Saxon @ O2 Academy, Leeds (UK)


Date: 24th April, 2013
Venue: O2 Academy
Ticket: £20 ($31/€24)
Promoter: n/a

The opportunity to watch SAXON live literally next door from my home is something I would not miss by any means. Not that I needed any excuse really to attend a show of this band, but that was simply the cherry on top of the cake. The billing also featured REDLINE and THE QUIREBOYS and both of them did a great job warming up the crowd in a very effective way. REDLINE were on stage just before 8pm and with their classic Hard Rock/Heavy Metal assault seemed to draw the crowd's attention. I have to admit that I did not know anything about them prior to the show but I was left pretty satisfied from what I heard and saw. Kez Taylor's voice is the element that in my opinion stands out and I think the other band members followed his lead without letting anybody down.

THE QUIREBOYS would follow and although I’ve never really been a fan of them, I have to say pretty fairly that their show was very impressive! The band that once was labeled as the answer to the USA's POISON played their Rock ‘n’ Roll in a very convincing way and although singer Spike seemed to have had a bit of a trouble with his foot (he was clearly limping during the whole show), this did not stop the band performing in a way that pleased everybody. I have a special praise for the band's keyboard player Mr. Keith Weir who was just amazing - at times I thought I was listening to the late Billy Powel. Yes, he was that good! THE QUIREBOYS are going to release a new album in the beginning of June according to their own words, so this seems like a good reason to get to know their stuff.

But the night belonged to the almighty SAXON and at about 9pm the boys from Barnsley (South Yorkshire) were onstage introducing their freshly released “Sacrifice” with the same-titled song. “Wheels Of Terror” was next and the crowd seemed very responsive to the new tracks and the new album in general, a fact that was confirmed with every new song SAXON played that night. Biff welcomed everybody to the show and added how delighted he felt to “sleep at my own bed tonight” - let's not forget that Barnsley is only a few miles down the road from Leeds - adding with the trademark British self-sarcasm that “hopefully I will find only my wife there”.

Then it was time for the oldies, so “Power And The Glory” sees the band and crowd in full speed. Old stuff is obviously the climax moments so by the time Biff had dedicated “Rock ‘N Roll Gypsy” to “some good and some bad girls”, the crowd was already in a great mood. Later on, Biff gave another piece of advice: “two special words especially for the young lads”, singing “Never surrender”! “Ride Like The Wind” is the SAXON song with the most hits on YouTube Biff informed us, getting a most enthusiastic response and later on I think everyone inside O2 Academy was jumping up and down. “Here is a nice screwer for you men” the charismatic frontman added as a short preamble to “Motorcycle Man”. “Dallas 1pm” and the all time classics “747 Strangers In The Night” and “Wheels Of Steel” closed the show - at least until SAXON were back with a three-song encore, including “Strong Arm Of The Law”, “Denim And Leather” and “Princess Of The Night”.

This was a really good show and in a way I would say a professional performance. Paul Quinn got a special praise from Biff, and rightly so, whereas the rest of the boys were in a top notch form. The band seems to believe in the new album, which in my opinion is really good and deserves everybody’s listening attention. It’s not a brainer; if SAXON comes to (or near) your hometown, get your tickets without thinking!

Long live Biff! Long live SAXON!

SAXON setllist:

01. Intro / “Sacrifice”
02. “Wheels Of Terror”
03. “Power And The Glory”
04. “Made In Belfast”
05. “Rock ‘N Roll Gypsy”
06. “And The Bands Played On”
07. “I’ve Got To Rock (To Stay Alive)”
08. “Night Of The Wolf”
09. “Conquistador” / Drum Solo
10. “Iron Wheels”
11. “Guardians Of The Tomb”
12. “Never Surrender”
13. “Ride Like The Wind”
14. “Stand Up And Fight”
15. “Motorcycle Man”
16. “Dallas 1 Pm”
17. “747- Strangers In The Night”
18. “Wheels Of Steel”
19. “Strong Arm Of The Law”
20. “Denim And Leather”
21. “Princess Of The Night”