Archive / The Iron Maidens Rock Out As Troopers In Victory

I went to this gig, the very first UK appearance by The Iron Maidens, with no expectations whatsoever and via a very heavy drinking party to celebrate the re-opening of the Purple Turtle venue in Camden. I’m not a big lover of tribute bands, but I’m slowly being turned and tonight’s exquisite performance only drove on my rapidly changing opinion. 

The Iron Maidens

Islington Academy, London – 14 April 2016

Words: Steve Göldby : Photos by David Craig

The Iron Maidens - O2 Academy Islington - 14 April 2016
The Iron Maidens – O2 Academy Islington – 14 April 2016. Photo: David Craig/MetalTalk

Yes, the real Iron Maiden endorses them and it is in their interests to do so and yes, they have been getting some impressive press coverage recently but is that purely due to the “novelty” factor? Can they really play these difficult songs to an acceptable quality, and is this going to last, or is it merely a passing fad?

Well yes, they can play these songs and yes, this is most definitely for real. I think the highest compliment I can pay The Iron Maidens is that I stumbled home with the same feeling of euphoria and delight that I always get when I see Iron Maiden. I’ve seen them plenty of times since my first outing back in 1980, and from my experience, I can say hand on heart that The Iron Maidens are very much for real and very, very valid.

The Academy was filled almost to capacity and there was a crackle of anticipation in the air as Doctor Doctor rumbled out of the PA. But English Iron Maiden fans are notoriously difficult to please. I was concerned that the band may have lost their audience early as they took to the stage too soon, whilst Churchill’s Speech was rolling, and ended up standing around too long waiting for their cue to begin.

There was nothing to worry about though, as it was evident after a rousing Aces High and a stirring Revelations that we were in for a real treat tonight as diehard Maiden fans nodded in approval.

The Iron Maidens - O2 Academy Islington - 14 April 2016
The Iron Maidens – O2 Academy Islington – 14 April 2016. Photo: David Craig/MetalTalk

There were also some good surprises in the setlist, notably 22 Acacia Avenue, though it was a little strange hearing those lyrics sung by a lady. The Duellists, as an almost forgotten gem from the Powerslave album, was sensational before a sublime version of Killers smashed the audience into approval as one of two tracks aired from the Paul Di’Anno era. The other being the brilliant Phantom Of The Opera, one of those challenging songs I mentioned earlier.

One of the bravest moves the Maidens made was the complete version of Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, in which they absolutely nailed the ‘then down in falls comes the rain’ part, where the song kicks back into full tempo. I’ve seen plenty of other cover bands attempt this and flop miserably.

Front lady Kirsten had a brilliant stage presence, talking to the crowd effortlessly. It was great to hear her bellow, “Scream for me London… how long have I waited to say that..!!” She made several references to playing in London, which seemed a significant deal for the girls.

The Iron Maidens - O2 Academy Islington - 14 April 2016
The Iron Maidens – O2 Academy Islington – 14 April 2016. Photo: David Craig/MetalTalk

It was for many of the fans as well because we only get one chance to see Maiden in England this year. So, for those not going to Download, this was as good as it could get in a tremendous way. Also – and this is where tribute bands win – we got to hear some songs that we know for sure Maiden will never, ever play again, and all were played exceptionally well.

The stage show included appearances by Eddie, the Grim Reaper and the Devil. They all drew mass applause from the gathered throngs of rockers on what was nothing less than a triumphant night. The Iron Maidens have a huge opportunity here in England and I expect we’ll be seeing them in bigger venues next time they’re over.

The verdict is in, and here it is: very highly recommended indeed. The ladies will stir up memories of Iron Maidens past, and you’ll feel a fingers touch away from the real thing. It is full support from MetalTalk for The Iron Maidens and we will most certainly be following their activities with saluted esteem. 

Not to mention the name Bruce Chickinson. Nothing short of pure genius. I wonder if she can fly a 747. 

Sleeve Notes

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