On Set with Saxon Part 2: The Making of ‘Call to Arms’

Saxon - Courtesy of http://www.saxon747.com

Day 3

As I opened my eyes I spotted the alarm clock on the other side of the room, 7:51 it read on the illuminated crimson display. I had overslept! Leaping out of bed I threw on my clothes for the day which I had luckily laid out the night before. Staggering through the corridor with my biker jacket on I looked through the drawing room’s large window into the restaurant, a few of the crew were sat down the for breakfast, so I swiftly joined them.

Sitting down with a very welcomed round of toast I looked outward onto the peninsula where last night’s filming had taken place. I would shortly be travelling there once more to dispose of the, by now, extinguished fire in preparation for the morning’s shoot. The sun cast it’s golden glow on the picturesque landscape, the metal gods were obviously shining down on us.

As the band sat down for breakfast I made my way down to the peninsula; last night’s flame fuelled storm had now passed into calm, Saxon’s thunderous riffs were now replaced by the gentle sound of the waves crashing below. With the barrels now sitting in the boot on the car we returned at lightning speed to the hotel, accompanied by Black Sabbath’s ‘Turn Up The Night’, which fittingly echoed the escapades of last night.

After fleetingly vacating my room I reloaded the car for the return journey, full to the brim with Nigel’s gleaming white Premier kit, Nibb’s tobacco sunburst Gibson Thunderbird and the obligatory Marshall 4×12 cab. It was time for Heavy Metal Thunder Round 2; the scene set against a backdrop of the ruined quarry buildings.


Biff with Dobro – Photograph by Jarrad Owens

Call To Arms kicked off with ‘Uncle’ Biff sitting on a ruined wall, singing the song’s verses with his Dobro in his arms. Full band shots followed with the ruined backdrop framing the scene beautifully. The band were on top form, even if the makeshift PA wasn’t providing them with enough juice.


Saxonette featuring Jarrad Nöir – Courtesy of Charlotte Cox

As the band put their instruments down we were invited to perform in our own version of ‘Hammer of the Gods’. I duly accepted the invitation and took my natural place as the band’s bass player. The next four and a half minutes were a whirlwind of pure energy, making every effort to emulate Nibbs’s tazmanian devil-like performance. With chuckles from Saxon it was obvious that we were more than a little entertaining, Biff enjoyed it so much that he informed us the video would make it’s way onto the Saxon site in due course.


Nigel on the battlements – Photograph by Zara Jones

The day’s second location was the hotel’s battlements, yet another cliff top location this time overlooking a sheer drop into the North Sea. The steps leading to the battlements had eroded over the years and we ensured that our footing was extra careful to ensure the band’s equipment didn’t plummet to certain doom.

Not being a fan of heights at the best of times I chose to take a backseat when it came to being involved with this final scene, setting up the drum kit and vacating the battlement at the earliest possible opportunity to watch from a comfortable distance. Despite the heady location the band performed with bags of energy; as they looked out into sea it was difficult not to picture a longboat of Vikings thinking twice about invading as they came face to face with these axe slinging heavy metal warriors.


Saxon with the Crew – Photograph by Craig Hooper

Filming completed it was time to wrap up and pack our gear for the long journey home, but not before grabbing a photo or two with Uncle Biff and co. Exchanging our goodbyes the band made a point of signing the back of my high visibility vest that was worn for the fire scene; complete with Saxon in huge capital lettters courtesy of Biff. Before their departure we were kindly invited to the Bristol date of the band’s UK tour, giving us the chance to witness ‘Hammer of the Gods’ in all its live glory!

Jarrad ‘Nöir’ Owens

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