Album review: SAXON – St George’s Day: Live In Manchester

SAXON - St George’s Day: Live In Manchester

UDR (2CD) [Released 17.03.14]

You don’t get much better, or more British, than NWoBHM stalwarts Saxon, especially when they play on St George’s Day.

This Manchester gig – a full show running to 2 hours and over 20 tracks covering most of their career – epitomise why Saxon are such a good live draw. And having seen them in London on this tour I can testify first hand just how brilliant they are.

Opening with Sacrifice and Wheels Of Terror you get some classic modern metal that demonstrates perfectly Saxon’s justified confidence in their new material. Power And The Glory is followed by Made In Belfast, and Rock’n’Roll Gypsy gets a rousing cheer too. And The Bands Played On is yet another classic – this takes me back to the live show – I can see singer Biff Byford now, prowling the stage, taking control, talking to the crowd. The twin guitars of Doug Scarratt and Paul Quinn are spot on, the rhythm section of Carter and Glocker pound away like their lives depend on it.

Disc 2 kicks off with Never Surrender and through Ride Like The Wind and Crusader, the latter’s opening chords a real crowd stirrer, the mix of tracks is as good as the performance and the sound.

Wheels Of Steel, running to 10 minutes features a singalong led by Biff and Carter, the crowd eating out of Biff’s hands.

After too many live compilations, this is a full and complete show perfectly performed and presented. It highlights why Saxon are widely considered top of their game, on record and on stage, 35 years after their debut. And any show that finishes with Princess Of The Night gets my thumbs up!  *****

 Review by Joe Geesin



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