Saxon / Quireboys / Redline - O2 Oxford -5th May 2013

And so the annual (ish) Rockgig AGM took place this weekend at the O2 Academy in Oxford. Contributors came from far and wide to meet up, have a beer, complain about the price of beer down south, and witness some decent, working class heavy metal.

Once we'd (almost literally) bumped into each other in the car park..took a few photos (which I'm not adding as I appear to look like the bastard child of Benny from Crossroads and Big Daddy) we headed across to the Academy.  NH had already witnessed this show in Leeds and told us to get in early to see Redline as they were "well worth it" apparently.
My initial impressions when they walked on were mixed .. 1) they all looked like IT Managers (trust me, I know!),  2) The bass player had a Marco Simoncelli shirt on (that's very good) 3) they do a track called "King of the Mountain" which is featured on various Isle of Mann TT shows (that's good too) and 4) the guitarist looked like my mate Bob (can't decide if that's good or not)...   but  they bloody rocked!  Perfect old school metal in the vein of Dio,Rainbow etc. Very impressed, particularly with vocalist Kez Taylor.   Wish I'd picked up their album on the night now as I'd like to hear more.
While we were queuing up to get in we noticed Spike on the other side of the road, limping badly and using a cane (he broke his foot earlier on the tour) but credit to the guy, when the band came on stage , the limp was gone and he was throwing the usual Spike Patented Shapes that we know and love throughout the whole set.. albeit with a grimace of pain and a slight stagger once in a while.

Spike probably sounds pissed even when he's sober (also known as "doing a Gazza"), combine that with a few choice anecdotes and the classic Quireboys sleazy rock and you know you're in for a good night.
We had (among others) - "Hey You", "7 O-Clock", "This is Rock and Roll", "Mother Mary .. all great songs . .the new ones sitting well among the classics.  Frankly I could have gone home there and then and been very happy with my night out.

The last time I saw Saxon was in 1983 at the New Theatre (as it was then) in Oxford. My ears stopped ringing sometime during the nineties. Thirty years on with my hearing fully restored, I find myself on the edge of a mosh pit, watching Saxon again.  When the hell did Saxon get a mosh pit?  I went on holiday recently and in a lot of the photos I'm looking miserable despite truly having the time of my life. I think Biff has the same affliction. We are having a great time, but sometimes our brains forget to tell our faces. Not a smile from the front-man - although he rocked the hell out of a packed Academy for pretty much two hours - many younger bands would never have lasted that.. particularly at the break neck speed that some of these songs are performed at -  "Engine Room" drummer Nigel Glockler must be fitter than a butchers dog!   I won't bore you with a full list of songs , suffice to say we had mostly newer stuff up front (6 or so I think from the latest (and back to form) album) and the last 40 minutes or so they just went up a gear and blasted out "Wheels of Steel", "Heavy Metal Thunder" "747", "Denim and Leather", "and The Bands Played On", "Dallas 1pm", "Strong Arm of the Law", "Princess of the Night"... the bona fide classics go on and on and the mosh pit looked like it might open a portal to hell.

Great night.  Meeting Adjourned.

Scene change:  KFC Cowley Road Oxford : 11:15 
Man behind counter mumbles something muffled above a loud humming noise
Me " Sorry? What?"
Man behind counter mumbles something muffled again above a loud humming noise
Me "Nope sorry - no idea what you're saying"
This goes on for about 5 minutes until using sign language and swearing we work out what drink I ordered.  Can I suggest to Biff and the boys that in future all Saxon tickets have some kind of sign language guide printed on them because in my experience you will need it for at least 5 years after one of their gigs.


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