Steve Harris’ British Lion visited Malmö last night. I’m guessing they arrived the day before – I passed the club KB (Kulturbolaget) on my way home from work and saw the usual “Beat The Street” buses outside. So, their day off was possibly spent in ice-cold Sweden. What a drag. :)
Met up with my friends Mari and Henrik outside KB pretty early, basically cause I didn’t want to go home and get all drowsy – it’s better hang outside the club and yap a bit until the doors open. And you never know with these things – there could either be two people in line – or there would be one of those “around the block“-type of lines.
For the record – it was NOT the latter….
It was embarrassing to see the lack of people. It was cold as fuck and it was a freaking Tuesday, but if there is ANY rock’n’roll in people, they should have been there when they got this once in a lifetime opportunity to see the godfather of metal bassists, a living legend, STEVE HARRIS – IN A SMALL CLUB IN MALMOE. That’s never going to happen again. How anyone would want to miss that is beyond me. I’m guilty of almost bailing myself, until it dawned on me what I would be missing.
It’s a bit fashionable right now to dislike what Steve does outside of Maiden with British Lion. Nobody dares to say that they like anything about his new project, but honestly… it’s definitely not that bad.
I think that the problem is pretty much what Gary Moore experienced when he tried something very different from what he was known for. Critics loved “Still Got The Blues” – fans absolutely hated it. Metalheads don’t like change. It’s like you’re a traitor, like you’re leaving your group, the place where you belong.
And the problem is to “reprogram” yourself to think of Steve Harris as a brilliant musician who can and wants to do something different, something that doesn’t sound like Iron Maiden. But it’s hard. The man IS Iron Maiden, so I totally understand why he’s having a tough time winning people over.
I’ve always been more of a Priest-fan anyway, I’m not the typical Maidenhead. So, unlike many others (maybe) I went to the gig with an open mind, not expecting anything at all.
I was just curious what he would do with this new thing and on a small club stage. The scenario was just weird – I’ve only seen Steve on the greatest stages of the world, never anywhere remotely as small as this.
I didn’t know the songs, I didn’t know the band, I didn’t know anything – and sometimes I actually want it that way. You tend to experience stuff differently when you are just there as a curious spectator with no expectations whatsoever.
And I have to say – I don’t care how much shit Steve has had to take from reviewers and fans, British Lion put on a great show. I had a freaking great time and I loved seeing the band just playing because they enjoyed it, totally unpretentious, regardless what anyone thinks.
The songs? I think that if this had been performed by a new, unknown “rock band” and not Steve Harris & co, it would have been easier for people to take it for what it is, and appreciate it. Cause the songs were not THAT horrible. My god, I’ve read so much crap online since he released this album, and the only Swedish review I’ve read today pretty much pissed on it as well, but I truly believe it’s mostly a matter of psychology.
I was in the front row, because I wanted to experience Steve Harris doing his thing up close when I had this unique chance. I don’t regret it for one second, and the band gave it their best – I don’t know if you’re missing those small details if you’re way in the back (eye contact and seeing the slighest change in their facial expression) but the point is – they managed to entertain me eventhough I hadn’t heard the songs before. And as we all know, that’s not an easy thing to do.
I very well know I’m going totally against the stream here, but …sometimes somebody has to.
It wasn’t Iron Maiden, but I wasn’t there to see Iron Maiden (I’m seeing Maiden this summer, so I’ll get my fair share of Run to the hills in a few months anyway…) I was there to see something different and I did.
Happy belated birthday mr Harris and thank you guys for a good evening at KB!