Newcastle 1984 2nd Night (Zodiac 392)
City Hall, Newcastle, UK – September 16, 1984
Disc 1 (56:45) Churchill’s Speech, Aces High, 2 Minutes To Midnight, The Trooper, Revelations, Flight Of Icarus, Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, Losfer Words (Big ‘Orra), Powerslave, Guitar Solo
Disc 2 (45:38) The Number Of The Beast, Hallowed Be Thy Name, 22 Acacia Avenue, Iron Maiden, MC, Run To The Hills, Member Introduction, Running Free, Sanctuary
Iron Maiden did a staggering 24 concerts during their month long UK tour in support of the Powerslave album in 1984. The dates began September 11 in Glasgow and finished October 12, by which time they had not only performed to capacity audiences but also made recordings that would become their first full length live album, culled from the four night stand at London’s Hammersmith Odeon. The London shows were not the only multiple night run in cities, Manchester, Birmingham, and Newcastle all features two dates, such was the demand for Iron Maiden. It is the band’s stand in Newcastle, the city some 200 miles north of England that is the subject of this new release from the Zodiac label.
The recording used for this release was done by Gig Addiction, a UK taper whose passion was certainly Heavy Metal. He recorded a staggering 11 dates on this tour including both nights in Newcastle. He had a good quality machine, an Aiwa Walkman with an Aiwa microphone and seemed to always get in a decent place to tape, incredible to think when I listen to this recording that Iron Maiden were squeezing the massive Powerslave production into the 2,100 seat City Hall. The sound on this recording is as mentioned, starts off in the very good range and by the time the band play Revelations is in the near excellent range. He was certainly close to the PA as the bass frequencies slightly distort and minimize the upper frequencies. It is very clear and well balanced, all instruments and vocals are clean in the mix as well. There is just a touch of tape hiss and there is some audience noise near him, mostly between songs and sometimes during and consists of clapping and cheering, this really adds to the atmosphere of the recording. To my knowledge this is the only silver release of this show, there has been a vinyl release, The Glamour The Fortune The Pain (Casino Records A-D).
I thought it proper to include a few words from the Metal Master himself, Mr Gig Addiction:
“Maiden Powerslave ’84 was THE coolest Maiden tour. Great thing about that one was that they changed the set list a bit, as on some gigs they’d add an extra track to the set. The extras were Wrathchild, Murders In The Rue Morgue, Children Of the Damned, Phantom Of The Opera, Die With Your Boots On. Basically, I think they were rehearsing these tracks for the Hammersmith shows. Each Hammy gig got 2 extra songs. They were recording those shows for a live album. At the time, i’d be 18 years old. It was such a rush to be following my fave band around the UK. Back then, there was no internet, so there was a lot more “work” involved in planning the trips. People nowadays don’t know how easy they got it!”.
GA’s recording starts at the beginning of Churchill’s Speech, the “intro” to the evening that would segue into Aces High, the brilliant opening song from the Powerslave album. Like the album 2 Minutes To Midnight would follow it, Bruce describes it as “a little song which is a hit single uhh very recently, one of our songs” and the audience response is immediate. 2 Minutes was the first single from Powerslave, released a month before the record it would feature the band’s cover of Newcastle Rock band Beckett song Rainbow’s Gold, a song that featured the lyric “Catch your soul, he’s willing to fly away”, a lyric Steve Harris would change slightly and use in Hallowed Be Thy Name (more useless knowledge I know).
A three song segment of Piece Of Mind tracks follows, a storming Trooper, a heavy Revelations and hit single from the record, Flight Of Icarus. Icarus is a fan favorite that was thankfully revived for the band’s most recent Legacy Of The Beast tour. Bruce talks of the new record, “It keeps the wolf from the door and keeps Boy George looking at his ass…” and uses the “What not to do if a bird shits on you” introduction to the epic Rime Of The Ancient Mariner. The song is 13 minutes in length and continues Steve Harris’ progressive pieces that started with Phantom Of The Opera and To Tame A Land, and perfected with Mariner. Live versions are as epic as the official version, this is a typical early rendering of the song, before the massiveness of the tour would lead to weariness. The audience is so totally into the song that they are brought to complete silence, taking in the incredible performance. The new songs keep coming with the instrumental Losfer Words (Big ‘Orra), I prefer the live versions to the one found on the LP, a bit faster and it comes a bit more alive on stage, a nice latter day instrumental that was only played on this tour.
The title track Powerslave is a natural stage song, from the haunting intro laughter to Nicko’s tremendous drum fill that leads into the Adrian Smith riff, this song just wreaks of badassness. The lead portions seem to evoke Eastern music and are very Blakmorian in nature. Bruce gives an excellent vocal rendition of the song, and guitarist Adrian Smith and Dave Murray are in complete sync with each other. Dave Murray gets a solo spot at the end of Powerslave, such an incredible player as he hits spellbinding leads intertwined with harmony as only the “Blond Bomber” can.
With the last two albums well represented it’s time to get to the “classics”, the audience is jazzed at the beginning of The Number Of The Beast and clap along, although they suddenly stop. The song is a complete blitzkrieg version, of course Bruce has the audience help with the “six..six, six” portion of the song. Dave Murray plays a cool variation of his solo hitting song soaring leads augmented by his wah pedal that sounds very cool. The band don’t mince words and just keep them coming, the brilliant Hallowed Be Thy Name with all its harmony playing is like emotional twist and turns set to music. If there is one song in the set that seems out of place its 22 Acacia Avenue, not exactly out of place because I love the song, it’s a classic but it seems like the placing would be better either in the encores or earlier in the set. Nonetheless, the band plays a superb version of the song.
Bruce does a great intro to Iron Maiden, “Gimme an I…R…O…N” and so forth, a typically storming version of the song, you can envision the pyro on both sides of the drum riser and the sarcophagi opening as Eddie towers over the venue…classic! The encores are typical for the tour, Bruce begins by paying homage to Newcastle and thanks the audience for coming out on a Sunday night. Run To The Hills is the first of the encores, by the sounds the audience has been waiting for it as they are at their loudest during the song. A quick member introduction and they continue with the crowd favorite and sing along of Running Free, love these 84-85 versions of this song. GA was certainly on the right side. The final song is a slick version of the early classic Sanctuary, again these versions from the World Slavery tour are my favorites, certainly due to my excessive listening to Live After Death…”Pure Magic” indeed.
The packaging is typical for Zodiac, a modern day take on Egyptian Eddie graces the front cover with the back cover and interior featuring live and posed shots. Yes you get picture CD’s and the sticker is a great live shot of mummified Eddie towering over the top of the stage, all in all a great looking package. This is a great recording and title to own, for those vinyl junkie’s out there, seek out the The Glamour The Fortune The Pain on Casino Records, it’s a great pressing and on my system actually betters this CD version. Finally, All Hail Gig Addiction!