Saxon. They aren’t as successful as Iron Maiden or as brash as Motörhead, but they are just as important to modern metal and they are still going strong 38 years later.
This isn’t their first Bloodstock either, so strolling comfortably onto the main stage on the Sunday, while the sun just starts to crawl away and with new album Sacrifice to promote co-founding members Biff Byford (vocals) and Paul Quinn (guitar) waste no time in leading the rest of the band into the title track, before forgetting all about it and playing the rest of the set seemingly using only material from the first 6 albums including the rarely played ‘To Hell and Back Again’.
The audience lap up every note and sing every lyric, while long standing bassist Nibbs Carter remains tight and solid with returning drummer Nigel Glockler.
There really isn’t much else to say about a damn near flawless performance of hit after hit after hit – ‘Heavy Metal Thunder’, ‘Battalions of Steel’, ‘Motorcycle Man’, ‘And The Bands Played On’, ‘Wheels of Steel’… It just doesn’t let up until the disappointing announcement of the final song, which Biff injects a whole new level of excitement into by inviting Dave Mustaine on stage to play.
As MegaDave and his big ginger barnet rock and roll to the awesome sounds of ‘Denim & Leather’ one can’t help but wonder how the hell this set is going to be topped and for just how long will people still be talking about it.
Photos by Sabrina Ramdoyal