Paul Di'Anno @ The Gov (Adelaide, 29/5/09)

A wholesome night of good old Metaaaaaaaaaaaaal (ish)

Upon hearing that Paul Di'Anno was touring our fine country, and the fact that he was actually bothering to play in Adelaide (I’m looking at you Morbid Angel!), I decided it would be interesting to go and check it out. Also a good friend of mine purchased the tix, so i thought i would go along for a trip down nostalgia's way.

A few weeks before the gig I had actually purchased Paul's (note the first name basis) 2006 album, The Living dead, this is so i could a point of reference to some of the material he might be playing. But I was disappointed on this front, which I shall explain later.

Raven Black Night opened up the night's proceedings with a racous and heavy show of old school metal.

To my surprise they had again undergone another line up change with Big Tom on bass and Dr. Damage on drums. it seemed that they had only been together for a short time, as there was a few sideways glances for queues and breaks. That said, however, they did not disappoint. Playing such favourites as Morbid Gladiator, Our Love is Holy and Lips of desire they fired up the crowd with great vocals from The White Knight (as well as some choice crowd wind-ups), interpersed with solos that would make angels weep.

The Bass work of Big Tom was solid and thumping, and the Guitar work of Reno The Raven laid the groundwork of the epic tunes. I must add a special mention to Dr. Damage (PhD of drumology), as i mentioned earlier, it seemed he had only been with the band for a short time, but laid down some great and flaring skin-work to round out the show.

Next up was Double Dragon.

Admittedly i am not that familiar with the recorded work of Double Dragon, but their live show was certainly energetic and pumping. Unfortunately I could not hear what most of the song titles were, as it seemed front man Lee Gardiners' vocals were lost in the mix, or he would shout them out, again becoming indecipherable to the human ear. Ranging from Metalcore, Thrash and a hint of extreme metal, Double Dragon (cheers to Billy and Jimmy Lee, you know what i mean gamers!) provided a rousing, if somewhat out of place support.

Then hitting the stage in a flurry of double bass gallops and air raid siren vocals was Melbourne's Black Majesty.

And in a moment of guilt I thought halfway through the second song, 'Di'Anno better be bloody on FIRE after these guys are done!' Why? They were bloody awesome! Clockwork drumming from Pavel Konvalink, thumping away like a man possed. Spot-lit bass work of Evan Harris (quite literally, his bass guitar was illuminated with small LEDs on the fret board. Awesome dude!).

This combined with the twin guitar attack of Stevie Janevski and Hanny Mohamed placed a stack of professionalism and authority on their set. Then there was the voice of John 'Gio' Cavaliere, majestic, if you can forgive the pun.

Toward the end of thier show, I saw many a sideways glance and nod of approval from the many denim/leather clad individuals in the room.

Now to business...

As the the moment approached there was a palpable level of excitement and anticipation from the close to 300 people in the room, as the vague and mysterious man prepared to assault the stage of the Gov.

But let me talk of his Australian support band, Killrazer. A technical Thrash/Death outfit from Sydney that was lucky enough to be chosen by the man to be his backing band. Pete Hunt, maniac drummer; lead guitarist Doug Dalton; Zoran Mrakic on bass and Jimmy Lardner-Brown on second guitar very ably acquitted themselves of the duties thust upon them.

(Get on with it dickhead!) Ok, enough waffle... Paul time.

Lights down, ominous intro, the man lumbers from left of stage.

With no fanfare he lauches straight into Wraithchild from the Iron Maiden album Killers (oh, so far i had neglected to mention the he was once a member of the greatest band on earth, but you knew that right?).

Up next was Prowler, and by the end of this number, the hefty gent was, in his own words 'Sweating like a rapist'. And it was then it dawned on some of us that an evening of Dickenson-like athelics would not be in order. Oh well, English wit will have to suffice.

Murders in the Rue Morgue, Remember Tomorrow and Killers all had the crowd singing along and banging their heads respectivley.

Interspering the show with great banter, and sometimes thinly veiled threats of personal injury, Di'Anno imposed a solid tatooed and pierced figure on the stage.

Delivering heartfelt thanks to the small but eager crowd he urged us, and i quote, 'Don't be a bunch of poofs, headbang ya cunts!' Many obliged!

With obsucre references to The Spice Girls, which i thought was a joke - later being informed he was referencing Iron Maiden, who obviously in his view are a bunch of show ponies.

Midway through he seemed to wane a bit, blaming his lack of gusto on jet lag and cocaine, again met with laughter and cheers. But I must admit there were times I felt a little sorry for him, in one hand decrying Iron Maiden, but in the other having to rely on his works with them to make a crust.

Now for my gripe... Not one song from his album The Living Dead. What gives, Paul?

Either Killrazer did not have time to learn tracks, or he chose not to bother.

The third or fourth song from the end, a Ramones cover i think, he lept off to the side, holding his leg. It appeared something had come a-cropper and he had chosen to end the night on a bizzare and untimley note.

Fear not! Cries of "Di'Annnnnnnnnnnnnoooooo, Di'Annnnnnnnnnnoooooo!" brought him back on, mid-way through an instrumental Transylvania.

Finishing up with Running Free, a blistering rendition of AC/DCs Highway to Hell, and Sanctuary he bade a grateful and thoroughly boozed up crowd, "Goodnight and Get Fucked."

So in closing, good to see a living peice of musical history; even if that said piece was a little faded and tired.