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O2 Academy, Islington, London
Thursday 14th April 2016

Steve Göldby: Photos by David Craig

steve goldby

the iron maidens

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 is a major factor in that.

Yes, the real Iron Maiden endorse them, but its in their own interests to do so and yes, they have been getting some very 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 really play these songs and yes, this is most definitely for real and 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, and I've seen them plenty of times since my first outing way back in 1980. Yes, The Iron Maidens are very much for real and are very, very valid.

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The Academy was almost filled 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 and I was concerned that the band may have lost their audience early as they took to the stage too soon, while 'Churchill's Speech' was rolling, and ended up standing around too long waiting for the cue to begin.

There was nothing to worry about though as it was plainly obvious 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

There were some good surprises in the setlist as well, notably '22 Acacia Avenue' - it was actually a little strange hearing those lyrics being sung by a lady - and 'The Duellists', an almost forgotten gem from the 'Powerslave' album along with a sublime 'Killers', one of two tracks aired from the Paul Di'Anno era, the other being the brilliant 'Phantom Of The Opera', one of those truly difficult songs I mentioned earlier.

One of the bravest moves they made though was the complete version of 'Rime Of The Ancient Mariner' and 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.

the iron maidens

Frontlady Kirsten has good stage presence and talks to the crowd effortlessly and it was great to hear her bellow out: "Scream for me London... how long have I waited to say that..!!" She made several references to being in London and it was very obviously a major deal for the girls.

It was for a lot of the fans as well because we only get one chance to see Maiden in England this year so if you're not going to Download, you don't get to see them at all so this made up for that in a big 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 extremely well.

the iron maidens

The stage show included appearances by Eddie, the Grim Reaper and the Devil and they all drew mass applause from the gathered throngs on what was nothing less than a triumphant night. The Iron Maidens have a big opportunity here in England and I expect them to be playing to bigger venues next time they come here.

And so the verdict is "very highly recommended indeed". It will stir up memories of Maiden past and you'll feel as though you have just seen the real thing. It's full support from MetalTalk for The Iron Maidens and we'll be following their activities with big interest.

And the name "Bruce Chickinson" is nothing short of pure genius. I wonder if she can fly a 747?

the iron maidens

The Iron Maidens Setlist:
Doctor Doctor
Churchill's Speech
Aces High
Wasted Years
22 Acacia Avenue
The Trooper
The Duellists
The Prisoner
Still Life
Rime Of The Ancient Mariner
The Number Of The Beast
Phantom Of The Opera
Fear Of The Dark

Hallowed Be Thy Name
Run To The Hills
Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life

the iron maidens

The Iron Maidens are:
Kirsten "Bruce Chickinson" Rosenberg - vocals
Linda "Nikki McBurrain" McDonald - drums
Courtney "Adriana Smith" Cox - guitar
Nikki "Davina Murray" Stringfield - guitars
Wanda "Steph Harris" Ortiz - bass

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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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