Iron Maiden Rock!!!!!
11am Monday 11th Dec -- It's Iron Maiden live tonight - the first time I'll have seen the band live. I don't know how I've managed to miss them so often in the past. First though I have to spend a few hours putting together chapter nine of my ROCK LEGENDS AT ROCKFIELD Book. This one is about the eighties. It mainly features Simple Minds and food fights, Clannad trying to go hard rock to break the USA, Echo and the Bunnymen having a nightmare trying their tricky third album and Ian McNabb's Icicle Works. But former Iron Maiden singer Paul Di'Anno also recorded there in the 80's having left Maiden. He did his first solo album there. Here's an extract from my interview with Dianno guitarist Lee Slater who bumped into a ROCK LEGEND while working on that record:
" We had already done a demo at Rockfield about a year earlier and that’s when we met Robert Plant. In fact, he came in to say hello and at the same time dropped us a case of 24 beers for us to enjoy. We had a chat about the band, the studio, Zeppelin (of course) what he was doing at the time etc. To be honest, most of the time my chin was on the floor in amazement that Robert Plant had walked in with a case of beer and said "Hi guys, how's it going?"
Lee also tells a fantastically hysterical story about a drummer who fell asleep drunk in the toilets while having a dump and how the band had to remove him. Who says being a rock star is all abour glamour????? Drummers form a theme of the Dianno segment and the singer himself talks about another drummer they used for one session who got into some "Girl Trouble" at Rockfield and ended up in the police cells.
7pm After a good day's writimg it's time to head off to Cardiff's steamy sauna that is the International Arena. Lauren Harris - Maiden bassist steve's daughter - is up first and she's excellent. You should check out her songs on her website www.myspace.com/laurenharrisuk. Then it was the turn of Trivium - who weren't bad. But it was the arrival of Maiden that got the crowd really going. They bounced on stage to perform the whole of A Matter of Life And Death - their new album - for the first 70 minutes. This was great. The album is fantastic. One of the band's best for years and it was excellent to hear the whole thing live. (See Live pics taken from my camera phone above) Then they spent the next forty minutes playing a handful of songs from their back catalogue including Fear Of the Dark, Two Minutes To Midnight, Iron Maiden, The Evil That Men Do.
The stage set was a cleverly constructed world war II bunker complete with ramparts, searchlights, barbed wire and (eventually) a huge tank. Bruce Dickinson was outstanding. He hardly stopped running all show. He was full of energy and on the top of his game.
The only problem for the band was that it was so hot that there was condensation forming above their stage lights in the roof and raining down on the stage. It was aas if the stage had a different eco-system to the rest of the arena and by the end of the show the band were soaked having had to play the gig in a virtual shower.
9/10 for Maiden. they were terrific and if you can get to see them --- do so.
ROCK LEGENDS AT ROCKFIELD is published Spring/Summer 2007 by University of Wales Press.