||MARK TAYLOR'S BIG CITY NIGHTS
'St George's Day Sacrifice Live In Manchester'
Release Date: March 17th 2014
Whilst Iron Maiden have constantly waved the Union Jack at their shows during battle hymns such as 'The Trooper' and 'These Colours Don't Run', Heavy Metal traditionalists Saxon have taken it one step further.
Proud of their English heritage, the St George's flag is regularly draped over Nigel Glockler's drum kit and also made it into the artwork of the 'Lionheart' album cover.
For the past few years, whenever possible the Barnsley barnstormers have been celebrating St George's Day with some memorable gigs at the Shepherd's Bush Empire in London but last year Saxon decided to up ranks and dig their trenches in at the Ritz in Manchester where this live album was recorded.
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The full set from that night is included in this double CD set and the night has been superbly captured by that man in demand, Andy Sneap, who mastered and mixed it with production by Biff Byford himself.
There's no false pretences on offer here, like some live albums that give the false impression of a band playing in some enormourdome in front of a million screaming women. No sir, Saxon are the real deal and this album will have your speakers bouncing and annoying the neighbours and despite being recorded on a Tuesday night, the Manchester crowd are in fine boisterous voice.
Saxon have officially released seven live albums in their long illustrious career including 'Heavy Metal Thunder-Live: Eagles Over Wacken' from two years ago, but what is so refreshing about this new St George's opus is the inclusion of so many tracks from the 'Sacrifice' album which Saxon were promoting on this tour.
Live versions of six tracks from that album are included in this live set and not one is unwelcome including the eponymous opening title track, the menacing 'Wheels Of Terror', the anthem of 'Made In Belfast' and majesty of both 'Guardians Of The Tomb' and the howling 'Night Of The Wolf'.
The definitive version of 'Broken Heroes' is a tribute to the Armed Forces and no St George's evening would be complete without 'Crusader'.
There is no St Georges Day concert this year from Saxon but with classics aplenty on this here fine package, you can do no wrong by inviting some mates around to your gaff armed with a crate of Websters Yorkshire Bitter and raise your glasses high in tribute to one of the most faithful bands this country has ever produced.
CD 1 – running time 61:05 minutes
02 Wheels Of Terror
03 Power And The Glory
04 Made In Belfast
05 Rock n' Roll Gypsy
06 And The Bands Played On
07 I've Got To Rock (To Stay Alive)
08 Night Of The Wolf
10 Broken Heroes
11 Guardians of The Tomb
CD 2 – running time 59:08 minutes
01 Never Surrender
02 Ride Like The Wind
04 Stand Up And Fight
05 Dallas I PM
06 747 (Strangers In The Night)
07 Wheels Of Steel
08 Strong Arm Of The Law
09 Denim And Leather
10 Princess of The Night