Gig Review: Paul Di’Anno / Noturnall / Electric Gypsy – Bannermans, Edinburgh (22nd/23rd November 2023)

Electric Gypsy (c) Gary Cooper

So here we are back at Bannermans again to see the legend that is Paul Di’Anno on the first night of a two night sell out, I’ve always preferred the Di’Anno Maiden over any other version as good as Bruce and Blaze are – so fingers crossed for a good couple of nights! On tour with him are a couple of young Brazilian bands in the form of Noturnall, and Electric Gypsy who are opening up first, definitely for fans of White Lion, Dokken and other similar 80s bands as they open with “Bad Blood” from their excellent new Mothership album. We get a couple more from the same album and boy, they can play and sing. We also get a couple from their 2021 self titled album including the excellent “The Devil Made Me Do It”. Give the boys a listen and catch them live if you can as they went down a storm tonight, I’d go see them again for sure.

Next up are the Noturnall boys who are a bit heavier, for me a cross between Lacuna Coil and Megadeth meets DragonForce but that’s just me – others may hear a different take on their songs. They open up with the guitar-pounding “Try Harder” from their new Cosmic Redemption album which is rather tasty, there are a couple more from said album including the very DragonForce-heavy “Reset the Game”. The track that stood out for me in their set was “Wake Up!” from their 2017 9 album in which singer Thiago got the crowd to sing the chorus back very loudly. We have a few more songs before the boys end the set with “Nocturnal Human Side” from their heavier self titled 2014 album. Again, another great band that really got the packed crowd fired up, go catch them live if you can as they were tremendous. Both bands definitely benefitted from a packed venue as soon as the door opened and the crowd really got behind both of them which was great to see.

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Noturnall (c) Gary Cooper

The main man Paul Di’Anno now and I have to admit to being a bit nervous but he went down well in Newcastle the night before so I had high hopes for tonight and he did not disappoint as just after being wheeled onto the stage the band launch into “Prowler” from the self-titled Iron Maiden classic which was swiftly followed by “Charlotte the Harlot”. The band launch into a triple whammy from 1981’s Killers including “Murders in the Rue Morgue”, “Purgatory” and my favourite – “Wrathchild”. Paul dedicates “Remember Tomorrow” to his step dad who has recently been back in touch after a long time which obviously meant a lot to him. The first of two instrumentals in the set tonight with “Genghis Khan” followed by “Killers” and “Phantom of the Opera”. We have “Sanctuary” up next; the 1980 non-album single, at least in the UK, followed by the second of the instrumentals and my favourite – the thundering gallop that is “Transylvania”.

The drums and bass kick in with that beat that can only be “Running Free” before we get a nod to Paul’s punk leanings with the Sex Pistol’s “Holidays In the Sun” before we catch up with the “Drifter” and end a truly classic perfect set with, what else, but “Iron Maiden”. I could have waxed lyrical about each and every one of the songs played tonight but you all know them as did a sold out Bannermans with everyone singing back every song to Paul and he was loving every moment. I’m old enough to have seen him at his best with Iron Maiden, twice in 1980 and once in 1981 on the Killers tour. I’ve also seen him solo in 2005 at the Exchange in Edinburgh but it was a different Paul Di’Anno tonight in his wheelchair recovering from knee surgery, and while not quite hitting all those high notes he did well tonight and the crowd loved every minute. The band were tremendous and played everything absolutely spot on.

I also went to the second sold out night which had the same setlist but it was cut slightly short tracklist wise with the running order also changed about slightly as Paul was in considerable pain with his leg. I was surprised when he made it to the end and it gave the night a different vibe to the first night but the crowd around me down the front seemed to be still enjoying the show. They crowded round him as he was moved off the stage to the main floor part-way through the set which seemed to help a bit.

I wish Paul all the best with the rest of the tour which will put a strain on him with his knees, hernia etc. If he can get fit again and out of the wheelchair there is no reason for him not to keep going and giving us those first two albums the way they should be for a long time yet.

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Pics by Gary Cooper Photography

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