Following a worldwide run of tour dates, Michael Schenker will take Michael Schenker Fest on its second UK Tour starting this week.

This rather ambitious project gives the guitar great’s fans the opportunity to hear key compositions from throughout Michael Schenker’s illustrious career performed by many of the artists involved in creating them. Speaking of how the project came to fruition Michael went on to say that “In 2008 I started to play the most popular music of Michael Schenker past and current, but it was all sung by different singers, not by the originals. So then was the missing link and all of a sudden a light came up; I went like wait a minute, it is time to do this with original singers.”

However, with such a vast back catalogue of music spanning close to 50 years, it was, of course, a difficult choice picking an era of work to bring to life. Speaking of the decision-making process behind this Michael went on to say “I thought that maybe the 80s was the most doable possibility and so I got in touch with Gary and Robin and Graham as if they were waiting for the phone call, and they were ready to do it.”

But things didn’t stop there Schenker argues “I couldn’t have picked it any better Chris Glen and Ted McKenna who after Cozy was the original rhythm section and also for Assault Attack with Graham Bonnet. And then a great link that linked Robin McAuley and myself and the rest of the guys especially was Steve Mann you know. So we had the most unique line-up of musicians and singers.”

Of course, Michael Schenker Fest is no static project and just continues to keep growing in size and magnitude. Inside of the last year, the band recruited their fourth singer for both touring and recording duties. Schenker went on to say that “Doogie White kept calling me up and asked me, Michael, when are we doing the next Michael Schenker’s Temple of Rock album? I said to wait at least one or two years, we need to need to keep a bit of space and so on. He kept calling until eventually, I had an idea I said Doogie, why don’t you join the Michael Schenker Fest, then you have already got classics with Michael Schenker’s Temple of Rock with the two albums we did, you can sing your songs now and we have a whole section of you performing being the original singer of Michael Schenker’s Temple of Rock.”

And so the band’s current UK run which commences on the 5th November in Glasgow will be the first British tour for the Michael Schenker Fest featuring all four singers. Michael goes on to say “So we have Gary, Graham, Robin and Doogie all performing and singing their original songs that we wrote together from the period of the 80s. Then, of course, Doogie, the current. You know so we have the past, we play the most popular music of Michael Schenker from the past to the current with the four original singers.”

The beauty of a Michael Schenker Fest show is that you get to witness the history of the artist unfold in front of your eyes in one evening, under one roof and by the musicians who were there and created the original music. Speaking of this Schenker goes on to say “You know it’s a funny thing because I had so many different line-ups and I spread my energy into all these different line-ups. While other bands maybe stay together for 40 years and become a big brand name, but you know one other thing was that if I put all of these guys together from those different line-ups with those different singers and put them into one band I exactly have what a band has that has been together for 40 years, because that’s what it is. And so all my energy and all my focus I can put all together on one stage in one night and the beauty of this is that people have the chance to re-experience it. You know one night it’s like time travel, in one night you can see the whole thing going through those four different stages.”

But will Michael Schenker stop here, or maybe continue to grow the project even further by recruiting members of his previous bands U.F.O and The Scorpions? Speaking on the subject Schenker elaborates that “I say thy will be done. But you know the only way it can happen really is by Phil joining the Michael Schenker Fest and the only way it can happen for Klaus is by Klaus joining the Michael Schenker Fest; that’s the only way.”

In two year’s time, Michael Schenker will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of his first recording. Talking about this he states that “2020 is the anniversary of 50 years of recording for Klaus and myself. The very first song I wrote was “In Search of Peace of Mind” which is still one of my favourite solos on there, I don’t know why but there is nothing wrong with that solo. It’s a bit like “Send Me To Heaven” or “The Theme of An Imaginary Western” by Leslie West, it’s timeless, there’s nothing wrong with it, it always sounds good. I can’t believe that I actually managed to play one solo and fifty years later I feel still the same way about it, that there’s nothing wrong with it, so that’s a bit unusual. The rest of the album, of course, you can hear me developing, but on that particular song that was the very first song, I wrote in my life. The Scorpions credited themselves for that, I actually wrote this song in my mother’s kitchen by myself, there was nobody there, so I have no idea why The Scorpions credited themselves for it, but I guess maybe because I was 15 years old and they were 21 they were a step ahead on the business level. So basically, that song has a beautiful, fantastic title “In Search of Peace of Mind” which was the theme of my life you know, and so it’s just like a picture book it fits in so well to my life. So I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point Klaus and I will perform this song together, especially because of the 50th anniversary of recording. It’s our first album we did together and it’s my very first song I ever wrote with a fantastic title that fits completely my whole life. So it sounds pretty much like it’s something that was meant to be and like I said, Phil Mogg and Klaus Meine, thy will be done if it’s something that needs to be experienced and the universe needs to make it a complete cycle then it will happen.”

Michael Schenker already has his sights set on the second Michael Schenker Fest album which is currently tipped for a 2019 release. He goes on to say “By the time we finish the UK, we are getting ready to make the next Michael Schenker Fest studio album number two and then we have already booked a US tour, which is the second leg of the Resurrection tour. The album will come out sometime in the Summertime. By then we will have finished the 2nd leg in America, then I would think I don’t know if we are going to be dealing with the promotion maybe partly before the tour in America and partly after the tour. Then we start another world tour with the title of the 2nd studio of the Michael Schenker Fest.”

Therefore, when Michael Schenker Fest hits the road across the UK, it will be both the first time to see the band perform live in this current format. The tour featuring original MSG vocalists Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet and Robin McAuley, along with Temple of Rock’s Doogie White will commence on Monday 5th November in Glasgow at SWG3 Galvanizers and will run through to 11th November at Manchester Academy. Tickets for all dates are on sale now.

 

Michael Schenker Fest UK Tour Dates:

 

Nov 5th – Glasgow, SWG3 Galvanizers

Nov 6th – Birmingham, O2 Institute

Nov 8th – North Wales, Hard Rock Hell Festival

Nov 9th – Newcastle, O2 Academy

Nov 10th – London, O2 Forum Kentish Town

Nov 11th – Manchester, Academy

 

Michael Schenker
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Photo: Emili Muraki

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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