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British Lion, The Raven Age @ The 1865, Southampton (UK)

British Lion, The Raven Age
in Saturday, 22 August 2015 at The 1865
by Lotty Whittingham

Like I have mentioned before in my previous reports; Southampton’s newish venue The 1865 has become a favourite venue of mine, particularly the balcony area where from a journo’s point of view you see everything going. Unfortunately this was closed off but that wasn’t going to stop me from enjoying this spectacular NWOBHM feat about to be bestowed upon Southampton.

Starting off the proceedings were Metal five piece THE RAVEN AGE; this particular band features George Harris, whose dad is legendary bassist of IRON MAIDEN and tonight’s headliners BRITISH LION Steve Harris. The first thing I hear is the clear, crisp vocal work that plays an important part within their music; their fantastic selection of music also consisted of distinctive shredding riffs, thunderous drums and the brilliant bass lines. Speaking to the guys earlier they told me to expect an amazing light show, they were correct; the colourful lighting against their beautifully simple backdrop was just spectacular. It worked stunningly well alongside their mesmerising music. The sign to show this performance was a successful one was the crowd wanting more songs from them, which for support bands is exceptionally rare. Concluding with the song “Angel In Disgrace” let me adamant in knowing THE RAVEN AGE were the perfect choice to open up tonight’s proceedings.

With the appearance of BRITISH LION looming anxiety and anticipation filled the venue, particularly since IRON MAIDEN fans gradually filled the venue to get a glimpse of their legendary bassist Steve Harris.  I must admit I went into this show blind; I hadn’t heard any material by this band. The only thing I was aware of was that Steve Harris is also in IRON MAIDEN, one of Heavy Metal’s pioneers.

The moment the lights went down and the intro track was heard cheers got louder and echoed around the venue. The first thing that is noticed is power; this was heard in the voice, the guitars, drums, keyboards and of course the bass. Watching this iconic Heavy Metal outfit on stage tearing it up on the stage showed me why Steve Harris achieved his status as one of Metal’s most iconic musicians; he had the crowd eating out the palms of his hands from the moment he graced the stage. The excellent musicianship mixed with their undying passion and boundless energy as they performed iconic Hard Rock anthems makes it clear why they are an amazing live band. I also noticed their fantastic light show against their brilliant back drop. Everything about their set was just perfect and it showed within the crowd’s reaction to their set; fist pumping, head banging and huge smiles. The sense of community and togetherness it brought was just wonderful.

So generally a truly outstanding evening Metal provided by both the band’s passion combined the overall community’s energy and spirit.

*Photography by Chris Green

Ticket Price: £15


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