UK Review: Iron Maiden Founder Plays The Hub

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Having been an Iron Maiden fan since first hearing Powerslave way back in 1984 I have sadly yet to see them play live. Last time they came anywhere near where I live was back in 1986 when they played at the St Austell Coliseum as part of the Somewhere on Tour tour. Having hit the big time since then, they now only play huge venues. So when I heard their bass-player and founding member, Steve Harris, was bringing his solo project British Lion to The Hub in Plymouth, it became one of those must-see shows. Support for the night came from Harris’ sons’ band, The Raven Age who had toured with Harris on his previous tour and are making quite a name for themselves.

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As The Raven Age took to the stage it was soon evident that they were full of energy and on the heavier side of heavy metal with some songs verging on a thrash metal sound.

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I enjoyed their energetic set and they put on a great show. Some fast and furious guitars mixed with brutal melodic vocals made for the perfect start for the night and I can see these guys becoming big news on the metal scene if they continue like this.

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They played for the best part of 45 minutes and from the fans response they made many new fans on this outing.

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With the support out of the way it was time for the main draw and it wasn’t long before the crowd got what they had come to see. The rest of British Lion took to the stage and had a warm welcome from the gathered crowd but it was Steve, last to enter the stage that got the main cheers and with that we were off. From the start it was evident that these guys enjoy what they do and they were at full pelt even though the venue had not sold out.

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I was surprised how good they sounded live as the album had some very harsh reviews and as Steve took mostly a back seat the other guys revelled in the spotlight. Steve, as he does with Iron Maiden, spent a lot of time facing the drummer as they jammed together and spent the rest of the time with his trademark moves at the front of the stage. He could be seen mouthing all the words as he pounded his iconic Fender bass embellished with West Ham football clubs crest.

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It’s great to see his attitude towards his side project and he clearly loves playing live. With the fame and fortune that comes with the years of touring with Iron Maiden he could easily put his feet up and take things easy but he’s out and about across the UK playing the sort of venues that Maiden would have started off in.

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The crowd played their part in making this a memorable night as they sang along with the band with hands clapping and fists pumping in the air. It must have been quite a sight from the stage and let’s hope they enjoyed the response enough to return this way the next time they hit the road.

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