SAXON (Live)

At The City Hall, Newcastle, U.K., November 11, 2018

SAXON (Live at The City Hall, Newcastle, U.K., November 11, 2018)
Photo: Mick Burgess

It’s been quite a long weekend for Rock fans of the North starting on Thursday night with the slamming Funk Rock groove of Dan Reed Network, followed by the incredible four singer led Michael Schenker Fest, celebrating the work of Schenker in the Scorpions, UFO and his own band, MSG. Last night it was the heavy weight farewell of Thrash titans Slayer with a supporting cast to match while tonight it was the turn of British Metal veterans Saxon, to round the weekend off with a bang.

For the first time in 30 years, Saxon stepped out onto the hallowed stage of the City Hall to celebrate the final night of their mammoth Thunderbolt World Tour and what better place than the scene of so many crazy nights back in the ’80s.

Saxon may well be marking their 40th anniversary next year but that doesn’t stop them from still being a relevant force in Metal as show opener Thunderbolt easily matched any of the younger bucks on the block.

Saxon’s great strength as a live act is the ability to avoid falling into the nostalgia trap. Their recent releases have all maintained a standard every bit as high as their early ’80s heyday and very few bands can stake that claim as Sacrifice and the spooky Nosferatu (The Vampire Waltz) back up that statement in the best way possible. Over the course of the night almost half of the set are songs from their more recent albums with Sons of Odin and Battalions Of Steel pounding the forge.

Of course, when you have a back catalogue crammed full of classics it would be remiss not to use them meaning the fast and furious biker anthem Motorcycle Man flew headlong into the more recent Predator before Strong Arm of The Law and Power And The Glory returned to the vintage years.

They Played Rock And Roll from their most recent release could have been released in 1979, a real heads down bruiser dedicated to their mentors and mates Motörhead with drummer Nigel Glockler showing no ill effects of his confrontation with a dog just a couple of weeks ago.

Unsurprisingly the iconic 747 (Strangers In The Night), And The Bands Played On and Princess of The Night were received by the enthusiastic City Hall crowd like long lost friends while the Eagle Has Landed brought a sense of epic drama to the show with the formidable Biff Byford in absolute top form.

With guitarists Paul Quinn and Doug Skarratt cranking the riffs for Heavy Metal Thunder, an apt title if there ever was one and set closer Wheels Of Steel, Saxon hammered home yet again why they remain one of the jewels in the British Metal crown.

On a more sombre note, Byford’s war poem Kingdom Of The Cross formed a particularly poignant backdrop as the band left the stage on Armistice Day, marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One. A fine and moving tribute to the fallen.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • 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.

    View all posts

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.