Salem (UK band)

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Salem (UK)
Salem 2014.jpg
Salem at Very 'Eavy Festival, Netherlands, 2014
Background information
Origin Hull, England
Genres Hard rock, heavy metal
Years active 1979–1983
Labels High Roller Records
Pure Steel Records
Associated acts Ethel The Frog, Mayfair, Innersylum, dEAD ENd KIdS, Heavy Metal Kids
Members Simon Saxby
Paul Macnamara
Mark Allison
Ade Jenkinson
Paul Mendham
Past members Paul Tognola
Paul Conyers
Ricky Squires
Oli Davis

Salem is a hard rock/heavy metal band from Hull, England. The band 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" EP, and the albums "Forgotten Dreams" (2013) and "Dark Days" (2016).

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

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

The band releases their third studio album "Attrition" in 2018 on Dissonance Productions.


1979 – 1983[edit]

Salem was founded in late 1979 by two members of Ethel The Frog, Paul Tognola (singer/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 - Hull, 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 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. Then 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.

2009 – present[edit]

In The Beginning ... (2010)[edit]

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." and a 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 have been re-arranged into the original chronological order.

Forgotten Dreams (2013)[edit]

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" on YouTube, and the following year, the band filmed a second videos of the song "The Answer" on YouTube at sites in Barton-upon-Humber and Beverley.

Salem also played numerous festivals and gigs in UK, Europe and beyond, including Play It Loud[21] in Italy, Very 'Eavy Festival[22] in Netherlands, Headbangers Open Air in Germany, and Rock You To Hell[23] in Greece. The final 2014 gig was in Dubai,[24] United Arab Emirates with deputy drummer, Oli Davis.

Salem played gigs in Belgium and England in 2015, and at festivals including Wildfire, Scotland,[25] BÄÄÄM in Germany, Power & Glory II and headlining RockWich in UK, then 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,[26] with all the other bands from the festival; all profits from the sale of the CD go to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation.[27]

Dark Days (2016)[edit]

Salem - Hull, 2016

The band recorded the new album "Dark Days" at Hairy Monster Studios again. Macnamara revealed in an interview[28] with PlanetMosh that Salem had work on a collaboration with Manny Charlton for the new album. Dark Days was released on 29 April 2016[29] and has been described as, "simply flawless from start to finish"[30] and considered one to the top albums of the year.[31][32]

Salem played a series of gigs and festivals in 2016 including Muskelrock in Sweden, 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 include gigs in Barcelona Spain,[33], Belgium, France[34] and UK[35][36] including the Grimm Up North fund raiser in Bury for Steve Grimmett of Grim Reaper[37]

Attrition (2018)[edit]

Salem has completed the 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" [38] with the same Salem heavy and melodic approach.

The new "Attrition" album will be released by Dissonance Productions[39] (part of Plastic Head Distribution) in early 2018.


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!",[40] and with the growing interest in the band, it has been suggested that their, "... Time Has Finally Come!".[41]

Macnamara is a Blackstar endorsed artist[42]


1979 – 1983[edit]

2009 - present[edit]


  • "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[edit]


  1. ^ List of all Salem gigs - Salem website
  2. ^ Salem – Dark Days - "absolutely outstanding" All About The Rock 6 March 2016
  3. ^ The 10 Greatest NWOBHM Releases of 2016 - Worship Metal 11 December 2016
  4. ^ METAL KAOZ Editors' Top10 Albums For 2016 - Metal Kaoz 19 December 2016
  5. ^ "A Limited edition CD of Hull and East Yorkshire pop music heritage has gone on sale" Hull Echo, 1 October 2016
  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
  9. ^ Hull Daily Mail 18 November 2010
  10. ^ Hull Daily Mail 24 November 2011
  11. ^ dEAd End KIdS
  12. ^ Heavy Metal Night V festival 2012
  13. ^ Ages of Metal
  14. ^ Hull Daily Mail 13 December 2012
  15. ^ In The Beginning ... re-released, High Roller Records 21 July 2015
  16. ^ Pure Steel Records 23 October 2013
  17. ^ Bravewords 29 October 2013
  18. ^ Hairy Monster Studios
  19. ^ Metal Forces Magazine November 2013
  20. ^ Metal Temple 21 November 2013
  21. ^ Play It Loud Festival Facebook Official Page
  22. ^ 2014
  23. ^ Rock You To Hell Festival 2014
  24. ^ Salem UK to perform in Dubai - Gulf News 9 September 2014
  25. ^ Review of Wildfire Festival, Scotland - All About The Rock 28 June 2015
  26. ^ RockWich 2015
  27. ^ WorshipMetal - 1 October 2015
  28. ^ Salem interview at Rockwich Festival - PlanetMosh 30 August 2015
  29. ^ Salem To Release Second Studio Album ‘Dark Days’ In April, Metal Forces Magazine, 2 March 2016
  30. ^ Salem – Dark Days - "one of my albums of the year" All About The Rock 6 March 2016
  31. ^ The 10 Greatest NWOBHM Releases of 2016 - Worship Metal 11 December 2016
  32. ^ METAL KAOZ Editors' Top10 Albums For 2016 - Metal Kaoz 19 December 2016>
  33. ^ Salem in Barcelona gig review - TNT Radio Rock 11 March 2017
  34. ^ British Steel Festival #6
  35. ^ SALEM Turn Up The Heat at Brofest Pre-Party! (Concert Review) - Decibel Geek 22 March 2017
  36. ^ Salem at HRH NWOBHM - MetalTalk.Net 4 December 2016
  37. ^ Grimm Up North Fest – Bury, September 30th/October 1st 2017. Day one.
  38. ^ Conversation with SALEM (UK) Guitar Wizard Paul Macnamara (Interview) - Decibel Geek 29 March 2017
  39. ^ NWOBHM legends Salem sign with Dissonance Productions (Press release) 2 August 2017
  40. ^ 10 New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands That Are Better Than Ever - What Culture, 19 September 2014
  41. ^ Salem: The NWOBHM Band Whose Time Has Finally Come! Worship Metal, 13 January 2016
  42. ^ Blackstar UK

External links[edit]