It’s already looking like 2009 will be a belter for fans of the NWOBHM with Saxon’s new record out next week and a whole host of old favourites rolling back the years.

And there are none better than Whitley Bay’s finest The Tygers Of Pan Tang – still riding high on the back of 2008’s cracking return to form in the shape of Animal Instinct.

Founder member Rob Weir and the boys have been working their proverbial arses off to re-establish the Tygers as a truly important metal act and it seems all that effort is paying off. The band has just announced plans to tour across Europe and don’t be surprised to see them belting out a few classics in front of a hometown crowd very soon.

With another heavy year of touring and promotion ahead the band said: “Looking back at 2008 we would like to thank you all for your support throughout. We set out to achieve some milestones with a new album, playing live and generally getting the TYGERS name back in the field of classic British hard rock.

“It was hard work at times with some frustrations along the way but we made people aware the band was back. The response to the new album was fantastic by both the music industry and you the fans and this inspired the band to keep trekking the long path of rock ‘n’ roll.

“Having a new product opened a lot of doors which allowed us to play around the U.K. and ultimately Hard Rock Hell 2 (The Dragons Ball) in December which really was a day to remember. We played the second stage to a packed crowd and really got the message across that the TYGERS were back roaring.

“We hope 2009 will start and continue as 2008 ended as we believe that we still have a lot of mileage in promoting Animal Instinct to the many rock fans across the world who have not heard the new material.”

If you’re one of those fans then you really are missing out. Here at rushonrock we’d like to wish Rob and the gang all the best for the New Year – and if Lars Ulrich is listening then it’s not too late to give the boys a support slot at Metallica’s Newcastle Arena show in March…

…now that would be a story.