A throng of Crusaders led by Saint George himself joined the crowd for Saxon’s headline performance at Ramblin’ Man Fair festival. Taking place in Maidstone, Kent from 28th- 30th July 2017, the NWOBHM heroes set came at the end of the first day of the event.
Featuring a three day billing for the first time in its three-year history, Saxon joined Saturday night bill toppers Extreme – who were performing their first ever festival headlining set in a 30 year career – and Texan boogie merchants ZZ Top, who closed the happening on Sunday night.
Taking to the stage to play a special set that featured all of the tracks from their landmark 1982 live album ‘The Eagle Has Landed’, Biff Byford and the boys were in fiery form as they blasted through a vintage set which featured classic tracks form all corners of their career.
Opening with ‘Battering Ram’ - the title track from their latest release - it was three songs in when Byford announced that their set would focus on the celebrated UK Top 5 release. “We’re going to do something that we’ve never done; we’re going to play ‘The Eagle Has Landed”, said the Barnsley-born singer.
Kicked off 'The Eagle Has Landed' with a racy ‘Motorcycle Man’, the British Metal Heroes went through the album in sequence, playing a host of metal anthems that defined a generation. With the collar-feeling ‘Strong Arm Of The Law’ vying for space along with the likes of ‘Princess Of The Night’, even the singer himself was taken aback by the running order stating; “This is a fantastic set list”.
Going on to dedicate anthem ‘Heavy Metal Thunder’ to fallen former touring partner Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead, Biff said simply; “This song always reminds me of Lemmy”.
Closing with a rousing ‘Denim And Leather’, Byford thanked the crowd telling them; “Thanks for hanging out with us on this stormy, rainy day”.
Earlier, concert goers had been treated to storming sets by former Rainbow front man Graham Bonnet – whose ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ proved an early festival favourite - US hard rockers Y&T, and Dio offshoot Last In Line, who thrilled the crowd with a set of classics culled mainly from the ‘Holy Diver’ album.
Early bird tickets for the next years’ Ramblin’ Man Fair have gone on sale already, here. Taking place earlier than usual, the event is set for 30th June – 1st July 2018.
Like this story? Like us on FaceBook and follow us on Twitter for regular updates & more of the same.
Stay tuned for eonmusic’s exclusive coverage from Ramblin’Man Fair, incusing interviews with Vivian Campbell and Vinnie Appice from Last In Line, Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris, Magnum and more.