Where: The Quarterhouse, Folkestone
Steve Harris British Lion are back in the UK as part of their 2016 European tour and we were lucky enough to head down to the Quarterhouse in Folkestone and check them out on their only show in England this year.
Support for the evening is local hard rock outfit Wicked Stone. Having formed in mid-2015, and not hitting the stage until 2016, Wicked Stone are a pleasant surprise. It’s our first time seeing the band and they don’t fail to deliver a great set. With a solid mix of heavy, groove-laden songs, some killer fast-paced riffs, searing solos and an excellent vocal performance from Joe Hawx; the band enjoy playing to a packed-out room of enthusiastic music fans and it’s clearly visible in their performance. Even a few technical issues can’t throw them off their stride for the night! It’s nice to see the venue busy for a local act, especially with everyone having a good time. Wicked Stone are a band to keep an eye on if you’re into heavy rock with a sprinkling of metal.
Throughout the evening various British Lion and Iron Maiden shirts are seen all night; it’s not every day you get to see one of the finest rock and metal bassists so close and personal. British Lion hit the stage, with Steve Harris stepping on stage last and getting an almighty roar of approval. As soon as the music starts Harris’ trademark style and percussive tone fills the room as they kick off with ‘This Is My God’. From the get go you can see Harris is fired up, darting around the stage and working the crowd. Even after years of playing huge festivals and stadiums, Harris can deliver his all at the smallest of venues, singing along to all the songs throughout the evening and feeding off the energy in the room.
After the initial buzz of seeing Steve Harris in the flesh the band come into its own, with each member working together to create a greater whole. The level of musicianship from the band is top notch, with excellent drum work provided by Simon Dawson. The track ‘Spitfire‘ is a great example, with triplet kick drum work over straight grooves on the cymbals and snare. The band are incredibly in sync with each other, flowing between songs effortlessly like a well-oiled machine.
The set is well thought-out, providing a mix of heavier, faster tracks and instances of lighter, more subdued acoustic moments. Throughout the set we are treated to multiple big rock finishes which only serve to hype up the crowd for the next song. After an hour and a half of excellent music, it is time to say goodbye to the band and hello to the eager wait for them to return to English soil.