The BRITISH LION European tour got off to an electrifying start in Portugal last night with a sold-out charity show at the Moto Clube de Faro's new 600-capacity clubhouse. The venue was packed to the rafters as fans saw IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris and fellow BRITISH LION bandmates perform a 90-minute, blistering set of album tracks, new songs and covers.
The band burst onto the tiny Faro stage and launched immediately into a mesmerizing performance of album opener "This Is My God", followed by "Lost Worlds" and the electrifying "Karma Killer", vocalist Richard Taylor proving a natural frontman with wonderful command of the crowd, working an already-hyper audience into a virtual frenzy. So much so that the barrier in front of the stage looked in serious danger of giving way under the throng and had to be stabilised by the Moto Clube security team. With Steve Harris center-front with Richard Taylor, flanked by guitarists Grahame Leslie and David Hawkins and Simon Dawson on drums behind, band and crowd seemed to all merge into one swirling, sweaty, seething, rock and roll mass.
A new song, "Father Lucifer", came next, catching the crowd's imagination with its sensuous hypnotic beat, the entire audience now under singer Taylor's spell, including Steve, who was mouthing every word and looking absolutely in his element. Next up came "The Chosen Ones", intensifying the super-charged atmosphere, the whole crowd singing along with Richard Taylor's soaring, melodious vocals, complemented by the twin guitars and the whirling-dervish movements of Grahame Leslie, who often looked as if he might simply spin clear off the stage and disappear into the crowd.
After a stirring performance of "These Are The Hands" came three new songs ("Guineas And Crowns", "The Burning", "Last Chance"), all equally well-received before delving back into the BRITISH LION album for the most recent single "Us Against The World" and "A World Without Heaven". Then came the first cover song of the night, a take on the catchy "Do Ya Do Ya Want Me", for which Taylor once again had the crowd eating out of his hand, singing along with the chorus and obeying his every command.
Not until the band broke into dreamy, reflective "Judas", the last song of the set, did the frenetic pace slightly abate before once again gathering momentum for the song's climax. The band left the stage momentarily then reappeared to break into the second cover of the night, UFO's "Let It Roll", which sent the by-now delirious audience into overdrive, the whole venue by now in meltdown. The biggest cheer of the night came for closing song "Eyes Of The Young", which, if this opening night is anything to go by, is sure to become the anthem of this tour.
The setlist for the show was as follows:
01. This Is My God
02. Lost Worlds
03. Karma Killer
04. Father Lucifer
05. The Chosen Ones
06. These Are The Hands
07. Guineas And Crowns
08. The Burning
09. Last Chance
10. Us Against The World
11. World Without Heaven
12. Do You Want It
14. Let It Roll
15. Eyes Of The Young
Video footage of the concert can be seen below.