inducing.

The instrumental passages can’t be faulted, but who wants a live album that would work better as a karaoke soundtrack?

Freelance contributor to Classic Rock and several of its offshoots since 2006. In the 1980s he began a 15-year spell working for Kerrang! intially as a cub reviewer and later as Geoff Barton’s deputy and then pouring precious metal into test tubes as editor of its Special Projects division. Has spent quality time with Robert Plant, Keith Richards, Ritchie Blackmore, Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore – and also spent time in a maximum security prison alongside Love/Hate. Loves Rush. Aerosmith and beer. Will work for food.