Heavy rock history rolls into city

British heavy metal heroes Saxon play Preston 53 Degrees on February 15.

Saturday, 18th January 2014, 10:00 am

Formed in South Yorkshire in 1976, Saxon – then called ‘Son of a Bitch’ – would go on to become one of the UKs foremost rock acts.

Founding members Graham Oliver, Steve Dawson, Biff Byford and Paul Quinn perhaps 
wisely opetd for a name change and then quickly graduated from playing the usual rock clubs to gigs supporting The Ian Gillan Band and Heavy Metal Kids, among others, playing all their own material from square one. Demo tapes were recorded at Tapestry Studios, with producer John Verity (Ex. Argent), and the band swiftly caught the eye – and ear – of EMI’s Peter Hinton.

Hinton travelled North to Barnsley to see the band at the town’s Civic Hall, and was impressed enough to recommended them to the new French label Carrere Records.

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Founder Claude Carrere heard the band’s demo tapes and immediately offered them a deal.

The rest, as they say, is heavy rock history.

With eight UK Top 40 albums, and a string of hit singles like ‘Motorcycle Man’ and ‘747 (Strangers In The Night)’, Saxon grew into one of the world’s biggest metal acts.

Now regarded as forefathers of the genre, Saxon were an acknowledged influence on bands like Metallica and Megadeth.

They might be old pros now, but the live show, above, remains thrilling.

Tickets £24.75 (£22.50 plus fee).

For more details or to buy tickets go to www.53degrees.net or call Seetickets on 0871 220 0260.