Paul Dianno, Blaze Bayley - Fowlers Live, Adelaide 25/11/12.

METAAAAAAAL!

I have previously seen Paul Dianno live on two other occasions, but have not had the pleasure of seeing Blaze Bayley do his stuff. Admittedly, I'm not a massive fan of his time in Iron Maiden but let’s be honest, those two albums were fairly lukewarm anyway!

Kicking off the night was the very impressive Matterhorn, a local cover act of impressive quality. The vocals of Amanda Matterhorn hit all the right notes as she prowled the stage, throwing the horns with abandon. Hitting the highs in Sabbath's Heaven and Hell, and offering raspy goodness on the opener Am I Evil, she is an imposing front-lady. The drumming of Jaryd Dorey is spot on; he nails each cymbal, snare crash and drum blast; His work on Hallowed Be Thy Name was perfect. Bass is handled by Steve Opitz, a visual cross between a cast member of Sons of Anarchy and Pirates of the Caribbean. He strummed away, supplying a great bottom end sound to the perfectly chosen set of covers. Guitarist Brendan Ozolins weaves his magic on all the numbers, ranging from the chug of the Sabbath covers to the twiddle of the Maiden tune. If you want to hear your classic metal tunes played very well with no hint of cheese or gimmick, check out Matterhorn.

Up next were Octanic, a local six piece that was more leaning towards metalcore/industrial avenues. They delivered a solid set, full of atmosphere and energy, and had the crowd moving and thoroughly warmed up. Playing songs from their critically acclaimed EP and LP, and showing great ability and depth, Octanic are a band to keep in mind.

Co-headliner Paul Dianno followed the 'tanics; the sweaty, foulmouthed early era singer of Iron Maiden. Having seen Paul on previous Australian tours, I was keen to see how he was fairing after his time in jail (look it up). Gladly he did not let the small but loyal crowd down, belting out tracks from the Iron Maiden and Killers albums respectively. His backing band, featuring members of Australian thrash/death act Killrazer, again delivered the goods.

Hits such as Phantom of the Opera, Murders in the Rue Morgue, Iron Maiden and Sanctuary really got the house pumping. As the third song hit in, almost on queue, Dianno began to sweat heavily. At this time, as on previous tours he threw in the obligatory ‘I’m Sweating like a Rapist!’, to much laughter. His vocals still have the ability to reach high notes, he also like to growl a little during the heavier parts. Between songs Dianno amused himself by piling grief on the guitarist Greg (the Cunt), which seemed to be a running joke. In fact, of all the times I have seen him, he really seemed to be enjoying himself. Half way through the set, Paul helped himself to a ciggie, like he gives a toss about rules!! Finishing up with the AC/DC standard Highway to Hell, Paul was helped off stage (as his knee went, again). The crowd showed their support and love of this very funny and talented geezer.

The final act of the evening was, of course, Blaze Bayley, former singer of Iron Maiden and Wolfsbane fame. I was not really into Wolfsbane, and am a hardline Bruce Dickinson fan, so Blaze would have to work hard to impress me. And boy, did he change my little mind!!

With the same backing band as Paul, Blaze belted out songs from the two Maiden albums he appeared on The X Factor and Virtual XI. Leaping around the stage like a man possessed, and spending half the time perched on the stage barrier, Blaze was on a mission....of METAL!!! He pumped out Futureal, Man on the Edge and Lord of the Flies, pumping up the crowd by inducing cheering competitions. His mid song banter was warm and honest, decrying reality TV ‘talent’ shows, and promoting the strengthening of the International Metal Brotherhood! Launching into Sign of the Cross and When Two Worlds Collide, he again rode the barrier, shaking hands and scruffing up hair. The crowed showed their support by singling along heartily and cheering with gusto. Highlight of the night was The Clansman, as well as Blaze making a point of telling us that he will be at the bar after the show to meet and greet the punters. Proud to admit I grabbed him for a picture, and a very honest ‘Thank you so much for a great show!’