SAXON (Live)

at O2 Academy, Newcastle, U.K., April 20, 2013

With their 20th album hot off the press, Saxon show no signs of slowing down and sliding into a quiet retirement.  If anything, new album Sacrifice sees Saxon heavier, faster and hungrier than ever — quite a feat for a band whose career spans well over three decades.

Saxon have never been the most fashionable of bands, yet their appeal remains undimmed and their popularity amongst the Metal faithful at a level that most bands can only dream of attaining.

Saxon have built up a fiercely loyal and rabid fan base with a combination of constant, hard touring and a succession of strong albums.  Musical fads have come and gone, but Saxon have remained steadfast in delivering hard hitting, no frills quality British Metal.


With a setlist crammed with Metal standards from Wheels of Steel, 747 (Strangers in the Night) and Strong Arm of the Law, only a real misery could fail to be swept along with the atmosphere.  Lead singer Biff Byford dominated the stage, conducting the crowd like an orchestra while guitarists Paul Quinn and Doug Scarrett delivered the scything riffs.   Long-time drummer Nigel Glockler seemed to find reserves of energy from nowhere as the pace revved up for “Motorcycle Man” towards the end of a mammoth two and a quarter hour set.

While the biggest roars greeted the old crowd favorites, the new material from Sacrifice stood shoulder to shoulder with the classics with “Guardians Of The Tomb” and “Stand Up And Fight” showing that the creative well of their song writing is far from dry. With eight of the album’s ten tracks featured during the show, Saxon are rightly proud of their excellent new material.

Byford may now be an elder statesman of Rock, but his voice has retained its strength, range and power, which is remarkable given the undoubted hammer it’s been given on the road over the years.


There’s something distinctly therapeutic about a Saxon show.  There’s no pretence or anything fake — just an honest to goodness, hands down, hard hitting Rock show.  What you see is what you get, and absolutely no one in the capacity crowd went home disappointed by what will be undoubtedly one of the gigs of the year.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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