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.
Each year, British heavy metal legends SAXON honor a fine tradition of paying homage to England’s patron Saint George by putting on a spectacular annual show on St. George’s Day (April 23rd). The band’s new live album, St. George’s Day Sacrifice – Live in Manchester, was recorded at last year’s performance on that special day, specifically at The Ritz in Manchester, England during the band’s ‘Sacrifice World Tour’. The album, mixed and mastered by Andy Sneap and produced by SAXON vocalist Biff Byford, hits stores in the U.S. on April 29, 2014 via UDR Music.
This 2 CD set (also available in digital format) finds a blistering performance covering a collection of SAXON’s finest work from 1979 up to 2013. A very special rendition of ‘Broken Heroes’ goes straight to the heart and is dedicated to The British Armed Forces. This is SAXON at their best – a real treasure rejoicing every fan.
St. George’s Day Sacrifice – Live in Manchester tracklisting:
CD 1 – running time 61:05 minutes
02 Wheels Of Terror
03 Power And The Glory
04 Made In Belfast
05 Rock’n Roll Gypsy
06 And The Bands Played On
07 I’ve Got To Rock (To Stay Alive)
08 Night Of The Wolf
10 Broken Heroes
11 Guardians of The Tomb
CD 2 – running time 59:08 minutes
01 Never Surrender
02 Ride Like The Wind
04 Stand Up And Fight
05 Dallas I PM
06 747 (Strangers In The Night)
07 Wheels Of Steel
08 Strong Arm Of The Law
09 Denim And Leather
10 Princess of The Night
SAXON’s most recent studio album, Unplugged and Strung Up, debuted at #52 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, as well as #89 on the Top Rock chart in its first week of release! Unplugged and Strung Up is an amazing full-length release of fresh twists on classic tracks. Featuring staple SAXON stormers such as ‘Motorcycle Man’, ‘Strong Arm of the Law’ and ‘Dallas 1pm’, it is a quintessential part of any collection. Recorded, mixed and mastered with Andy Sneap in Derbyshire, UK last year, Biff and co. re-evaluated, re-worked and re-energized the towering likes of ‘The Eagle Has Landed’ and ‘Crusader’ by introducing orchestral dynamics to offer added dimension. ‘Frozen Rainbow’ from the band’s 1979 debut, gets a stunning acoustic reprisal which transports it into a power ballad to be proud of, whilst ‘Red Star Falling’ soars and sweeps the emotions with its orchestrally-arranged dovetail. Buy your copy today – available in digipack version – here via Amazon.
For more information on both releases, please visit www.saxon747.com and www.udr-music.com.
SAXON: “Unplugged and Strung Up” Debuts at #52 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart + New Music Video for “Frozen Rainbow” Released “Unplugged and Strung Up” – New Album of Alternative Takes on Classic Favorites is in Stores Now via UDR Music
British heavy metal legends SAXON are pleased to announce that their new album, Unplugged and Strung Up, debuted at #52 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, as well as #89 on the Top Rock chart! If that wasn’t enough, the band also has a new music video available for viewing now. The music video showcases the beautiful new rendition of ‘Frozen Rainbow’. Take a look here: http://youtu.be/4CJwkDjtzKM
The British heavy metal legends produce a series of alternative takes on classic favorites to herald a worthy new entry to the Saxonian Institute of Metal.
There is always feral beauty in a raging beast…and with Unplugged and Strung Up, Saxon’s selection of unique, fresh and adventurous interpretations of material previously heard only with raw heavy metal thunder, the point is triumphantly underscored.
Unplugged and Strung Up reveals layers and pieces previously dormant in many of the 14 classic Saxon songs chosen for this makeover, thanks to some ear-catching new arrangements and mixes. Recorded, mixed and mastered with Andy Sneap in Derbyshire, UK earlier this year, Biff and co re-evaluated, re-worked and re-energized the towering likes of “The Eagle Has Landed” and “Crusader” by introducing orchestral dynamics to offer added dimension. “Frozen Rainbow” from the band’s 1979 debut, gets a stunning acoustic reprisal which transports it into a power ballad to be proud of, whilst “Red Star Falling” soars and sweeps the emotions with it’s orchestrally-arranged dovetail.
As if this reinvention wasn’t enough, Saxon superfans and collectors can purchase a digipack version of the release which will include 2002′s storming set of full-volume, pedal-to-the-metal re-recorded hits Heavy Metal Thunder. Featuring staple Saxon stormers such as “Motorcycle Man”, “Strong Arm of the Law” and “Dallas 1pm” it is a quintessential part of any collection.
SAXON and FOZZY announce North American “Sacrifice & Sin” tour
British metal legends SAXON announce a North American tour which will run September 12th- October 10th. The tour is a rare treat for SAXON fans as it hits many markets that the band has not visited in some time. The group are touring in support of their critically acclaimed new album Sacrifice but promise to play all of the fan favourites from their 30+ year catalogue, including tracks like “Denim & Leather”, “Wheels Of Steel”, “Ride Like The Wind”, “Motorcycle Man” and “Heavy Metal Thunder” all of which have cemented the band’s legendary status. All vids have over 8 million collective clicks on youtube and the band has sold over 12 million albums. Joining the trek will be FOZZY. Following the band’s highly successful appearance in last year’s UPROAR tour, FOZZY are touring on their most successful album yet, SIN AND BONES, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart upon release. The album contains the track “Sandpaper”, whose video has already surpassed an amazing 500,000 views.
Review by Kirsty Birkett-Stubbs
Photography by Tess Donohoe
It may be some people’s epitome of hell, Michael Buble fans I’m looking at you, but for the metal/rock community Hellfest’s towering gateway looks positively pearly. This year’s line-up is so jam-packed that I was looking for the little glass jars and labels. You’d make a fortune if you could bottle any number of the diverse scope of bands on the bill, with the riffs left in natch, but I’d like them to play their sets first.
Once inside that gateway the layout is much the same as last year, and that isn’t meant in a well-they-clearly-couldn’t-be-arsed sense, because Hellfest could teach most others a thing or 20 on how to put together a fan-friendly festival. Except when it comes to the number of toilets on site that is.
Whilst the Hellfest tree still dominates in its stark simplicity, the hidden beer gardens have gained a snazzy gateway of their own, which invites you into the woodlands. Instead of a fairytale monster at the end of the path though, you’ll find a winebar, which is win-win really. And at night the scrap-metal merch stands and bars still glow with their own rooftop fires.
Stage-wise we’ve got Main Stage 1 and 2, which continue their staggered times so that as one plays, the other sets up, and vice versa. The result is no waiting around for soundchecks or bands to start, just back-to-back bam-bam-bam metal. A similar set-up is in place at the Altar and the Temple, where you can find black metal, death metal and the like, then there’s the Valley which is home to the stoner and doom types, and the Warzone where the punk and hardcore drops.
SAXON and FOZZY announce North American “Sacrifice & Sin” tour
From Saxon: As we are winding down the European Festival season, it is time to begin preparations for our upcoming tour of US & Canada together with Fozzy this September. We would like You, The Fans to choose a set list for the North American tour – which means 12 songs plus 4 taken from the Sacrifice album, fans around the world are invited to take part but, we want to hear specifically from the North American fans who will attend the shows.
There will be prizes for the best three set list suggestions, who will each win a copy of the new Sacrifice album T-shirt. And for the Grand Prize winner; a VIP package, Sacrifice album CD and a T-shirt. Prizes will be available to pick up at one of the shows of your choice.
Post your list on the Saxon747 site or on Facebook.
Article and pictures by Arto Lehtinen and Marko Syrjälä
“Welcome to the show” – welcomed by KISS when headlining the second day of the Sweden Rock fest. Well, once again the Finnish Metal-Rules.com team made their annual roadtrip to Sweden Rock. Metal Rules has covered Swedenrock since 2001, therefore it is quite logical to cover the festival again. The 2013 line up presented a wide range of metal and hard rock. Over 70 metal and rock bands offered one hell of an experience for attendees. Sweden Rock has been successful during the past ten years as the festival has always been sold out. This year wasn’t any exception as the fest was sold out despite the lousy economic situation worldwide. It has become quite logical for us to give an in depth article on several bands performing at Sweden Rock to all the readers out there. The weather was tremendous during these four days. The Metal-Rules.com team was there witnessing bands, not for having some beach party crap. Unfortunately, we are not able to cover every bloody band, but hopefully you will have a pleasant reading experience… Rock on!
FOZZY are proud to announce that they will be touring with British metal legends SAXON on the North American “Sacrifice And Sin Tour” scheduled to run September 12 – October 10, 2013. FOZZY VIP Meet and Greet Packages are available exclusively at FOZZYROCK.com.
Have you ever dreamt about or wondered what it feels like to travel around like a real rock star? Do you want to ride, party and sleep in a real rock’n’roll-nightliner-bus? Just like the band and crew? Do you want to experience life on the road – like your favourite band? SAXON? How about not only like Saxon – but with them? Dream no more, because now not only is this possible, it is now a reality!
According to the press release:
The Rock ‘N’ Roll Experience offers you – for the first time ever – the opportunity to join Saxon on tour! Travel with us in a real nightliner bus, the same kind of bus that the band and crew travel in on their tour. We will take you to selected gigs (Nottingham, Newcastle and Glasgow. Dates 19, 20, 21, and 22nd of April). You will follow the bands tour bus to the gigs, and in most cases (depends on individual gig access) park right next to them.
You will then join the band and crew at soundchecks, we will provide your tickets for the shows and also arrange for you to have priority access/entrance to the shows so that you get the best views at the shows. Not only that but we will arrange either an exclusive The Rock ‘N’ Roll Experience-meet-and-greet with the entire band where you can ask them anything you have been dying to ask them, get your autographs and take loads of your own pictures, close-up and personal. Or we will arrange that you will have a once-in-a-lifetime-treat, your own exclusive meal with the band in a local restaurant or backstage. (the meet-and-greet or meal will be confirmed in advance, so you will know which of these fantastic offers are available)
In addition you will receive your own collectable laminated exclusive The Rock ‘N’ Roll Experience-tourpass. The Rock ‘N’ Roll Experience has saved the best treat until last, we will arrange your own fantastic aftershow party with the entire band attending. This party will be the highlight of your The Rock ‘N’ Roll Experience tour with us.
Included in the deal:
• Your own Rock ‘N’ Roll-nightliner-bus and experienced Rock ‘N’ Roll-driver.
• Your own tour manager who will liaise with the bands tour manager to organise each days events.
• You will have VIP-access to all the gigs/shows.
So do not wonder anymore, live the dream and join us on our next tour.
All of this is available exclusively to Rock ‘N’ Roll Experience-clients only. There are very limited places available for these fantastic touring experiences on each tour.
British metal icon Biff Byford managed to shock Greece’s Rock Pages during a recent interview expressing his doubts about whether SAXON are going to release another album after this year’s Sacrifice.
An excerpt follows:
Biff Byford: “I don’t know if we are making another Saxon album… we’ll see how that goes. I might do a solo project next year maybe, or a different project maybe, I don’t know. I’d like to write an album that is more like ’747′, ‘Wheels Of Steel’, ‘And The Bands Played On’… I might do that next. Not next year, maybe the year after…”
Rockpages.gr: So, you mean that this might be the last Saxon album?
Biff Byford: “I don’t think this is the last Saxon album, I think that we are allowed to a bit of a break up on this tour. We will be touring all year so we’ll see how it goes after the tour…”
Rockpages.gr: I’m asking you this because I heard you saying that on a French webTV interview…
Biff Byford: “Well, nobody can tell really, doesn’t he? It depends on the band. All the band has to be into it, yeah? All the band has to be committed and passionate about the project, you know, some people might not want to make a new album again next year, they might want to have a rest… I don’t rest, that’s the thing! Me and Lemmy are full on all the time!”
NWOBHM living legend Biff Byford of SAXON will be performing guest vocal duties on the latest rock opera by AVANTASIA, The Mystery Of Time. Watch studio footage taken by AVANTASIA frontman/mastermind Tobias Sammet in Brighton, England on AVANTASIA’s official YouTube channel.
Musicians also confirmed to make appearances on The Mystery Of Time – slated for release in 2013 – include drummer Russell Gilbrook (URIAH HEEP), guitarist/producer Sascha Paeth, and guitarist BRUCE KULICK (ex-KISS/GRAND FUNK RAILROAD).
AVANTASIA’s last two albums, The Wicked Symphony and Angel Of Babylon, were released in 2010 and included guest appearances by Klaus Meine (SCORPIONS), Michael Kiske (HELLOWEEN), Tim “Ripper” Owens (ex-JUDAS PRIEST, ex-YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, ex-ICED EARTH), Russell Allen (SYMPHONY X), and Jon Oliva (JON OLIVA’S PAIN, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, SAVATAGE) among others.
Watch Tobi’s first studio report from Germany here.