Saxon and The Quireboys review, Manchester The Ritz, 23.04.13

Barnsley’s most famous NWOBHM band Saxon headline at The Ritz in Manchester celebrating St George’s Day.


Tonight’s performance from The Quireboys was an excursion of rock and roll blues with drenching and heart throbbing riffs. Vocalist Spike has this explosive energy with so much feel and emotion of letting go and feeling loose, making the audience go crazy for their opener ‘Tramps and Thieves’ and ‘There She Goes Again’. They have this suave, rough rock n roll personae that is instantly attractive complimenting their cheeky licks and ballsy lyrics. Spike cleverly charms the audience with ‘Mona Lisa Smiled’ through to the Top of The Pops favorite ‘Hey You’.
Their stage show set is full of electrifying blues with ‘The Old Bottle Neck Slide’ on guitar and hip thrusting beats from drummer Matt Goom. The guys have had their fair share of  break ups and make ups and but they back for good feeding the spirit of rock n roll.

Proud to be British and part of the biggest influence and pioneer wave in British Heavy Metal Saxon, come forth to the stage with the instrumental of ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ and all in celebration of St George’s day. What an opener dark, weighty and excessive, their album track ‘Sacrifice’, then into another kicker ‘Wheels of Steel’. Saxon captivated the audience, getting them involved in picking the set list of their favorite tunes. It was clear the two hour set ahead was going to be nothing but killer songs, compelling vocals and virtuosic guitarists. From their last album ‘Call To Arms’, I truly believe Saxon have advance with ‘Sacrifice’ to what their were in the 80’s to the new modern era. Biff takes the audience back with ‘Rock and Roll Gypsy’, ‘And The Bands Played On’ from the live album ‘Rock and Roll Gypsy’s’ and ‘Demin and Leather’. 

Staying in the 80’s era and a merriment to St George’s Day comes ‘Broken Heroes’, due to the size of the venue and the amount of people there, the fans sung their hearts out as the echo of the venue created a choir like sound, the goosebumps came as guitar finished with a triumph harmonic solo. This flowed nicely into the start of ‘Guardians from the tomb’.
“There are two words in Rock and Roll you should never forget and what are those two words……” ‘Never Surrender’.
Saving the best till last are we… ‘Crusader’, ‘747 (Strangers in The Night)’ and ‘Wheels of Steel’. What a great collection of Saxon’s mighty work from 1979 to 2013. Honestly and genuinely world class and to finish the night with a encore collaborating ‘Strong Arm of The Law’, ‘Demin and Leather’ and ‘Princess of The Night’

Saxon Set List
Intro Land of Hope and Glory
Wheel of Terror
Power and The Glory
Made in Belfast
Rock and Roll Gypsy
And The Bands Played On
I have got to Rock (To Stay Alive)
Night of The Wolf
Drum Solo
Broken Heroes
Guardians  of The Tomb
Never Surrender
Ride Like The Wind 
(Christopher Cross Cover)
Stand Up and Fight
Dallas 1PM
747 (Stranger in The Night)
Wheels of Steel

Strong Arm of The Law
Denim and Leather
Princess of Night


All Pictures Courtesy of John McGibbon Photography.

About Del Preston

So there I am, in Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, at about 3 o'clock in the morning, looking for one thousand brown M&Ms to fill a brandy glass, or Ozzy wouldn't go on stage that night. So, Jeff Beck pops his head 'round the door, and mentions there's a little sweet shop on the edge of town. So - we go. And - it's closed. So there's me and Keith Moon and David Crosby, breaking into that little sweet shop, eh. Well, instead of a guard dog, they've got this bloody great big Bengal tiger. I managed to take out the tiger with a can of mace, but the shop owner and his son, that's a different story altogether. I had to beat them to death with their own shoes. Nasty business really. But sure enough, I got the M&Ms and Ozzy went on stage and did a great show.