Blaze turns up the heat with date at Waterloo
During a 30-year career in heavy metal, Blaze Bayley has played at some of the biggest venues worldwide.
And while The Waterloo in South Shore cannot compete for capacity with Wembley or Madison Square Garden, the ex-Iron Maiden vocalist is sure of a warm reception.
The Birmingham-born singer became Iron Maiden’s third vocalist in 1994 when he replaced Bruce Dickinson as the band’s frontman.
However, the former Wolfsbane singer failed to connect with Maiden fans, despite performing on two top ten albums – the X-Factor and Virtual XI.
He left the band in 1998, after Dickinson returned to the fold, rejoining Wolfsbane, the group that had first launched him into metal stardom.
Blaze, who finished a six-month British and European tour at Blackpool on September 2, is still a huge concert draw, packing out large theatres and arenas in Germany, Scandanavia and Eastern Europe.
After each show, Blaze, who is touring in support of his latest album The Redemption of William Black, holds a free meet and greet to thank die-hard fans for their support.
And despite the fact he is playing small venues in the UK while his ex-employers fill out 50,000 football stadiums, blaze is not bitter.
He said: “I am an underground niche artist. I’m not in your face, but I’m out there.
“I owe my living to the fans. And there’s not a day goes by that I don’t feel incredibly lucky and privileged that I’m a professional singer, singing my own songs.”
Bayley, 53, hit the big-time in the late 80s when he joined Tamworth band Wolfsbane.
The group caught the ear of Beastie Boys producer Rick Rubin who signed them to a lucrative eight album deal.
However, the band soon fell out with their new bosses and disintegrated after two failed albums and an EP.
However, his career took a major upturn when he was offered Bruce Dickinson’s job in Iron Maiden.
Sadly, although Blaze’s two albums with the band have been reappraised in recent years, he failed to win over the band’s huge worldwide fanbase.
n Blaze Bayley is at The Waterloo on September 2. Call 01253 407886 for tickets.