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Review: Saxon – 11/11/18 – City Hall, Newcastle

15/11/2018

Saxon have some of the most recognised stand out heavy rock songs of the 80s and they mixed up the old with the new. Their performance at Newcastle’s City Hall went down a storm…

Support act Wayward Sons are fairly new but very tight knit five piece rock band. Tonight they impressed and delivered.

These guys had the unenviable task of playing to a venue that was only about half full. However, they did not appear put off and it didn’t prevent them from providing us with a top notch performance.

Wayward sons presented us with a modern strain of catchy rock melodies and full on headbanging no nonsense rock mode. Their own sound is reinvigorated old style rock as seen on their brilliant debut album, “Ghosts”.

Doro mixes fearless, bold metal with heart rendering, meaningful ballads and captivates the entire audience from start to finish. Exactly what you would expect from THE Metal Queen.

In October 1986 when I was 18, I managed to pop out from my late shift and run up Northumberland Street to the city hall in anticipation of seeing Warlock arrive for their gig that evening.

The guys from the band came out the front doors just as I turned up, asking their fans where to get food. “Follow me”, I piped up “I will get you some traditional English cuisine for free from the restaurant where I work!”

The staff at work were amazed and delighted to meet the band (minus Doro), serving them a nice meal then letting me return with them to see the gig.

Just by luck as I left the concert I saw Doro by her tour bus and headed over for a chat- it was like swapping takes with an old friend. At the end she gave me a turquoise ring in exchange for a chunky silver bangle that I gave her. I know she made good use of it from how many photos there are with her wearing it.

What an epic gig that was for me. I was in awe of Doro and to this day she remains my favourite female singer.

Fast forward 32 years and Doro remains my top female rock vocalist. She is the one person whose gig I have dreamed of photographing. It’s taken me 12 years to get to this point and a hell of a lot of persistence but I got there in the end. A huge tick on my bucket list and long time dream come true.

As the lights dimmed ready for Doro to storm the stage all the musicians took their places building up the tension. Suddenly she explodes into view and launches into ‘Earthshaker’ rock and I can’t take the smile off my face. I’m back in 1986 only it’s better.

 

There were a lot of die hard Warlock fans attending, you could hear them singing along. Another couple of oldies follow with ‘I Rule The Ruins’ and the tremendous ‘Burning The Witches’.

During some songs she gave many of the audience the opportunity to sing into her microphone, really interacting with them. The chosen songs were all solid and strong and performed with expertise. The highly emotional ‘Fur Immer’ – in particular brought tears to my eyes.

Guitarists Bas Maas, Luca Princiotta and Bassist Nick Douglas all did an excellent job. Drummer Johnny Dee was really rocking it out at the back.

The band rounded off their set with ‘All For Metal’ really leaving the audience on a high. We all really wanted more. I will be back to see Doro again as this was probably my favourite gig of all time.

Even better that Doro very kindly spent time with any fans who waited outside. Thank you Doro, you rock!

I’ve not seen Saxon play before, not sure how that happened as I’ve seen so many of the older bands in this genre. However it was great to have the opportunity to see them. Chatting with other people that went, they felt that the newer stuff went down really well.

We were treated to a full two hours of powerful hard rock throughout. Biff ensured we recognised that they were playing for 2 full hours!

The band have stood the test of time and Biff really blasted out those songs whilst the rest of the band relentlessly embraced the atmosphere. They belted out the songs whilst throwing their hair around.

These guys know what they’re doing and how to give their audience a good time. The highlight of the gig for me was ‘747 Strangers’ being in the night it was brilliant. Unfortunately though I missed the song where Doro came on stage to join in.

WORDS AND PHOTOS: ANGIE WALLACE

 

To see more photos of the three rock legends, Saxon, Doro, and Wayward Sons and their rocking performance, head over to our Gig Gallery…

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