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3rd July 2016

iron maiden

Zayn Malik, who apparently is a former member of some pop band we've never heard of called One Direction, has enlisted the skills of Iron Maiden illustrator Mark Wilkinson for a new line of merchandise he is launching.

A swift Google search tells us that Malik is on the cover of Elle UK as one of four recognisable "rebels" for the September issue, appearing alongside Hollywood star Kristen Stewart, Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg and transgender model Hari Nef looking very heavily airbrushed which is not very a rebellious thing to do at all.

He obviously has good taste in design though because the shirt itself doesn't look too bad at all, even if it does immediately conjur up images of Maiden's classic Trooper design.

iron maiden

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Maiden themselves are launching the third beer in the highly successful Trooper range. The new Red N' Black Porter has been designed by Bruce Dickinson alongside Robinson's head brewer Martyn Weeks and says it aims to offer a modern take on a recipe that dates back to the 1850s. It is the strongest in the range at 6.8% in bottle, or 5.8% in cask.

It is also the first dark beer in the range and is of course named after a track from 'The Book Of Souls' album and is described as a full-bodied beer using a blend of chocolate and crystal malts to give "a roasted malt and caramel backbone with hints of liquorice and honey".

Trooper was launched in March 2013 and hit sales of 3.5million pints just over a year after it launched. Since than it has clocked up sales of nearly 13million pints.

Last year a limited edition version of the bitter, Trooper 666 with a stronger ABV, which was on sale from October to December 2015.

Red N' Black is available to pre-order online ahead of its launch on 1st September and will be available until the end of December in selected Morrisons and Bargain Booze stores.

Last month, at Maiden's all-conquering Download headline appearance, Bruce made a six-year-old boy who is fighting leukaemia, Rossi Starbrook's, dreams come true by meeting him before the band hit the stage.

And now Rossi will have his own festival which will be headlined by Hi-on Maiden and Chase The Ace. Leanne Starbrook, Rossi's mother told "Rossi wanted a festival style fundraiser to raise vital funds for children with cancer. We have done it as close to Download as possible to recreate his experience with Bruce.

iron maiden

"We've even got Hi-on Maiden playing and Rossi's dressing up as Eddie again to go on stage for his charity. We have some amazing bands playing over the weekend including Chase The Ace. We are worried about having to cancel because of costs."

The event starts on Friday 29th July with a BBQ and live music evening with Hi-on Maiden headlining. Saturday is aimed more at the families. There will be fairground rides, bouncy castles, food stalls, licensed bar, face painting, character appearances and a children's disco early evening. Sunday will be the same in the day time, event wise, and there be a live music line-up starting from about 2.00pm going through till headliners Chase The Ace finish at around 11.30pm.

It all takes place at Hilcote Country Club, Alfreton, Derbyshire, DE55 5HR. Camping is available and tickets can be bought via Eventbrite or local shops in Mansfield and surrounding areas. You can also call Team Rossi Foundation at 07738 304092 to find out more.



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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