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  SAXON SHOW THEY'VE STILL GOT THE POWER WITH NEW LIVE OFFERING
Saxon: 'Let Me Feel Your Power'
Release Date: 21st October 2016 (UDR)


joe geesin
Joe Geesin


saxon

Saxon, those Bastions of British Heavy Metal, have been in the news a lot recently and for good reason. The band were promoting their last studio album, 'Battering Ram', in the Autumn of last year, on the same bill as Motörhead when the latter recorded the live 'Clean Your Clock'.

On the eve of the rearranged UK tour, following the death of Motörmainman Lemmy last December, the band released an eight LP live box (click here for review and exclusive interview), and this new live set was recorded on some of those Motörhead dates and a rearranged headline show in Brighton, England.

Coming from blues and prog roots, Saxon kicked off the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal in a more punk tinged fashion. The current line-up has been together since the mid 90s, when Doug Scarratt replaced original guitarist Graham Oliver; bassist Nibbs Carter joined in the late 80s, while drummer Nigel Glockler originally joined in 1981 and is on his third and longest reign of the drum stool, not counting his break for recovery from a brain aneurism.

These Barnsley tea drinkers have long since transcended their NWOBHM beginnings, had a commercial phase (which worked, well), experimented with hair Metal (which didn't), made a rock'n'roll comeback and then in the mid 90s took on the power Metal bands they'd influenced head-on.

As Biff told me in 2015: "The power Metal comes from working with European producers; we realised we can do that too, writing about fantasy and swords. I love that about European power Metal."



Since the turn of the millennium their twin guitar Metal has nodded back to their prog roots (Maiden and Priest did the same, with equal aplomb), punk tinged beginnings and rock'n'roll; this purple patch has seen their success and popularity reach new heights and stay there and on the odd progressive leaning, Nibbs Carter says: "I like the way those tracks turned the albums into a big, dramatic thing. They had Metal written all over them."

A genuine live band, what you see on stage is what you get on a live record. They may have influenced Spinal Tap in their early days, but now they look and sound good; 'Battering Ram' continued the resurgence and, with a new studio album under way which includes a song about long-time friends and touring partners Motörhead, it's all go.

Many an analogy has been made to a good whisky, or a fine wine – the band get better and better. It is all true, and here's the proof.

The main show was recorded in Munich, Germany, while supporting Motörhead. The thirteen track set is a great selection considering the support act status, and sees plenty of new tracks sit perfectly next to others from across the catalogue. The latest album's title track, 'Battering Ram', and the recent 'Sacrifice' are sandwiched by 'Motorcycle Man' and what a fantastic start. Vocalist Byford not only sings his heart out and prowls the stage like he owns it, but he engages the crowd with a sense of humour too. He gladly accepts patch encrusted sleeveless denim jackets thrown on stage by fans, the second of which he helps guitarist Paul Quinn into.

saxon

The main programme finishes with three songs from Brighton (one of the hastily rearranged shows at the start of 2016); a genuinely moving moment is the track 'Requiem', originally written about Phil Lynott, amongst others, and here dedicated to Lemmy, who had texted Biff Byford a few days before he died to say how much he had enjoyed the tour.

Recorded in Chicago, the second show here runs to eighteen tracks and allows for further catalogue investigation. A motorcycle roar sees the band take the stage and open with a blistering 'Motorcycle Man'. Tracks from 'Battering Ram' go down well, even though the album was then yet be released.

It seems the Americans are finally getting Saxon, who have recently toured the US with Judas Priest, Armoured Saint and Motörhead of course, and 'Solid Ball Of Rock' proves a firm fan favourite. The crowd sing along and the intro is relished by Nibbs Carter. The set is solid, occasionally melodic and features a touch of shred to boot.

With the proto thrash of 'Heavy Metal Thunder' to work the crowd, the set also features several tracks rarely aired; it's been a long long time since I've seen Saxon play 'Rock The Nations', 'Backs To The Wall' or 'Just Let Me Rock' and they're very welcome here.

     

Biff sounds a little deeper and throatier in places but that does not detract from the performance at all and he is still one of the best frontmen and Metal vocalists about. No mean feat; remember that Saxon formed forty years ago next year and to see them working harder than ever and still sounding so good is testament to the marvels of English Engineering.

Just listen to that intro to 'Strong Arm Of The Law' and you can't help not feel the groove. Still got it.

And there's another roar from the crowd when Biff rips up and starts eating the setlist. Now that's rock'n'roll.

As per many a recent UDR release – the packing across the video and CD/LP variations is presented as good as ever. The new album is to be much anticipated, and on Biff's in-progress solo album: "I don't know how different it'll be – either much heavier or more melodic, I don't know. It'll either be like Journey or Black Sabbath!"


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DVD/blu-ray
1 - Battering Ram (live in Munich)
2 - Motorcycle Man (live in Munich)
3 - Sacrifice (live in Munich)
4 - Destroyer (live in Munich)
5 - Power And The Glory (live in Munich)
6 - 20000FT (live in Munich)
7 - Devils Footprint (live in Munich)
8 - Heavy Metal Thunder (live in Munich)
9 - Queen Of Hearts (live in Munich)
10 – Princess Of The Night (live in Munich)
11 - Wheels Of Steel (live in Munich)
12 - Denim And Leather (live in Munich)
13 - Crusader (live in Munich)
14 - Eye Of The Storm (live in Brighton)
15 - Battalions Of Steel (live in Brighton)
16 - Requiem (live in Brighton)
The bonus material track listing is as follows:
01 - Motorcycle Man (live in Chicago)
02 - Battering Ram (live in Chicago)
03 - This Town Rocks (live in Chicago)
04 - Sacrifice (live in Chicago)
05 - Power And The Glory (live in Chicago)
06 - Solid Ball Of Rock (live in Chicago)
07 - Dallas 1 PM (live in Chicago)
08 - Heavy Metal Thunder (live in Chicago)
09 - Rock The Nations (live in Chicago)
10 - The Eagle Has Landed (live in Chicago)
11 - Wheels Of Steel (live in Chicago)
12 - Backs To The Wall (live in Chicago)
13 - Just Let Me Rock (live in Chicago)
14 - Strong Arm Of The Law (live in Chicago)
15 - 747 (Strangers In The Night) (live in Chicago)
16 - Princess Of The Night (live in Chicago)
17 - Crusader (live in Chicago)
18 - Denim And Leather (live in Chicago)

CD Disc 1
1 - Battering Ram (live in Munich)
2 - Motorcycle Man (live in Munich)
3 - Sacrifice (live in Munich)
4 - Destroyer (live in Munich)
5 - Power And The Glory (live in Munich)
6 - 20000FT (live in Munich)
7 - Devils Footprint (live in Munich)
8 - Heavy Metal Thunder (live in Munich)
9 - Queen Of Hearts (live in Munich)
10 - Princess Of The Night (live in Munich)
11 - Wheels Of Steel (live in Munich)
12 - Denim And Leather (live in Munich)
13 - Crusader (live in Munich)
14 - Eye Of The Storm (live in Brighton)
15 - Battalions Of Steel (live in Brighton)
16 - Requiem (live in Brighton)

CD Disc 2
01 - Motorcycle Man (live in Chicago)
02 - This Town Rocks (live in Chicago)
03 - Sacrifice (live in Chicago)
04 - Power And The Glory (live in Chicago)
05 - Solid Ball Of Rock (live in Chicago)
06 - Dallas 1 PM (live in Chicago)
07 - Heavy Metal Thunder (live in Chicago)
08 - Rock The Nations (live in Chicago)
09 - The Eagle Has Landed (live in Chicago)
10 - Wheels Of Steel (live in Chicago)
11 - Backs To The Wall (live in Chicago)
12 - Just Let Me Rock (live in Chicago)
13 - Strong Arm Of The Law (live in Chicago)
14 - 747 (Strangers In The Night) (live in Chicago)
15 - Princess Of The Night (live in Chicago)
16 - Denim And Leather (live in Chicago)

Tour Dates wih Fastway and Girlschool

28th October: Newcastle O2 Academy
29th October: Glasgow O2 ABC
30th October: Belfast Limelight
1st November: Dublin Academy
2nd November: Manchester O2 Ritz
3rd November: Bristol O2 Academy
5th November: London O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire
6th November: Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall
8th November: Sheffield O2 Academy
9th November: Nottingham Rock City

     


saxon

Tour Dates wih Fastway and Girlschool

28th October: Newcastle O2 Academy
29th October: Glasgow O2 ABC
30th October: Belfast Limelight
1st November: Dublin Academy
2nd November: Manchester O2 Ritz
3rd November: Bristol O2 Academy
5th November: London O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire
6th November: Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall
8th November: Sheffield O2 Academy
9th November: Nottingham Rock City

Tickets available right here.


saxon

5.10.16







 

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