A Call To Arms – SAXON LIVE at The Key Club On Sunset

SaxonThe last time Saxon rocked the Sunset Strip was back in 1990 when they played The Whisky.  For those not too familiar with Saxon, here’s a break down for you.  Saxon formed in 1976 in Barnsley, Yorkshire. As front-runners of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, they had 8 UK Top 40 albums in the 1980s including 4 UK Top 10 albums. Saxon also had numerous singles in the Top 20 singles chart. Between 1980 and 1987 Saxon established themselves as one of Europe’s biggest metal acts, they also had success in Japan and in the USA. In Japan, the single “Motorcycle Man” stayed in the charts for over 5 months. Saxon have sold more than 13 million albums worldwide and heavily influenced bands such as Metallica, Megadeth, Sodom and Running Wild. They are renowned for their live act and are considered one of the finest live performers of the metal genre. Thirteen years later they returned with a call to arms to  the Saxon faithful as well as defenders of the metal faith.  And did they answer the call!  It was like standing in a sea of denim and leather with the smell of some righteous bud that filled the air.

The band opened their two hour set with ‘Hammer Of The Gods” and like a stick of dynamite, front-man Biff Byford and the boys sent a jolt of heavy metal thunder throughout the venue that

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had the crowd fist pumping and head banging. It was as if we stepped into a time machine and were sent back to the 80’s.  Memories of long hair and hanging out with friends getting high on music that took us to places only our imaginations could take us.  Saxon, on this evening, pulled no punches and unleashed a barrage of their hits from their back catalog to present.  Proving that they haven’t lost a step the boys ripped into “Heavy Metal Thunder” that literally had everybody in the venue head-banging like no tomorrow.  Biff Byford is sixty-years old, but you wouldn’t guess it from what we witnessed on stage this evening. His vocals were right on point and stronger and better than ever. How do you do it Biff?  Next set of songs featured an old and new Saxon in the form of “Never Surrender” and another new track “Chasing The Bullet”. It wasn’t until Biff introduced the next song, “Motorcycle Man”, that the crowd went completely nuts!  This was the epitome of what a rock and roll machine is all about.  Before the show the Rocker and I wondered if they would serve up a couple of our personal favorite tracks. They must have heard our prayers because the band served up “Rock And Roll Gypsies” and the rock anthem of all rock anthems, “Denim and Leather”.  Aside from being blown away by Byford’s vocals, the band didn’t sound too shabby, if we must say.

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Guitarists Doug Scarrat and Paul Quinn sounded amazing. A twin guitar attack that is as powerful as thunder and lightning. The rhythm section of drummer Nigel Glockler, who’s drumming was totally mind-blowing! (Come on! These guys can’t be over fifty! Are you kidding?! ) and bassist Nibbs Carter, who is a complete wild man on stage! He takes banging your head to a whole new level. At one point we thought his head would fly off his body! Just goes to show how much passion these men have in their music. As music fans, we wouldn’t have it any other way.  The band finished off their set with “After Burner”, from the new album and “ Princess Of The Night” in a blaze of glory! After a very short break, the band reappeared on stage and proceeded to hit their fans like a battering ram  with “Crusader”  and a balls to the wall rocker, “747 Strangers In The Night”. The odd thing about it was, guitarist Doug Scaratt delivering his guitar solo. Why is this odd? Normally, a solo is done in the middle of the set and not at the end.  Odd right? Finishing off their two hour set, Saxon delivered the knockout punch with a balls to the wall rocker, “Power & The Glory”. All in all Saxon put on show that proves they are a force  to  be reckoned with, still. If you get a chance to catch them on tour this year, do so! We guarantee it will one of the best rock shows you see!

The Atomic Chaser & The Rocker

For more info on Saxon: www.saxon747.com