It’s been a few years since I’ve had a heavy metal Halloween, following them become something of a tradition and, while 2020’s wasn’t quite as they’ve been in the past, it was still a great opportunity to revel in some classic NWOBHM with Maiden Guernsey.
With The Vault packed well before the band took to the stage (though to get a bit of space most of them were up there socialising long before beginning the set) and many in fancy dress, there was a great atmosphere that only went up as the band launched in Aces High (complete with Churchill intro speech) to start a set of ‘hit after hit’ of Maiden classics.
The first half of the night, which featured the likes of Number Of The Beast, The Wicker Man, Wasted Years and Can I Play With Madness, saw the band on spot on form, balancing their sense of having a great time with recreating the anthems in their repertoire.
The pace dropped a little at one point as they paused after a glass got smashed on the edge of the stage but picked up again as they launched into The Trooper, complete with an appearance from Eddie, before they rounded off the first part of the night with a run at new (for them) number Phantom Of The Opera.
With the place just as busy Maiden Guernsey kicked off their second set with The Evil That Men Do and, while the performance was maybe a little looser for the remainder of the night, it was still fun and soon had the crowd singing along as if they watching the real deal – and as frontman, Stace Blondel, pointed out this is the nearest to seeing Maiden any of us are likely to get for a good while at the moment.
While obviously not a favourite of the band Bring Your Daughter… To The Slaughter went down a storm as did Hallowed Be Thy Name, Fear Of The Dark and 2 Minutes To Midnight.
Run To The Hills ended the set on a high with the crowd calling for more but I think the band had played through their entire repertoire over a couple of hours on stage and so left them wanting (which to me is far better than outstaying your welcome, though there wasn’t much chance of that in this case).
Maiden Guernsey then put on a great show with huge energy and a real sense of fun, along with some very authentic renditions of a big set of Iron Maiden classics making for a great, heavy metal, way to celebrate Halloween.