Published On: Sun, Jul 30th, 2017

Ramblin' Man Fair 2017: SAXON deliver a marauding set of British Metal tunes

Fronted by the legendary tonsils of Biff Byford – a name that wouldn’t be out of place in a Bash Street Kids comic strip –  Saxon expertly marshalled their army of die-hard fans into a frenzy of metal madness. 

Their banging opener ‘Battering Ram’ pummelled its way through the P.A. system, as these one time leaders of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal signalled their intent to play all of their classic metal-head tunes.

A pyrotechnic volley of fire – spitting out from the mini onstage flame-throwers – ensued as ‘Motorcycle Man’, ‘747 (Strangers in the Night)’, ‘Princess of the Night’ and ‘Strong Arm of the Law’ stunned the fortified hordes of brain-banging fans into a delirium of Saxon chants.

There are very few bands extant that can put a run of shining metal classics of this calibre together, and this was only the mid-way point into this veteran band’s set.

Better still, it was the the all time solid rock paean to the joys of motoring that is ‘Wheels of Steel’, with a sparked up Biff stalking the stage as he screeched the chorus, that was the climax to this golden run of songs. Remember, this is the band who largely inspired the creation of Spinal Tap as Byford, with drumstick to hand and tongue firmly placed in cheek, attempted to co-play the drums much to the amusement of drummer Nigel Glockler and crowd alike.

The band even took requests from the audience as their planned set list began to run out.

With the excellent career defining box set ‘Solid Book of Rock’ to promote, Byford strode down from the drum riser – like a modern day Moses of Metal –  to deliver his ultimate vocal sermon on ‘Crusader’.

Then the band smashed into the hard rockin’ riff of ‘Solid Ball of Rock’, which showcased the twin geezers on guitar Paul Quinn and Doug Scarratt as they traded searing fretwork, whilst frisky bassist Nibbs Carter and solid handed drummer Nigel Glockler locked down the songs punchy rhythm. 

These were the wrecking ball moments that defined Saxon’s performance. As a band of survivors, Saxon are right on top of their game, playing better than ever and enjoying their hard won respect by delivering their heavy goods.

A classy encore of ‘Denim and Leather’, the ultimate brotherhood of metal song, brought out a pride of devil horn salutes from their dedicated army of lion-hearted fans.

Saxon: they came, they banged and they conquered!

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