Angel Air 2014
Two decades on since their reunion, original Brit metallers still have a bang.
Guitarist Graham Oliver and bassist Steve Dawson have a lot to answer for when it comes to the sonics of NWOBHM, and they still have that answer on-stage. Back together in 1994, the two and their coterie spend a lot of time on the road playing SAXON perennials, but adding a twist to the canon like an axe solo of “Fetzen Fliegen V” as an intro to “Princess Of The Night,” and introducing their new creations to it. There’s audacity, then, in shedding regular salvo of “The Power And The Glory,” which used to open the group’s previous concert recordings, and leaving the punch of “Strong Arm Of The Law” for the end of the show.
This deliberately raw set, laid down in 2013, starts with the brilliant bullet of “Past The Point” from the group’s first studio release, as SON OF A BITCH, yet sadly includes only one piece, the grindingly infectious “Whippin’ Boy,” from its successor, "Motorbiker". Vocalist Brian Shaughnessy holds his own there, like he does on the epic “Crusader.” The singer appreciates the irony of “Denim And Leather” whose first line asks, “Where were you in ’79?” as he was born later, while “And The Band Played On” shows the ensemble can still rope in power, if not glory. Ain’t that what metal was about in the first place?