On February 21st 2020, legendary Saxon frontman Biff Byford will step into the spotlight with his first ever solo album, School Of Hard Knocks. The album will be supported by a 10-date UK Tour in April which features 2 halves – Biff in conversation with American comedian Don Jamieson about his life and career, followed by live performance featuring a selection of new material, covers and a sprinkling of Saxon.
With his roots firmly in The North of England, Biff has earned the right to be considered The Heavy Metal Bard Of The North and his debut album reflects the man and his personality, his loves and his musical versatility.
School Of Hard Knocks fulfils Biff Byford’s long-standing wish to explore rock ‘n’ roll a little more. The album is a personal journey highlighting his life and his passionate interests, from the history of the Middle Ages to growing up in the industrial North. A classic, masterfully constructed old-school British hard rock album, School Of Hard Knocks embraces a variety of musical genres and includes the Yorkshire folk classic Scarborough Fair, famously covered by Simon and Garfunkel. Byford and Fredrik Åkesson’s arrangement breathes new life into the legendary song.
School Of Hard Knocks features Biff Byford on vocals (and a spot of four string thunder) along with Fredrik Åkesson (Opeth) on guitars, drummer Christian Lundqvist and bass player Gus Macricostas. The album also features guest appearances by Phil Campbell (Motörhead/Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons), Alex Holzwarth (Rhapsody of Fire and Turilli / Lione Rhapsody), Nick Barker (Voices), Dave Kemp (Wayward Sons) and Nibbs Carter (Saxon). The album was produced by Biff Byford, recorded by Jacky Lehmann at Brighton Electric Studios in Brighton (UK) and mixed at Queen Street Studios in Stockholm (Sweden) by Mats Valentin.
Byford recently announced his first ever solo tour dates. The tour begins in the UK in April and continues to Europe in May.
The show, in the form of ‘An evening with…’, will be split into two halves. The first features Biff in conversation with Don Jamieson (American comedian and star of VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show) on all aspects of his life and career. After the break Biff and his band will play some new songs, covers and, maybe, a Saxon song or two.
Biff says: “It’s a show I’ve wanted to do for a long time and one which I don’t think has been done in hard rock before. It’ll be something different and a lot of fun.”
School of Hard Knocks UK Tour Dates
Fri 17th April Gateshead Sage 2
Sat 18th April Birmingham Town Hall
Mon 20th April Glasgow St. Lukes
Tues 21st April Leeds City Varieties
Wed 22nd April Bath Komedia
Fri 24th April Liverpool Arts Club
Sat 25th April Aberdare Coliseum Theatre
Mon 27th April Milton Keynes Stables
Tue 28th April London Islington Assembly Hall
Wed 29th April Brighton Old Market