Nazareth ready to roar at Wild Bill’s

  • Aug. 31, 2010 8:52 p.m.

Classic Scottish band Nazareth plays Wild Bill’s at the North Hill Inn July 7.

Doors open at 8 p.m.

The guys celebrated 40 hectic years in the biz a couple of years ago, and hit the road throughout 2008 hammering out old favourites from their enormous catalogue and hits from their most recent disc The Newz (released in 2008).

Recognized as one of the most influential rock bands from the UK, the unstoppable troupe hit the North American scene hard selling more than one million discs right off the top. They shot to the top of the charts with their cover of Joni Mitchell’s This Flight Tonight in the 1970s and other hits like Love Hurts and Hair of the Dog.

Their breakthrough in Britain sprung from the strength of their original songwriting on the Razamanaz record.

But it was coming up with startlingly fresh covers of tunes by other people that really got them noticed across the pond. They were huge in Canada after This Flight Tonight soared up the singles charts while landing at number 11 in Britain.

Over the years, a multitude of discs have revealed the range of sonic strengths these guys have to able to offer up. Musically, 1974’s Rampant was a move towards metal and it was also the last of three albums produced by Deep Purple’s Roger Glover before Naz’s Manny Charlton took over.

In November 1977 came album number nine – Expect No Mercy – and a definite shift by Nazareth to the Adult Oriented Rock.

Guitarist Zal Cleminson joined in time to record Nazareth’s tenth project – 1979’s No Mean City. For Malice In Wonderland, Nazareth’s eleventh disc released in early 1980, Manny Charlton handed over the producer’s reigns to Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter.

After The Fool Circle (1981) a respected young guitar slinger and songwriter from Glasgow who had played in Cleminson’s band Zal was recruited. His name was Billy Rankin and around the same time John Locke was keen to join up for the next project, a live double album recorded in Vancouver.

In 1989 came the controversial Snakes and Ladders and after loads of touring, the guys were back in the studio in 1994 to record Move Me. Boogaloo – featuring new members Jimmy Murrison and Ronnie Leahy, was released in 1998.

A decade later, it was high time to again rev up the creative juiced. The Newz is packed with all the vintage tones that will keep long time fans happy, but the project continues to break new ground.

Tickets for their City show are available at Wild Bill’s or the front desk of the North Hill Inn.