Girlschool/Fastway/Saxon Bristol Academy - 3 November 2016

I got to the venue early as I didn’t want to miss the Girlschool set. Judging by the length of the queue I wasn’t the only one wanting to see Girlschool tonight.

They opened up to really appreciative crowd with Demolition Boys, the eight song set contained a couple of new tunes, Take it Like Band and Come the Revolution  from the current CD and the classics you expect hear – Hit and Run , Future Shock, Race with the Devil, Watch Your Step and  Emergency. A frantic 30 minutes of Heavy Metal Rock n Roll. Well worth standing in the cold queue for.

I had been lucky enough to see Fastway on their first UK tour back in 1983 and really loved original singer Dave King’s vocals on the early albums. So I have to be honest it took me a while to tune into
Toby Jepsons’s (great singer though he undoubtedly is) versions of Misunderstood, All Fired Up, and Another Day. Strangely I only started to enjoy the set when it got a couple of songs I wasn’t so familiar with Deliver Me and Telephone. Suddenly things seemed to really click together for the three closing tracks Heft, Feel Me Touch Me and Easy Livin’. Great to see John McManus of Mama’s Boys fame on bass again as well.

It’s A Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock n Roll) was intro music for Saxon, and that has certainly been very true for this band. Here they are though supporting their 21st Studio album
playing to a packed house so the must be doing all right. By my calculation we got songs from 11 of these albums. They opened up with Like a Battering Ram and Let Me Feel Your Power. There were a few unusual songs in the set list – Solid Ball of Rock, Stand up and be Counted and the wonderful Terminal Velocity. Of course with all their experience Saxon know to save some classics for the end so the final third of the set contained And The Bands Played On, Dallas 1 PM and of course Wheels of Steel. Toby Jepson joined the band to sing this one, taking on half of the hall whilst Biff took the other in the now traditional sing along.

For the first encore Fast Eddie Clarke joined the band to blast out a fantastic version of Ace of Spades before 747, Denim and Leather and finally Princess of the Night brought an excellent evening to a close.  
Girlschool came on the stage just before 7:30 and Saxon left just before 11:00, with really quick turn rounds between acts, as a package, a complete evening of rocking entertainment that is going to take some beating.

Don't forget that Saxon have released The Vinyl Hoard, their deluxe 8 vinyl album boxset which features four explosive live recordings.  The albums come in specially designed gatefold sleeves in a slipcase box.   They are: The Dogs Of War Tour, 1995” Recorded on tour in German and featuring: Dogs Of War, Denim And Leather, Wheels Of Steel; The Lionheart Tour, 2004” Recorded on tour in France, England and Germany featuring: Lionheart, Court Of The Crimson King, Are We Travellers In Time; A Night Out With The Boys, 2005: The 25th Anniversary of the NWOBHM” Recorded on tour in Germany and Sweden and Featuring: And The Bands Played On, Suzie Hold On, Stand Up And Be Counted; Rocksound Festival, 2006” [2 LP] Recorded in Switzerland FeaturingBacks To The Wall, Princess Of The Night and Crusader.



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