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Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 12, 2014    
 
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Saxon - Shepherd's Bush Empire, London (UK) - 27th April 2013

Despite the many times I have seen Saxon, I never seem to leave disappointed. Tonight was no exception. With support being supplied by Birmingham rockers Redline and The Quireboys, this was a terrific bill, and great value for the ticket price of only thirty quid! I am keeping my comments to the headliners whose stage setting was just a backdrop of the new Sacrifice album graphics.

Kicking off with the superb title track 'Sacrifice', they tore on stage, with Biff clad in black (for a man of his age, he still has impressive head banging abilities!) 'Wheels Of Terror' followed, before Biff reminds us it is the thirtieth anniversary of 'The Power & The Glory' release, and before triumphantly launching into the title song. One of the things I love about a Saxon show is how they constantly change the set list. Digging out forgotten classics like 'Rock N Roll Gypsy' or 'Conquistador' keeps things fresh, though I could have done without the drum solo...

Both Nibbs Carter (bass) and Paul Quinn (guitar) keep fairly static for most of the show, supplying rock solid musicianship. Guitarist Doug Scarratt was all smiles as he threw shapes all around the stage (and threw a few picks into the audience). Singer Biff Byford reminds us why he is one of the most charismatic front men in the business, exchanging jokes and inciting the audience to join him in song during 'Heavy Metal Thunder'.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Despite sounding a little out of breath on 'Crusader', Biff nails the new numbers, 'Night Of The Wolf' and 'Guardians Of The Tomb', two great additions to the Saxon set list. By the time we reached 'Never Surrender', the band was in full flight. Bringing on lead singer Spike from The Quireboys for 'Ride Like The Wind' may have seemed a great idea in theory, but due to Spike's inability to remember the words, it all becomes a bit of a shambles! The classics come one by one, with a truly awesome 'Dallas 1PM', followed by 'Denim And Leather', 'Wheels Of Steel', 'Strong Arm Of The Law' and 'The Bands Played On'.

Bringing the show to a close with both '747 (Strangers In The Night)' and 'Princess Of The Night', Saxon reminds us why they are one of the all-time greatest heavy metal bands this country has ever produced.

Ray Paul

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