Paul DiAnno @ Fowlers Live (Adelaide, Australia),26 June 2010

A year ago almost to the day.............

Last time I saw Messer Dianno, almost a year to the day actually, I was glad, but a little underwhelmed. I mean this was the guy that fronted the almightily Iron Maiden on their first two albums, and he was a little ordinary; nay, shite. But this time around, he was far better, rested, and on tune.


But I’ll start with the supporting acts before I get to the best of ‘The Beast’.


Opening the night was Adelaide stalwarts Skintilla.

These guys have been treading the boards of Adelaide pubs and clubs for over 10 years, so they know how to put on a show. Actually, waaaay back when I was in the now defunct comedy-grind band Team Metal, we once played with these lads. They play a style of metal which is not at all out of pace at this gig, good solid power metal in the vein of Iron maiden, Dio, Judas Priest with a hint of thrash.


The guitar work of both Chris and Jeremy is flawless and innovative. Their style is fluid, creative and very solid. Ranging from chugging riffs, to great solos and acoustic interludes, they span the entire genre of the metal guitar arsenal.


The drum work of Jaryd is a text book display of metallic effectiveness. His metronomic hammering, and galloping bass work drills the band forward like Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Full Metal Jacket. The bass work of Kim is a solid and low slung display; he strums effortlessly away, providing a brick walled solidness to the bottom end.


The powerful vocals of Darren soar above the music, harking back to the era of hair metal and Dungeons and Dragons. But in his case it is bald metal, and Harley Davidsons!


Stand out tracks are Fall from Grace and King of Kings.


Up next was another local act, Universum. Formed in 2006, and having played a plethora of national shows, often supporting some big names, they were no strangers to the stage. This 6 piece take their queue from the countries of the Northern Arctic, in regard to their sound and approach. Whilst they put on a great show, I felt they may have been a little out of place on this tab, but they certainly worked hard to gain some converts.


The axe work of Michael and Stephen is a great showpiece of dual axe attack. With references to Maiden (perhaps fitting) in their tone and style, they flowed up and dons the frets like Gustav did in Willy Wonka's.


The keyboards of Rachael suffered from the “Fowlers Curse” as they were lost in the mix a bit, and sometimes just disappeared. But when they did break through they added to the atmosphere of the sound. With more of an industrial tone than a “piano” approach, she added to the levels of the guitar and bass work, filling in the back ground with some interesting sounds and chord progressions.


The “Special Guest” bass work of Doug (Mammoth and Blood Mason fame) was as usual, perfect. His energy and proficiency gave grounding to the souring guitar and vocal work.


Drummer Jason clicked away like a piece of Swiss machinery, his triggered drums adding to the industrial angle of their sound. His fluidity and method were impressive, my only gripe was, loose the earphones whilst playing. It is nice to be in time, but it takes the fun out of live gigs.


Vocalist Adam was not lacking on the aggression and conviction front. His more “hard-core” toned vocals harked to Soilwork and Scar Symmetry. A full ranged assault that certainly did not lack in determination. Stand out track was Black Logic.


Up next was the infamous Paul Dianno. Last time I saw him, I was a little underwhelmed by his attitude and singing. He did do an ok show, just that I felt he was a bit past it. This time around however, he came to play!!


Celebrating 30 years since the release of the Iron maiden self titled album, we were treated to a blast from the past showcase of early maiden tracks, as well as some covers. With the flawless Killrazer of N.S.W as his support band again, Paul got straight into it. Busting out with Wrathchild then Prowler, his vocals were much better, and styled fairly true to form.


Within three songs the still funny but mandatory “I’m sweating like a rapist” joke got punters laughing. His infectious energy was also contagious, and banter made you feel very part of his sometimes tortured musical life.


The drumming of Killrazer's Pete was good honest rock/metal skin work. And if you will forgive the pun, he never missed a beat. The guitar work of Doug and Jimmy had to be spot on, as they were literally representing the sound of the first two Maiden albums, and we all know how Maiden fans can be.


By the time he got to Murders in the Rue Morgue, the ample crowd was in pure ecstasy. Again at times the Poltergeist of Fowlers played havoc, but was kept from ruining too much of the sound (can we PLEASE do something about the sound, seriously guys, getting a bit over it!).


The bass tone of Zoran was almost as if Steve Harris has taken control of his body for a short time. There was even a “Machine Gun” bass wave over the pit, gold!


At three intervals Paul went slightly off stage to have a smoke, as his knee had gone………again. This game Killrazer opportunity to play some of their own material. Which was warmly greeted by the now feverish crowd.

Their no bullshit thrash/death style harked back to the early 90s sound of Sepultura, Death, and Slayer. Coming back on for the song Killers, Paul was at this stage in full flight. He even made a well informed political observation about the recent change in the big chair, and some things disparaging about Julia….”That red-headed Welsh Bitch.” Revoke visa anyone?


Trudging into Charlotte the Harlot and Iron Maiden Paul’s voice was beginning to wane a little, but his energy was making up for that in spades. His inter-song banter was cheerful, witty and sometimes crude, but overall at least he was not surly.


Getting towards the end, and another smoke, queue Transylvania, the instrumental from Iron Maiden, the album. Closing up with AC/DC’s High Way to Hell and Sanctuary, Paul and friends left the crowd well satisfied on this occasion.


I wonder if he’ll return a year from now?