Denim And Leather

Good morning and welcome back to this blog on what looks to be a sunny St. George’s day morning. 

Yes, you read that right. April 23rd is St. George’s day here in England, not that you’d have any idea it was if you sit in front of the TV, read some newspapers, listen to the radio and so far I’ve seen no mention of the day in any of the Facebook, Instagram or Twitter posts that I’ve seen in the last couple of hours.  

I’m not sure how the Welsh and Scots celebrate St David or St Andrew respectively, but the whole world seems to know when every one seems to find that little percentage of Irish DNA in them to help to celebrate St Patrick. 

George, the man, has links with Cappadocia in what is now central Turkey and Lydda in what was Palestine. His parents were both from Greek noble families and they both died when he was a teenager. 
He joined the Roman army and his veneration was instilled when in the year 303 Christian soldiers were to be rounded up and sacrificed to the Roman gods. George, as a much renowned soldier, objected to this and claimed to be a Christian. On April 23rd 303 George was executed by decapitation by the city walls of Nicomedia, what is now İzmit in Turkey.   

The slaying of Ascalon the dragon is a purely medieval romance story. The dragon seems to be more of an analogy for marauding armies of the time and George being the saviour. 

There seems to be a complete lack of recognition to the date as the whole concept of flying the cross of St George has been tarnished by the notoriety of football hooligans abroad following the national team since the 70’s and a rallying symbol for racist organisations at a similar time. Even now, and with the impending break from the European Union, the English flag seems even more derided as a racist symbol. 

To celebrate the day musically here’s something from Saxon, what many people view as the quintessential English heavy metal band. Denim and Leather is the closing track on the album of the same name and was released in 1981. The title is a reference to the unofficial uniform of the heavy metal army at the time. Spin on three decades I wonder what the modern equivalent would be? Hoodies and combats? Doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. 


Ride Like The Wind

Here’s the first of a couple of posts today on Hard Rock Hell’s “must see bands” over the weekend.

Here for your aural entertainment is Barnsleys finest sons Saxon. Formed in 1976 during the early years of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal scene, Saxon have enjoyed moderate success in the intervening years.

Ride Like The Wind won’t be the first song you’ll associate with the band, for those of you who are aware of the band, but for me this song is my earliest memory of them.

Their video was receiving a lot of air play on Headbangers Ball and the Power Hour – oh those days of setting VHS video recorders to record music shows at stupid o’clock in the morning! And it is a very catchy tune.

It’s actually a cover of a song released in 1980 by Christopher Cross. However, in the UK the most successful version in relation to the charts was in 1991 by Italian dance act East Side Beat which reached number 3 in the charts (compared to 69 for the original)

I first saw them on a bank holiday Monday in 2001 at the first Bloodstock Festival, held indoors at the Assembly Rooms in Derby. Since then I have seen them nearly a dozen times, but most of those appearances have been at festivals. I find it quite bizarre as I don’t own any physical release by the band!

The Live Arena 3

Next week is a four day week at work then I “should” be off for 10 whole days, but things never seem to work out that way with the people I work for! Also, I hope I’m clear of this niggly cold and sore throat.

Thursday – Manchester Apollo.

Megadeth roll into town on their Dystopia tour. Quite a package has been put together for the UK leg. Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler will be pulling double duty and Children of Bodom from Finland and the UK’s own Sylosis will all be treading the boards.

Friday & Saturday – Haven Holiday Camp, Pwllheli.

Two long days of metal and free flowing alcohol is looming. Forty odd bands over three days, but I’m only there for two. From 80’s New Wave of British Heavy Metal to Los Angeles sleaze via German power metal and some of the UK’s best up and coming rock bands, there is quite a choice for your viewing pleasure.