Saxon were joined on stage by former Motörhead guitarist 'Fast' Eddie Clark, at their show at Dublin's Academy on Tuesday night (2nd November). Clarke, whose band Fastway were opening for the legendary NWOBHM act, made his appearance during Saxon's encore, for a celebratory run through Motörhead’s classic 'Ace Of Spades'.
Saxon, who were in the capital as part of their 'Battering Ram' tour, headed up a package that featured both Fastway, and former touring partners Girlschool. The latter however, were ultimately unable to perform in Dublin due to time restrictions at the venue.
Although the absence of the Girlschool was a disappointment for some, Saxon’s powerful performance more than made up for it, with both band and audience in defiantly fierce form from the off. Opening with a pulverising ‘Battering Ram', singer Biff Byford remarked; “it’s going to be a good night tonight”, jokingly adding that if felt like; “Friday night” in the Dublin club.
Mixing up tracks from their latest release, along with classic tracks and songs from; “one of our many comeback albums - or was it our 'go away' album?”, the band’s set featured something for everyone.
Acknowledging the uproarious Dublin, crowd, Byford quipped; “this is a really good audience tonight”, before teasingly asking; “are you trying to beat Belfast?”, in reference to the band’s Sunday night show in the Northern city.
Although there were many show stopping moments; including a mesmerising ‘The Eagle Has Landed' which featured the soloing talents of founding guitarist Paul Quinn, the real highlight was saved for the encore, and the guest appearance by 'Fast' Eddie Clark.
Having revealed exclusively to eonmusic in a pre-show interview (to be published at a later date) that he had been too unwell to perform the guest slot with Saxon in Belfast, Clarke's surprise addition to the band was greeted ecstatically.
Introducing the guitarist to the stage, Byford said; “we’re going to bring out our old friend Eddie and dedicated this to Lemmy”. Going on to perform a rip-roaring version of ‘Ace Of Spades', which featured solo spots from all three guitarists – Clarke, Quinn, and Doug Scarratt – the six piece brought the house down in a fitting tribute to the fallen Motörhead bandleader. With Clarke taking his final bows, Byford concluded; “Mr Eddie Clarke; it's good to see him back on stage again.”
The Dublin show marked the forth date of the ‘Battering Ram' U.K an Ireland tour. The current run comes after the initial March 2016 dates in support of the release were cancelled following the death of Motörhead front man Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister, whose band had been due to top the bill.
Saxon’s U.K. tour continues on Thursday night (3rd November) in Bristol, with shows in London, Wolverhampton, Sheffield, and Nottingham to follow.
Saxon with Fastway and Girlschool 2016 U.K. Dates:
3 Nov - Bristol, O2 Academy
5 Nov - London, O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire
6 Nov - Wolverhampton, Wulfrun Hall
8 Nov - Sheffield, O2 Academy
9 Nov - Nottingham, Rock City