Saxon frontman Bill Byford goes solo with album and Leeds City Varieties gig

Solo mission: Saxon singer Biff Byford

SAXON frontman Biff Byford will release his debut solo album, School Of Hard Knocks, on February 21, backed up by his first ever solo tour in the spring.

Among the ten British dates for the 69-year-old West Yorkshireman will be Leeds City Varieties Music Hall on April 21.

In a show of two halves in ”An Evening With…” format, Honley-born Byford will be in conversation with American comedian Don Jamieson in the first, discussing his life and career with the That Metal Show star. After the break, Byford and his band will perform new tracks, covers and maybe a sprinkling of Saxon gold dust.

The tour poster for Bill Byford’s ten spring dates

“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’s going to be something a little bit different, it will be very cool and a lot of fun,” says Byford, who played bass for assorted Barnsley bands as a teenager by night while working at a colliery by day.

“The second half will consist of some old songs, some new songs, some cover versions and some songs off the solo album. It’s going to be great and I’m really looking forward to it. So, I’ll see you there.”

The album artwork for Bill Byford’s School Of Hard Knocks

Produced by Byford at Brighton Electric Studios, School Of Hard Knocks reflects the personality of this “Heavy Metal Bard of the North”, his loves and musical versatility. Fulfilling his long-standing wish to explore rock’n’roll a little more, the album takes a personal journey, highlighting his life and his passionate interests, from growing up in the industrial north to the history of the Middle Ages.

Byford’s old-school British hard rock album embraces a variety of musical genres, taking in the Yorkshire folk classic Scarborough Fair, most famously covered in the 1960s by Simon & Garfunkel and now given a new arrangement by Byford and guitarist Fredrik Åkesson.

Tickets for April 21 are on sale at, or on 0113 243 0808.