Gig Pigs Wales
Saxon + Fastway + Girlschool
O2 Academy, Glasgow
29 October 2016
We were back in the same place that we had seen three local bands the night before. Due to strict curfews, it was a really early doors (6pm) with the first band - Girlschool - due to appear at 6:20. For reasons unknown to us, the doors were late opening. By the time we had made our way into the upstairs room the band had already appeared on stage. A well regarded and popular all female British band they have toured with many high profile rock acts, including Motorhead and Alice Cooper, managing to sustain their popularity despite the sexism which invades rock. They powered their way through their set including tracks such as Hit and Run, Take it Like a Band and my favourite - Race with the Devil, before finishing on Emergency. The girls performed flawlessly, with their punk and heavy rock influences evident in their guitar solos and heavy drum fills.
Kim McAuliffe - Vocals/Guitar
Enid Williams - Vocals/ Bass
Jackie Chambers - Lead Guitar
Denise Dufort - Drums
Up next was Fastway playing to a now full venue. They are a band worthy of a headline bill, although playing as support to Saxon is a good gig. Led by 'Fast' Eddie Clarke who is a legacy in his own right they had the crowd rocking along in seconds. With his trusty stratocaster and huge Marshall stack behind him they powered their way through a fast, heavy set and gig goers enjoyed every second that Toby Jepson belted out their songs with the prowess of a seasoned, but underrated vocalist.
All too soon, their set was over and the anticipation of the headline act was palpable.
The stage was transformed in readiness for the Mighty Saxon. Even after nearly 40 years together, they are still at the top of their game. Biff is a fantastic front man who has not lost his talent for singing, banter or showmanship.
Starting off with 'Battering Ram', the title track of the latest album and powering their way through a set filled with old and new, they took the enthusiastic crowd on a rollercoaster ride of good old fashioned rock. They have an extensive back catalogue with plenty to choose from, and their set list did not disappoint the packed venue.
As the early curfew drew closer, Fast Eddy Clark joined them on stage for a tribute to Lemmy with Ace of Spades as part of their encore. This was followed by 747. As they tried to leave the stage, the crowd demanded more. Ever the showmen, they completed a second encore with Denim and Leather, and finally, Princess of the night.
One of the best gigs of the year.
Biff Byford - Vocals
Nibbs Carter - Bass
Nigel Glocker - Drums
Paul Quinn - Guitar
Doug Scarratt - Guitar