Live Preview: Nazareth

The band’s last original member, bassist Pete Agnew, talks about life without frontman Dan McCafferty, who retired last year due to health issues.

Linton Osborn, Dan’s replacement, has been in the band for a year now. How will his end-of-year report read?

Well, we’ve just had to cancel some gigs after a flu virus so he’s on sick leave already. But the fans have accepted him better than I expected. He’s settling well and, considering who he’s following, I’d give him a VG+.

Linton’s voice is less gruff than expected.

Nobody on earth sings like Dan. There was no point in trying to find an impersonator because that person doesn’t exist.

There was confusion over Dan singing on the current Nazareth album, Rock ’N’ Roll Telephone, which was was released after Linton took on the role.

It was half completed by the time Dan’s illness became apparent. His voice in the studio was wonderful, he just couldn’t do it live. Three days after it was done he decided he couldn’t carry on.

When will there be an album with Linton?

They’re usually three years apart, but obviously we can’t wait that long again. What we want in 2015 is a good year’s worth of touring to let everyone know what we [the new band] sound like.

A live DVD was filmed with Linton at London’s Metropolis Studios. Classic Rock was there – it felt like an inferno.

That will really show what Linton can do! Lee [Agnew, drums] thought he was dying.

How is Dan?

He’s not going to get any better, but if he takes it easy he can live with his illness, and it’s still possible that from time to time he’ll do short guest appearances.

The tour ends in Glasgow on February 1.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.