Saxon – Rock City, Nottingham – 04/02/2015


Preceding the U.K rock giants tonight are heavy metallers Hell; a strangely bizarre band who flirt dangerously between theatrical Satanism and occult metal. Lead vocalist David Bower summoned his five piece band from of the darkest pits of Derby to perform tracks from albums “Human Remains” and” Curse and Chapter”. Due to various problems I only managed to catch the last few songs from their set and was met with such a bizarrely interesting band I have mentally noted to stalk them the next time they play locally for a chance to catch their full show.

After a quick break, the already full to capacity main hall buckles under the pressure as a surge of fans stream in to catch the UK veterans Saxon for this, their postponed Warriors of the Road Tour. Celebrating an impressive 35 year anniversary tonight sees the addition of drummer Sven Dirkschneider who braves the drums for poorly long standing member Nigel Glockler. The idea for the original tour was to focus on the hits from 1980s albums, Wheels of Steel, Strong Arm of the Law and Denim and Leather. However, after rescheduling, the set list celebrates a wider spectrum over the bands twenty strong album  back catalogue. The decision is a crowd pleasing formula as the widely aged varied crowd soak up the classics from the opening track Motorcycle Man, through to Forever Free with the atmosphere set to nostalgia.


The band are all on top form. The drums are pounding and heavy, while the guitar riffs shriek with delight under the masterful handling of Paul Quinn. Commanding attention with his powerful vocal and stage demeanor, Biff Byford controls the good ship Saxon through hits that have lit the beacon through their voyage and shone an inspirational light for Metallica, Pantera and Motley Crue to name a few. There’s mention of the first support act of the night Beyond Black, thanks to Hell and also to the fans for the set back of the show originally set for December last year. Biff also cheekily recorded the view of the crowd from the stage to post on line giving an insight into how us the crowd appear to performers on stage.

The night ends on a high with encores Wheels of Steel, Strong Arm of the Law and the finale Denim and Leather. Tonight is a classic show with energetic performances renewing my faith in classic heavy metal.


Set list

Motorcycle man


Power and the glory

And the bands played on

To hell and back again

Got to rock

Forever free

Dallas 1pm

Solid ball of rock

20,000 ft

Susie hold on

Eagle has landed

Heavy metal thunder

747 ( strangers in the night)


Princess of the night


Wheels of steel

Strong arm

Denim and leather

Photos by Richard Lindley

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