The Bloodstock team are delighted to announce that British metal legends SAXON have been added to the bill for BOA 2009.
Saxon were formed in South Yorkshire in 1977 from the ashes of two other local outfits, SOB featuring guitarist Graham Oliver and bassist Steve Dawson, and Coast, featuring vocalist Biff Byford and guitarist Paul Quinn. The band briefly operated under the moniker Son Of A Bitch before renaming themselves Saxon.
The group busied themselves recording demos and playing the club circuit which eventually brought them to the attention of Pete Hinton at EMI who subsequently recommended them to French label Carrere. The bandâ€™s self-titled debut album emerged in 1979 at the height of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM), a popular grassroots movement which Saxon have been synonymous with ever since. Something of a pot-boiler, the album was a modest success, although it lead to a support slot on Motorheadâ€™s â€™79 UK tour, which opened many more doors for the band. The follow up, 1980â€™s Wheels Of Steel, however, was a monster hit, cracking the UK top five and spawning two chart singles, both of which saw the band appear on Top Of The Pops. It started a phenomenal run of success with Strong Arm Of The Law (1980), Denim And Leather (1981), The Eagle Has Landed (1982), Power And The Glory (1983) and Crusader (1984) all charting worldwide and heralding increasingly extensive headline tours.
1985â€™s Innocence Is No Excuse introduced a slick new sound disliked by some of the bandâ€™s hardcore following, and although the following yearâ€™s heavier Rock The Nations redressed the balance again, the band were shaken by the departure of Steve Dawson. Coupled with the shifting musical climate, the change saw Saxon enter a period of uncertainty which was reflected in 1988â€™s patchy Destiny. Having recruited young bassist Tim 'Nibbs' Carter, the band began a slow fight back with 1990â€™s weighty Solid Ball Of Rock and â€˜92â€™s Forever Free, but it wasnâ€™t until 1995 and the release of Dogs Of War that a true Saxon revival took hold. Graham Oliver was replaced by Doug Scarrat at this point and since then the band have never looked back. Unleash The Beast (1997), Metalhead (1999), Killing Ground (2001), Lionheart (2004) and The Inner Sanctum (2007) have all stayed true to the classic Saxon sound whilst keeping the band sounding fresh and invigorated. Their latest epic Into The Labyrinth is expected early next year.
As one of the ultimate good-time live acts, Saxonâ€™s return to Bloodstock will get fists pumping and heads banging like no other band can.
PAUL RAYMOND GREGORY
PAUL DESIGNED SAXONâ€™S LATEST ALBUM ARTWORK
â€˜INTO THE LABYRINTHâ€™
Also, did you know that our very own Bloodstock Founder Paul Raymond Gregory was introduced to the world of Heavy Metal when he had the good fortune to make the acquaintance of the Band 'Saxon' and their indomitable singer Biff Byford. He was commissioned to do the artwork for the album and the stage designs, the album was 'Crusader', now a classic in the annals of rock. Paul has painted 11 albums to date for the band and developed a great friendship with Biff and the boys.
Paul says â€œIt was in the last century that I produced my first album cover, not only for Saxon but many other bands. â€˜Saxonâ€™ have been steadfast friends over the years and my artistic collaboration with the indomitable Biff Byford has always been to the point, a quality I like and sadly lacking nowadays.
I have a lot of respect for â€˜Saxonâ€™ the band and love their music. So when I was asked to do the artwork for their latest creation I was as always delighted to oblige.â€
Click Here to View the SAXON Bloodstock Band Profile page .
SAXON â€“ Heavy Metal Thunder - BLOODSTOCK OPEN AIR 2009
Donâ€™t forget to purchase your 2009 Early bird Ticket before 15th December for just Â£85 after which time prices will increase. To buy your ticket now go to the secure Bloodstock on line store at www.bloodstock.uk.com