British Lion are fast becoming a staple in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal landscape and tonight’s shift at The Warehouse, Leeds, only further supported this fact with a stellar performance which should make anyone with a passing interest sit up and take note.
Airforce opened the evening and they were loud. It may not have helped being stood right in front of the speaker stack, but they were loud! Not only were they loud, but they rocked and they totally put on a performance to be proud of. As they strode onto the stage to a scattering of fans there was a nervous energy evident amongst the group, although each one of them was wearing a huge grin which only confirmed that they were obviously loving every minute of their time on this tour. The nerves seemed to disappear as they progressed through their set, and towards the end there was a definite confidence and swagger from each member of the band as they stalked the stage with poise and merriment. This was a great start to the evening and warmed the swelling crowd up nicely, a set of true British heavy metal and one band to definitely check out again.
Airforce (click on thumbnail for full image)
So, onto the headliners and some true New Wave of British Heavy Metal in the form of British Lion. Now I have been in two minds as to whether to mention the obvious elephant in the room, and that is the true legend that is Steve Harris of Iron Maiden fame being the bass player within British Lion (that being said, there wasn’t any reference to Maiden tonight, and only one maiden shirt in the crowd which I think is massively respectful to British Lion and the respect they rightly deserve) There, now that’s out of the way we can concentrate on the matter in hand, and that is rising heavyweights British Lion and the shift that they put in tonight.
From the moment they bound onto the stage, to the moment they ended the set with distributing sweat bands, set lists and guitar picks (well it is almost Christmas) it was a success of astronomical levels !!
The band have just two albums to gleam material from, but what beasts they are. The volume wasn’t dialled down from where Airforce had left it, in fact I think it may have bene turned up a notch if that is at all possible. Taylor’s lungs were working overdrive and the precision and power he was able to muster up and project was nothing short of awe inspiring. He commanded the crowd and had them screaming the lyrics back at him with passion and pride. The first few rows were even jumping and enthusiastically lapping up the energy being distributed from the confines of the small unassuming stage.
Hawkins and Leslie occupied each wing of the stage and quietly plied their trade in a delicate and intricate fashion. The string work generated from them was majestic and comprehensive and they intertwined with each other with ease.
The latest offering, ‘The Burning’ is an absolute gem of a release and the tracks which had been selected tonight came across in the live setting with even more power and aggression. The tracks translated across into the club perfectly and allowed the whole band to express themselves and inject some of their personalities into the pieces with ease.
Harris was an absolute beast, and a madman, within the confines of the tiny club. He used his four string axe as an instrument of audible war, and chanted every lyric to every song as if he was a resident backing vocalist. He strode around the stage as if he was on a hunt, seeking out his next victim to which he could scream every lyric to, and snare you in the battle that was currently being fought.
Tonight was nothing short of spectacular and a lesson in how to deliver true British Heavy Metal, and deliver it in style. This is an extensive tour which sees them hit clubs up and down the country but if for whatever reason you just aren’t able to catch them on this touring cycle, do yourself a favour and do not miss out the next time this machine gets rolling
British Lion (click on thumbnail for full image)