Live | Nazareth (& Fire Rose & The Ground Shaker) – Rockfabrik – Übach-Palenberg [Ger]

3 December 2023

Last week Nazareth played a surprisingly energetic and fresh performance at the Rockfabrik Übach-Palenberg. They belong to the first generation of hard & heavy bands and, together with bands such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and Black Sabbath, played a key role in shaping the style of hard rock after their formation in 1968. With over 30 million records sold, they are Scotland’s most successful rock band of all time (alongside Simple Minds). In other words: Nazareth are among the greats of their genre!


As support on this tour, the men had with them The Ground Shaker from Switzerland. It took some effort to get the audience going. They were not lacking in enthusiasm, but the spark did not really fly. A mediocre act in my opinion.


The special guest spot was for Fire Rose, also from Switzerland. This band managed to do better business with their traditional-tinged heavy/hard rock. Here too we were dealing with an enthusiastic band, eager to show their skills to the audience. Singer Philipp Meier has a pleasant voice and a good range. Guitarists Simon Giese and Florian Giese do not shy away from slinging beautiful twin solos into the audience. It may not be terribly original, but it is played with full conviction.

A pleasant group to see and hear at work. Songs like ,,Fields Of Honor’’ and ,,Wheels On Fire’’ were a joy to listen to.


After a brief change over, it was time for Nazareth, the band that people came for today. Of the original lineup from 1968, only bassist Pete Agnew is left. Guitarist Jimmy Murrison has been the regular on guitar since 1994. Drummer Lee Agnew [son of Pete] has been providing the beat since 1999 and vocalist Carl Sentance is the “newcomer” to the band, having joined in 2015.

It was up to this lineup to keep the Nazareth flag flying high, and I must say it was done with a lot of conviction. My expectation was to get an evening of static classic rock, but I was surprised by the enthusiasm and freshness with which the band went through their set list. Songs like ,,Miss Misery’’ [1975] and ,,Sunshine’’ [1974] held up surprisingly well and were played beautifully.


Singer Carl has a wonderful sandpaper voice and guitarist Jimmy stands out mainly because of his playing style. No guitar pick, but everything is played with fingerpicking. Very special to see. The bass playing of honorary member Pete is extremely tight! Also the background vocals are convincingly put down by him.

We are certainly not dealing with a tired band that wants to earn a few dollars. No, this band is still eager to deliver a wonderful evening of music.

Surprisingly they played JJ Cale’s ,,Cocaine’’ [probably best known for the Eric Clapton version]. Still, Nazareth gave it their own twist. And actually Nazareth’s biggest hit ,,Love Hurts’’ [BTW a cover of the Everly Brothers song] was the song that made the least impression on me in this evening’s set list. Unfortunately the Rockfabrik was only moderately filled on this Sunday night, but the people who braved the snowfall outside to come got a high-quality performance from these veterans. Glad I was able to catch this one!!


Miss Misery
Shanghai’d in Shanghai
Love Leads To Madness
Cocaine [J.J. Cale cover]
Turn On Your Reciever
Beggars Day [Crazy Horse cover]
Changin’ Times
Hair Of The Dog
Love Hurts [The Everly Brothers cover]
Morning Dew [Bonnie Dobson cover]


Broken Down Angel
Dream On
This Flight Tonight [Joni Mitchell cover]

All photos by Raymond Helebrand



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