Epic Studios, Norwich
Thursday 19th January 2023
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BRITISH LION – NORWICH – LIVE REVIEW
All 📸 (c) Denis Gorbatov / Full Pelt Music
We’re fully embedded in the new year now, so it must be time for music fans to get back into the UK’s fine music venues. In fact we are close to the ever important, Independent Venue Week, so it’s great to start the year at one such venue – Epic Studios in Norwich.
The versatile venue can host events of all sorts but on this bitterly cold January evening, it hosts lots of denim and leather rockers as British Lion come to town!
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The final night of a full UK Tour, the band led by the legendary Steve Harris of Iron Maiden, attract a very healthy crowd tonight. Those in attendance are treated to not one but two accomplished support acts with the first of those, Airforce, in full effect as most attendees enter the venue.
Musically very suitable to supporting a member of Maiden, Airforce make the most of their short time on stage with a succinct and vociferous performance which no doubt wins over any uninitiated in the audience.
Next up is Voodoo Six, a band that Maiden/Lion fans will be very familiar with. The band stepped in on short notice to fill the void left by Canadian group Coney Hatch being unable to fulfil the tour.
Disappointing for some, for others like myself, this was actually an upgrade. Voodoo Six have consistently put out quality music and put on great shows for two decades now. Numerous line-up changes haven’t prevented the band putting out six albums and playing shows all over the world.
Tonight, they are on top form once again with an assured performance, mixing tracks old and new, to the delight of the crowd. Perennially tipped for bigger things, perhaps that ship has sailed but the constant of quality music and great shows doesn’t appear to be going anywhere as Voodoo Six once again show themselves to be criminally underrated.
Finally the time arrives for British Lion to take to the stage and they naturally receive a hero’s welcome. It’s the last show of the tour but also a (close to) hometown show for a number of the members, so the atmosphere is relaxed and the band let the music do the bulk of the talking.
The group have two albums in the bank at this point and the set list is a good mix of the two. Harris and co are able to give a good account of themselves, with singer Richard Taylor even acknowledging the apparent identity crisis that the band often have thrust upon them by others.
Long since dispelled as a mere solo project for Harris, since their inception in 2012 the group has evolved and that’s evident tonight with the stage presence of Taylor as exhibit A. This is a package now and not a vessel for Harris alone.
That makes the spectacle greater as far as the live show goes and places more emphasis on the music as opposed to the “oh look there’s Steve Harris” feeling for their early shows. It’s great to see and will hopefully lead to greater longevity from the project.
As this tour draws to a close with ‘Eyes of the Young’, British Lion may take a step back to Iron Maiden once again, but with performances like tonight you know it won’t be long before the band are reunited onstage again.
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Read our review of ‘Wrong Side of Paradise’ from Black Star Riders