Paul Dianno @ The Governor Hindmarsh, Adelaide (29/05/09)
Having just come from the Steven Adler drum clinic which was populated by Adelaide’s glam metal crowd, arriving at the Gov was like slipping down three levels of Dante’s Metal inferno. The modest crowd is mostly older metal dudes, with almost all in Iron Maiden t-shirts, black jeans and long hair (and beer in hand). These are the guys that have the absolute belief that this is the only – “real’ music, proper metal. I have missed Ravens Black Night and Double Dragon but get there in time for Black Majesty from Melbourne. These guys were a perfect lead into the main event this evening. They have the dual guitar sound of Maiden, some European – “rock’ influences (Queensryche) and their vocalist is from the Dio school of vocals (and hairstyles) . They also have lyrics about dragons and shit so... That said vocalist John Cavaliere (who is known as Gio) nailed the Ronnie James Dio style perfectly (probably on an inverted crucifix) and worked the crowd and the band was tight and professional.
In the late 1970s Paul Dianno was the original singer for the first two Iron Maiden studio albums Iron Maiden and Killers (and the original ep The Soundhouse Tapes and two live releases Live!! +1 and Maiden Japan), they were at the forefront of the NWOBHM, the most stupidly named – “movement’ ever (New Wave Of British Heavy Metal) which was the breeding ground for Judas Priest, Saxon, Motorhead, Tank and inspired others such as Venom. but was sacked when his use of cocaine and booze started getting in the way of the bands ambitions. After they sacked Dianno, they enlisted former Saxon front man Bruce Dickinson and they immediately went supernova with the first release with the new line-up being the Number Of The Beast album and the hit single Run To The Hills. He has done other things (running a b&b), fronted other bands (*Praying Mantis, Killers, Battlezone*) and written an autobiography (_The Beast_). But it is clear that nobody (he or we) are under any illusion why we are all here tonight. All the merch and the bands backdrop have DIANNO written in the distinctive Iron Maiden font and the difference in reaction when he performs the Maiden songs, to well, everything else, is marked. Dianno is a stiking performer. Like much of the audience, he is somewhat heavier than he was 30 years ago, but Paul is somewhat more tattooed and pierced than the rest of us. He voice though, is still as powerful as a locomotive. Opening with Ides of March and Wrathchild (both from Maiden’s Killers) the band is cranking out the riffs, with the guitarists shredding where suitable. It turned out that half the set was Maiden songs. Third song in was Prowler from the Iron maiden self titled album, and then it was back to Killers for Murders in the Rue Morgue. Whilst newer material was a little more on the punk and thrash side of things, it was all good stuff, but a little lost on the crowd. “What no fuckin’ moshpit? What’s going on?” Failing to realise that the way this crowd generally appreciates its metal is by occasionally raising the devils salute without spilling their beer. The bitterness he feels about Maiden (and I suspect having to constantly reference them to pay the bills) is ever present. The first time he refers to his former band as – “The Spice Girls’ is pretty funny, by the fourth or fifth time it’s tiresome and childish. The band is powerful, loud and looks the part with their flicking long hair and leather pants. Some newer material (The Beast Arises and Impaler) are well received. But it is clear that the Iron Maiden casts a long shadow.