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'Ultralive Ballisticrock'
(Frontiers Records)
Release Date: 22 October 2013

Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland

ted nugent

Ted Nugent is probably best known in the UK now as a gun toting, trash talking, just to the right of Attila The Hun American loudmouth, pro-gun, pro-hunting, pro-shooting anything that's not his kind of American and all round the kind of American Brits love to hate.

He's actually all that and more but for those of us with longer memories he came to our attention as a guitar wielding crazy heavy rocker with a string of hard rocking tunes and a stellar reputation as a live act. In his heyday in the late 70s he was headlining the same venues as Kiss and it was the money he made from that which funded his hunting business.

He concentrated on that for many years after his career waned but he still releases the odd album and tours the US and what we have here is his latest live DVD filmed in Penn's Peake, Pennsylvania and coming out in very modern CD/DVD and Blu-ray versions.

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I was shocked to discover that his 'Full Bluntal Nugity' DVD is ten years old so I suppose it was time for a new one! That was a two disc collection featuring footage from the 60s and 70s as well as a full modern show and so if you already have that what's different here?

Well this is a more basic live show (there's no entrance on the back of a buffalo for starters!) but features a four piece band compared to the three piece in the previous video. This very impressive band features Greg Smith on bass, Mick Brown (Dokken) on drums and the big draw for old Nuge fans, Derek St Holmes on guitars and vocals.

St Holmes' terrific vocals were a big part of the classic 'Double Live Gonzo' album and it's good to hear he still has plenty of voice left although the white beard made me feel old!

Sound wise this is a solid, tight old fashioned hard rock band and sensibly the set list is chosen mainly from his 70s and early 80s back catalogue. You get the expected tracks from the greatest hits such as 'Great White Buffalo' and 'Cat Scratch Fever' but also more unexpected oldies such as 'Need You Bad' and 'Stormtroopin'. I was surprised to see a version of 'Wango Tango' in the set and even more surprised that I really enjoyed it despite even the very strange dancing girls bit in the middle!

Visually there isn't much to look at really, just four guys in their 50s and 60s rocking hard and showing what an old fashioned hard rock band sound like.

Verdict: Overall I enjoyed this DVD, musically for me there are some great moments where the two guitar attack and especially the strong melodic vocals of Derek St Holmes combine in a sonic attack of the best 70s kind and if you're already a Nuge fan you'll enjoy this. For the uninitiated you'll have to get past the occasional crap about guns and loads of stuff about how great the USA is but behind all that there's some great old school rock and rock stars are supposed to be controversial, right?

Ted Nugent-Guitar/vocals
Derek St Holmes-Guitar/vocals
Greg Smith-Bass/vocals
Mick Brown-Drums/vocals


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