Saxon @ Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall, 16th April 2011


To open a set with a new song is always going to be difficult but such is Saxon‘s confidence with their music, that’s exactly what they did. Taken from their soon to be released new studio album Call To Arms, Hammer of the Gods is a typical solid rocker from Biff Byford’s current line-up.

Renowned for changing the set list every night, there is always going to be a good mix of old and new and the not so obvious tune thrown in for good measure and tonight is no exception.

Heavy Metal Thunder from 1980’s offering Strong Arm album is as fresh today as it was 30 odd years ago and probably because Byford has never followed music fashion the Saxon crowd know they will always get no-nonsense rock anthems and tonight there were plenty. Never Surrender, Motorcycle Man and Dallas 1pm, a song about the Kennedy assassination, gets the crowd going, arms aloft, word perfect.


Biff’s rambling about Download (or should that be Monsters of Rock?) takes the set into The Bands Played On, and their experiences of the first Donington way back in 1980. Paul Quinn gets his time to shine on The Eagle Has Landed, not an overly flashy guitarist but always solid and half of the double act with Doug Scarret.

Man And Machine is thrown in for the die-hard fans and although not an obvious choice still sits well with its driving tempo.

Another new song, When Doomsday Comes, gives the crowd another glimpse of what’s to come on the new album and it isn’t going to disappoint.


A set that lasted over two hours, and could easily have been double that, ends where it all started for the Yorkshire band, Wheels of Steel, the Saxon anthem that must have been played on every night of every tour since 1979 but it never seems to age… unlike most of the crowd!

A bigger tour is on the cards for later in the year and certainly larger venues should be in order. It could be a good year for Biff’s band.

Review & Photos – Andy Whitehouse

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