Saga - Symmetry review

Maple Leaf pomp merchants unplug the amps.

(Image: © ear Music)

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Saga can never quite manage to call it a day. Having celebrated their 40th anniversary with a 2017 tour called The Final Chapter, the Canadian pomp rockers buckled to fan pressure and now persist with live shows.

Symmetry isn’t the latest electrically fuelled display of their technical prowess but an unplugged set. Thankfully, it’s no acoustic retread of their greatest hits. Instead, the likes of Wind Him Up, Images (Chapter One) and Tired World (Chapter Six) are cleverly reimagined. The addition of a fiddle to Pitchman lends it the air of a hoedown. The same treatment is better suited to The Perfectionist, moulded into a medley renamed The Perfect Time To Feel Better (one of two cross-pollinations of vintage tunes; The Right Side Of The Other Hall pairs Footsteps In The Hall with On The Other Side).

The synth-free format emphasises the full richness and versatility of Michael Sadler’s ever-excellent voice, but at around 50 minutes long, the running time could perhaps have been more generous. Also worth a mention is that of three original offerings two are instrumentals, with La Foret Harmonieuse featuring spoken word interludes from Sadler. 

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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’.