Friday, 20 May 2011

The Voodoo Review: Iron Maiden - Flight 666


"Iron Maiden - Flight 666" DVD on Amazon

I was already having a good day yesterday when this arrived. All my delayed final paperback proofs for Death & The City Books One and Two, Living Hell, AND the hardback copy of Living Hell, had arrived at 7:30 a.m. I'd approved them online and updated the bookshelf page on my website (see new banner at the bottom of this blog) - and at around elevensies time, there was another unexpected thump on the doormat. Along with the usual junk mail offering me car insurance etc, was a packet from Amazon, containing "Iron Maiden - Flight 666: The Movie" which I'd forgotten I ordered a few days earlier, in all the panic over where my books had got to and what ideas Customs officers were getting by reading my questionable fictionalised door supervisor urban myth antics. Which they weren't, obviously *gulp* :)

Awesome! And great timing - as I started the DVD, it reminded me that I first saw it on TV around the end of last year. I'd been so inspired by it that it was actually the impetus for me to go the indie publishing route, instead of waiting for the gatekeepers to green-light me as an author. Seeing Bruce Dickinson pack his band and crew and equipment into a plane and fly the whole kaboodle (himself!) to the gigs they wanted to do gave me such a great feeling of inspiration, that if I hadn't seen the movie on TV first time around - well, I wouldn't be here talking about it, or rattling on about the mail and plastering my book cover images everywhere. So the fact that it arrived on the same day as my remaining books that were pending release, is a big reminder to me why I set out to do this. And what people can achieve if they really put their minds to it.

"The Maiden" have been around since I was in school and beyond, back in the mid 1980's. The back patches that boys in my English Lit class wore on non-uniform school trips. The music. The music that you tried to get the DJ to play at school parties and he said he didn't have, while the many talents of Stock, Aitken & Waterman monopolized the decks. The mullets that boys grew the moment they finished their O-levels and GCSEs. The first tattoos, on those who were brave enough... the Donington regulars...

...The satire:

Bruce Dickinson and Rowan Atkinson team up for Comic Relief

...And Bruce Dickinson is a literary talent in himself - if you haven't read "The Adventures Of Lord Iffy Boatrace" which I bought when it was first released, you've missed out. Holy macaroni, I didn't know it was collectible! I wonder what my mint 1990 copy is worth? I wouldn't sell it to you anyway ;) It's like a rock-and-roll Tom Sharpe (of "Blott On The Landscape" fame). Written in various hotel rooms while on tour, indebted to night desk receptionists who handed over stationery to the crazy wild-eyed half-dressed man who apparently never slept, it's comedy genius. And I love reading about a male member of the English gentry who owns more high heels than I do...

"The Adventures Of Lord Iffy Boatrace" by Bruce Dickinson on Amazon - if you can afford it :)

He has his own band, he writes books, he flies a plane... Well, you would, wouldn't you? Except my Mum would probably steal him...

Back to the movie though. The reception the band get as they make their way around the globe in six weeks is astounding. And the fans know that this tour is for them - in one example, fans travel into Costa Rica from Ecuador and further afield just to see the epoch-making gig that they never believed would come this close to home. As one fan says "I always thought how great it would be to see them live, but then I remember, oh yeah, I live in the ass of the world, it'll never happen... And here they are." And the priest who has something like 187 Iron Maiden tattoos and named his son Stevie Harris, who includes anecdotes from Maiden lyrics in his sermons.

If the power of prayer has any weight to it at all, it certainly answered the prayers of all those fans who got to see their heroes perfom live courtesy of Ed Force One in 2008. Long may it continue.

And thanks for the inspiration ;)


Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

The Voodoo Review: In Darklight - Dying To Confess on Amazon mp3

Having missed three opportunities to see In Darklight live so far (car, lack of sleep due to shiftwork, toothache, suffocating under own writing hat) not to mention not being able to sign in to MySpace regularly anymore, because the site is so full and slow, it's like steering a diplodocus down the produce aisle of Waitrose (gutted) - after last time I went straight on Amazon and bought the mp3 album instead. And really glad I did.

If you like alternative rock sounds such as Sum 41, Good Charlotte and a drop of Green Day, these guys are for you.

It's easy to see why these guys are being kept so busy. They're both angsty and commercial at the same time, with a strong vocal that can carry off full rock backing, and solo acoustic piano. Inspiring stuff.

There's an impressive quality to the production value behind the recording and mixing, with some quirky interludes between a few of the tracks that serve to show off the mixing and musical talent in the band.

You can find them and sample their music, get their album info, and latest tour dates on MySpace at - and follow them on Twitter: @InDarklight

Looks like they're booked up with gigs and festivals, as well as private hire - you can catch them often in their base of Andover, Hampshire, or surrounding cities and venues such as Joiners in Southampton.

If you're lucky ;)

...Live review pending - rather like my final paperback proofs in the mail, grrrrrr (ironic empathy!) :)