Rock Goddess, Diamond Head, Maganum, Saxon - Hull City Hall 25 Feb
When I saw the line-up for this show I had to get a ticket.
Having originally seen them in the mid 80’s with Y&T, this was the first time I’d seen the re-formed Rock Goddess and I was very impressed. As the opening act they set the bar really high with a great set including some classics like Satisfied Then Crucified, God Be With You and Back to You as well as songs from the current EP Back Off and the great It's More Than Rock and Roll. We also had a new song called, Why No One Ever Learns, from the forth coming album which I’m look forward to listening to. The band closed the set with a great singalong version of Heavy Metal Rock 'n' Roll. I hope to see them on the road again soon.
Diamond Head were next up and they produced a fine set, which featured all the classics – It’s Electric, The Prince, Lightning to the Nations etc. This was the first time I’d seen new singer Rasmus Bom Anderson and what a great voice he has, it was also nice to see guitarist Brian Tatler loving every minute of the show. Of course proceedings could only be brought to a close with Am I Evil, what a classic rock song that is, and the band delivered a great rendition of it. Was it Evil? Yes it was!
Riding high on the success of the new Lost on the Road to Eternity album Magnum are currently going from strength to strength. Tonight’s set feature three songs from this great collection - Peaches and Cream, Show Me Your Hands (which involved a lot of audience participation) and the title track. There were also a couple of classics from Story Tellers Night and of course everyone was brought to their feet for Vigilante. I was slightly surprised by the last song, Don’t Wake the Lion. I’m not complaining, I like this song, and have heard it played live before, but tonight I thought a couple of more familiar shorter songs would have complimented the set list better. As always Bob Catley’s voice was in fine form, as he directed proceeding throughout with exaggerated hand gestures – the man is a living legend.
Saxon hit the stage with the title track from their fantastic new CD Thunderbolt. There were some issues with the sound from Paul Quinn’s guitar in this opening number, but a quick swap to a back-up instrument solved the glitch for the second song, Sacrifice. The band got the set list just right mixing new numbers like Sniper, Predator etc. with classics like Dallas 1pm and Motorcycle Man. (I’ve put the full set list at the end of the review).
Thunderbolt has made it into the top 30 album chart and as Biff said it’s their first album since 1984 to do that. I loved every minute of the show and it is great to see Saxon headlining and selling out venues like this once more. As always Biff had the crowd in the palm of his hands joking with fans and encouraging full audience participation. He was fully supported by two great guitarists in Paul Quinn and Doug Scarrott and backed up by the tight powerhouse rhythm section of Nibbs Carter (bass) and Nigel Glockler (drums).
The main set was closed with Princess of the Night before the band came back for two encores. The first was Heavy Metal Thunder and the of course Wheels of Steel which included a singalong. The whole evening was brought to a wonderful end with Denim and Leather.
I think Rock Goddess hit the stage around 5:40 and Saxon ended the show at 11:00 so a great value evening. Perhaps at my age I need a seat for when Saxon are back in the UK in autumn with Y&T.
Saxon Set List
Nosferatu (The Vampire Waltz)
Strong Arm of the Law
Power and the Glory
The secret of Flight
They Played Rock and Roll
And the Bands Played On
747 (Strangers in the Night)
Heavy Metal Thunder
Denim and Leather