on 20 March 2014
For a few years now, it’s been a Saxon tradition to play a gig in England on St George’s day if at all possible. While the St George’s Day concert has usually taken place in London, 2013 saw the event move North to Manchester, with the boys treating a packed Ritz to a mix of old school Saxon classics, and new tracks from their recently released Sacrifice opus. Thankfully someone had the good sense to record and now release what, I can assure you as someone who was there, was a brilliant evening which went down a storm with old and new fans alike!
The recording production and sound capture superbly – warts and all – the energy and passion of Biff and Co at their best playing to an appreciate crowd, and has been left deliberately raw, rather than sanitised like some live albums can be. Turn it up loud, close your eyes and it’s just like being there. They’ve even retained the inbetween song banter as Biff asks the audience to choose which of 4 traditional Saxon classics they would like to hear next- sadly I didn’t shout loud enough for Motorcycle Man…
Its testament to Saxon’s range of quality of songs and musicianship that they can change setlists from tour to tour and even gig to gig, and yet consistently deliver live on stage. As a result, here we have the chance to savour excellent live versions of no less than 6 new songs- Wheels of Terror and Stand Up and Fight sound particularly good- a few rarer live tracks like Ride Like the Wind, Broken Heroes and Conquistador, plus standard live favourites like 747, Wheels of Steel and Denim & Leather.
Certainly, you cannot complain at a running time of over 2 hours with 21 of Saxon’s finest tracks for your money!!
In terms of the CD itself, it’s nicely packaged and the booklet has some good live tour photos of the band (not actually from the evening itself) with their ‘thank you’ notes. However, there is no specific reference to the gig itself or why they’ve chosen to release it - which would have been a nice touch.
Anyway, this album documents a great live performance by one of the greatest British hard rock/heavy metal and live bands ever!! Buy it, play it loud and see them on tour in October!!
Saxon live,you cant beat it,like the recent 'Live In Glasgow' disc,this has a hint of 'official bootleg',the crowd is well up for it and the band on form.Sound quality superb,song list outstanding(although there will always be tracks missed,'Motorcycle Man' !!!! and personal favourite 'The Thin Red Line'),still being honest,its a flawless set list really,given the back catalog,
Truth be told the excitement and atmosphere never let up and its a pleasure to hear the band on this form,truly one of the best ever British rock band around.Its great to have the recent SACRIFICE album given a prominent airing with 6 tracks from that disc alone.
Just buy it and enjoy a fantastic band in top form.
on 3 April 2014
this could possibly be the best live saxon 2 cd set that has ever officially been released, eagles over wacken a couple of years ago was great but this cd set is pure saxon magic!!!!!!! this is the best live album since eagle has landed part 3 from 2006 or maybe the live in germany show that came out in 2013 from 1990, eagle part one from 1981 will always be a total classic and also that unofficial live cd that came out back in 2000/2001 live in the raw from the 1981 tour was an awesome live show so i would say this may be the best live saxon show on cd next to that one, anyway this was recorded last year as we all know and it clocks in at 2 hours and 8 minutes so the fans in manchester uk got a saxon gig only a yank like me can dream of, i feel there was a great mix of new stuff and of coarse the usual great classics and old school stuff saxon always play, my only complaint is there was nothing on this live cd set from the call to arms album from 2011 wich i felt was saxons best since lionheart back in 2004, regardless if you have been a fan like me since 1981 and have been buying saxon albums and sticking by the band even during the bad times in the late 80s then i would think you would cherish this amazing live show, this is such a treat!!!!!!! biff is the best front man in hm and i have been saying this since the mid 80s, it really shows on this live cd and the band are so tight and play so well together that you just cant ask for more from these guys 35 years into there entering the hm community with there great debut album back in 1979, this show has so much power to it and you can easily tell the guys where very into it this night, i have every saxon live show ever released and WOW!! i am so impressed with this one!!!!!! this blows away other live saxon shows like rock n roll gypsies from 1989 and the live tenth ann show from 1990 wich was very good but if you listen to this THESE GUYS JUST GOT BETTER WITH AGE and sadly most bands dont!!!!!!!!, hail hail saxon i am so happy to add this to my collection......................................... for what it is worth it would be really great if saxon hit the vaults for some more early to mid 80s live shows as well as live shows from the forever free tour in 1992/93 or the unleash the beast tour in 1997/98 saxon played some damn good stuff then to and by 1990 saxon where cured of there american radio mtv virus by putting out solid ball of rock wich was a killer record after destiny in 1988, i also would not mind a live saxon show from that rock the nations tour in 1986/87 either...................
on 21 January 2015
Saxon have hit upon the formula for producing live recordings with excellent sound quality, from the Wacken DVD fest onwards. There is plenty of gloss, punch and energy to rival any studio recording. As good as Unleashed in the East (a pity Priest never sounded as good afterward).
I wish they could get the master tapes or whatever to Eagle Has Landed part 2 and apply the same faery dust to turn water into wine - that featured the best version of Denim & Leather bar none, with Quinn, Scarrat and Malmsteen creaming together.
This set manages to fit in 10 bona fide classics that make an appearance at virtually every show - including Dallas 1pm.
Also there's a welcome return of Broken Heroes - not enough played from Iinnocence. What about Everybody Up next time??
Good to hear 5 tracks from the Sacrifice album, although Wheels of Terror sounds a bit pedestrian and there are better songs the band could have picked a better choice.
Not as energy-fuelled as say Wacken 2009 but with less swearing this is one to play in front of the kids.
on 27 April 2014
I was lucky enough to be at this gig and this CD captures perfectly the close atmosphere, raw energy and driving power of a finely honed and accomplished metal band. Many times have I been to see the boys from Barnsley over the years and like a fine wine they just seem to get better and better....well crafted songs, huge crunching riffs and hook lines that still have you singing all the way home in the car. Biff has the crowd in the palm of his hand all night and the rest of the band play flawlessly. Nobody does it better live than Saxon and add to this some excellent production you have a great live album that is a near on perfect reflection of the gig that night...a must buy for any fan of live music but especially for Saxon fans 11/10
on 21 May 2014
First off, if you haven't brought this Live CD, WHY NOT?, this is SAXON at their best, "certain" bands seem to do a studio LP/CD, do the tour, then release a Live CD, ok, some people may say this the case for SAXON, but if you attended any of their Sacrifice's gigs, then you know SAXON are a hard working band, Messers Quinn and Scarratt are duelling guitar masters, and Nibbs's bass is hitting you straight between the ears, add to that Mr Glockler's excellent drumming (and solo), and then the master himself, Mr Byford, who is in good humour, telling us a story about customs, listen don't just read this review, buy it....because SAXON are back (and about time too)
on 20 March 2014
Well another brilliant live album by the best metal band around followed them for 33 years and thay just get better and better buy this cd and you are in for a treat
on 28 March 2014
A fantastic live recording of a band on top form, Live In Manchester is a great listen and the set list is excellent. The only criticism I have is the booklet which is entirely the band members' thankyou lists - does any fan really want to read that? Anecdotes from the night or from the tour is what I want to read. So 4.9 stars from me! Saxon rock.
You are not going to get some avant gard nonsense with Saxon thankfully. What you get is straight forward old school heavy metal played well by a band that's been doing the business since Noah first floated his boat.
Set list is not hugely surprising - a mix of old classics and the new album. Works well and there's no points in the album where the skip button needs to be pressed. Sound quality is good with a warts and all feel to maintain the live atmosphere.
Biff is still singing well and the band play their socks off as per usual. I've seen Saxon live five times now and they have never failed to impress me. This CD neatly encapsulates the band on stage at their best.
on 26 September 2015
Another live release supporting the "Sacrifice" album from which five tracks are culled.Loses one star as yet again we get "Crusader" "Strong Arm.." etc.