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What's on: Nazareth, Clitheroe, March 15
3:30pm Friday 2nd March 2012 in Ribble Valley entertainment previews
VETERAN Scottish rockers Nazareth are on a crest of a wave at the moment: building on the success of their first album for more than 10 years – The Newz in 2008.
They followed it up with Big Dogz just last year, and are this month on an 11-date tour of the UK stopping at The Grand, Clitheroe, on Thursday, March 15.
“We hadn’t recorded an album in over a decade,” founder-member and lead singer Dan McCafferty said.
“After Boogaloo in 1999, we never recorded, we were writing good stuff but nothing was being done with it.
“If a band doesn’t evolve, it just stagnates. In the end, we thought ‘knickers to this’, recorded The Newz and it went down very well – even with the critics!
“And Big Dogz was even better. It really has something to say.”
And what it says is that after 40-odd years, Nazareth is still a force to be reckoned with.
The band formed out of the ashes of Dunfermline act The Shadettes in 1969.
Singer McCafferty, bassist Pete Agnew, guitarist Manny Charlton and tub-thumper Darrell Sweet called themselves Nazareth and released their first album and single.
However, it was the third album, Razamanaz, in 1973 that put the band on the map, followed by top-selling albums Loud ‘n’ Proud, Rampant and Hair of the Dog, as well as hit singles such as Broken Down Angel, Love Hurts, My White Bicycle and This Flight Tonight.
The original quartet stayed together until the departure of Manny Charlton in 1990, although they had been augmented at times by other musicians.
Jimmy Murrison joined on guitar in 1994 and Pete’s son Lee became the drummer in 1999 after the sudden death of Darrell Sweet.
The band have remained popular despite changing trends and are still massively popular in the continent, which Dan attributes to the honesty of their music: “People can relate to it,” he said.
“We aren’t pretentious, we’re what it says on the tin – warts and all.”
“We’ve also never bothered about what the critics say – if it’s a recording we think ‘do we like it?’ if so, we record it.”
“And with live gigs, as long as people go away happy, that’s the thing.”
While some fans try to compare the original line-up with the current members, Dan thinks the new line-up is better.
“I really do think we’re better, again ‘cos we’re not under pressure anymore,” he said.
“Jimmy and Lee enjoy playing the songs and have given us new energy, but there is a special chemistry between us all.”
This current UK tour, will see them travelling up and down the country performing their prodigious catalogue of songs.
“The hardest thing about playing live is picking a set list,” Dan said, “but it’s not a bad problem to have.
“Basically, we’ll be playing all the Naz favourites and about three songs off Big Dogz, which hadn’t been released the last time we toured the UK.”
“Then we’re off to Sweden, Germany, all over Europe and off to Canada and America before coming back to Russia and Eastern Europe – then it’s Christmas.”
The veteran rocker, now in his 60s, is still excited about his music.
“In fact, I’m excited about the music that people haven’t yet heard and I look forward to giving it to them,” she said.
“We’ll hopefully be doing a new album. But it won’t be until next year that we can get to record it.”
*Nazareth, The Grand, Clitheroe, Thursday, March 15. Details from the box office on 01200 421599.