Band History - Tribute to Nazareth The Greatest Rock'n'Roll Band In The World

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The story of Nazareth

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Trailblazers for 1980s Scottish acts like Big Country, Wet Wet Wet, Del Amitri, Deacon Blue, and Texas? Very likely so. Heroes and inspiration for Guns N’ Roses? Most definitely. But the Nazareth story isn’t just another from-rags-to-unheard-of-riches tale of making it in rock‘n’roll. In the early 1960s there were many fledgling Scottish bands struggling to create a unique sound of their own, but a major factor holding them back was their remoteness from the main hub of the UK music business in London , this was the place you had to be, but frankly nobody was interested in what was happening north of Watford, let alone in Scotland. Matters were made even worse by Scottish promoters and ballroom managers who insisted that Scottish groups limit their set-list strictly to covers of singles in the UK Top Thirty. In other words, performers like Agnew, Charlton, singer and front man Dan McCafferty and drummer Darrell Sweet were excluded by ‘the machine in London’ yet were trapped into mimicking its often dire output as well. So, yes, it did really happen that soon-to-be hard rockers Naz were forced – in their original incarnation as the Shadettes – to perform tongue-in-cheek versions of ‘Simple Simon Says’ if they wanted to get paid after the gig. It was enough to make this group of angry young musos from Dunfermline tell the Brylcreemed Locarno ballroom brigade to stuff it – so instead they went out and conquered the world. What follows is the story – mostly told by Pete Agnew and Dan McCafferty, possibly in greater detail than ever before – of how Nazareth did just that. But first here are some Naz facts to set the scene.

Pete formed the original Shadettes in 1961 and was Lead vocalist and rythm guitarist. Darrell joined in 1963 replacing originaldrummer, AlanFraser.
Dan joined in 1965 after Des Haldane (who had joined at the same time as Darrel) left the band.By this time Pete and Des (both rythm guitarists) had started to develop a dual vocal approach to a lot of the band’s material and having Dan join, the band would continue in this vein. A keyboard player (John Hearn) was added soon after and around this time Pete stopped playing guitar and The Shadettes became the first group in Scotland to feature two (male) lead vocalists.  Pete said “This worked great because at that time, soul music had hit Scotland in a big way and we found ourselves with the perfect line-up to cover songs by the likes of Sam & Dave ; Bob & Earl ; The Temptations etc.” Manny joined in 1968 replacing original lead guitarist, Brian ‘Pye’Brady. In 1969 Pete took over from original Alf Murray as bass player. As Pete said later, “Alf was a great guy but was continuously missing rehearsals and turning up late to our gigs. I would find myself playing bass for the first 20 minutes of the gig every other night until he (Alf) arrived so when he was fired it was decided that I should take over as bass player, although I must admit I wasn’t exactly thrilled about the prospect at the time.”  At the beginning of 1970, John (the keyboard player) went the same route as Alf for the self same reasons and so now the band were the 4 piece (Dan, Pete, Manny & Darrell) that would become known as Nazareth later that year.  The band now thought they needed a name change, as the name,’ Shadettes’ seemed dated and kind of ‘lightweight’ for the times so while sitting discussing this in the bar of a local hotel, the song ‘The Weight’ by The Band started playing on the bar’s sound system.  The first line of the song goes ‘I pulled into Nazareth, feelin’ ’bout half past dead’.  Pete then said “How about Nazareth?” Nobody disagreed, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Several things marked these guys out as a bit different:  first, they were married and settled before they decided to take the plunge in the summer of 1971 , and quitting good day-jobs then moving away from home to a grotty communal flat in London; second, they grew up and lived in a conservative-attitudes Scottish town, not a bustling fashion-conscious metropolis like Glasgow. Lastly, in bingo millionaire Bill Fehilly, they had what no other struggling Scottish band had at the time – solid financial backing.

So being husbands and fathers meant that once they turned pro they were very focused about what they were going to do – they had to be. Dan McCafferty said something which says a lot about Dunfermline in the early-1970s: once the band had made it, their image – long corkscrew hair, loud flares, and platform boots – did not always sit that comfortably with the folks back home. Dan now fondly remembers returning from yet another gruelling tour and, ever the dutiful husband, offering to accompany his wife to the supermarket to do the shopping: ‘Not dressed like that you won’t!’ or some such jokey comment was her reply. Dress codes on stage were also an issue back in the 1960s. The Shadettes got no hassle from ballroom managers when they were all kitted out in bright yellow suits – regulation show-biz uniforms were fine. But as the progressive rock thing took off in the late-1960s and musicians dressed more to express individuality, some ballroom heavies didn’t like it at all: for instance, the thought of someone trying to stop Pete Agnew going on stage because the manager didn’t approve of his buckskin jacket seems crazy now but it did happen because that was how things were back then , and in the very early Nazareth days when Naz’s glitter jacket, proto-heavy metal image earned them some scary – even life-threatening – crowd disapproval, like when they supported the seriously dressed-down Rory Gallagher on his late-1972 European tour. Yet, weirdly, all those Shadettes apprentice years as a pop-covers band in Dunfermline’s Belleville Hotel and Kinema Ballroom played a big part in Nazareth eventually finding their own formula for international success. How? Well, each and every week without fail during their Belleville Hotel residency they had to learn three new hits from the charts – they’d rehearse them on a Sunday afternoon and perform them that same night. Now how many semi-pro bands these days could cope with nailing down that amount of new repertoire in just a couple of hours, week-in week-out? But maybe that was how Dan, Pete, Manny and Darrell developed the knack of stamping their very own identity on somebody else’s hit song, something which, for Nazareth in the mid-1970s, proved to be the key to the world highway.

The band’s extensive gig schedule brought them to the attention of Pegasus Records, who released the bands debut album in late 1971.Nazareth, The Album was warmly received by the critics, it also had two singles taken from it ‘Dear John’ and ‘Morning Dew’ a brilliant song written by the lovely Bonnie Dobson (Canadian) although the American, Tim Rose is now well known to have stolen the writing credit and to Nazareth’s disgust continues to be credited on sleeve notes for their own recording of the song ‘Dear John’ made the top three in France whilst Morning Dew (although it never had a chance of being a hit single at 7 minutes long) became an instant cult hit in Germany – and this was enough to provide the band with a hectic European touring schedule throughout 1972. In America Warner Brothers picked up on ‘Morning Dew’ and its potential given that the song was written by respected American artist Tim Rose. But sales were poor and at the time Pete Agnew had a sneaking suspicion that this might have been something to do with some hatchet work done by Warners whose good intention was to make the single more radio-friendly: Pete: “It was a seven minute track and they cut it to three. I think Warner Brothers had someone editing for them who we thought must have been a deaf mute – they must have run the tape past him and at three-and-a- half second intervals he would hit it with an axe.”

The following year’s ‘Exercises’ album, was Produced by Roy Thomas Baker (who would later work with Queen, Alice Cooper and Foreigner among many others) saw the band taking on a very different approach of a more folky sound, but more than three decades later, Pete and Dan agree that it sounds lightweight and directionless.

Pete : After Exersises we knew we had to start writing some proper rock songs for our next album, it had to be more like our live shows sounded.The Result was Razamanaz ! produced by Deep Purples Roger Glover, it catapulted Nazareth into the big time and featured the bands first hit singles in the UK Broken Down Angel and Bad Bad Boy….Razamanaz, What is typically music-biz about the Nazareth story, though, is how serious pressure was put on them once ‘Broken Down Angel’ and‘Bad Bad Boy’ charted – reaching #9 and #10 respectively .. Their record company Mooncrest (a subsidiary of B&C – as was their first label Pegasus) wanted the hits to keep-a-coming. You can see it from B&C’s point of view – the company didn’t lose faith even when Exercises their second album, in parts inspired by Grateful Dead’s classic American Beauty – stiffed, and now it wanted a return on that investment. Nazareth found themselves back in the studio working on a new album within six months of the ‘Razamanaz’ release. Whereas their breakthrough in Britain was down to the strength of their own original songwriting on the Razamanaz album , it was their knack of coming up with totally fresh covers of strong songs written by other people that broke them abroad. They became huge in Canada after ‘This Flight Tonight’ soared up the singles chart there, whilst reaching number 11 in Britain. Taken from Joni Mitchell’s 1970 Blue album, Nazareth’s version – produced by Deep Purple’s Roger Glover as part of the Loud’N’Proud sessions – is more than a re-working. What they’ve done is taken the song from its folk-ballad roots right through to heavy metal. Small wonder then that Joni Mitchell was both stunned by and loved this version, reportedly even calling it a Nazareth song from then on.

The other thing that Nazareth were about to discover was funny about the business, and their path to success on a global scale, was that there’s no accounting for different tastes in the singles’ market from country to country. For instance, songs they released as singles in South America (especially Brazil) became huge hits there although those same songs hardly even got one play on radio anywhere else in the world. At the end of 1974 with a further two successful albums out, Loud’N’Proud and Rampant, Mooncrest were eager for more singles’ sales. A cover of the 1966 Yardbirds hit ‘Shapes Of Things’ (from the Rampant album) might have made a good single, but in spring 1974 they chose the self-penned ‘Shanghai’d in Shanghai’ as a follow-up to September 1973′s ‘This Flight Tonight’. Although it was eventually to become a huge favourite of Nazareth fans, it failed as a single at the time. 1974′s Rampant was the last of three albums produced by Deep Purple’s Roger Glover and to this day he is hailed by Nazareth as the man who taught them how to get the best out of themselves in the studio.Even so, everyone, including Roger, felt that it was time for a change and so Manny, who had been in charge of recording the band’s demos since the start, took over as producer for the next album that would become Hair Of The Dog in 1975..

Dan recalls; “Up until then, everytime the band released a single from an album, another track was taken from the album as the B-side for the single.Nazareth-Hair-Of-The-Dog-335199 We decided that this time, instead of stripping more songs from the album when we came to release a single, we would record a separate B-side. We had always liked the song ‘Love Hurts’ as done by Gram Parsons and Emmy Lou Harris so thought we’d have a go at that one. We recorded it and thought it was great ; forgot about it and moved on to do the rest of the album. We weren’t going to have it on the album anyway as we had recorded ‘Guilty,’ the Randy Newman composition as the ‘slow one’ for the album. When Jerry Moss at A&M Records heard ‘Love Hurts’ he immediately said ‘That’s a hit ; take ‘Guilty’ off and put that on’”. 1975 saw the release of Hair Of The Dog and the song itself lays down the blueprint for stadium heavy rock and metal anthems of the future: that ‘son-of-a-bitch’ chorus custom-built for crowd response, and a very heavy rock rhythm from start to finish. Comparisons with AC/DC are natural – but the point is that Nazareth and Aerosmith were the pioneers…. and the rest followed. So it’s not surprising then that Guns N’ Roses were big fans of Nazareth, as Pete Agnew explained to Metal Hammer’s Tom Russell. Russell interviewed Guns’N Roses when they first came to England and were playing club venues like the Marquee, and the tape they had on in their hotel room was … Nazareth’s Greatest Hits. Pete Agnew then remembered how “just before Guns N’ Roses broke we played seven gigs in California as part of our U.S. tour, and they came to every one. They were just fans of the band. It seems that Nazareth and Aerosmith were, to them, what the Beatles and Stones were to us. They were all nice enough young blokes and of course no-one at the time would have guessed how massive they were about to become.”

Close Enough For Rock’n’Roll, Naz’s seventh album, came out in early 1976 and was their first on the Mountain label, as well as the first to be recorded in Canada. The opener ‘Telegram’ is a musical diary entry by a successful hard rock band who are growing a tad weary forever slogging it out on the road. The album achieved little in Britain – no big surprise there – but helped to consolidate Nazareth’s hold on Canada where they became one of the biggest British acts ever, notching up no less than fifty gold and platinum albums there during the 1970s. America also beckoned, big time, as their U.S. label A&M Records increasingly regarded them as a priority act. Mountain had the rights to the old material and naturally was determined to milk it for what it was worth. The Greatest Hits album was out in the shops in time for Christmas ’75 but didn’t chart. Play ‘N’ The Game was album number eight (not counting Greatest Hits) and was released in November 1976. It continued the pattern of doing next to nothing sales-wise in England (where, for a couple of years to come, punk rock’s cut-throat irreverence eclipsed most acts who dared to take their own music seriously) and yet sold shed-loads abroad, breaking Nazareth in South America. Sadly, it was around this time that the band lost their manager Bill Fehilly, who was killed in a plane crash. Bill, a Scottish bingo millionaire, was never a music-biz mentor and hustler in the Andrew Loog Oldham/Peter Grant mould, but from their 1971 debut album Nazareth onwards he kept on coming up with the readies – and even during the band’s tricky Exercises phase Bill remained unfazed. Pete and Dan are the first to acknowledge that without Bill Fehilly Nazareth would never have crossed the border to England, never mind the world. A year later in November 1977 came album number nine, Expect No Mercy, and a definite shift by Nazareth to the AOR market. Adult Oriented Rock was newly created around that time mainly by two bands – the Eagles, and Fleetwood Mac with their monster Rumours album – and on songs like Manny Charlton’s ‘Shot Me Down’ you can hear a big Mac influence. Typical of eclectic Nazareth is a funky 12-bar version of the Ray Charles’ classic ‘Busted’, and an equally strong cover of Randy Newman’s ‘Gone Dead Train’ from the album reached number 49 in the singles charts. The other single ‘Place In Your Heart’ got no further than a bubbling under #70. It was high time for a change.

And that change came in 1978, with the addition of ex-Sensational Alex Harvey Band guitarist Zal Cleminson. Zal brought a lot of energy and ideas with him, and joined the band in time to record No Mean City, which was released in January 1979. Naz as a twin-guitar quintet worked wonders even in Britain where ‘May The Sun Shine’ almost nudged the top twenty, reaching number 22 in the UK charts. “However,” Pete remembers “after 4 albums with no hit singles, the all important American record company suggested we try a new producer and get Jeff (Skunk) Baxter of Steely Dan and Doobie Brothers fame to record Malice In Wonderland, our eleventh album.” Pete goes on, “You can imagine, we were a bit sceptical about this as Nazareth’s music had nothing in common with the music of these two bands, but at the time we met him, Jeff was also playing session guitar on 18 hits that were in the Billboard top 40 that month so we figured he must know a thing or two about making records.”Although the track ‘Holiday’ got widespread airplay on stations in the U.S., the same record company who had been desperate for hit singles botched the distribution of the record badly and the common complaint at the time was punters couldn’t buy it in stores. To this day ‘Holiday’ is one of the most requested songs at concerts and the band will always feel it was robbed of a chart hit. After a long American tour to promote the new album the band returned home to find that their management company, ‘Mountain’, was heavily in debt and about to go bust. So for weeks on end, instead of rehearsing, Pete and Darrell were on the telephone full-time talking to moneymen and just desperately trying to pick themselves off the floor. Zal just wanted to play – day and night – and couldn’t deal with all the financial hassles getting in the way of rehearsals so he left to form his own band, Tandoori Cassette, which never took off.

Completing the dozen, The Fool Circle was out in February 1981 – Naz’s first release on NEMS – and made the album charts but only at number 60. The band once more recorded as a 4-piece, with ex-Spirit keyboardist John Locke filling out the sound on a few tracks, and the music veered away from the commercial, sometimes American-rock of Malice In Wonderland, and instead was a mixed bag of rock, reggae and blues, with some socially aware political lyrics thrown in as well. Pete now reflects “The Fool Circle was a different kind of turn for us I guess. We wrote that kind of separately – Dan and I wrote half of it and Manny did the rest.”After The Fool Circle 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, and so the next album release, the very high energy live double-album ‘Snaz recorded in Vancouver in May 1981, featured what Dan and Pete now call the Nazareth 6-piece orchestra. As before, it was Naz’s take on rock classics such as J.J. Cale’s ‘Cocaine’ and Z.Z. Top’s ‘Tush’ that helped to make the album a massive international seller. The band also recorded a live video in Houston, Texas on the tour, a great live show with added interviews from the band. In 1982 the band released 2XS featuring ‘Dream on’, which sold very well in the States and Europe, extending the band’s already extensive touring schedule even further. Although ‘Dream On’ was as big a hit as ‘Love Hurts’ in Germany and mainland Europe generally,2XS amazingly wasn’t even released in Britain thanks to legal hassles with their new label NEMS. With Locke leaving because he couldn’t stand the guy (Jim White) who was now managing the band, the 5-piece produced Sound Elixer in 1983, another interesting album taking in soul, funk, country…you name it… Nazareth have experimented with it. After the tour to promote the album, Billy decided to leave the band to pursue a solo career; he released two solo albums Growing Up Too Fast, featuring the U.S. top forty single ‘Baby Come Back’, and ‘Crankin’’ Nazareth was now back to their original 4-piece line-up. In 1984 they landed a UK record deal with Vertigo and released The Catch. A full UK tour followed, including a support slot at the Milton Keynes bowl with Status Quo. In 1985 the band’s by now ex-manager Jim White attempted to release Sound Elixir in England on his Sahara label until a court ruling went against him. In 1986 Nazareth put out there rockiest album in years Cinema, a welcome return to form for the band. But it wasn’t to last. The controversial Snakes and Ladders Album (1989) went out on Vertigo in Europe but not released in England. Events and weird scenes that surrounded the production of that album eventually led to Manny Charlton and the rest of the band parting company after 22 years (20 in Nazareth) of playing together. For the first time in Nazareth’s 22-year career, the band’s 4 original members were no longer together.

With the departure of Manny the band agreed there was only one logical choice to fill Manny’s post Billy Rankin. Billy accepted and rejoined Nazareth as lead guitarist, and after rehearsals and a few warm up gigs in Scotland the Band were back on the road, with tours in America, Russia and Europe. Soon after they entered the studio and began writing new material for the new album that was to become No JiveTouring throughout 1992 to promote the album, including their first UK dates for 8 years, the album sold well with virtually no airplay. Naz was back and stronger than ever, 1994 saw them once again back in the studio to record Move Me, and with a new deal with Polydor things were looking good.

During that year Billy, Pete and Dan undertook 2 short unplugged tours of the UK, with songs like ‘Simple Solution’ and ‘Shapes Of Things’ being given the acoustic treatment. These shows are particularly memorable for their intimate nature and humorous content. Unfortunately as the band were due to start rehearsals for the forthcoming Move Me tour, Billy once again left, due to band politics.

A young Scots guitarist by the name of Jimmy Murrison, who was playing with Pete’s son Lee in the band ‘Trouble in Doggie land’ was contacted by Pete and asked if he would like to join the band, (Pete had seen Jimmy play many times and was very impressed). Jimmy accepted, and became Nazareth’s new guitarist. He is also a very talented songwriter and quickly became one of the main contributers on that score. It was also decided to add a keyboard player to the band once again, so they contacted their old friend Ronnie Leahy, who had played with Pete and Dan in The Party Boys from time to time. Ronnie accepted the offer to join, so now back as a five piece, the band started rehearsing for another world tour to promote the Move Me album. Revitalized and rocking, 1995/96 saw the band touring the world in support of MoveMe, a tour which took the band to Russia (twice), Europe, Brazil, the U.S., and Canada. Upon returning from their RussiaManaz Part I Tour, the long awaited break Naz had been looking for happened, a signing to major label SPV, which picked the band up for a three record deal. After the Move Me World Tour ended, the boys headed home to Scotland for a well-earned rest. The band didn’t rest too long before they began rehearsing new material for their 20th studio album, which they began recording in March of 1997. Darrell said at the time that “the new stuff is heavier than No Jive, but it wouldn’t be a Nazareth album without a ballad.” The band began a world tour in July of 1997 to Sweden, Czech Republic, Canada and the U.S. Boogaloo, which featured new members Jimmy Murrison and Ronnie Leahy,was released in 1998, the year that also saw them celebrating 30 years in the business, (Anniversaries have always have been dated back to 1968 in the Nazareth calendar because that’s when the original 4 members first played together.In actual fact they didn’t become a 4 piece and name the band ‘Nazareth’ until 1970.) Still quite an accomplishment in the world of rock ‘n’ roll. The release of Boogaloo in Europe on SPV saw critics again raving: it seemed Nazareth were beginning to be noticed once again by the industry. The success of Boogaloo in Europe and the success of The Double Trouble Tour (with Uriah Heep) led to a signing with the U.S. label CMC International. After several months on the road, the band headed home for a short break. They regrouped to embark on a longer and bigger tour of U.S. and Canada to support the growing success of BoogalooAs the Naz machine began climbing to the top again, tragedy struck. On April 30, 1999 founding member and drummer Darrell Sweet died suddenly from a major heart attack.The band had just arrived at the venue for the first show of their Boogaloo Tour when Darrell fell ill. As Darrell stepped off the bus with paramedics, he collapsed and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. Shattered, the band understandably cancelled the tour and headed home to Scotland. The future was in limbo for a few months as the families, band, and crew tried to digest what had happened. But after several band meetings, it was decided that Darrell would have wanted them to continue on. They band needed some time to pick up the pieces but there was never any doubt who the new drummer would be, and in fine tribute to Darrell, the band selected Lee Agnew, Pete’s eldest son. He is a very talented drummer and was always a favourite of Darrell who would often watch Lee play in other bands at home. Sometimes when Darrell needed a drum tech and Lee wasn’t busy at home, he would tour with Nazareth and do the job. Obviously after doing that Lee knew all the Nazareth live set inside out. He is also an excellent singer and songwriter and has gone on to play a big part in Nazareth’s ongoing development.
After a few months of rehearsals the band got ready for their first ever tour without Darrell. They amazed everyone who saw them, playing better and stronger than ever,  with Lee winning the hearts and support of Naz fans everywhere. The band enjoyed how well they were playing and the audience acknowledged this everywhere they played! (Darrell is surely smiling with pride!).

On October the 20th 2001 Nazareth played to a sold out crowd at the Garage in Glasgow, and the show was recorded for a live album and DVD titled Homecoming002 was a busy year for the band, with extensive tours of the States and Europe and ending up with a triumphant show in Dunfermline at Christmas when they topped the bill at their annual charity concert. Sadly, this was the last time keyboardist Ronnie Leahy appeared with the band, as he had decided to hang up his road shoes and retire from touring after the next Russian tour in 2003.Back to being a four piece again, and taking hold of the challenge that change brings. They filled 2003 with an extensive live schedule, which would leave many new bands gasping.  2004 saw the band head out to the U.S., Russia, Israel and Europe, as well as a welcome return to the UK for shows at the end of the year. 2005 saw the band on the road for most of the year again, but during the summer they did found time to record a new DVD at Shepperton Studios, titled Live from Classic T Stage which included footage of the band on the road. In October 2007 the band returned to the studio to record their first album since 1998’s Boogaloo. Recorded in Switzerland, the resulting record was titled The Newz and proved to be the first in a run of new recordings that have been universally acclaimed as a renaissance period in the band’s career Released in 2008, The Newz coincided with the bands 40th anniversary (Again, that 1968 thing.) Nazareth embarked on a lengthy world tour in celebration of this event, playing many fan favorites and showcasing material from the new record. Encouraged by the positive reaction to the new material, Nazareth set about working on a new album in 2010. Jimmy co-produced this one with Yann Rouiller who produced ‘The Newz’. Recorded in the Czech Republic, the album, titled Big Dogz was released in 2011 and as with The Newz, was very well received. Soon the band was back on the road again, promoting Big Dogz throughout 2011/2012. Additionally, the band was followed throughout the sessions and some live tour dates from the Big Dogz project by a Czech film crew, who made a documentary about the band. Called Until We Drop, the band attended the official theatrical release for the documentary in Prague in the spring of 2013. 2012 saw the band record a high-energy rocker called ‘God of The Mountain’. The track was used as the official song of the Austrian Ski-Team for the 2012/2013-ski season. Nazareth performed the song live in 2013 during a special gig at the skiing World Championships in Austria. This was an outdoor gig, in the winter, with temperatures around minus 8 degrees; it’s amazing where the music can take you sometimes! However, 2013 was to be a bittersweet year for the band. Kicking the year off with a Greatest Hits Tour, it started to become apparent that Dan was suffering health problems. He had been diagnosed with COPD, which was making it increasingly difficult for him onstage.This, however, didn’t deter him in the making of the new album (Rock’n’Roll Telephone) which was recorded in Scotland that year.  As Pete has said, “This album is one of Dan’s greatest career performances and anyone listening to it would never guess the guy was having difficulty breathing.”   Ever the ‘road warrior’, Dan soldiered on for as long as he could, but by the autumn of 2013 Dan was forced to bow out from live work with the band. He graciously gave the rest of the band his blessing to carry on touring without him.

He fronted Nazareth for 43 years and giving it his all every night and his legacy as one of the all time great rock vocalists is assured. Pete says about the feelings of the remaining guys at the time, “We had Dan’s blessing but had no idea where to go next or even sure we had the inclination to go anywhere!” After a few weeks went by and they got used to the fact that Dan was really gone from the band they started looking for a replacement. They had a few auditions and decided to try out with a local guy named Linton Osborne. Linton was fine singer but as the year went on it became obvious that it wasn’t working out as everyone had hoped so both parties decided to finish it and go their separate ways.”

The hunt for a new singer was back on and when the word got out this time, the band started getting CDs, emails, video clips and recordings of guys (and four different females) from all over the world. Pete said, “It was amazing the response we got but the downside was we had to listen to everything that was sent, in case we missed something good.Unfortunately, because of all these ‘reality’ shows and karaoke competitions like the X Factor everyone wants to be a star and we got to find out how many different ways you can murder ‘Love Hurts.” A call from their agent suggested they look at a guy who had been brought to his attention and was currently on a nationwide tour with the ‘Classic Rock Show’
The man the agent had been told about was Carl Sentence. He’s no newcomer to the scene and among other things has played in his own band (Persian Risk) for years as well as touring with Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath   and Don Airey of Deep Purple in their bands. After seeing him on a couple of video clips and being mightily impressed, the band invited Carl to audition. “One verse was all that was necessary for us to know we had our man” says Pete. “The search was over and and now we are very happy and feeling lucky to have a guy with Carl’s talent as our new singer.” The band have played a number of shows at the time of this being written and going by the reviews of those shows it would seem that the media and Nazareth fans alike agree wholeheartedly with Nazareth’s choice of new front man. A new album is now being planned for 2016 and a new era seems to be beginning for this very hard working and very determined band.

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