Tag Archives: Iron Maiden

Run To The Hills!

Image

Tired of Olympic hype?  Try living in the UK.  Your humble (and normally quite reasonable) blogger has had it up to his Musketeer-style chin beard with all things sporting after a year or so of relentless build-up to London 2012 and would happily go into suspended animation until the whole thing is over.

Go Jess!

As a dyed-in-the-wool, adopted Sheffielder, I obviously wish Jessica Ennis well in her heptathlon campaign but I really would rather ignore the vast majority of the Olympics – a feat made quite challenging by the approximately 906 channels being devoted by the BBC to the imminent hostilities  glorious sporting spectacle about to unfurl.

To distract those of you who can’t get that excited by athletes doing things slightly more quickly than they did them previously, take in the joyful image above of Iron Maiden‘s mascot Eddie, as originally found on the Metal Hammer website.

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Maiden America

Oh, Eddie – why must you desert me?

Picture via Iron Maiden.com

Over on the Metal Hammer blog you can get a look at the current Iron Maiden US tour, “Maiden England“, which is taking the founding fathers of modern metal to Stateside cities – Charlotte, North Carolina, for example – where the band haven’t played since 1988.

Puts a two or three wait between UK Maiden dates into perspective, doesn’t it?

You can read more at Iron Maiden’s site – in the meantime, I’ll be working on my teleportation device, so that I can get my wizened butt into an Enormodome to take in the awesome.

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Fluffrick’s iPod Shuffle Follies 2: The Quickening!

The initial post in this series went down pretty well first time around.  Either a lot of you are interested in music or utterly bewildered by the noise which occupies my iDevices.

With that in mind, these are the five tracks which randomly played when hitting ‘shuffle’ on dear old Poddy today:

(1) “Feeling Alive” Glamour of the Kill

They've got a thing for fringe...

They may look as though they’ve stepped out of a Sunset Strip rock club, but they’re from the less glamorous and  more historical city of York, in the north of England.   They’ve got the requisite post-Emo looks for the “Kerrang!” generation of rock fans and songs which harken back to vintage Motley Crue with more contemporary metalcore touches.  Love ’em.

(2) “A Different World” Iron Maiden

The second single from the metal legends’ 2006 album, “A Matter of Life & Death”.   If you like Iron Maiden, you’ll know how their sound had developed by this release to include a distinctive progressive rock influence alongside the galloping rhythms and soaring guitars which have long been their musical trademark.

(3) “Holy Diver”Dio

Throw your horns up for the late, great RJD

Ah, the late great Ronnie James.  Former singer for Black Sabbath after Ozzy departed for the first time and full-time rock legend.  If you’re not into rock and metal, you might best know him from his appearance in the Tenacious D movie “The Pick of Destiny”.  Ronnie James Dio passed away after fighting a battle against stomach cancer in 2010.  He was 67 years old.

(4) “Unchained”Lacuna Coil

Rocking out in binary colours, Lacuna Coil.

It’s fairly inevitable that something by the Italian maestros of melancholic metal might pop up in one of these shuffle sessions, as I’m more than a bit partial to their music – this is from their 2009 release, “Shallow Life”.

(5) “Love Will Set You Free” – Whitesnake

Ain't no love/in the heart of the outside promotional photo shoot...

Disgraceful, twinkly-eyed old reprobate David Coverdale and the latest line-up of his blues-influenced hard rockers released their latest album “Forevermore” last year and this was the first single from it.

An intriguing selection this time around – I’m not sure that Lacuna Coil transition smoothly into Whitesnake but that’s kind of how this series of posts works.  The Church of Rock?  ‘Tis an unpredictable thing and no mistake.

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Rock, in dispatches…

Missed a day yesterday – sorry for that, couldn’t be helped.  I was sitting my driving test earlier today and needed to get some practice in before heading into the unknown.  In the end it helped, but I didn’t pass first time – I will redouble my efforts and pass on my second attempt.

Being away for a day has meant that I missed the news about Rush signing to Roadrunner Records in Europe – talk about your actual, factual coups.  Is there a band that I like which isn’t on that label?  Blimey.  Their first release for Roadrunner is said to be a live record culled from gigs on the Time Machine tour, with a studio record to follow in the first part of 2012.

From the “Pot? It’s Kettle – You’re Black” file comes Motley Crue front man Vince Neil’s assertion that longevity in Rock ‘n’ Roll is only achieved by growing up.

The Tattoos I get, not so much with the Tequila...

Vince Neil, ladies and gentlemen.  It’s a miracle he’s even alive to muse upon why the Crue made it and the likes of Warrant’s Jani Lane didn’t.

Metal Injection, meanwhile, is one of several blogs reporting the Ryan Adams cover of Iron Maiden’s “Wasted Years”, as recently performed on BBC Radio Two, here in the UK.  An excellent cover of a classic song rendered anew – I thought that I’d miss Steve Harris’ rampaging bass line but I really don’t.  It’s a perfect treatment of the song.

 

Lastly, and possibly leastly, comes the news that professional irritant Shia LaBeouf and Iconoclastic Goth Provocateur Marilyn Manson have joined forces for Manson’s new video, “Born Villain”.  LaBeouf directs, Manson poses and it’s all very shocking indeed if you haven’t been online in the last fifteen years.  Oh, my hair turned white, so it did, upon seeing the amazing scenes of depravity depicted within.

One of these men is a tool. The other one is Marilyn Manson.

Not sure what LaBeouf is getting out of this collaboration, but if it stops him making being Michael Bay’s audience stand-in, everybody wins.

 

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For Whom The Goal Tender Tolls…

Why don't Cricketers ever sport anything as cool as this?

Via Metal Hammer, the inspiring sight of Winnipeg Jets goal tender Chris Mason’s bad-ass, Iron Maiden-inspired helmet.

Pretty sweet. Not only do you get to face down certain death at the hands of burly men skating towards you with the sole intent of sticking a puck through your noggin but you get to do so whilst looking like you’re Eddie the ‘Ed’s wingman. A whole six-pack of awesome sauce to you, sir!

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Cultural Activities, for the week commencing 15/08/2011

Thrash Lives!

Yep, that Rachel Weisz post certainly did it’s job – more traffic than I’ve had in months, just from a picture of a gorgeous lady in a red dress. Some things just work, huh?

Time for some more Cultural Activities, whilst we reflect on the ethicacy of blatant traffic trolling…

Like, say, Huddersfield’s finest Thrash revival metallurgists, Evile. Having enjoyed their tune “Thrasher” on my hols, I thought that I would pick up Earache’s reissue of their debut, “Enter The Grave”. Which, in addition to the regular album, contains three bonus tracks, an extra DVD of which features the album played live in rehearsal, interviews, live material shot on a European show with Megadeth, recording session footage and the band playing “Thrasher” on Rock Band. And a guitar pick. And a fabric patch (for my imaginary battle jacket, which I don’t own). All in a neat digipack.

It’s a damn good package, and I look forward to exploring more modern-day thrash – thinking about going to see Evile in Sheffield later this Autumn. Not sure that I fancy braving the circle, though.

Greatest Living Canadians, eh?

Also on the cards for this week is “Beyond The Lighted Stage”, Sam Dunn and Scott McFadyen’s 2010 documentary about Canadian prog legends, Rush.

Having loved “Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey” and “Flight 666”, I feel confident that I will enjoy the merry heck out of this latest in Dunn and McFadyen’s documentary series.

Tunes you can whistle, 1970’s hair that you can chortle at – what more could you want?

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Up the Irons!

Image via the estimable photographic talents of Mike Lawrence on Flickr,  - cheers Mike!

Bruce Dickinson, Iron Maiden, Newcastle Metro Radio Arena, July 23rd.

My first Maiden show was a corking experience from beginning to end.

Support band Airbourne were the definition of plucky, fighting a valiant uphill battle against a sound mix which wasn’t doing them any favours at all – the guitars were muddy and lost any definition somewhere between the stage and the arena’s Block 208 where I was seated. Singer Joel’s vocals and in-between song banter was so impossible to discern that a woman sitting to my right-hand side’s first words after Airbourne finished were “Did you understand anything that he said?”

They dropped a liberal smattering of tunes from “Running Wild” and “No Guts, No Glory” and made sections of the notoriously critical Maiden fan base move around, but the mix made all of their hard work (this is not a band who stand stock still behind their mics – the band ran a mini-marathon by my reckoning) for nought, sad to say.

They did their best, and may have won over a bunch of new fans, but I think that they’re a band who need to have a smaller room (oh, for an Airbourne secret gig at Sheffield’s Corporation club) and more immediate contact between band and audience to show themselves at their best.

A brief sojourn for the road crew to get Airbourne’s gear off stage, for people to grab Maiden merch and the obligatory plastic beaker of lager-esque beverages followed, and before I had time to ponder on why people come to live shows and then spend half their time on their mobiles (seriously, WTF?), UFO’s “Doctor Doctor” was playing on the PA and it was ON…

“The Final Frontier” staging won me over from the get-go – designed to look like the interior of a spaceship, the set reminded me of the loading bay from “Serenity”, Joss Whedon’s sf-western awesomefest. This digression, whilst entirely valid, soon was swept aside by the sonic and visual bombast of the opening film which accompanied the lengthy musical overture at the beginning of “Satellite 15” – accompanied by the audience faithful going over more bug-eyed as the band tore into the main portion of the tune.

I’ve read some online reviews which felt that Maiden were a bit off-sorts for the first two songs of the show, but I can’t say that I really noticed – it was a slick and utterly thrilling performance from all band members, although I did wonder how the blinking flip Janick Gers kept up in most songs given his typical stage presence is somewhere ‘twixt genial metal Morris Man and Yoga instructor – there was some serious, ‘Crouching Mantis’ position throwing whenever he flung his left leg up on his side of the stage rig.

The change in sound was really noticeable throughout Maiden’s portion of the show – utterly crisp, clearly differentiated guitars whirling, crashing and zipping around the stage, Nicko’s drums regularly kicking you in the solar plexus in a thoroughly entertaining but slightly hooligan-like fashion and Steve’s charging bass underpinning each song in an unfussy, controlled manner.

I’m sure that there are some people who would come to a show like this one and fling about accusations of cold professionalism and clinical performances which are the antithesis of rock n’ roll – a valid point if you’re comparing the scrappy, straight-ahead tunes of Airbourne to Maiden’s recent, progressive rock-style rebirth, but not one which I care to debate for long.

Iron Maiden are a precise, glorious live experience, who make up in attack, scale and emotional connection what they might lack in off-the-cuff improvisation and seat-of-the-pants, ‘What will they do next’ free-form stage craft. It’s part-gig, part-theatrical stage show, part-thrill ride and never less than completely compelling stuff.

The set-list favoured, inevitably, the current “Final Frontier” album but also had enough classics and recent singles to allow the band to play the songs nearest and dearest to them, whilst still allowing fans who wanted to sing, scream and go nuts in the pit to do just those things.

My initial reason for seeing the show was the realisation that I had enjoyed their music from my teenage years and had never managed to see them live before. Who knows how much longer they will want to continue – on the basis of last night’s show, they have more than a few years of performing at this level left in them – but I recommend that you take the opportunity to see this most stately, self-assured and accomplished rock band in your city if you get the chance. A great show, a great night, a great band.

Also, Eddie was awesome!

The great photo of Bruce Dickinson at the top of the post is kindly reproduced courtesy of Mike Lawrence on Flickr – you can see more of his excellent Iron Maiden live pictures here and a host of great live music and other subjects here.

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