i Music July 24

26 07 2011

Last Sunday I looked after John McGurk’s music pages in the Sunday Life, so here’s a wee reprint. It’s always fun writing the spread and I was happy to see it plugged on the front page.

i Music with Edwin McFee

Iron Maiden 

By the time you read this, heavy metal demi-gods Iron Maiden will have just started the leg of their most extensive British tour in years. A veritable institution these days, the band have sold a staggering 80million records to date, currently fly around in their own customised plane (which is captained by the singer Bruce Dickinson and has been dubbed Ed Force One after their zombie-fied mascot Eddie), have seen their 15th studio album ‘The Final Frontier’ enter number one in the album charts of 30 different countries (including the UK) and once they reach Belfast in ten days time they’ll have performed to a whopping two million fans worldwide on their current tour.

While the six-piece continue to receive little in the way of radio-play and mainstream media coverage, they remain one of the most successful bands of this or any other generation and the “family-oriented” attitude of their fans’ (which range from six to 60 year olds) help make their shows a one of a kind experience. On Wednesday, August 3, the legends return to Northern Ireland 15 and a half years on from their gig at the Maysfield Leisure Centre for a performance in the somewhat roomier Odyssey Arena and in many ways this full-on UK tour is a thank-you from the band for their followers’ years of support. Clearly excited to be trekking around his old stomping grounds, Maiden’s bassist, founder and main creative force Steve Harris had this to say on the subject

 “Everything in the Maiden camp has been so full on these last five years or so that we haven’t travelled around the UK to play for our home fans for almost that long. These fans supported us by coming to Twickenham Stadium, Reading and Leeds Festivals, Download and more recently Sonisphere, so we thought we should get off our backsides and do the travelling this time and get round the country to see them all. We very much look forward to playing all four home countries and a couple of places we haven’t been for a very long time- Aberdeen and Belfast!

“We intend to take the full stadium show into the UK arenas and fit everything we possibly can into each venue,” he concludes. “The set list will be different to last year’s tour. Of course we will play more songs from the new album and some other recent material, but we intend to include a healthy dose of older fan favourites too for those who haven’t seen us before, plus a spectacular light show and stage set, not forgetting, of course, …Eddie!”

Iron Maiden plays the Odyssey Arena in Belfast on Wednesday August 3. Tickets for the show range from £41.50-£46.50 and are available from Ticketmaster. Support comes from Dragonforce and doors open at 6.30pm.


Tonight If, like this writer, you’re spending your Sunday lying in a muddy field in the Sperrin Mountains (and they say this job is glamourous…?) then you’ll be pleased to learn that the organisers of the previous day’s Glasgowbury Festival are putting on a gig tonight in the Cellar Bar, Draperstown for those with no homes to go to. Aptly dubbed-Glasgowbury: the Aftermath, the local line-up (TBC at the time of going to press) is sure to sate your thirst for live music and admission is £5. Here’s hoping complimentary Alca-Seltzers are provided on the house…

Monday Gigs are thin on the ground on Monday in the wake of Glasgowbury, but if you’re still hungry for music-based hi-jinks check out the Alternative Pub Quiz in Katy Daly’s, Belfast. The fun starts at 9pm and entry is £1.

Tuesday This Tuesday we predict many a Mod fan will be dusting off their Vespa’s for a trip down to Dublin to see the Who’s Roger Daltrey perform the near-mythic rock opera Tommy in its entirety. Taking place in Marlay Park, tickets range from E39.50-E44.50 and are available from Ticketmaster. While we’re not sure if the leather-lunged singer still has the pipes to belt out the big hits, we’ve no doubt that he can still play a mean pinball (I’ll get my coat..).

Wednesday Hailed by Christy Moore as one of the best songwriters to emerge in the last ten years, acoustic troubadour John Spillane visits Belfast tonight for a gig in the Black Box. Admission is £10 and doors open at 7pm.

Thursday Duke Special performs in the relatively cosy confines of Sandino’s in Derry this Thursday night for a hugely anticipated show. Admission is £12, doors open at 9pm and if you’re in the area this gig is a must-see.

Friday Fresh from their chuckle-some performance at this year’s Oxegen, Limerick-based lunatics the Rubber Bandits bring their show to the Stiff Kitten in Belfast on Friday night. Admission is £12 and tickets can be bought via www.shine.net. Doors open at 9pm.

Saturday This Saturday Belfast-based alt-pop singer John D’Arcy performs for free at Head Records in Victoria Square, Belfast. Kicking off at 2pm the bill also includes Feldberg, Southern and Dr Lilt.



This week i Music would like to offer our sympathies to Belfast-bound pop-stress Katy Perry. In a recent posting on Facebook the singer revealed that’s she’s been struck down with a nasty case of food poisoning and has been forced to reschedule a couple of dates on the American leg of her tour. At the moment the star who famously confessed to kissing a girl and liking it (me too! We have so much in common…) is currently celebrating shifting over 1 million copies of her new single ‘Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)’ in the U.S. alone and we’re assured that by the time Oct 24 rolls around she’ll be ready to rock the Odyssey for her sold out show. Best keep her away from any suspicious looking potato bread just in case though, eh….?

New offerings this week include Joss Stone imaginatively titled comeback album ‘LP1’ and teen sensation Justin Bieber’s DVD Never Say Never (we’ve refusing to make any jokes about that one for fear of being hounded on Twitter for the next decade) but if it’s pure power pop at its best you’re after then check out local tunesmith John D’Arcy latest (and greatest) new single ‘Barcelona,’ which is available via all major downloading platforms as well as from his official site www.johndarcy.com.



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