Artist: KK’S Priest, Paul Dianno, Burning Witches.
Venue: Nottingham, Rock City
Date: 10 October 2023
A Priest favourite, ‘Victim Of Changes’ closed the main set, with “Ripper” letting out a scream that he held for around thirty seconds without collapsing.
Hands up, I had not seen or heard any of KK’s work since he left Judas Priest, so when he announced a tour with his new band, I had to check it out.
Due to there being three bands on, it was an early start, with doors open at 6pm, and first band, Burning Witches, an all female five piece Metal group from Switzerland, kicking off at just after 6.30pm, and they were just what you would expect from a Metal band, loud and proud. Vocalist Laura Guldemond covered the stage, with lots of hair flicking, and knew how to play to the camera. With a strong voice, she sang and screamed in equal measure, although strangely her voice occasionally got lost in the music (I said they were loud). During the second song, she seemed to turn into a boxing chicken (you had to see it), which was a bit strange, and during the third song she vanished from the stage entirely. I wasn’t aware until somebody told me, that she was behind me in the pit, walking along the raised gantry and interacting with the crowd. I did realise that a couple of their songs were quite lengthy, reminding me of Iron Maiden (not surprising when you consider guitarist Larissa Ernst is away due to recently giving birth while The Iron Maidens Courtney Cox (who I thought was in Friends) deputises for her), and this tour is in support of their fourth album.
Set List (Spoilers)
Unleash The Beast
Wings Of Steel
Hands up, I had never seen ex- original Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di’Anno either, and I was even more behind the times and surprised to see him brought on stage in a wheel chair, and the fact that he had obviously put some weight on, both, apparently, due to a knee problem. And it would probably be fair to assume that, sitting in such, he probably wouldn’t be able to get the power behind his voice as he used to. The first comment he made was that it was a long time since he had played at Rock City and, to be fair, when he did start singing he solidly proved my assumption wrong, and he didn’t hold back. It was clearly obvious that the crowd was pleased to see him, as he went through songs that tracked his solo years alongside those he spent with Maiden. He wasn’t happy with the microphone lead, which kept getting caught in the chair wheel, and which he mentioned on numerous occasions, at one point stating, “We asked for radio mics, and what did we get? Fuck all” at which someone in the crowd shouted “Get on with it you fucker”. Di’Anno’s response was “Hang on, is my bruvva here”? It was gonna be fun tonight.
Starting with ‘Wrathchild’, my first thought was how many Maiden songs he would do, compared to material from after leaving Maiden. It was followed by ‘Sanctuary’, a Maiden track not originally included on the first album in the UK, but released as a single, and that sort of told me something, and as the night wore on we got most of the first two albums released before Di’Annos’ departure. This seemed to please the crowd, who sang along right from the start and clapped along enthusiastically with ‘Remember Tomorrow’, and the temperature seemed to increase by a couple of degrees when they did ‘Murders At The Rue Morgue’ and ‘Phantom Of The Opera’. The applause at the end of the set illustrated how pleased Rock City was to see him again.
Set List (Spoilers)
Murders At The Rue Morgue
Phantom Of The Opera
At 8.35 pm, the lights went down and a video started along the whole back wall behind the stage, showing all band members of KK’s Priest, while this animated character with a very low, deep voice introduced the band. I had noticed this screen at the beginning, as all the bands displayed their logos on it as opposed to using backdrops, and I assumed it was a new thing that the venue had fitted, but I was informed that no, KK had brought it along, with a large array of varilights and other gadgetry to visually stimulate. Obviously, there was a loud roar as they came on stage, and they started with a KK original ‘Hellfire Thunderbolt’, and again, I was wondering the ratio of songs between KK’s two bands would be. Possibly easing us into his previous band’s material they played ‘One More Shot At Glory’, which title-wise sounds like a Judas Priest song, but is in fact a KK song from the recently released second album. The crowd was clapping and singing from the start, which must have pleased him no end. Tim “Ripper” Owens then leant forward and asked the crowd “What’s my name” around four times before doing ‘The Ripper’, and ‘Burn In Hell’ saw him standing as if crucified with audience blinders flashing, appropriate visuals on the screen, while offering the microphone to the crowd to encourage them to sing along. To be fair they didn’t need that; they were already with him. He also asked “You do like Heavy Metal, right? We don’t want any cissy c#*&s here - I can say that here can’t I? Can’t say that in America”, before singing ‘Metal Meltdown’. A Priest favourite, ‘Victim Of Changes’ closed the main set, with “Ripper” letting out a scream that he held for around thirty seconds without collapsing.
They were back quite quickly for the two song encore, both KK originals ‘Raise Your Fists’ (which everybody seemed to) and ‘Strike Of The Viper’, and at the end of the evening the Judas Priest songs came out on top with one more than the KK’s Priest material. I am sure nobody really cared, as everybody seemed to have a good evening, and at seventy-one years old, KK doesn’t look any older than when he was with Priest 1, and it was good to see him out on stage again. And anybody who would liked to have seen the band but missed them this time out, may be interested to know that they will be at Stonedead next year.
Set List (Spoilers)
One More Shot At Glory
Reap The Whirlwind
Sermons Of The Sinner
Burn In Hell
Beyond The Realms Of Death
Brothers Of The Road
Green Manalishi With The Two Prong Crown
Breakin’ The Law
Victim Of Changes
Raise Your Fists
Strike Of The Viper
Review: Andy B. and Lou C Photos: Andy B