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Koko, London, 10 November 2009
proved to be the most patriotic English metal band in recent years having
performed on St Georges Day the last few years here in the capital city
and have kept that flavour going by being here today on what is
Rememberance Sunday complete with a giant poppy resting in front of the
First on of
this three band bill were German rockers SuidAkrA (Nope I don't
know how you pronounce that name either) who have been going for some
fiftteen years and have released 10 CD's in that time including new
release 'Crogacht' (Nope I don't know how you pronounce that name either.)
fact that little has been heard of SuidAkrA here in the UK, the melodic
death metallers went down well, especially with those who are fans of the
battle/folk metal movement.
me through the doors of the Koko at an early time was the return of
Anvil. I was a big fan of this band when I was a puny teenage
rocker back in the eighties. I was overjoyed when they finally came
back to the UK a couple of years back, amazingly performing to a few fans
supporting a Pantera tribute band at the Underworld. Their career
now coming full circle with the help of the film 'The Story Of Anvil'.
long lost heroes by the Koko throng Lips and Co stormed their way through
a brief forty minute set. ' School Love' is a headbangers delight, the
monstrous 'Mothra' made a welcome return to the set. My only gripe
was that the PA was on the quiet side, like Motorhead Anvil need their
amps turned up to 11 to enjoy the full experience.
dildo also made an infamous return, although Lips' new golden one came
with no batteries included. Robb Reiner proved he is one of the most
underrated drummers in the world with a quick solo at the end of 'White
Rhino'. Every great band has their anthem and 'Metal On Metal' got
everyone on the upper three tiers arms in the air, a great sight to
With a new
album imminent, the story of Anvil has a few more chapters to go yet.
Set list: March Of The Crabs/ 666 / School Love/ Winged Assasins / This Is
Thirteen/ Mothra/ White Rhino/ Metal On Metal
One of Britain's best, enduring and endearing trad metal bands, Saxon
have never put on a bad show, and this was no exception.
Given the sad loss of the Astoria, Camden's Koko had to make do and was
pretty full with several generations of Saxon fans. And when you're
celebrating your 30th anniversary, Saxon got the list pretty much spot on
that they have a stronger catalogue than most, and are both willing and
able to mix things up. When you compare the 90s output to the likes of
Iron Maiden and Motorhead, you'd have to go with Saxon, who don't need to
rely on early classics.
The set opened with the excellent 'Battalions Of Steel' from the recent
'Into The Labyrinth', and things were immediately off to a great start.
loved the recent tracks as much as the older classics, and the band played
to that. From 'Heavy Metal Thunder' to 'Dogs Of War', the band were
energetic and solid, fans' hands held aloft throughout. Saxon's brand of
New Wave Of British Heavy Metal is as solid and relevant as ever.
Singer Biff Byford sounded good and, as always, enjoyed chatting with the
crowd. And as is now customary, it wasn't long into the set before a
George Cross flag is presented on stage and draped over the drum kit.
The twin guitars of Doug Scarratt and Paul Quinn were great as ever, and
bassist Nibs Carter always looks so enthusiastic.
Yes there were a few surprises in the set, but every era was covered and
everyone seemed more than happy; 'Broken Heroes' was dedicated the guys on
the front line (this was Remembrance Sunday) and 'Princess Of The Night'
was the perfect finish to a good evening.
Battalions Of Steel/ Heavy Metal Thunder/ Dogs Of War/
Hell Cats/ Dallas 1pm/ Travellers In Time/ Broken Heroes/
Motorcycle Man/ Power & The Glory/ Solid Ball Of Rock/ Back On The
Streets/ Iron Wheels/ Lion Heart/ And The Bands Played On/ Ride Like The
Wind/ Wheels Of Steel
Live To Rock/ Denim And Leather
747 (Strangers In The Night) / Crusader/ Princess Of The Night
Reviews by Joe
Geesin and Mark Taylor
Biff Byford interview
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