SAXON AND DORO STORM THROUGH GERMANY
The Berlin Biker Festival is a yearly outdoor motorcycle jamboree held by the motorcycle club ‘Born To Be Wild’/Germany in a smallvillage called Altes Lager, which was — 25 years ago — an aircraft area of the East-German Air Force. It is a one hour ride south ofBerlin, the capital city of Germany.
Thousand of bikers, mostly from Germany, rode in for this 3-day jamboree. Celebrating the festival’s 20th anniversary, a massive camp was build in a land far, far away from… civilisation. A quiet place with small hills, nice trees and birds flying — Altes Lager is a perfect place to get peace of mind, have a little break, a small drink and get some relaxation. That is until German based metal band Doro hit the stage shortly after 7 pm — during daylight. But the one and only metal queen, Doro Pesch, is a professional and she assumed her position, headbanged to the exploding and propelling “Earthshaker Rock” riff and finally the silence of the camping was… gone.
From the very first minute this female lead singer turned and tossed around just like exercising at the gym, and never stoppedto draw a breath — neither did the musicians in her band, featuring both US citizens Johnny Dee on hard hitting drums (of Waysted and Britny Fox fame) and wild Nick Douglas on bass (also a solo recording artist). Luca Princiotta from Italy (also a member of Clairvoyants) and Bas Maas from The Netherlands (After Forever), both on wild screaming guitars, rounded out the band.
Actually, Doro didn’t do any solos, fireworks, or other pompous ballast — she just did splendid and powerful songs from her longlasting career. Doro started her career as the singer in Warlock back in 1984 and changed the band’s name a couple years laterto Doro and recorded such strong albums as ‘True As Steel’, ‘Triumph And Agony’, ‘Force Majeure’, the Gene Simmons produced ‘Doro’, ‘Angels Never Die’, ‘Fight’, ‘Calling The Wild’, ‘Warrior Soul’ and the latest opus ‘Fear No Evil’, and did the band’s 2,500th show last March at a castle. With all the years, and changes in the music business, Doro has preserved their style which I would label as classic melodic metaltransferred from the late 1980’s into 2010 — with unique female vocals.
Even if the band seemed to have problems hearing the sound through the stage monitor system, it was classics tunes such as”Are We All”, “Burning The Witches”, “I Rule The Ruins”, “Fight” and the Judas Priest cover “Breaking The Law” (which started as a slow song) that got the crowd worked-up for the energetic highlight that is the power ballad “Fur Immer” (which is German for Forever). It was then that the fans and Doro seem to form together in a near symbiotic state. Lucky faces could be found on and off stage when the band finished the set with “Bad Blood” and left us all with a little smile on our lips.
Then the darkness came up, the lights dimmed, smoke filled the stage and it was time for Saxon. “I don’t know where the fuck we are”, screamed charismatic singer Biff Byford into the microphone, “the only thing I know is that this fucking field is nowhere near Berlin!” The English hard rockers entered the stage to the opener “Motorcycle Man” (what else, as an opening song for a biker’s festival?) and from that moment onthese long haired, elderly but young acting men, including Doug Scarrat and Paul Quinn on guitars, Nibbs Carter on bass, Nigel Glockler on drums and singer Biff Byford, gave you no chance to stop banging your head — or wig — or let you take a seat to get some rest. Because what then followed was a very, very loud and powerful statement from one of the pioneers of theNew Wave of British Heavy Metal scene, where traditional hard/heavy rock was about youth, power and sweat… and so is Saxon.
We are talking about musicians that are beyond the age of fifty, and it was a joy to hear and see how they rocked thefestival with vitality, and not because of the attitude of being (for example) pretty or any other nonsense. Theydidn’t disappoint their fans while playing electrifying classic songs like “Strong Arm Of The Law”, “Denim And Leather”, “Power And The Glory”, “Crusader”, “Princess Of The Night”, “747 (Strangers In The Night)”, “The Eagle Has Landed” and so on — all killers and no fillers, or in other words a greatest hits fireworks without any allure… just old school metal right in your face.
Overall the approximately 2000 fans kneeled down in respect in front of the band who did a very good job, and this is what you can expectfrom serious musicians who have survived the rock business for about 30 years. No more, no less.
Minutes later the loudness was gone, but there was no more sound from the birds in the trees, they were falling down from their homes. Deaf and blinded, with no place to nestle down, after Saxon and Doro stormed through the camp.