Scottish heroes to rock Bulgaria: Nazareth gig at Plovdiv’s Ancient Theatre

Written by on April 5, 2017 in Leisure - Comments Off on Scottish heroes to rock Bulgaria: Nazareth gig at Plovdiv’s Ancient Theatre

Love really does hurt. At least that is what people tend to be convinced of, after hearing Dan McCafferty sing Nazareth’s song entitled “Love Hurts”. McCafferty became their lead singer in 1968, around the time when the ruins of the Ancient Theatre in Plovdiv were excavated and restored. In 2017, almost half a century later, McCafferty will not stand on stage with the rest of the guys, because he left the band in 2013. The intro of this story would have been so much more convincing, if he had still been a member, but a band will not change their lineup, just because of one paragraph in The Sofia Globe.

Let’s start again: Nazareth is coming to Plovdiv. Full stop. They will do the Ancient Theatre. Full stop. Wait, who will sing, if it isn’t Dan McCafferty? Carl Sentance will. Yes, he is the new front man. Nazareth. Some of us were teenagers when the album “Malice in Wonderland” was released in 1980. “Showdown at the Border”, anyone? Some of us were playing in the sand at the kindergarten, when the band was founded in 1968. Well, most of us might not have been born for quite a while, when the original band members, some of them had been part of a group named The Shadettes, came together in order to rock.

Singer Dan McCafferty, guitar hero Manny Charlton, drummer Darrell Sweet and bassist Pete Agnew did not take their band name from Nazareth, Israel, but rather from Nazareth, Pennsylvania. So, why in the hell would that be, considering the guys are Scottish? That town is being mentioned in a 1968 song entitled “The Weight” by The Band, which they liked and covered.

Nazareth, back in the days.

In 1971, they released their first album, which was self-titled. “Exercises”, their second one, followed in 1972, shortly before Nazareth supported Deep Purple during a tour. The third album “Razamanaz” was even produced by Deep Purple’s Roger Glover. They worked a lot. On stage. In the studio. And back on stage. They covered Joni Mitchell by interpreting her tune “This Flight Tonight”, which became a hit single.

By the time the album “Hair of the Dog” was released in 1975, they did not need Deep Purple anymore and produced it themselves. Actually, Manny Charlton did. The title track of this album is widely known as “Son of a Bitch”, even though its real title is “Hair of the Dog”. Only the American version of this album contained the cover of a song by The Everly Brothers, entitled “Love Hurts”. And yes, it does. Who wouldn’t believe Dan McCafferty?

The rest is history. They put out albums like crazy, a total of 23, they lived on stage, in hotel suites and airport lounges. When the 1980s started, Nazareth was not that popular anymore, at least not in the U.S. or the U.K., but German Rock enthusiasts could not get enough of them. In the land of Volkswagen and cuckoo clocks, their song “Dream On” became another huge hit. They toured and toured, while the band members changed.

Dan McCafferty left Nazareth in 2013, because of health problems. He was replaced by Carl Sentance, a former Krokus member. The only original member today is Pete Agnew, the guy on the bass. Wait. There is another Agnew in today’s version of the band: Lee Agnew, Pete’s son, is their drummer. Yes, the next generation is taking over, after almost five decades of Nazareth.

So, they will hit Bulgarian soil, not for the first time. Yes, it’s Plovdiv this time. The Ancient Theatre. On June 18 2017, at 9pm. Tickets are available here. The price tag: 40 to 60 leva.





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