Saxon – headline act
Mini Tour Of Europe – 2014
Dirty Passion – support act
9/3 – 2014
Live reviews and photos by: Anders Sandvall
As everyone probably knows Motorhead and Saxon were supposedly heading out on the road together at the end of last year. Sadly Motorhead was forced to cancel because of Lemmy’s health condition and the tour was put on ice. The tour was re-scheduled to take place this year but was once again was canceled. Saxon was scheduled to do a few solo shows during the tour and the show in Malmoe actually took place, not originally last year but in March this year. The Saxon “tour” contain 7 shows in both Britain and Europe and the band hasn’t released a new album but is out supporting their latest studio album SACRIFICE that came 2013. The latest release from Saxon is a compilation disc featuring classical Saxon tunes done acoustical and orchestral called UNPLUGGED AND STRUNG UP. Saxon fans can look forward to the soon to be released live album ST. GEORGES DAY SACRIFICE LIVE 2014 recorded during the SACRIFICE WORLD TOUR at The Ritz in Manchester England.
Kulturbolaget was the venue that hosted the Saxon show this night and the club sure is one of the best venues in Sweden for hosting intimate club gigs. Support act was Dirty Passion which is a Swedish local sleaze/hardrock act that have opened for Saxon before. The club holds about 850 visitors and the show was almost sold out. Because of other commitments I arrived to the show a bit late and came to the club in time for Saxon to enter the stage. I headed quickly to the photo pit and arrived just in time to get into the pit and so was it time for the legendary NWOBHM heroes to enter the stage in Malmoe.
The crowds middleage was pretty high and many of the fans in the club had probably followed the band since the start. That didn’t stop everyone from screaming their lungs out when Saxon showed up on stage and kicked off the show with “Sacrifice”. Byford showed up after the intro had been played and the already ecstatic crowd went even crazier when they saw Byford. Saxon is:
Biff Byford – lead vocals
Paul Quinn – guitar
Nigel Glockler – drums
Nibbs Carter – bass
Doug Scarrett – guitar
Byford immediately let the crowd take over the chorus and all of the fans sang their lungs out. Byford thanked the crowd for the support and fired off “Power And The Glory” and once again was Byford’s vocals almost overpowered by the blessed fanbase. Byford seemed to be really happy on stage and the crowd followed his every move and he sure had the audience in the palm of his hand right from the very start. Byford once again thanked the fans and said that it was nice to be back in the land of the vikings. He said it was time to travel back in time and fill our heads with “Heavy Metal Thunder”.
Both old classical tunes as well as more current songs were played this night and as always stood Byford in the middle of the stage looking cool with Quinn at the left and Scarrett to the right of him. Carter ran around on stage and was everywhere at the same time. Byford were also active on stage and his voice sounded as magical as ever. There were no sign of tiredness at all, he is one of the best singers in history and have managed to maintain his voice in perfect shape and condition. The next song up was taken from the album THE INNER SANCTUM and it was “I’ve Got To Rock (To Stay Alive)” and at this point had the temperature begun to rise inside the club. At the middle of the song turned Byford down the tempo and only bass and drums were playing. Byford told everyone in the club to jump up and down with him and so everyone did. He also sang the chorus together with the crowd only accompanied by bass and drums.
Byford then told us that the next song was written 44 years ago and it was a song that he thought was as current now as back then. “Stallions Of The Highway” continued the show and that song doesn’t belong in the set that the band normally plays live. The song is excellent and it was really nice to hear it live. As anticipated the band was really tight and everyone complimented each other extremely well. It was fun to see such experienced and skilled musicians perform live and it was good to relax and enjoy the show. Byford said that he really appreciated the intimacy of the club and that it was so nice to be playing in a club and not only on festivals. He asked if the fans had any requests for songs and the fans began to shout out which song they wanted to hear. Byford went out on the edge of the stage and asked a fan how young he were, 14? asked Byford and then asked what the guy wanted the band to play. The young fan said “Hammer Of the Gods” and Byford said O, luckily for you we know that song and laughed and fired off the song. I saw the set list on the stage and it said simply “request” so whatever the fans wanted the band to play they were going to play it.
“Solid Ball Of Rock” followed and now had the temperature gone tropical. The fans at the front of the stage were soaking in sweat and so was the band. The place got hotter and hotter for each song. In the middle of the song took the fans over and cheered, sang and clapped their hands. However Byford wasn’t satisfied and said that the crowd sounded like the Norwegian fans which made the fans scream even louder. Byford wanted them to sing even louder and said “C’mon aren’t we in the land of the vikings?”. Finally he looked satisfied and continued the song. He wanted us to say Hi to Glockler behind the drums and kicked off “Dallas 1 pm” which is one of my personal favorite songs.
“Night Of The Wolf” followed and then Byford said they were going to do something special and play two songs in one. It was “Sailing To America/Rock N Roll Gypsy” that followed. “747 (Strangers In the Night)” followed and the entire band seemed to be enjoying their time on stage and the huge support from the crazy fans on the floor. Again the band surprised me with “Sailing To America” and “Rock N Roll Gypsy” which are songs they usually doesn’t play live. It was nice to hear the more unexpected choice of songs as well this night. Byford said that the band wasn’t going to play at Sweden Rock Festival this year but at Wacken Open Air in Germany and that show was going to be very special and Byford wanted everyone to come and see the band in Wacken. He also told us that the band had written some new songs to the next album and the album is going to be released at the end of this year. And then it’s time for the band to head out on a proper European tour. Byford said that we weren’t getting rid of the band so easy. The tour is going to take place during October/November 2014. At the middle of “Wheels Of Steel” said Byford that it was time for everyone in the audience to sing and divided the audience into two groups and ordered the right wing to sing on his command and then the left wing. The show ended with the two classical tunes “Strong Arm Of the Law and “Wheels Of Steel” before the band thanked and went of the stage.
However they returned shortly and fired off “Crusader” as the first encore and totally blew down the place and the fans went totally ballistic when they heard Quinn play the intro on his guitar. It felt like that was the song that the fans really had waited for to hear. Byford introduced Paul Quinn in the middle of the song and he did the guitar solo. The amazing “Denim And Leather” followed and the encores finished off with “Princess Of The Night”. When the song ended Byford once again thanked the fans and the band went of stage and the lights came on and 20 minutes of brilliant encores was over. All together lasted the show for about 1 hour and 45 minutes and it felt like I could have listened to the band for at least one more hour.
The band was at the top of their game and the crazy crowd made the evening even more memorable. The lights and sound worked great and the set list was jammed with classical song as well as more unusual choices. It was the perfect set list. It was nice to hear “Sailing To America” and “Rock N Roll Gypsy” and there was no doubt that the fans loved the show as much as I did. It was only to bow for the masters of NWOBHM!
If you want to see Saxon live they’re doing a few festival shows in Europe this summer. Otherwise be sure to check them out when they return on a proper tour later this year.
Power And the Glory
Heavy Metal Thunder
Battalions Of Steel
I’ve Got To Rock (To stay alive)
Stallions Of the Highway
Hammer Of The Gods
Solid Ball Of Rock
Dallas 1 pm
Night Of The Wolf
Sailing To America/Rock N Roll Gypsy
747 (Strangers In The Night)
Strong Arm Of the Law
Wheels Of Steel
Denim And Leather
Princess Of The Night
Thanks to Emma Svensson head of press at Kulturbolaget for help with media pass.
Thanks to the security/staff for a nice treatment.
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