We’re in the first few hours of the new working week after the final bank holiday here in England until Christmas arrives. How has the attentions of Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas crept up on us so quickly? It really doesn’t seem that long ago since last Christmas (queue cheesy pop song).
After a busy July gig wise August has been one of the busiest that I can recall. Usually bands are off earning easy money at festivals, but so far in the eighth month of 2018 I’ve been at a gig of some description on eleven nights (and bailed on another half a dozen) and there are still three more to possibly go before August bleeds into September with a possible run of three gigs in three days.
Wednesday sees me taking the extremely short hop of less than two miles up the hill to Eleven to see ex Iron Maiden frontman Blaze Bayley. I’ve seen the guy quite a lot over the last 29 years in various guises.
Numerous occasions in Stoke at the Wheatsheaf with Wolfsbane and supporting his future paymasters at the Victoria Hall. In the mid 90’s I caught tours X and XI by Maiden. Strange to see them drop from arenas in the UK to halls and within a few years back up into the arena circuit.
Since his departure from Iron Maiden I’ve mainly seen Blaze, and later Blaze Bayley, at the smaller festivals or in the odd support slot, until Wolfsbane was reactivated in 2007 for the Wildhearts tour. Wednesday night could possibly be the first time I’ve paid out money to see Blaze as a solo headline act. Any other time I’ve intended to go and see him something else has cropped up to scupper the plans I’d made.
This will be my second time seeing him and his band after they played a short set at Hammerfest back in March. I’m quite looking forward to seeing the expanded show with more of his Maiden back catalogue thrown in. It’s a shame there aren’t a few Wolfsbane tracks thrown in, but that could be rectified in December.
Ever since I saw the Tamworth H.M.S. take to the tiny stage in the Wheatsheaf I’ve always enjoyed his banter and he’s always been one of my favourite frontmen. He still knows how to work a crowd all these years later on, the only thing that’s really changed is the hair style!
Calling You Home can be found on the Blaze Bayley album Infinite Entanglement from 2016.