Review: British Lion – Studio 24, Edinburgh

Being a band member of a famous & iconic band and having a “side” project can be a dangerous thing, if it’s a load of old poo, then you are ridiculed from pillar to post, if its good, then the artist can be thought of as bored with their main project, if its very good e.g. Corey Taylor with Stone Sour (better than Slipknot) and Phil Anselmo (anything he does) then people just want more.

I’m not sure where Steve Harris and British Lion fit into my scale of things, their music is very good and the live performances are excellent but the production on the their first album was muddy and didn’t bring out the best in everyone’s playing in my humble opinion…………….

This all made for an interesting evening at Edinburgh’s Studio 24, tucked away in-between Waverley train station and the bottom of the Royal Mile. Its a good venue as it has a very good seating area in the bar that still allows for listening of the bands while not being too far away

The venue is reasonably full and surprisingly there is a shortage of Iron Maiden T Shirts, with the fans in the know choosing to sport the British Lion numbers

Opening the evening are The Raven Age who get the evening off to a cracking start, starting off with the slow burning “Uprising” that dovetails into the highly impressive “Eye Among The Blind” that showcases vocalist Michael Burrough’s vocal range incredibly well

The rest of the set comprises of two new songs,”Trapped Within The Shadows” and “Salem’s Fire” wedged in-between the remainder of The Raven Age EP, namely “The Death March” and “Angel In Disgrace”

The sound is really good and the whole band are on the top of their game, the drumming of Jai Patel deserving a particular mention. It’s difficult to pigeon hole their music into a particular metal genre as there’s so much to hear in their tracks, but their own description of “melodic metal” is a pretty good start

I really enjoyed their set and on this evidence,their melodic mix of metal will going places

The Ravel Age played Sonisphere last year and with their new album due out later this year and a UK tour with Skarlett Riot thrown into the mix, it should be an equally exciting and productive time for the Harlow outfit (9/10)

Setlist

Uprising Eye Among The Blind The Death March Trapped Within The Shadows Salem’s Fate Anger In Disgrace

Fashionably (15 Mins) late and with the crowd suitably warmed up, British Lion slowly take to the stage, with Steve Harris taking time to get his West Ham guitar strap and wireless kit just right before the set kicks off with with “This is My God”……..and we’re off

Free form the structure of Iron Maiden, Harris’s songwriting is just as impressive in the British Lion guise and if anything is more eclectic and although not as “in your face” as Maiden, certainly delivers in the live format

The 14 song set has 6 new songs in it getting their first airing on the road, with “Spitfire” and “Bible Black” being the pick of these

Drummer Simon Dawson provides the cutting edge to a very tight rhythm section with Harris and vocalist Richard Taylor, free from the studio mix gives a performance of the highest order & has the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand

The sound is perfect and David Hawkins and Grahame Leslie offer guitar playing more than equal to the Smith/Murray/Gers triple axe attack in Harris’s day job

British Lion (9/10) on the road works, big time, and I can’t wait to hear the studio versions of the new songs that were played tonight

Setlist

This Is My God Lost Worlds Father Lucifer The Burning Spitfire The Chosen Ones These Are The Hands Bible Black Guineas & Crowns Last Chance Us Against The World World Without Heaven Judas —————– Let It Roll Eyes Of The Young

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Review and Photography by Gavin lowrey

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