British Lion @ Lille Vega, Copenhagen (DK)

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BRITISH LION / KOBRA AND THE LOTUS

Date: 13th August, 2017
Tickets: 165DKK (€22/$25) in advance - 190DKK (€25/$29) day of
Promoter: LiveNation
Photos: Erika Wallberg


It still feels both surreal and crazy that this happened. Ok, I know Steve Harris has been touring with BRITISH LION before, but this was the first time I caught one of the shows.

Also, the addition of KOBRA AND THE LOTUS to the bill was a very pleasant addition. I dismissed the band as something wimpy female-fronted Symphonic type of Metal when I first saw some article about them, but as there were so many posts, I had to check it up and damn, I was wrong. Kobra Paige is a fantastic vocalist and performer; she captivated the audience and got a really good support going. There were a few people there only for KOBRA AND THE LOTUS too - the guy next to me wearing double shirts and having a tattoo from the band...

Three pieces from the recently released “Prevail I” opened the show, Kobra Paige mentioned that the album was recorded in Denmark and added how much she and the band enjoyed their time in the country and got a good cheer from the crowd. And perhaps these new ones leaned more towards the Symphonic style when compared to what I remember when checking up the band some months ago. And yes, I did like the second half of the show more, from “Hold On” and forward. Especially “Warhorse” and “Soldier”, all these three from the 2014 release “High Priestess”. Both are rather aggressive tracks with some fantastic riffs in true Canadian Heavy / Speed Metal style. Perhaps, a bit more modern than the other Canadian bands I normally listen to but definitely up there when it comes to quality. The phrasing in “Soldier” stood out, I loved the epic feel the massive forceful riffs and a vocal line beating up the pace. “50 Shades Of Evil” closed the set, another heavy hitter and clearly an audience favorite since everyone seemed a 100% on KOBRA AND THE LOTUS at this point.

And yes, I really liked this. The band impressed with great musical skills and as already stated, Kobra Paige does an awesome job fronting it and is definitely on a completely different level both when it comes to attitude, presence and vocal abilities compared to her fellow ladies in the scene. This was an awesome start of the evening.

KOBRA AND THE LOTUS setlist:

01. “Gotham”
02. “Trigger Pulse”
03. “Specimen X (Mortal Chamber)”
04. “Hold On”
05. “Warhorse”
06. “Soldier”
07. “Hell On Earth”
08. “You Don't Know”
09. “50 Shades Of Evil”

KOBRA AND THE LOTUS

Kobra And The Lotus @ Lille Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Kobra And The Lotus @ Lille Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Kobra And The Lotus @ Lille Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Kobra And The Lotus @ Lille Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Kobra And The Lotus @ Lille Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
Kobra And The Lotus @ Lille Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Kobra And The Lotus @ Lille Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Kobra And The Lotus @ Lille Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Kobra And The Lotus @ Lille Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) Kobra And The Lotus @ Lille Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

(click to enlarge)


I think it's really fascinating that Steve Harris finished a world tour with the biggest band in the world just to pack his gear into a bus to do a club tour with his other band. If that's not love for music and keeping it true, I don't know what is! It felt surreal though, to stand there, a meter away from the legend he is, more like watching TV than enjoying a show. I didn't grasp it was for real until I heard him scream straight out, through the music. His bare voice, no microphone...

Though, I doubt anyone (apart from the NIFELHEIM brothers) raised BRITISH LION's debut to the skies. And frankly, it is a rather dull piece of music. It has its highlights of course, some really great tunes and melodies. But the production is flat and kills the vibrancy in the music. I was also a bit surprised with the style of music on the BRITISH LION record, I always through that Steve would do something more 70's influenced if ever doing anything outside of IRON MAIDEN.

It didn't take many seconds to realize that this was going to be a different treat compared to the record though. The good thing with Denmark is that they don't have the same stupid limitations in volume as in Sweden which makes concert a bit more intense on this side of the bridge. The sound was crisp and clear with Steve's bass cutting through it all.

The show opened in the same way as the record with grungy and dynamic “This Is My God” followed by heavy “Lost Worlds”. Richard Taylor’s voice was much more powerful in the live-situation as well. Previously unreleased “Father Lucifer” and “The Burning” followed which felt a lot more Classic Hard Rock oriented compared to the record. On the other hand, live it all sounded old-school, far from the modern sound on the record. Another new one “Spitfire”, a true epic which opened with nice acoustic composition played by Grahame Leslie. I loved his energetic attitude onstage; he is definitely a character and a lot of fun to watch. The dark nature of the song came down really well with me and Richard's clear voice worked perfect to this one. And this was the first (of many) occasions when I had goose-bumps all over my body.

“The Chosen Ones” with the Pete Townsend-inspired opening riff worked fine too but after came another two that really stood superior over it. “These Are The Hands” is a favorite from the record but that recording couldn't even begin to measure on how good it sounded here. The response from the crowd was intense and loud and with the dynamic the band had live the music didn't appear as compressed and modern as on the record. It all made a lot of sense here and the sound at Lille Vega did the song justice.

What was cool with the people present there was that despite the songs had not been released, everyone knew everything and when “Bible Black” there was a massive scream and everyone sang along from start to end. There are live versions on YouTube of course but it still takes some additional effort to study music only available as live-versions. The same can be said for “Last Chance”; a more mellow piece with a traditional simple Wooooohoh type melody in the beginning and the crowd took over completely. Again, this one is not a part of the record. It sure sounded fantastic though, so I'm looking forward to seeing how the next BRITISH LION album will sound.

The MAIDEN-esque “Us Against The World” is another favorite from the record, the rhythm and Steve's trademark bass-lines. Steve behaved very much as he does on the IRON MAIDEN shows also, one foot on the monitor leaning out over the edge of the stage. The only difference here was that his knee was straight in the faces of the front-line and his sweat dripping down on the people in the first row. “Judas” closed the main set in a very good way; again the dynamics of the epic song worked perfectly live and here especially Richard's use of an acoustic guitar worked perfectly. Him alone with his guitar on stage became a great build-up for the ending. Then, instead of getting off stage, having the crowd scream them back the band just continued with the encores.

First out was the UFO classic “Let It Roll”. It was clear that Steve was enjoying this very much straight rough the show but he really went furious here and started to head-bang like crazy. I didn't see much of David Hawkins as he was lurking on the other side of the stage all the time. He got to show off here though and played a fantastic solo which sounded crazy much live Vinnie Moore. I was a bit hesitant to how the solo would be done as none of the guitarists onstage had any resemblances with Michael Schenker but this sure worked too! Light-weight “Eyes Of The Young” finished everything up, again I was surprised how well this worked. On record it feels a bit cheesy but with the massive live-sound it worked too and wrapped up the evening in a fantastic way.

Looking around when the lights were turned on, everyone had silly smiles on their faces and everyone definitely agreed that this was an absolutely fantastic show, and yes, the songs sounded much better live than on record. And again, it's awesome to see a legend like Steve Harris on a stage like this and people are crazy for ignoring this. It was awesome and there's no one cooler than Steve.

BRITISH LION setlist:

01. “This Is My God”
02. “Lost Worlds”
03. “Father Lucifer”
04. “The Burning”
05. “Spitfire”
06. “The Chosen Ones”
07. “These Are The Hands”
08. “Bible Black”
09. “Guineas And Crowns”
10. “Last Chance”
11. “Us Against The World”
12. “A World Without Heaven”
13. “Judas”
14. “Let It Roll” (UFO cover)
15. “Eyes Of The Young”

BRITISH LION

British Lion @ Lille Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) British Lion @ Lille Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) British Lion @ Lille Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) British Lion @ Lille Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) British Lion @ Lille Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
British Lion @ Lille Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) British Lion @ Lille Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) British Lion @ Lille Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) British Lion @ Lille Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) British Lion @ Lille Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)
British Lion @ Lille Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) British Lion @ Lille Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) British Lion @ Lille Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) British Lion @ Lille Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg) British Lion @ Lille Vega, Copenhagen (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

(click to enlarge)