Among the doyens of NWOBHM, Saxon were celebrating their 35th anniversary with an extensive UK and European tour highlighting their classic first three albums when Team Rock caught up with them.
Saxon: we use to get up to headline and half the audience had gone...
As Saxon celebrated 35 years as a band, we talked to Biff about their incredible career
On these dates they're showcasing songs from three albums which are regarded as arguably their most significant, namely Wheels Of Steel, Strong Arm Of The Law and Denim And Leather. A portentous time for the band once known as the Barnsley Big Teasers (copyright Geoff Barton). And frontman/band leader Biff is in fine form as he's just digested a curry in Denmark (“Well, it wasn't that good, but we did have some hot sauces with it!").
So, it's the 35th anniversary of your debut, yet you're not concentrating on songs from it for the tour?
“Well. We're doing at least one song from it every night. And slowly working through the album that way. So, by the end of the tour we'll probably have done most of the tracks on it. It's not been forgotten.”
Did you think of doing the whole album live as a celebration?
“No, not really. You have to remember that, while it came out as a Saxon album, it wasn't really a full band effort. Guitarist Paul Quinn and I wrote some songs together for Son Of A Bitch which ended up on the album, and [guitarist] Graham Oliver and [bassist] Steve Dawson also had some old stuff they'd co-written which we included. So, a lot of that album stretched quite a way back, and it was us cleaning house. There were a couple of new songs we came up with, faster ones like Stallions Of The Highway, but it was only with the Wheels Of Steel album that we came into our own as a band.”
To read more about the classic Saxon era then clock on the link below.