Sunday 24 September 2017

Black Sabbath perform hometown gig

Black Sabbath, minus drummer Bill Ward, played a homecoming gig in Birmingham
Black Sabbath, minus drummer Bill Ward, played a homecoming gig in Birmingham

Black Sabbath have made a triumphant comeback with a homecoming show in Birmingham.

The original line-up comprising frontman Ozzy Osbourne (whose wife Sharon was in the audience), guitarist Tony Iommi - who is battling cancer - and bassist Geezer Butler played their first show since 2005, after reuniting back in November.

It was also their first hometown gig in 13 years, when the heavy metal group last played Birmingham NEC as part of the 1999 Reunion tour.

Tony, who is still undergoing treatment for lymphoma, got a hero's welcome at the O2 Birmingham Academy as the crowds chanted his name over and over again after opening track Into The Void.

Geezer paid tribute to Tony after the gig, writing on his website: "Thank you, thank you, thank you Birmingham. Best fans ever - you brought out the best in us.

"It was a privilege playing for you tonight. Tony was a hero - you were the best medicine he has had. Proud to be a Brummie."

Joined by drummer Tommy Clufetos, stepping in for Bill Ward (who is absent while discussing contract issues), the band performed favourites such as Iron Man, NIB and War Pigs, before closing the show with Paranoid.

Black Sabbath will headline Download Festival on June 10, before embarking on a world tour, and are working on their first new studio record in 33 years.

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