Steve Harris is set to take his side project British Lion back on the road this summer.
The Iron Maiden bassist’s other band, British Lion, released their debut album in 2012 and also did a club tour in 2013. They’re back at it this year, starting a short 10-date European trek immediately following the end of Maiden’s 2014 Maiden England tour.
The band is booked for club gigs in July, doing shows in the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain and Portugal. Harris claims the reason for doing small venues is that they “really love the vibe and intimacy”. Which is probably true, but it’s not like British Lion could choose to play bigger venues…
Click here for schedule and ticket information!
Oh, and Harris also says that the tour couldn’t be longer “for a number of reasons, probably of interest to Maiden fans!” It’s probably fair to speculate that he needs a little time off in the late summer before starting work on a new Maiden album in the fall. Or is there yet another leg (!) of Maiden England coming up after the European tour…?
29 thoughts on “British Lion back on the road in 2014”
Or maybe it’s to work on the editing and mixing of the new live album/DVD with The Caveman???
Probably to work on a new studio album, as Rod mentioned in the 2014 ME tour press release.
Well, Rod said “something new” was in the works and I’d be really surprised if that isn’t the new album that Bruce has already suggested for 2015. Steve’s work with Shirley on live DVDs amounts to a few days, nothing more. But I’d sure like to see one from the recent tour!
I’d honestly be pretty underwhelmed by a ME live DVD. Flight 666 Part 2, more like, but without all the interesting stuff regarding the plane. It’d be cool if we got a box set of Donnington shows, though.
Adam H – I was underwhelmed by British Lion. Granted, I was never stupid enough to expect a “Maiden Pt II.” In fact, I thought the lyrics were thoughtful and the music was beautiful until the vocals kicked in. It was like a Spanish galleon trying to move while someone fanned the sails with an ostrich feather. So disappointing.
A new Maiden project has been discussed not only by Rod, but Adrian and Dave, as well. And Dave…hey, he doesn’t usually say anything, but when he does, ya listen! I really hope so. I really, really hope so. A new project would be all kinds of wonderful about now.
I was talking about a Maiden England ’12/13 live DVD being Flight 666 pt 2, …not British Lion?
Yes, Adam – I’m aware you were talking about the ME. The post, however is about British Lion. I took your lead, then redirected the sentiment to validate the desire for additional product. It was a “which reminds me…”
What did Adrian and Dave say?
Nothing committal, but both of them, on separate occasions mentioned that they and the band were “piece-mealing” new material. Dave stated that a new album would possibly be either in the works or finished by the end of 2014, which of course, now would be more likely 2015. Bruce dropped hints and Nicko dropped hints as well — but, as we know, Nicko drops all kinds of stuff, Goddess bless ‘im! 🙂
I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
I believe I had seen the “pieces” quote from Metal Wani, but I can’t find it. Like I said, there was nothing committal, but some were more committing than others. I personally, haven’t heard of any tour plans for the fall, so either they will be taking a break or they may be working on something. Either case, it’s assured we won’t see anything this year. Next year is much more possible.
Here’s Bruce, “Absolutely.”: http://ultimateclassicrock.com/iron-maiden-2014-new-album/
Adrian, “…It’s possible.” http://loudwire.com/iron-maiden-adrian-smith-talks-maiden-england-tour-progress-on-new-album/
Dave, “…if we all agree to it, then maybe.” http://rocknewsdesk.com/world-news/maiden-albums-a-maybe/1319/
Ah yes, there’s been a lot of those “possible, maybe” since the Maiden England tour started. And Bruce of course confirmed last summer that there will be a new album in 2015. It’s not just you personally that hasn’t heard about touring plans for the fall, Ms. Ray, the band have stated that Knebworth is the final gig of the tour. But they’ve changed their minds before. 😉
If Steve couldn’t tour with British Lion past July 19 because of Maiden business, I’d say that makes it very likely that the band will start work on a new album in September or October. Steve will want a couple of months off after two tours back to back.
Seems to me that since the 70s 80s, Steve lost the ability to choose a good vocalist… After Bruce , Blaze for all the great singers that’d be more than happy to take the job, and then believing in this mediocre Karaoke singer since 1992 or something, and choosing him to front his first ever solo project…. I think that he has a hearing disability when it comes to Vocals..
You know, nothing against Blaze – he never gave less than 100% and is a great guy – but I agree with you. In 1994 Steve Harris chose a new Maiden singer who was completely unable to sing large sections of Maiden’s catalog. It blows the mind. And not in a good way.
I don’t blame Blaze at all too … It’s not like he put a gun on their heads and said:”hire me!!!!” Hell if steve came to me and said: “would you like to front your fav band” I’d say: “hell yeah”… Eventhough i’d seriously worry about my life, from all those angry Maiden fans 😛
You hit the nail on that sad, sad head. Lion’s music was beautiful. Very strong, well-crafted, wonderfully produced. But, the second Wimpy hit the mic, it was all over. It was like they were trying to move a Spanish galleon by fanning the sails with an ostrich feather…so disappointing.
As for Blaze, no one can blame him for taking the opportunity of a lifetime. But, Bruce is a hard act to follow, no matter who Harry chose. Getting a mere impersonator just would’ve been insulting, so second best was the best he could do. But, British Lion? No excuses. He could’ve found someone with a little “oomph.”
I agree completely with you about the British Lion singer. And as for following Bruce, they sure didn’t need an impersonator, but they did need a singer with a range that could service the catalog. Blaze never had that. Which makes it a complete mystery to me why he was chosen. I’m not saying Dougie White would have been a great choice, but at least he could actually sing the songs. And Steve chose Blaze over him, who was never able to sing something like The Trooper or Hallowed Be Thy Name. What was the thinking?
My best guess is that he might have thought Blaze, being in better physical shape than Doogie, would have more showmanship. But, like I said, it’s just a guess.
@Ms. Ray: And your guess is as good as mine! 🙂
I’ve only seen Steve talk about it once, in the official bio, and here’s what he says: He claims that Dougie had “a superb set of pipes” and that “we all agreed Dougie had a great voice…”, but they weren’t sure if he sounded “quite right” for Maiden. When it came to reviewing Blaze’s audition Steve felt that “it fits. It feels really right.” How right is certainly debatable.
What’s incomprehensible to me is that they would choose a singer who had nowhere near the range to sing large parts of the Maiden catalog. It would be like choosing me! Steve once said that live they didn’t do Bring Your Daughter “which was more associated with Bruce”, and Run To The Hills “because it was Bruce’s first big single with us.” Who the hell is he kidding? We all know there’s no way Blaze would ever be able to sing those choruses…
Poor Blaze’s performances of The Trooper, Hallowed Be Thy Name and The Clairvoyant showed for all the world how messed up Steve’s decision was…
In fact I thought that blaze didn’t do any of Bruce’s songs justice..
I thought he did an ok job on Paul’s songs and on his own’s but was always suffering live… I think the more Iq insulting part on Maiden’s behalf was the cancelation of some gigs cause of “blaze’s allergies” .. Yeah right. Blazes allergies to sold out, or desently filled arenas in the usa that is…
I always liked afraid to shoot strangers with Blaze though, live that is, since Bruce has a tendency to overdo the song, if you know what I mean, especially in the recent versions..
Those hand gestures, the “so god (which one)” and “this wayayay” are real mood killers… But maybe that’s what’s cool in the mind of a 53-54 vocalist in 2012-13.. Like the need to commentate over the fireworks of this tour. Ok bruce we like them too.. Stop mentioning them they’ve been around for quite a few decades now, it doesn’t matter if you just discovered them 😛
You touch on another one of Steve’s incomprehensible failures there: His resistance to doing more material from the first two Maiden albums with Blaze, which would have suited his voice better than Bruce tracks. Why the hell Blaze was never given the chance to perform stuff like Phantom and Killers in place of something like Trooper (which wasn’t yet the unavoidable live cut it has become in later years) … Steve is pretty much God, I know, but he sure knows how to fuck Maiden up at times. 😀
Btw, I think the allergy thing was real, but in my opinion Blaze could never really perform most of the Bruce era tracks no matter how great he felt. I do agree with you that Blaze’s version of Afraid To Shoot Strangers was really good, especially the way he pitched the chorus at the end up one octave. I always wished Bruce would have done that.
Songs from the first 2 that I’m sure Blaze would have done better than most Bruce era tracks: Prowler, Remember Tomorrow, Phantom Of The Opera, Charlotte The Harlot, Killers, Purgatory, Drifter. They did Murders In The Rue Morgue for a few gigs in 1998, but I’m sure many fans would have appreciated hearing more of these at the time. 1) They were rare, and 2) Blaze might not have sounded terrible on them.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBGTZC3PT5o . Didn’t know they played this one live, in 1998.. It’s a sad fact that Blaze sounds comfortable doing this song… It suits his voice even though I didn’t expect him to be able to follow such a fast paced song..
Where in Bruce’s era songs it feels like someone is having their hands on his throat and choking the life out of him…
You couldn’t be more right about more Paul’s songs being performed live with Blaze would be a better choice..
To be honest, I think his performance of Murders there is perfectly awful…
well if you compare it at his versions of the clairvoyant, the evil that men do, hallowed and the trooper well it sounds half decent … But again… what the hell was Steve thinking…
Well, we know that it was Rod who really pushed to get Bruce back. We also know that Rod was against Steve producing the Maiden albums. And we know that Rod is not allowed near the studio when the band is working. I can just imagine what Rod was thinking when he first heard The X Factor and Blaze onstage with Maiden…
I think at this time we had the less Rod’s interviews ever … Don’t forget he was also managing Bruce at a time when for me personally was at his peak live 1996 -1999… You can imagine the contrast..
Steve also said that firing Blaze was the hardest thing he ever had to do.. But this could also be bout how nice he was, character wise (Blaze). They said a change needed to be made anyway… Whether it was Bruce or not.
So it could either be that Steve came to his senses, or that simply he faced the fact that another financial failure (in Maiden standards) could be fatal. And personally I think that Rod played a big role being close to both sides and looking at things objectively.
Yeah, from Rod’s statements in the Run To The Hills bio it’s pretty clear that he thought Bruce was needed to get the band back up. Commercially they were pretty much fucked with Blaze, and there’s no way they could have gotten back to being a monster draw in concert without Bruce. Rod knew that. And it seems he turned Steve around to accepting first letting go of Blaze, then the return of Bruce, and finally having a real producer to do their albums in a real studio. Steve certainly changed his thinking on these points, which was absolutely necessary for Maiden to become a world-class force again.
And both Steve and Bruce seems to have had the idea of Adrian coming back, which has obviously been a major plus for the band these past 15 years.
wow … 15 years since the reunion… I still find my self getting chills listening to Brave new World and it feels like it was released yesterday… I still consider it a current record but man it’s been 14 years…. Maybe it’s the production, the excitement of my two fav band members returning, other than Steve that is, or simply the long long career this band had …
Long live the kings of British Heavy Metal ! 🙂