Featuring:Saxon founder members:
Graham Oliver and Steve Dawson
Offers now being taken for Venues, Festivals, Theatres, Arts Centres, and Overseas.
OLIVER/DAWSON SAXON in its current form started from a 1995 reunion of SON OF A BITCH with Graham Oliver, Steve Dawson, Pete Gill and new recruits Haydn Conway and Ted Bullet. SON OF A BITCH itself first started life as SOB (a name inspired by the FREE album Tons Of Sobs) back in the mid-1970’s in the South Yorkshire area of England with original members Graham Oliver and Steve Dawson. Playing the Working Men’s Clubs and pubs during a time of economic slump and hardship made it very difficult to make any headway in the music business. Finding the money to record a demo tape involved all sorts of ingenious money-making scams, and travelling around the local area to gigs was done on a strict budget. SOB’s original singer left the band, and while actively auditioning for a replacement Steve heard a demo tape made by another local band called COAST. This band were also going through a musician shortage, and only the bass player and guitarist remained active. The bassist sang on a few of the demo tracks and was invited to audition. Biff Byford was offered the job but he insisted that his guitarist Paul Quinn joined as well. “I though he was a good singer, but he wanted to play bass as well, and that’s what we had for the first gig, two guitarists and two bass players. It was ridiculous!” remarked Graham.
Finally the line-up was completed by Pete Gill who had just finished touring Europe with the Glitter Band, and SOB started pushing hard for recognition.
This period in musical history was governed by Punk, Heavy Metal was just beginning to break through and their gigs were often performed to Punk audiences. SOB played alongside HEAVY METAL KIDS and supported THE CLASH and other big Punk bands. “HEAVY METAL KIDS were great. They were our biggest influence then, you can hear it come through on songs like ‘Big Teaser’.” said Graham Oliver. This Punk influence took one step further when at a gig in London it was suggested that they stretch the name of SOB to SON OF A BITCH for it’s hard-hitting image. With names like THE SEX PISTOLS doing their best to shock, SON OF A BITCH seemed quite acceptable, however this was not the case.
Carrere Records signed SON OF A BITCH at the beginning of 1979 on the proviso that they changed the name. Carrere expressed concern that the name might not be acceptable to the American audience, and SAXON was born. The career of SAXON is well documented, (See The Unofficial Saxon Web Site) and their success worldwide is legendary. Billed as the ‘Forerunners of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal’ SAXON was considered to be one of the best British Rock Acts of all time.
Pete Gill left in 1982 due to recurring illness, Steve Dawson left SAXON after the recording and tour of ‘Innocence Is No Excuse’ to pursue other avenues, and Graham Oliver did the same in 1995. The re-grouping of SON OF A BITCH had been on the cards for a while, Steve and Pete where keen to get back in the studio, and with top guitarist Graham now free from other commitments, serious rehearsing and song writing started in earnest. A second guitarist, Haydn Conway, who had previously recorded with SARACEN and had also worked on some projects with Steve Dawson, was invited to join and the hunt for a Frontman began.
Ted Bullet, Frontman of THUNDERHEAD was very interested in the new project and gave Graham a call. Although from America, Ted found huge success with his band in Japan and Europe and had the perfect vocal agility for the job. Recording started in July 1995 at Revolution Studios in Manchester, UK and ‘VICTIM YOU’ was released by Hengest Records at the beginning of 1996. SON OF A BITCH’s first album was released 18 years after the band was first formed.
The debut SON OF A BITCH gig was headlining at the Isle of Man TT Motorcycle Races and was featured on Sky TV, and the second was a Hell’s Angel Biker Festival in Zurich. They supported THUNDER in Spain, KINGDOM COME in Belgium, which was broadcast all over Germany and parts of Europe and toured extensively in Holland and Brazil and did two UK tours.
In 1998 Pete Gill resigned the drummer’s chair again due to illness in favour of Nigel Durham who served with SAXON during the ‘Destiny’ album and tour. Ted went back to America to try his hand at other projects. The hunt for a new frontman yielded John ‘Wardi’ Ward who had previously worked with Shy and Slash of Guns And Roses. This lineup change, among other things, prompted the name change to OLIVER/DAWSON SAXON. After recording a number of European Gigs during 1999 and 2000 the live album Re://Landed was released late in 2000.
While continuing to perform live shows throughout Europe and the UK the band wrote new songs which, in 2003, appeared on the collaboration album ‘Second Wave’ with Girlschool and Tygers Of Pan Tang. More Live Albums followed in 2003 ( Its Alive) , 2008 ( Re landed plus and Rock has landed) and in 2009 the Live Album.
In 2010 paul oliver replaced Nigel Durham on the drums and in 2011 the present Line up of Bri Shaughnessy – vocals, Graham Oliver – guitar,Haydn Conway – guitar, Steve Dawson – bass and Paul Oliver – drums came together.
In 2012 the Studio Album Motorbiker was released. The LiveLive Album ” Blood and Thunder” was released in August 2014.