Paul Di’anno Live at Hard Rock Hell VII

Paul Di'Anno Live at HRH VII 18 Following straight on from his ‘Double Trouble’ touring partner, Blaze Bailey, we shift backwards the best part of two decades for the Paul Di’anno years. The two albums that got Maiden off the ground showcased by the man who laid down the vocals on them.

The backing band are the same guys that played with Blaze, just a little more punked up for the Di’anno part of the show. They hit the stage as the intro music plays, revving up the crowd for the arrival of the Iron Maiden legend.

Just before Blaze came onstage, a woman in the crowd shouted “Come out ya fat bastard” to much amusement in the crowd. Unfortunately, were not within earshot of said woman before Di’anno, but we can only imagine the abuse was about to escalate.

He hobbles on from stage left, looking like he’s having some real trouble walking. The microphone stand handily doubles up as a walking stick. He stops a couple of times before reaching centre stage and announces “I’ve got the shits, so sorry if I have to disappear quickly”.

What a way to make an entrance…

Anyway, enough talk of Di’anno’s entrance. ‘The Beast’ loves to play up to his image as the bad boy from the squeaky clean Iron Maiden family. He moans and groans, picks on audience members who don’t appear to be enjoying themselves and generally does his best to make it apparent that he doesn’t want or have to be playing this set tonight. It’s part of the act, he’s the comedy villain.

What shouPaul Di'Anno Live at HRH VII 20ldn’t be part of the act is murdering Iron Maiden songs. He shouts his way through the gleaming catalogue of tracks he has at his disposal, going through them at double time in his typical punk fashion. Unfortunately, his backing band aren’t going at double-time. They play an awesome show, recreating the real Maiden live show to a tee; the tiniest details included.

The set list, as they say, picks itself. ‘Wrathchild’, ‘Sanctuary’, ‘Running Free’, ‘Murders in the Rue Morgue’…you can pick anything from those first two albums really.

Di’anno is joined by Blaze for an encore of ‘Iron Maiden’. Blaze rampages through the chorus lines while Di’anno actually puts some real effort in for the screams. They do a good job together but you can’t help worry about Di’anno’s pants from all that extra effort visible in his face.

That should have been the ‘Double Troublers’ signing off with a bang but in typical Di’anno fashion he slides in a Sex Pistols cover to finish “Because I don’t like Heavy Metal, I like Punk”.

The Beast promises that this is his last UK show ever and we’ll never see him again after this. Promises, promises, Paul…