Monday, April 29, 2013

Saxon + The Quireboys, O2 Academy, Bristol, 28/04/13

British legends Saxon have going for more years than they'd care to admit but tonight they delivered a stunningly powerful set, which can compare with anything their younger counterparts could manage.

Promoting their Sacrifice album, the set drew heavily early on from the new material, but later on it was sing a long time with all the older classics getting a good airing.

First up though were The Quireboys (I missed Redline) who I've seen many times almost unintentionally, but they rarely disappoint. If you close your eyes, you hear all the Small Faces influence as they make their way through the honky tonk rockers, rounded off with Hey You and 7 O'clock. They did a fantastic warm up job.

The Quireboys

And then it was time from the main men. The O2 Academy in Bristol was rightly packed for these British heavy metal legends - what a revival they've had in the last 10 years, after the doldrums of the 90s, when they'd play to audiences of 250 sometimes.

Nibbs Carter and Biff Byford

They've never sold out. Always combining classic rock riffs with influences from the newer strains of metal. The new album, Sacrifice, is much in that vain, and it's the title track which kicks us off tonight.

Nibbs with Doug Scarratt

In fact, the new album is featured heavily with Made In Belfast, Guardians Of The Tomb, Stand Up And Fight and Wheels Of Terror all getting an airing.

Riffmaster, Paul Quinn

But it was the old classics which got the most enthusiastic receptions: Never Surrender, And The Bands Played On, Heavy Metal Thunder, Dallas 1PM, Strong Arm Of The Law, The Power And The Glory, 747 Strangers In The Night and finally Princess Of The Night.

Quite simply, superb.

This is a band as good as they've ever been, and it's pleasing to see them getting the size of audiences they deserve. Catch them as the headliners of the Steelhouse Festival in July.

...thank you...

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