British Lion at Manchester Music Hall in Lexington, KY 01-FEB-2020

British Lion lays down the law with an unforgettable performance with The Picturebooks and Wyld Ryde.

It had been almost 8 years (right around 88 months if my math doesn’t fail me) between British Lion’s 2012 eponymous debut album, Steve Harris’ first-ever musical venture outside of Iron Maiden, and the bands most recent offering The Burning but the wait was definitely worth it. 

Along with the January 17th release of The Burning, British Lion also released two mouth-watering singles “Spit Fire” and “Lightning” and announced a highly anticipated US tour covering 19 cities beginning January 18th in Orlando, Fl before wrapping up in February 20th at Gramercy in New York (sandwiched in between these dates was a scheduled excursion on the Monsters Of Rock cruise).  Needless to say, tonight’s show in Lexington was one that fans immediately circled on their calendars as soon as the show was announced.  

As the house lights dropped a huge cheer from the enthusiastic fans welcomed Steve Harris and the guys to Lexington. Without much hesitation, British Lion rolled into “This Is My God” from their 2012 debut album followed by “City of Fallen Angels” and “Judas” and the night was off to a fast start.

Between the alternating searing guitar solos from David Hawkins and Grahame Leslie, the deep and heavy bass notes coming from the always smiling Steve Harris, the thunderous beats coming from drummer Simon Dawson and the soaring vocals from Roger Taylor, British Lion tore through more than a 90-minute set heavily weighted around songs from the new album. Listening to some of these songs for the first time I found myself fully absorbed in the deepness and richness of the sound and found that Roger Taylor’s vocals further enhanced the entire evening.

In between songs, Roger Taylor often chatted with fans about the band & their backgrounds while explaining that the influence for their songs come from their own true-life stories, some good, some maybe not so good. As an added benefit for those in attendance, each purchased ticket included a digital download of the new album which was a nice surprise.

Closing out the evening with the same energy and passion that they started with, British Lion wrapped up their time on stage with two songs from their debut album “A World Without Heaven” and “Eyes of the Young.” About 15 minutes after the house lights came up Steve Harris made a surprise visit to the merch table where he signed CD’s and posters and took pictures with anyone who wanted one, giving everyone who stayed a bit after the show a few more memorable moments during an evening that was filled with them.  

British Lion Setlist
This Is My God
City of Fallen Angels ##
Father Lucifer ##
The Burning ##
Spit Fire ##
The Chosen Ones
Land of the Perfect People ##
These Are the Hands
Legend ##
Bible Black ##
Us Against the World
Lightning ##
Last Chance ##
A World Without Heaven (preceded by band intros)
Eyes of the Young
## From The Burning

Personally selected by Steve Harris and British Lion for primary support on this tour was the German alternative rock/blues-rock duo – The Picturebooks. Guitarist/vocalist Fynn Claus Grabke and drummer/percussionist Philipp Mirtschink blasted through a raw, heavy, blues-infused rock set that immediately grabbed the audience.  In between songs Fynn talked a little bit about growing up in a small German town named Gütersloh where there was not much going on and together, they found music as a way to escape. On stage, the guys seem to be relishing each and every minute of their time, smiling and interacting with fans close to the stage while pouring out energy during their rapid-paced set. An interesting sideline, Fynn’s father was running sound and one of their longtime friends was taking pictures and videoing the performance.  The Picturebooks will be back in the US in April/May on tour with Clutch and Volbeat and are not to be missed.

Opening the evening with an all too short set of original, hard rocking metal songs were Louisville based Wyld Ryde.  Fronted by the charismatic Chief on guitars/vocals along with Tommy Blitz’s steamy guitar riffs and anchored by bassist Mick Watkins and drummer Michael Kidd, Wyld Ryde’s set is just straight forward, no holds barred rock n’ roll.

Wyld Ryde is supporting their debut EP City Streets by performing songs from the EP including “Something to Hide”  along with songs from their catalog like “It’s Not Easy” and “Hold On Me,”  before wrapping up their time on stage with a fiery rendition of “Six Gun Shooter”.  If there were any questions as to the strength of the Louisville/Lexington local music scene all you have to do is see Wyld Ryde live to know the answer.

British Lion
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The Picturebooks
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Wyld Ryde
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Manchester Music Hall
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