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Camden, Underworld, London 20 February 2010
hits Camden on a Saturday night in support of the new album Promise and
Terror, just released on his own Blaze Bayley Recordings label. This is
the second full studio album from this line up of the band. The band are
now currently half way through the 20 date UK leg of the tour and by now
are sounding as sharp as Blaze's sideburns.
What struck me immediately was the genuine affection shown by the
audience for this man. He's been treading the boards since 1984 through
Wolfsbane, Iron Maiden, Blaze and now Blaze Bayley and built up a solid
and dedicated following.
Blaze! break out from the crowd in between songs throughout the set and
the man himself seems genuinely touched by the reception. The amount of
Iron Maiden t-shirts worn by members of the audience, and the reception
they give him, show that he's still very much regarded as a member of
the Maiden family. And those fans are loyal.
The first half of the set features a fair few selections from the
Promise and Terror album - City of Bones, Faceless, Letting Go of the
World and 1633 give the audience a good taste of what to expect from the
album. There's a definite Maiden flavour to this new material and the
twin guitar work of Jay Walsh and Nico Burmudez hits the spot.
The rest of
the set features selections from the three Blaze albums with Blood and
Belief and the excellent Stare At The Sun whipping up the crowd into
sing along mode before it's time for a couple of Blaze-era Maiden tunes.
five years with Iron Maiden, and quite rightly expresses the pride he
has in that era of his career. Man On The Edge (remember that on Top Of
The Pops?), and The Clansman keep the audience singing along and the
Maiden fans happy.
As the set
nears its climax, the band seems to find an extra gear. They up the pace
with two tracks from the 2008 The Man Who Would Not Die album - the
title track and the excellent Robot. These are particular highlights of
the set for me. A rip-roaring encore of Kill & Destroy completes a most
successful night's work for the band.
The UK tour continues into March before the band head off to spread some
Promise and Terror across Europe and South America. Armed with what
sounds like a fine new album, this could be a very successful new era in
this much loved singer's career.