Nazareth are a Scottish hard rock band who formed in 1968, and they continue to tour and put out new albums to this day. The band released their self-titled debut album in 1971, and after their second album, Exercises, they were tagged to support Deep Purple on their legendary Machine Head tour of '72. Purple's Roger Glover was impressed enough to want to produce the band's third album, Razamanaz, which spawned two top-ten UK hits, and laid the foundation for a very successful '70s run.
It was 1975's Hair Of The Dog album that would give the band their first platinum selling album, and would secure them permanent status on most hard rock radio stations throughout the world. The cowbell-driven title track features one of the coolest guitar riffs this side of "Smoke On The Water," and their anthemic cover of The Everly Brothers' "Love Hurts" is easily one of the best rock power ballads of the '70s.
On May 13th, 1985, the original Nazareth line-up of Dan McCafferty (vocals), Manny Charlton (guitar), Pete Agnew (bass), and Darrell Sweet (drums) performed a career-spanning, 13-song set at London's Camden Palace Theatre, and it is now available on this new concert DVD from Cherry Red Records. The band had recently dropped the additional guitarist and keyboardist they had taken on for the past few albums and tours and were back to the lean and mean foursome they started as.
Upon clicking the "Play Live In London" option on the DVD menu, you are immediately greeted by the band, already onstage, and already into the first few chords of the opening track, "Telegram." I hate it when a video starts this way. A few seconds of the band taking the stage and saying "Hello London," or something, would have made for a much smoother start, don't you think? Who knows, maybe they were missing the audio or video prior to that point.
If you are not already familiar with the music of Nazareth, and you are using this DVD as an introduction, you may find yourself mumbling "what the fuck is that shit coming out of the singer's mouth," as he belts out the first number. Even I was startled at first - and I've been listening to these guys since 1975. Dan McCafferty can make fellow Scotsman Brian Johnson sound like Michael Jackson (may he rest in peace) at times. He possesses a set of the most strained and gravely sounding pipes in the business, but they are what give Nazareth their signature sound. Don't get me wrong, McCafferty can definitely sing his ass off, I am just amazed that his voice has held out this long.