Gig Review: British Lion / Voodoo Six / Airforce – Queens Hall, Nuneaton (6th January 2023)

2022 saw the return to some form of normality after the previous 2 years of restrictions. We were treated to some spectacular shows in the Midlands but what can 2023 offer the faithful gig goer?

Well, it is the 6th day of the year, and I am at Nuneaton’s Queen Hall to see the legendary bass player of Iron Maiden, Steve Harris, who is normally entertaining crowds in the tens of thousands, with his other band British Lion play to a capacity crowd of around 300 people for the opening night of the tour.

It is my first visit to this venue, and I am not disappointed. There is a rock pub, The Crew, adjoined to the Queens Hall which is full of excited fans adorned in Iron Maiden and British Lion T-Shirts while the speakers blast out all your favourite rock tracks. To be honest if it was any other night, I would have been quite content sitting at the bar for the next 3 hours, anyway I digress……

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Airforce (c) SRK Lens

Opening the show tonight is Airforce whose drummer happens to be former Iron Maiden drummer, Doug Sampson. There is an obvious (and welcome) Iron Maiden influence in their music, and they are well received by the crowd with their tight rhythms and do their job of getting the crowd warmed up perfectly.

Next up is Voodoo Six. A very energetic, fast paced rock band. They also have a link to Iron Maiden with Bass Player Tony Newton, who has previously worked with Iron Maiden as a producer, oh and he is also the bass player for KK’s Priest, nice work if you can get it.

This is Voodoo Six’s first gig in 3 years so it is to be expected that they might be a tad rusty however, that is not the case. They make the most of the small stage and engage with the audience throughout their set. They are a proper good old fashioned rock band with some catchy riffs and crunching guitars. Well worth catching them when they next hit the road.

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British Lion (c) SRK Lens

So, it is time for British Lion. Now I will say if you are looking to go see British Lion and expect to see them play some Maiden classics then you are going to be disappointed. I would suggest you ignore the fact that Steve Harris is in the band at all and treat it as a whole new band altogether. What I actually like about this show is Steve Harris doesn’t try and take centre stage, he just gets on with his role as bass player and leaves the rest of the guys to lead the way, that said there is no mistaking his sound, and his style of play is ever present.

As I write this, I can’t help but reflect on the fact I am a metre away from Steve Harris who normally appears to be the size of an ant when I have seen him with Maiden, that in itself is worth the small price of a ticket and when you throw in the fact they have some pretty awesome tunes such as “The Burning”, “Spitfire” and “Lightning” then you really are getting value for your money.

This was one hell of a gig and if you get chance to see the band at any time, then you must. Definitely guaranteed hard-rocking fun.

Not a bad way to start the year off!

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