This taste was largely set by the albums that other people bought and shared and these included albums like Machine Head (72) and Master of Reality (71). While I liked Deep Purple I liked Black Sabbath even more and that was mostly down to two albums, Black Sabbath Vol. 4 (72) and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (73). Deep Purple did some great tracks, like Lazy, but I felt that Sabbath Albums were more consistent.
The corollary of this long prelude is that I am always going to be interested in seeing a Black Sabbath tribute band especially if they are playing locally and even more so if I have seen them before and enjoyed the experience.
And so I went to see Sabbatage on their return to the Fox and Duck.
They started promptly and I was a little late, around 9:30pm, and I arrived just as they got in to Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. A fine start to the evening. What followed was a couple of hours of classic songs from N.I.B. (from the first album, Black Sabbath, in 1970) to God is Dead? (from the 2013 album 13), with a strong leaning towards the early material. That was just the music that I wanted to hear.
There was just one excursion into the Dio period with Children from the Sea from 1980's Heaven and Hell. We were told that there was more Dio material being rehearsed and I look forward to hearing that someday, hopefully when they are next at the Fox and Duck in September.
What I liked most about Sabbatage is the sound that they made. Lead singers and drummers have come and gone but the core of Black Sabbath's sound has always come from Tony Iommi on lead guitar and Geezer Butler on bass and Sabbatage covered these two roles very well with Mark Sayers (right) and Andy Tunstall (left).
Doing a creditable job of sounding like Ozzy (and a touch of Dio) was Elvin Cole (centre) and keeping everybody on time was Claudio Cafolla (back).
Put that all together and it was evening of head shaking, leg stamping and a bit of air guitaring as the familiar tunes powered their way through the bar. It was a lot of fun and it was a sad moment when it had to end. At least we got a couple of encores as we refused to let the band leave.
Black Sabbath may have been big in Weymouth Grammar School in the early 70s but they did not trouble the singles charts very much and so do not have the immediate recognition that most covered bands do. Sabbatage did a good job of entertaining the crowd some of whom only knew one or two of the songs, Paranoid and Iron Man. Those of us who knew all, or most of them, had a great time.