OLIVER DAWSON SAXON Re-Landed...Plus Angel Air SJPCD277 (2008)
This combination reissues a live CD and live DVD, both recorded a few years back, and sees guitarist Graham Oliver and bassist Steve Dawson play live with their own Saxon, having already recorded an album as Son Of A Bitch.
Name wrangling aside, this band benefit from the excellent work and performance by Oliver and Dawson, and aside the odd new track, nostalgia fans will love the older Saxon tracks, classics and more rarely performed by the current (Biff Byford led) Saxon. So alongside “Power And The Glory”, “Strong Arm Of The Law”, “And The Bands Played On” and “Wheels Of Steel” you also see “Rock’n’Roll Gypsies”, “Rockin’ Again”, “Motorcycle Man” and “Devil Rides Out”. Yes I know there’s a fair representation of Innocence Is No Excuse, but it’s a fantastic and oft overlooked album.
Joined the two are second guitarist Haydn Conway, who does a fine job, drummer Nigel Durham (who is also ex Saxon) and vocalist John Ward.
John Ward is a fine metal vocalist, strong too, but here sounds a little rough, forced. The songs do miss Byford, no question.
Some good music; certainly rifftastic. Sadly the original sleevenotes have gone, on both CD and DVD, and navigation away from that page on the DVD is difficult.
Fun and nostalgic, although my personal thoughts on Saxon are best avoided here.