Review: Saxon at Sheffield 02

Saxon. Photo by Roy Goodall

Saxon. Photo by Roy Goodall

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Arguably Saxon should be on cloud nine after all these years and most definitely should be filling arenas, yet here they are playing clubs like this.

Still, they seem happy enough, as did support acts Girlschool who kept everyone away from the bar and played well, along with Fastway, who also played a blinder.

Saxon really are at the top of their game as Battering Ram, Heavy Metal Thunder, Sacrifice and my personal favourite Solid Ball Of Rock really hit the mark. I thought bassist Nibbs Carter who’s now been with the lads over 25 years played the show of his life, with now recovered Nigel Glockler hitting the tubs with skill and precision.

Frontman Biff was also in great form, chatting with his near home town fans about past bands he’s seen in Sheffield and genuinely having a good time as the hits and rarities kept one and all happy. Frozen Rainbow, off the first Saxon album which hadn’t been aired in years was fan requested, and surprisingly they obliged later in the set.

Some of the current line-up weren’t even in the band then so how they managed it deserved respect. Yet when Biff got out his phone for a sing-along promising to place it on Facebook the crowd went mad for more. Something I’m afraid that washes over me.

With classics like Dallas 1pm, And The Bands Played On, Saxon did themselves proud with the encores being the icing on the cake.

Unusually they covered Motorhead’s Ace Of Spades complete with Fast Eddie Clarke aiding guitarist Doug Scarrat, thus putting huge smiles on the Sheffield crowd. With 747 and Princes Of The Night the Yorkshire gang bid us good night for the last time and leaving me with a warm glow inside.

After nearly 40 years in the business, and at times it’s a very harsh business, I really hope Saxon, particularly founder members Biff and Paul Quinn, really are happy and have made some money. After knocking out 22 studio albums, playing concerts all over planet earth, they deserve any accolades that may come their way.

Quite simply, brilliant.