Salem (British band)

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Salem UK
Salem at Very 'Eavy Festival, Netherlands, 2014
Salem at Very 'Eavy Festival, Netherlands, 2014
Background information
OriginHull, England
GenresHard rock, heavy metal
Years active1979–1983, 2009–present
LabelsHigh Roller, Pure Steel, Dissonance
MembersSimon Saxby
Adrian Jenkinson
Francis Gill
Dave Megginson
Past membersPaul Tognola
Paul Conyers
Ricky Squires
Ollie Davis
Paul Macnamara
Paul Mendham
Mark Allison

Salem UK is a hard rock/heavy metal band from Hull, England. It was formed following the split of the new wave of British heavy metal band Ethel the Frog. Salem recorded three demos and a single in the early 1980s; a compilation album of these recordings was released in 2010.

The band re-formed (aka Salem UK) in 2009 and has since released two new EPs, New Tricks and X Rated, and the albums Forgotten Dreams (2013), Dark Days (2016) and Attrition (2018).

Salem has also filmed two videos and has played numerous festivals and gigs in the UK, across Europe and beyond.[1]

A re-mastered and rearranged edition of the 2010 In the Beginning ... album was released in July 2015. Dark Days was met with rave reviews[2] and considered one of the top albums of 2016.[3][4]



Salem was founded in late 1979 by two members of Ethel the Frog, Paul Tognola (vocals/guitar) and Paul Conyers (drums), with Adrian Jenkinson (bass) and Paul Macnamara (lead guitar). The first band met up on 2 January 1980 in The Red Lion pub in Anlaby, East Riding of Yorkshire. After a period of song writing and rehearsal, Salem gigged regularly and built a solid following in the Hull area. They recorded their first demo at Fairview Studios, Willerby in January 1981.

Salem in 1983

Soon after this first demo, Tognola left the band to be replaced by Simon Saxby as the new singer and later in the year by Mark Allison as the second guitarist. With this new line-up, Salem released its double A-side single, "Cold As Steel"/"Reach To Eternity", recorded again at Fairview on 4 April 1982; this is considered to be one of the notable recordings from Fairview.[5] Following the interview with Macnamara in the May 1982 Kerrang! (No. 15), the single appeared in the 'local chart' section of the magazine and singles were sold globally. According to the NWOBHM Encyclopaedia,[6] the single is now "a highly collectable and valuable rarity", and is also listed in Record Collector's "Rare Record Price Guide".[7]

Salem continued with a new drummer Paul Mendham to perform in the North and North East of England and recorded another demo in September 1982, at Adda Studios in East Hull. As a result of their winning a Battle of bands competition at Huddersfield Polytechnic, Salem recorded the final demo at September Sound, Huddersfield, in March 1983.

Salem played their final gig on 31 May 1983, when the members left to follow different projects.


In the Beginning ... (2010)

In 2009, Macnamara was approached to release all of the band's 1980s recordings. After getting back in touch with all Salem band members, the double album compilation In the Beginning ... was released in June 2010 on High Roller Records (LP) and Pure Steel Records (CD).

Salem reformed with the same 1983 line-up and played their first performance in 27 years in hometown Hull at The Adelphi on 20 November 2010, the story attracting interest in the press.[8][9]

In 2011, the band produced the limited edition, 'pre-release' New Tricks EP featuring three new tracks, "Retribution", "This Heart Is Mine" and "High Stakes." They played another gig in Hull.[10]

In July 2012, Ricky Squires, formerly of the dEAd End KIdS[11] and the Heavy Metal Kids, joined on drums to play festivals and gigs with Salem in Europe, including the Heavy Metal Night V[12] in Martinsicuro, Italy, Negosonic in Aalst and Ages of Metal IV[13] in Oostrozebeke, Belgium, and the Metieval Winterfest[14] back in Hull.

The band, as with Mendham again, continued to record further music and released their limited edition X Rated EP for the BROFEST#1 in Newcastle on 2 March 2013, including a bonus new recording of "Reach To Eternity". Further gigs in 2013 included shows in Netherlands, Germany, and back home in the UK at The Fleece in Bristol with Jaguar and at Fruit in Hull.

In July 2015, a new re-mastered version of the In the Beginning ...[15] album was released by High Roller Records. The songs were re-arranged into the original chronological order.

Forgotten Dreams (2013)

Salem signed with Pure Steel Records again[16] to release a new album, Forgotten Dreams, on 6 December 2013.[17] The album, recorded at Hairy Monster Studios,[18] has received critical acclaim as an "expertly crafted"[19] "masterpiece".[20]

In 2014, the band shot a short film at Fort Paull and in the crypt of Holy Trinity in Hull for "Forgotten Dreams",[21] and the following year, the band filmed a second video of the song "The Answer"[22] at sites in Barton-upon-Humber and Beverley.

Salem also played numerous festivals and gigs in UK, Europe and beyond, including Play It Loud[23] in Italy, Very 'Eavy Festival[24] in Netherlands, Headbangers Open Air in Germany, and Rock You To Hell[25] in Greece. The final 2014 gig was in Dubai,[26] United Arab Emirates with deputy drummer, Oli Davis.

Salem played gigs in Belgium and England in 2015, and at festivals including Wildfire, Scotland,[27] BÄÄÄM in Germany, Power & Glory II and headlining RockWich in UK. In October, Salem was invited to play at British Steel festival in Fismes, France in place of Oliver/Dawson Saxon who had to cancel.

The band also contributed the track "Forgotten Dreams" to the RockWich 2015 commemorative CD,[28] with all the other bands from the festival; all profits from the sale of the CD go to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation.[29]

Dark Days (2016)

Salem in 2016

The band recorded the new album Dark Days at Hairy Monster Studios again. Macnamara revealed in an interview with PlanetMosh[30] that Salem had worked on a collaboration with Manny Charlton for the new album. Dark Days was released on 29 April 2016,[31] was described as "simply flawless from start to finish"[2] and was considered one of the top albums of the year.[3][4]

Salem played a series of gigs and festivals in 2016 including Muskelrock in Sweden (with Davis on drums again), a return to Headbangers Open Air, at Heavy Metal Maniacs in Netherlands, and gigs in Belgium and in UK with Tygers of Pan Tang, Diamond Head, Witchfynde and Spartan Warrior.

Events in 2017 included gigs in Barcelona, Spain,[32] Belgium, France,[33] and the UK,[34][35] including the Grimm Up North fund raiser in Bury for Steve Grimmett of Grim Reaper.[36]

Attrition (2018)

Salem has completed their third studio album at Hairy Monster Studios in Hull, UK. Developing from the up-beat theme of Forgotten Dreams and the more reflective mood of Dark Days, Macnamara described the third studio as a little "edgier", with the same heavy and melodic approach.

Attrition was released by Dissonance Productions[37] (part of Plastic Head Distribution) on 23 February 2018.[38] A release on vinyl is due in May. A promotional video of the song "Taking Control"[39] is receiving much interest and the first reviews suggest that Attrition is a potential album of the year.[40][41]

On 23 February 2018, the date that Attrition was released, Saxby and Jenkinson each received letters, illegally sacking them from the partnership. Litigation followed, and as a result, all rights to the albums Forgotten Dreams, Dark Days and Attrition were legally signed over to Saxby and Jenkinson, as well as exclusive rights to the name "Salem UK". Macnamara, Mendham and Allison were granted the right to operate under the name "From Salem".

In April 2018 Francis Gill (guitar) and Dave Megginson (drums) joined Saxby and Jenkinson to complete the new lineup of Salem UK. the band is currently recording a new album, to be released by Dissonance Productions.


The band has been cited, along with Iron Maiden, Saxon and Tygers of Pan Tang, as one of the "top 10 NWOBHM bands that are better than ever!"[42] With the growing interest in the band, it has been suggested that their "... Time Has Finally Come!"[43]

Macnamara is a Blackstar endorsed artist.[44]





  • "Cold as Steel" / "Reach to Eternity" (1982) Hilton Records
  • "Reach to Eternity" appears on the NWOBHM Vol. 6 (1992) bootleg CD
  • "Reach to Eternity" is also on the NWOBHM – Vinyl Revenge (2005) bootleg
  • In the Beginning ... (double album) (2010), High Roller Records (vinyl), Pure Steel Records (CD)
  • New Tricks (2011) EP – The New Adelphi Edition
  • New Tricks (2012) EP – Europe 2012 Mix
  • X Rated (2013) EP – Limited Edition BROFEST 2013
  • Forgotten Dreams (2013) Pure Rock Records (vinyl and CD)
  • In the Beginning ... version 2, (2015), High Roller Records CD
  • "Forgotten Dreams" appears on the RockWich 2015 commemorative CD
  • Dark Days (2016) Pure Steel Records (vinyl and CD)
  • "Reach to Eternity" appears on the A Perfect Combination: Fairview Studios 1973–1993 (2016) CD
  • Attrition (2018) Dissonance Productions (vinyl and CD)

See also


  1. ^ Macnamara, Paul. "Salem – UK Rock Band – Gigs". Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Salem – Dark Days". 6 March 2016. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b "The 10 Greatest NWOBHM Releases Of 2016 – Page 3 of 4 – Worship Metal". 11 December 2016. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  4. ^ a b "METAL KAOZ Editors' Top10 Albums For 2016". Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  5. ^ ""A Limited edition CD of Hull and East Yorkshire pop music heritage has gone on sale" Hull Echo, 1 October 2016". Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  6. ^ "The N.W.O.B.H.M. Encyclopaedia", Malc MacMillan, IP Verlag (16 November 2001), (ISBN 978-3931624163) pp. 500–501
  7. ^ "Rare Record Price Guide 2010", Ian Shirley, Andy McDuff, Jeff Ball, and Val Cutts, Diamond Publishing Group Ltd; 9th Revised edition (1 October 2008), (ISBN 0953260194), p. 1046
  8. ^ "Hull Daily Mail 22 July 2010". Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Hull Daily Mail 18 November 2010". Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  10. ^ "Hull Daily Mail 24 November 2011". Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Dead End Kids – Biography, Albums, Streaming Links". AllMusic. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  12. ^ "Heavy Metal Night 5: tutto pronto per il festival di Martinsicuro". Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  13. ^ "AGES OF METAL Festival Official website". Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  14. ^ "Hull Daily Mail 13 December 2012". Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  15. ^ "SALEM – In The Beginning... CD". Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  16. ^ "Pure Steel Records". Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  17. ^ "SALEM Set December Release Date For Forgotten Dreams Album". Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  18. ^ "Recording Studios Hull". Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  19. ^ "SALEM – Forgotten Dreams (2013) – Album / EP Reviews @ Metal Forces Magazine". Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  20. ^ "Salem – Forgotten Dreams (Review by Katarzyna Zakolska)". Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  21. ^ Forgotten Dreams on YouTube
  22. ^ The Answer on YouTube
  23. ^ "PLAY IT LOUD FESTIVAL 2014: il 15 marzo a Brescia". Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  24. ^ "Very 'Eavy Festival 2014 – All Metal Festivals". Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  25. ^ "Rock You To Hell Festival". Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  26. ^ Staff Report (9 September 2014). "Salem UK to perform in Dubai". Gulf News. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  27. ^ "Wildfire Festival 2015". 29 June 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  28. ^ "Prometheus Promotions". Prometheus Promotions. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  29. ^ "Salem, Avenger and more feature on RockWich 2015 CD – Worship Metal". 1 October 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  30. ^ "Salem interview – Rockwich Festival, 30/08/2015". 2 September 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  31. ^ "SALEM Release Second Studio Album 'Dark Days' (April 29th, 2016) – News @ Metal Forces Magazine". Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  32. ^ "Crónica: MATAROCK IV (SALEM (UK)+ADN+STREAMER) – Sala Boveda – 11/03/2017 – TNT Radio Rock". 26 March 2017. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  33. ^ Dodgin, Rich (27 January 2018). "Interview with Paul Macnamara from Salem". All About The Rock. Retrieved 28 February 2021.
  34. ^ "SALEM Turn Up The Heat at Brofest Pre-Party! (Concert Review)". 2 March 2017. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  35. ^ Goldby, Steve. "Raven And Diamond Head To Play HRH NWOBHM 2017 – Full Line-Up Is Here". Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  36. ^ "Grimm Up North Fest – Bury, September 30th/October 1st 2017. Day one. – PlanetMosh". 8 October 2017. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  37. ^ "NWOBHM LEGENDS SALEM SIGN WITH DISSONANCE PRODUCTIONS – Dissonance Productions". Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  38. ^ "Attrition, by Salem". Dissonance Productions. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  39. ^ "Listen to 'Taking Control' from the upcoming Salem album 'ATTRITION'". Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  40. ^ "SALEM – Attrition (Album Review)". 20 January 2018. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  41. ^ "Salem – Attrition – 10 out of 10". 25 January 2018. Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  42. ^ "10 New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands That Are Better Than Ever". 19 September 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  43. ^ "Salem; The NWOBHM Band Whose Time Has Finally Come! – Worship Metal". 13 January 2016. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  44. ^ "Paul Macnamara Artist Profile – Blackstar Amplification". 1 September 2017. Retrieved 21 January 2018.

External links