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Steve 'Loopy' Newhouse

steve newhouse


I went along as a friend and a punter, like we all do, and got asked to help out.

I already knew that I was likely to help Den out, but then Jeff Braithwaite from Chariot said: "Can you do me a favour?"

After a little discussion, where a favour means 'for nothing, not even a pint', I agreed to help him take his stuff off the stage, and if I could, help Cloven Hoof put their gear on.

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All went well - we got Chariot's gear off stage very quickly, and Cloven Hoof clearly didn't need my help. More crew than band, which in my day was unheard of.

As far as I was concerned, the next thing I had to do was get Den's gear on stage.

dennis stratton iron maiden years
Dave Edwards, Michael De Jager, Gary Stone

From a crew point of view, it's the waiting that sucks. You know exactly what you have to do, but it's the time in between - one band off, one band on - that gets to you.

I used that time to check on Dave Lights. He had got a little nervous about his role and managed to throw up. He assured me he was ready to rock and roll, so I left him for a while.

Ten minutes later I checked on him again; no change, in fact he looked worse but again he assured me he was OK.

dennis stratton iron maiden years

Finally Cloven Hoof had finished, so it was my turn to shine.

The two bands equipment went off and on in no time, thanks to Gary Redman and his team.

So the Dennis Stratton Iron Maiden Years were about to hit me for the first time in over thirty years.

Personally, I wasn't nervous about this, but poor Lightsy had a few vodkas to steady his nerve. But you can't take it away from the guy. He was still as good as ever, with a little help.

Most lighting boards are digital these days, but Dave was given three buttons to press, and he was delighted.

With Doug Hall doing sound and Dave doing the lights, me helping with band gear, it's the first time we had all worked together with Dennis since 1980.

dennis stratton iron maiden years

I'm surprised really that Den never mentioned it, but he had enough to think about, Grandchild on the way, his own birthday...

The band, comprising of Den's RDB back up - Dave Edwards on guitar, Laurie Dalziel on bass and Martin 'Magic' Johnson on drums and with the added bonus of Michael de Jager as third guitar and a debut vocalist for the band called Gary Stone, they ripped through Maiden's first album and made it sound like it was yesterday all over again.

With the most enthusiastic crowd of the evening calling for more, Dennis duly obliged, after convincing Martin he still had enough time to get home to tea and biscuits. They launched into Deep Purple's 'Smoke On The Water', which included a five minute drum solo, with poor Martin checking his watch every chance he had.

dennis stratton iron maiden years

As the set finally came to an end, Den's son and daughter brought on a huge birthday cake in the shape of his guitar and with Eddie's head on the other side and LED lights for eyes.

Dave Edwards led the birthday singalong, and a high ended even higher.

dennis stratton iron maiden years

From a former crew point of view, it was a really good gig. The set may have only been 55 minutes long, including the encore, but it was worth every second to see some old friends playing material from the first album, some of which I had forgotten.

If only the Rolling Truck Stones thing had been just outside?

Click here for the Loopyworld index and 'The Early History Of Iron Maiden'...




Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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