Metal as anything

British Heavy Metal heroes Saxon are heading to 53 Degrees – See Thursday’s LEP for a full interview

Saturday, 8th February 2014, 6:00 pm

Heavy metal heroes Saxon headbang their way into Preston next week.

The veteran rockers – with four UK Top 10 albums and numerous hit in the 80s alone – long ago established themselves as one of Europe’s biggest and most enduring metal acts.

The barnstorming Barnsley band also enjoyed chart success in Japan and the USA.

In Japan their single ‘Motorcycle Man’ stayed in the charts for more than five months. Saxon have sold more than 13m albums worldwide and can proudly say they were major influences on bands from Metallica to Megadeth.

Saxon were among the pioneers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, along with Iron Maiden and Def Leppard.

The band; vocalist Biff Byford, guitarists Graham Oliver and Paul Quinn, bassist Steve Dawson, and drummer Pete Gill, formed in 1977.

Originally calling themselves Son of a Bitch, they soon settled on a more subtle name. Like many young metal bands of the day they found it difficult to land a record deal in post-punk England, but eventually signed with French-based Carrere Records.

Though Saxon’s 1979 self-titled debut album was not recorded to their satisfaction, the band built a huge live following touring Britain with Motörhead and Nazareth.

The band capitalised on this exposure and their second album – Wheels of Steel – the following year was a hit, and immediately heralded as a classic by fans and critics alike.

British Heavy Metal Legends Saxon willperform at Preston 53 Degrees on Saturday February 15 (doors 7.30pm, tickets £22.50)