at Trillians, Newcastle, U.K., March 6, 2023

BLAZE BAYLEY (Live at Trillians, Newcastle, U.K., March 6, 2023)
Photo: Mick Burgess

We’ve all been there. There was nothing more heartbreaking as a youngster than checking out the gig listings only to see your favourite artist playing the club in town where under 18’s are banned. How many bands did we miss during our formative years due to the draconian licensing laws?

Fear not, former Iron Maiden singer Blaze Bayley, in conjunction with Dave Hills, the owner of Trillians Rock Bar, decided to open the doors of the legendary Newcastle club for a Sunday afternoon matinee to give those kids the chance to experience a Rock ‘n’ Roll club show first hand. No noses pressed against the glass on the wrong side of locked doors here.

Backed by the rather impressive Absolva, who delivered a pristine set of Melodic Metal to warm up the ever growing crowd, Blaze’s entrance on stage was delayed slightly by an unfortunate medical incident that required swift intervention from paramedics.

Finally Blaze hit the stage to “18 Flight” from his latest release War Within Me and proceeded over the course of the afternoon to play every single one of the album’s ten tracks but not in order, instead spread throughout the set meaning old classics such as the vintage “Stare At The Sun” and “Blood and Belief” nestled side by side to new songs, “Witches Night” and “The Dream Of Alan Turing,” performed today for the very first time, made for an even and well paced set.

Blaze himself was in fine form with his smooth baritone voice and his engaging rapport with the audience making for one entertaining set. His passion for Metal and his belief in his craft was addictive and the crowd lapped it up.

While the bulk of the set was either Blaze or Blaze Bayley material he obviously couldn’t forget his time in one of Metal’s greatest bands and duly swung a hammer blow of Maiden’s “Man On The Edge” and a swift, cutting follow up of “Future Real” to leave the crowd reeling before delivering the coup de grace of “War Within Me.”

Long terms Blaze fans certainly got what they came for but this show was all about the youngsters, many seeing a live band for the first time and for them, this was an afternoon they’ll never forget as they took their first steps on their undoubted lifelong love of all things Metal.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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