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On stage: Blaze Bayley

- Blaze Bayley & Rain - Mar. 2009 - Tilburg (NL) -
- Blaze Bayley - Feb. 2010 - Leeds (GB) -

- Blaze Bayley - February 9th 2010 - Leeds (GB), Rios -

The setting for this concert was the tiny basement of Rios, a popular venue in Leeds. It was small and the beer was, as expected, horribly overpriced but, in all honesty, these minor gripes were instantly forgotten as soon as the Blaze Bayley band took the stage.
Blaze was in a very jovial mood this evening. This was evident as soon as the band started their line check as he started joking with the small, but expectant crowd who had braved the perils of a cold, Tuesday evening in Leeds to see one of the greatest frontmen in metal and his magnificent and talented band.
The band are supporting their new album, the phenomenal Promise & Terror, and kicked off with a song from this new opus before launching into a set that showed how strong the back catalogue of Blaze's solo career is. Classics such as Stare At The Sun, Ghost In The Machine and Alive were absent, but we were treated to a high quality offering featuring tracks such as Blood And Belief, The Launch and newer greats like Smile Back At Death, The Man Who Would Not Die and Robot.
Conspicuous by their absence were the usual Maiden songs I normally expect to hear from Blaze like Man On The Edge and Sign Of The Cross. In fact the only Iron Maiden song played tonight was the short Virtual XI opener Futureal. I must admit I was made up to find so few Maiden songs in the set as I'd much rather Blaze play more of his solo material.
Blaze's performance was magnificent. I'm sure the concept of taking it easy for a gig is one that, thankfully, this guy just wouldn't understand. The singer's vocal performance was perfect to my ears and his efforts to make the crowd feel part of something special and to get us going were met with enthusiasm.
Dave Bermudez once again showed what a good metal bass player should do. No standing back in the shadows and letting the singer do all the work for this guy! He constantly exhorted the crowd to cheer and clap and raise the horns.
Whilst Blaze and Dave entertained the crowd the twin guitar attack of Nico Bermudez and Jay Walsh amazed us with technical precision. Larry Paterson's drums were unfaltering throughout the show and once again I was left marvelling at how comfortable and tight this whole band look and sound on stage.
To top off a great evening the band finished with one of my favourite songs from The Man Who Would Not Die, a song that they never played on that album's tour, Waiting For My Life To Begin. I could have died happily right there as this song has become something of an anthem for me in the last couple of years.
After the show the whole band came out and were happy to sign autographs and chat with fans. I didn't see one disappointed face at any point during the night and the size of the queue for Blaze's autograph was testament to how well liked and respected this singer is by his fans. I can't wait to see this band again!

Mike Thompson


- Blaze Bayley & Rain - March 15th 2009 - Tilburg (NL), 013 -

Blaze Bayley
Blaze Bayley
Blaze Bayley: Nic Bermudez
Blaze Bayley
Blaze Bayley: Nic Bermudez

Sunday concerts at 013 in Tilburg are early, in this case doors open was at 3 PM and the Italian support band Rain should enter the stage at 4 PM - and they been on stage punctual. The band was founded back in 1980, but from the founding members only bassist Gianni Zerani is still part of Rain. Since the 2003 album Headshaker the band been through changes and returned in 2008 with Dad Is Dead. The fivesome presented traditional heavy metal with high-pitched vocals and even as they are around for so many years it's my first encounter with the band. From the first moment on stage the guys rocked and even if at the beginning there are only about 20 people, they acted like there been thousands. As I'm not familiar with the guys I can't tell you much about their show, but they offered a mix of songs from Dad Is Dead and the 2003 release Headshaker plus some more. At Energy singer Francesco 'Il Biondo' Grandi cheered up the fans and get some singing along. After the song guitarist Alessio 'Amos' Amorati took over the microphone.. "Hello, we are from Italy! We aren't here to smoke dope, we are here to play metal!" And they head into The Cult cover Rain which they covered on their last album. I never been a huge fan of The Cult and so I enjoyed the metallic version. Next in line was Mr. 2 Words and it was time to introduce the band. With Heavy Metal they offered a tune from their 2000 release Bigditch 4070 followed by Only For The Rain Crew and a cover of Highway To Hell. Time for the Italians to leave the stage. During their set more fans arrived and it seems that Rain has made some friends here...
After a change over it was time for Blaze Bayley! I have seen Blaze a couple of times, but haven't seen Blaze Bayley band yet. They kicked off with The Man Who Would Not Die. After Smile Back At Death Mr. Bayley talked to the fans: "It's a real honor to spend a Sunday afternoon with you! Thank you for this 2 days in Holland, it was absolutely fantastic!" And to thank their fans they kicked off The Clansman. The band played tight, even if Larry Paterson's drums didn't deliver the necessary punch - but that was only a hardware problem! With Lord Of The Flies the fivesome offered another track from Blaze's Iron Maiden debut. Especially the part of the set with Identity, Kill & Destroy and Ten Seconds was welcome by the fans, time to get back to The Man Who Would Not Die! Bassist David Bermudez and guitarists Nic Bermudez and Jay Walsh delivered - together with Larry on drums - the playground for Blaze's vocals and rocked the house with Samurai, Voices From The Past and Crack In The System. Time to talk to the fans again... "The labels only want your money, our money! They tell you, you are a star, but they take the money. We have no deal, we do everything on our own now! So, if you buy the CD, you support us, not the label! If you come to see us live, the ticket will help to bring us back on tour! Thanks to everybody who buys our album and comes to our shows! Thank you, you keep this band alive!" After Future Real and Born As A Stranger it was time for Man On The Edge. They were running out of time and closed their set with Robot. As usual Blaze Bayley delivered an energetic show, nothing to complain. A good set with highlights of Blaze solo albums, some new tracks and some hits from Bayley's days in Iron Maiden. The fans were satisfied and as always Blaze walked off the stage and straight to the merchandise booth to talk to his fans, sign CDs and let his fans take photos with him. I bet most of them will come to shows when the band is playing this area again.
During a little chat Blaze told me that the DVD release was delayed due to difficulties while they were working on the material. He really feels bad about it, coz some fans already ordered the DVD through the website. As soon as they are back to England they will try to finish the DVD before they hit the road again. So, if you ordered the DVD, they are working on it! Be patient!

Claudia Ehrhardt

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