Get Your Act Together With Harvey Goldsmith


Heavy Fucking Metal 

I am fan of what may be termed as ‘metal’. The term ‘metal’ is a little bit embarrassing. It has a stigma, more of a smegma, attached to it, whilst Iron Maiden must take some responsibility for this state of affairs, the overall blame lies squarely at the feet of Saxon, an 80’s incarnation of so called ‘metal’ but really, you’ll find more metal in pack of cup-a-soup.

In Tuesday night’s ‘Get Your Act Together With Harvey Goldsmith’, the latter attempted to revive the career of the former. I’m a big fan of HG but I really wished he’d left this lot alone. Whilst the programme was entertaining enough I don’t need to be reminded of them. I would rather listen to Matt Bianco and Five-Star copulating in an echo chamber.

Saxon arrived on the metal scene at about the same time as I became a teenager, to my credit they were spurned quite early on by yours truly, but the stigma (smeg) of their hoarse screeching, heavy fairylight sound and ‘style’ (spandex, long mullets, all-round cuntiness) without doubt lasted right up until grunge hit the UK in the 90’s.

Saxon consist of a bunch of extras cast as tramps, charisma retarded sex offenders led by the dreadful Biff Byford, a sort of Lidl-lite Lemmy crossed with Ecce Thump. The man is an utter prick, stuck in an 80’s time warp with a wholly misguided and inappropriate ‘rock-star’ opinion of himself. Poor Harvey, firm but fair, simply wanted to bring them up to date, he ejaculated ideas like a little fat winkie which were met with derision, insults and misplaced attitude, all from Byford as the rest of the band were too thick to actually speak.

In the middle of all the mouth from Byford, Harvey managed to get Saxon a gig which resulted in a bunch of teenagers enthusiastically moshing out in a modest club in Lincoln, a minor achievement, yes, but it indicated that Harvey’s task wasn’t quite as impossible as I’d supposed. This brief moment of positivity was deliciously negated at half time during a football match in Sheffield when Saxon attempted to break the Guinness (Book of) Record for the most air guitarists in one place. They got booed off. Actually, they got chanted off – accompanied by lots of synchronised pointing.

Harvey got Saxon a gig at some big town-venue in Sheffield. It held 18,000 and work needed to be done to promote the band, as this was supposed to be Saxon’s homecoming tour and ticket sales were predictably slow.

After being called a ‘fucking wanker’ by Byford, Harvey convinced them to record a new single that moved away from their usual fayre of metal brotherhood and ‘oooh, I have sex with a lady’. Byford came up with a socially aware number, some tosh about ‘guns and knives’ on the street because, apparently, Byford had been a ‘bit of a criminal’ back in the day. I bet that shop keeper in Yorkshire had to re-mortgage his shop after Byford nicked a tube of Spangles in the fucking 40’s.

Following a style makeover which Byford really enjoyed but pretended he didn’t, the band’s completed single, new graphics, band photo etc., were presented in front of the rock press. Down to some nifty production the single didn’t go down too badly with the journos (though I’ve heard it and I thought it was cack). It did have the desired effect on the gig in Sheffield though, but it wasn’t quite as packed out as Harvey said it was. The cameras don’t lie and the audience were predominantly male and looked like aged Eastern European refugees.

Harvey also managed to get them to some Rock Awards thing at some posh hotel in London (I was flagging by this point) in which the band were encouraged to mingle with the rock glitterati. Byford and Harvey made the effort to work the room, the tramps scuttled off nowhere to be seen and it is at this stage that I need to mention the Saxon manager.

From the outset of the programme a large man who wasn’t appearing on stage or in band photos always seemed to be just there. He didn’t speak a word – just lurked. He was a bizarre looking thing, like a new super breed of Welsh lesbian with a serious drink problem. Harvey ordered him to mingle but he looked confused. Actually I have to admit I felt a bit sorry for him, he wandered into the middle of the room where he was greeted with a sea of turned backs and posed like a five year old trying to not do a wee wee.

The only time I heard him speak was the follow-up show on E4 when they were reviewing the half-time football incident. I can only presume he’d had a couple of bottles in the green room. Harvey was berating the band for, essentially, being pussies and not giving the crowd some ROCK when Pat Butcher suddenly lost it and stepped in. ‘VEN FOOTBALL CROWDS LOSING ZER IZ NUZZINK ZAT CAN BRING ZEN BACK, NUZZINK!’ He looked livid, his face was redder than a stoplight, I laughed heartily…

…My laughter was cut short. Harvey had done a better job than I could comprehend; the fucking cunts are appearing at the Download festival. They will be on the same bill as Slayer for fucks sake. So thanks Harvey, I will sit back and watch what kudos was clawed back by these masters of metal dribble down the drain as I face another round of social isolation and mockery.

I hate Harvey.

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35 Responses to “Get Your Act Together With Harvey Goldsmith”

  1. Swineshead Says:

    Biff is not a suitable name for a man in the autumn/winter years of his life. If he had a short back and sides he’d look more like a Colin.

  2. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    I went to that Lincoln gig. They’re better than you give ’em credit for.

  3. piqued Says:

    …bet you would’ve preferred The Cure who were rumoured to play though, eh.. eh… *nudge*

  4. Clair Says:

    I missed the show. I’m glad I forgot it was on, so fabulosa was that review. Thanks.

    (PS I made my first radio broadcast ‘on the road’ with Saxon in approximately 47 B.C)

  5. graham Says:

    “The audience were predominantly male and looked like aged Eastern European refugees.”

    Welcome to Sheffield.

  6. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    …bet you would’ve preferred The Cure…

    To be honest I’d prefer having my skull smashed out with hammers than watch The Cure live. Saxon were alright … not as good as Chas ‘n’n Dave mind. When I saw them I was so drunk it felt like a religious experience and I nearly drowned in the North Sea after the show. Aaaaaaaaaah memories…

  7. piqued Says:

    Oh. I was under the impression the kidz were there as The Cure were rumoured to play.

    rabbit rabbit bunny bunny yip yip.

    (I should’ve saved that last part for the Tourette’s post)

  8. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    The kidz were there because that’s where they go every Friday night. And although the rumours of The Cure playing persisted in some quarters, most people knew it was Saxon because they’d read it on the internet.

    Blah blah blah blah … I’m getting a bit fed up of talking about Saxon. I did a review of the gig for the Classic Rock website and all hell’s broken loose because one of the mag’s editors was honest enough to say they would not be featured on the cover. Loads of angry Saxon fans have turned on her and now I’ve been dragged into the shitstorm … shitstorm, shitstorm? That’s not a Charlie Brooker original copyrighted swearword is it?

  9. piqued Says:

    The editor of Classic Rock told Saxon to their faces she wouldn’t be featuring them on the cover of the mag on the follow-up show on E4. Too fucking right too.

    I feel sorry for all the angry Saxon fans mums.

    “Colin? COLIN?!”


    “You tea is ready…”

    “I’m cross about Metal. I don’t want any effing tea,”

    “Don’t you use that sort of language in here, this isn’t the docks you know”

    *Colin turns down ‘Denim and Leather’*

    “Is it my favourite?”

    “Yes, now come down before it gets cold, jam roly-poly for afters if you’re good…”

    “Thanks mum”

    “…with custard”

  10. Napoleon Cockaparte Says:

    She said that because fans of bands forget that magazines are businesses, not fanzines. If Saxon was the biggest band in the world they’d be on the cover, but they’re not the biggest band in the world, so they’re not. Covers have to attract a wide range of readers who would not necessarily buy the magazine unless it featured something they like or are interested in. This is why MOJO shove The Beatles on every other issue … Saxon on a front cover would attract Saxon fans and sales would drop accordingly. It aint fucking rocket science.

  11. Swineshead Says:


  12. piqued Says:

    Over what exactly

    NP is correct, despite it being an obvious statement as acknowledged

  13. Swineshead Says:

    Oh. It looked like a fight from the phrase ‘ain’t fucking rocket science’.
    Have a fight anyway. Perhaps over your dreadful punctuation.

  14. andythepict Says:

    …….and what about that prick who had a go at harvey on the e4 show….. the scottish boy…

  15. phil Says:

    instead of Five-Star copulating in an echo chamber.
    can we have
    Five-Star copulating in an coal chamber

  16. Swineshead Says:

    Why would a coal chamber be funnier or better?

  17. SaxOff Says:

    Hey, ease up on these guys, they have a very credible track record. I was on the E4 show and can honestly say that production companies want to create contraversey because that is what’s supposed to make good TV and pays for the funding to make these programmes in the first place (they are not there to promote!).

    Harvey did his best and the band was dragged along with the ideas. Whatever you might say about this concept, I haven’t bought a Saxon album since 1988, until I got involved with this show and now I got the ‘Inner Sanctum’ and I love it. True fans see through the hype and bollocks.

    Whether you like the music or not, their age has produced the most spectacular skill recorded on an album since I bought a Steve Vai album!

  18. Riki Says:

    Coal Chamber is better

  19. piqued Says:

    Sway this way, Riki

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    anyone know were i can watch this online

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