An Ozzfest warm-up show at the Birmingham Academy helps raise over £23,000 for charity...

BLACK SABBATH previewed the first new material by their original line-up in more than two decades, at a charity homecoming gig at BIRMINGHAM ACADEMY last night (May 22).

Twenty-three years since ‘Never Say Die’ hit the shelves, unheard Sabbath material from their forthcoming autumn album was unleashed on 2,600 passionate fans at the city’s newest music venue.

‘Scary Dreams’ – an ‘Electric Funeral’-style track appeared among a Greatest Hits set performed by the classic Sabbath line-up of vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, drummer Bill Ward and bassist Geezer Butler.

“Birmingham! Jesus, I can’t remember the last time we actually played in Birmingham,” noted Osbourne halfway through the sweat-drenched set. “Perhaps I should come round more often.”

Indeed, given the response from the Sabbath fanatics – despite the lure of a rescheduled Motorhead show just ten miles away in Wolverhampton on the same night – the appeal of Ozzy and co has not faded.

The band, for whom this gig acted as a warm-up to the Ozzfest at Milton Keynes Bowl on Saturday (May 26), previewed the new track which will appear on this autumn’s Sabbath album.

In addition, live favourites like ‘Fairies Wear Boots’, ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Paranoid’ were also played to a predictable response.

Although the show was less aggressive than their arena shows at the Birmingham NEC 18 months ago, the passionate Sabbath fans packed the newly opened venue and helped raise £23,500 for local homeless charity St Basil’s.

A spokesman for St Basil’s, which deals with more than half of the homeless cases in the West Midlands, said: “We are very grateful to both the venue and the band for putting on the show, which will raise much-needed funds for our services.”

Black Sabbath played: ‘NIB’


‘Under The Sun’

‘Fairies Wear Boots’


‘Scary Dreams’

‘War Pigs’

‘Iron Man’

‘Into The Void’

‘Black Sabbath’


‘Children Of The Grave’