BPREVIEW: Black Sabbath – The End Tour @ Genting Arena 02&04.02

BPREVIEW: Black Sabbath - The End Tour @ Genting Arena 02&04.02




Words by Ed King

On the 2nd and 4th of February, Black Sabbath will be performing at the Genting Arena – playing the last two dates of The End Tour in Birmingham. Black Sabbath’s support band throughout The End Tour are Rival Sons, the Long Beach born blues rockers who will also appear at the Genting Arena.Birmingham Preview

Tickets for Black Sabbath The End Tour are priced at £73.92 + booking fee – as presented by Live Nation UK. For direct gig info and online ticket sales, click here.

There’s something inherently sad about writing this. Epochs, eras, fads and fashions… Black Sabbath are coming back to Birmingham (minus Bill Ward) to play their last gigs, with two dates in the biggest venue their hometown has to offer.

The near 50 year foot stamp of Black Sabbath’s authority is coming to The End, as the children turned fathers of Heavy Metal (being the band that coined then defined the genre) are no longer coming out to play. It is a difficult time. It’s a sad time. It is a time to remember and to celebrate. It’s also a time to mug the nearest pensioner for your ticket money, as you’ll get little change left over from a couple of Matthew Boultons.

This is Birmingham Review, so I shouldn’t need to do this, but… Black Sabbath were born when a handful of Brummie blues rockers decided the name Earth was just a little too pants and wanted to play some serious rock. Black Sabbath was born and through a series of creative evolution became tougher, darker, more politicised and iron clad than… well, a blues rock band called Earth.

BPREVIEW: Black Sabbath - The End Tour @ Genting Arena 02&04.02Black Sabbath’s eponymous debut album was recorded and mixed in two days, got slammed by the rock music press and charted instantaneously. Four months later and they were recording their sophomore LP – the legendary, pivotal, game changing Paranoid (nee War Pigs). Buy the time Black Sabbath’s third album, Master of Reality, was leaving blank spaces on shelves both in the UK and across the pond, the homespun four piece from north Birmingham were global stars and music had a new genre. Nothing would ever be the same again.

Black Sabbath’s subsequent years saw a myriad of line-up changes, public bust ups, accidental animal dismembering, award show reconciliations, world tours and a total of 19 studio albums – the last with nearly all of the original line up being 13, released in 2012. Black Sabbath’s final recorded release, an eight track EP called The End, has been made only available at the final shows.

Birmingham Review didn’t get to see Black Sabbath at the O2 Academy in 2012 or at the then LG Arena the following year. But we did get to see Ozzy when he was touring his last solo album, Scream, in 2010. My interview with The Prince of Darkness was the first we ran on the website – read it here. If you’re on the Birmingham Review Facebook Page you might recognise one of the pics too (with thanks to Paul Ward).INTERVIEW: Ozzy Osborne - 26.06.10 / Paul Ward

Ozzy was quite something to watch, storming through a set to a packed out Town Hall, and along with Tonni Iommi and Geezer Butler is still one of the city’s proud badges of musical honour. Black Sabbath are rock stars, in the absolute sense of the sobriquet.

Like ‘em, loathe ‘em, listen to ‘em or not, Black Sabbath are a corner stone of Birmingham’s modern culture – in centuries to come the robotic spawn of Carl Chinn will be giving a lecture somewhere about  “…a fully humanoid gestalt entity that changed the world of music.”

And The End is nigh… Your LAST CHANCE EVER to see Black Sabbath, with all the original members bar the publicly capricious Bill Ward (seriously dude…), is now a ticking clock reality. Let a city mourn and rejoice. Here’s our Graham with a quick reminder:

‘War Pigs’ – Black Sabbath (Paranoid Tour – live in Paris 1970)

Black Sabbath bring The End Tour to the Genting Arena, playing their final live dates on Thursday 2nd and Saturday 4th February, as presented by Live Nation UK. For direct gig info and online tickets sales, click here.

For more on Black Sabbath, (just stick your head out a Birmingham window, or…) www.blacksabbath.com


For more from the Genting Arena, including full event listings and online ticket sales, visit www.gentingarena.co.uk

For more from Live Nation UK, visit www.livenation.co.uk


INTERVIEW: Ozzy Osborne

Ozzy Osborne interview - 26.06.10 / Paul Ward



Words by Ed King / Pics by Paul Ward

Everybody’s waiting. The media in a corridor upstairs, the fans against the railings downstairs. Gargantuan pillars of security standing stoic in the middle. We were all told to ‘be here by 1pm sharp’ but there’s been queues on the street for over 36 hours. Why? Ozzy Osbourne of course. Birmingham’s infamous bat Ozzy Osborne signing - 26.06.10 / Paul Wardbiter is in back town and it seems half the city has turned out to meet him.

“I was here a few months ago,” says Ozzy,“promoting my new book (I Am Ozzy). Lots of things have changed, new buildings and that. I mean, what’s with that big golf ball in the centre? It’s changed amazingly,” a strong accent blows all stardust from the room, “I mean, I used to get lost when I lived here. But it’s always good to be back in Birmingham. I’d consider moving back here but Sharon likes it over in America.”

Modern Birmingham’s constantly under construction, but how does Ozzy feel about the city he grew up in? “Coming into Birmingham just now I was reflecting back on what it used to be like when I lived at No14 Rose Road (The Birmingham Observer cannot confirm this address),” I think I’ve just worked out why there’s been a delay, “I was sitting there thinking, such a lot has happened in my life. I just could not have planned this. It’s unbelievable.” A fair description of over 18 albums selling millions worldwide. Ozzy grins, “42 years later and I’m still playing the Town Hall.”Ozzy Osborne signing - 26.06.10 / Paul Ward

Ozzy is back on the road promoting his 10th solo studio album, Scream, released in April this year. 18 months long and internationally wide, Scream tours across Europe, America and Japan. During a year and half of globetrotting performances how does Ozzy plan to stay sane?

“Not by drinking that’s for sure,” Ozzy is very candid about his alcoholism and recovery, “I haven’t drunk for a long time now, about 7-8 years. If I was drinking I don’t think I’d make it a week.” Judging by the hype surrounding today I’m not sure Ozzy’s management team will make it 18 months without. “I’m quite a straight laced guy nowadays.”

So with no bats on stage what can we expect from the Scream album and tour? “Heavy. Very heavy. You know, real Rock. It reminds me of my Sabbath days,” many reviews echo the same, “and some of my early solo stuff. But it was unintentional, you know, not a conscious decision.”

Conscious or not it’s been three years since his last album, Black Rain. Is Ozzy happy with his latest release? “I’m never happy. About a week after Scream got released I’m thinking why did I put that there? Why didn’t I change Ozzy Osborne interview - 26.06.10 / Paul Wardthat track?” So the artist still struggles even four decades on, doesn’t Ozzy feel good enough yet? ”That’s for the fans to tell me. What I’m good at is making an album and then demolishing it, you know. If I get a good review I kind of raise one eyebrow. What I have to do now is let go.”

Scream is the first Ozzy solo release since the mid eighties without longstanding guitarist Zack Wylde, cited as the most ‘endearing’ replacement since Ozzy’s original guitarist Randy Rhoades was killed in a plane accident in 1982. How does Ozzy find working with the new line up?

“Great. Gus is really, really good,” Gus G, aka Kostas Karamitroudis from Greek power metal band Firewind, “I’ve got high hopes for him. I mean, guitarists can be great but then you’ve got to find out if you can live with them.” A final grin as Ozzy’s publicist points to his watch, “we’re on the road for 18 months… I’m sure he’ll be fine.”

Scream, Ozzy Osbourne’s 10th studio solo album, was released in April 2010. For more information about the album and worldwide tour visit www.ozzy.com