Friday, August 10, 2018

Iron Maiden: Legacy of the Beast Tour, 2018

'Hallowed Be Thy Name'

Friday August 10, 2018.

Considering that I had only seen Iron Maiden perform just 15 months before, I, and my friend David, were intrigued as to what to expect just over a year later.

Word had gone round that this would be a completely new experience with a whole new stage set and design. Old classics would be dusted off and newer ones left out. A greatest hits tour? No. Definitely not! Instead a story would be told through four very different parts. The stage would change to match each part and there would be other surprises. These included an inflatable Spitfire, that loomed out over the stage, complete with spinning propellor, pyrotechnics, Eddie T Head, umpteen costume changes, by Bruce Dickinson and a dual flamethrower among other things.

Once again David and I met at Kings Cross, then ate and drank our way to River Thames. Once again we boarded a Thames Clipper, surrounded by Iron Maiden fans of all generations, and headed for the Greenwich Peninsula.

Unlike 2017 the support act were the awful Killswitch Engage, who proceeded to drive the Iron Maiden fans back out to the bar areas.

Knowing that we had plenty of time we had deliberately paced ourselves, so, knowing exactly where our seats were, took our time, thereby saving our eardrums.

Not long after the noise of the support act had left the building, we made our way to our seats, bursting with an anticipation that could be felt trying to burst out of every fan in the arena.

And, boy, we were not disappointed.

As the sounds of their cover of UFO's Doctor Doctor, played from tape, played around the arena, their was a silence that I had never heard at an Iron Maiden concert. The silence didn't last, as Winston Churchill's 'We shall fight them' speech, again played from tape, bellowed from the speakers. The crowd erupted and, as the stage lights came up, the familiar sound of Aces High began. At which point the aforementioned virtually full-size Spitfire, flew above the stage, strafing those in the front, before turning and crashing behind a mountain of amps. This was followed by Where Eagles Dare, 2 Minutes to Midnight, The Clansman and The Trooper. A theme of war pervading the songs.

The set changed from a camouflage draped staged set to a cathedral like setting, complete with stained-glass windows. Even Nicko's drum kit matched the cathedral's stained-glass and, atop his bass drum, Sooty was wearing a Trooper jacket.

Then it was straight into Revelations which was swiftly followed by For the Greater Good of God, The Wicker Man, Sign of the Cross and Flight of Icarus. Then Fear of the Dark was followed by The Number of the Beast and finally Iron Maiden.

For the encore they belted out The Evil That Men Do, Hallowed Be Thy Name and, to round the night off, Run To the Hills.

We left to the sound of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, with a sense of euphoria that I had never experienced before.

This tour is continuing onto 2020, so if you get the chance get a ticket.

Roll on the next tour.

Up the IRONS!

Saturday, August 04, 2018

London's Roman Fort, Walls & Bastions

London The Unfinished City
Part of the Roman Fort Wall and Bastion 14, London Wall.

I have always had a fascination with the Romans and, by extension, there creation of Londinium, so I have always looked forward to visiting as much of the remaining wall and fortifications, as I can.

And. to be fair, there is still a lot of the city wall still standing, some of which is in plain sight, while smaller pieces need searching out. 

Fortunately, there is a walking route, that has markers, so you can follow the entire line of the City Wall at your own leisure. 

London The Unfinished City
Marker number 3 of 21.

However, there are still pieces that you will need to search out yourself, such as those bits of wall hidden in car parks or only visible from underground platforms.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Museum of London Docklands

London The Unfinished City
The past lives on.

Friday August 3, 2018.

Having visited the Museum of London, on a number of occasions, I thought that it was about time that we took some time to visit her sister museum, in London's Docklands. It was a pleasant summer morning as we approached Warehouse No. 1, which which has been fully restored and now houses the Museum.

Covering the full history of the River Thames and the docks, from the first Roman port, through the 1600s and on to the present day, all of its unique history is here.

On our visit there was a special exhibition entitled Roman Dead. This included many Roman remains that had been unearthed throughout the City. Some of them had only been discovered in the last few years, with the deep excavations undertaken in the construction of Crossrail.

Since we all enjoyed the visit so much, and with there being plenty of time left in the day, we took the Docklands Light Railway to Bank station, before making our way to the Museum of London. Thus visiting both museums, in one day.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Bunhill Fields Burial Ground

London The Unfinished City
The grave of Daniel Defoe.

I had long wished to visit Bunhill Fields Burial Ground and Gardens, as, sometimes, these are often overlooked places that many find macabre. 

However, places like this offer a wonderfully peaceful place to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. 

Plus, there are always the graves of important people, mixed in with the ordinary, everyday tombstone. 

London The Unfinished City

Bunhill Fields contains many graves, but some of the more famous are those of Daniel Defoe and William Blake, the latter of which is just a marker stating that he is buried close by. This is set to change, as his actual burial site has now been found, and a new gravestone will be unveiled, soon.