The engines start, Churchill’s voice blasts through the speakers defiantly proclaiming ‘that we shall defend our island, whatever the cost’. The instantly recognisable dual guitar intro of Aces High starts as the band tear onto the stage to the roaring crowds approval. Scream for me, Adelaide! Scream for me Adelaide!!!!’ singer Kirsten Rosenborg aka Bruce Chickinson wails. Yes The Iron Maidens, the world’s premier Iron Maiden tribute band, are in town for a night of female led powerful music.

Starting the night is Matterhorn, a slab of classic metal led by Amanda Ozolins. Playing tracks from new album Crimes Of Man, the band are bass heavy, riff heavy, head banging metal. Amanda prowling the stage with an impressive vocal range from high priestess songstress down to depths of hell growl. They finish their set with the epic sing-a-long Black Sabbath classic Heaven And Hell and a near full rowdy house likes what they’ve heard.

The Babes are making waves, promoting their most recent EP, about to embark on a American tour and getting spots on bills such as this, you sense they are one step away from the next level. Frontman JD growing more and more comfortable as the new guy in the band, he jokes and laughs with the crowd while Moni Lashes bashes away on her resplendent motorbike drum kit.

The show is fraught with technical problems, however this band makes it work for them. By the time Corey’s bass kicks back in early in the set, it actually suited the dynamic of the song, giving it an extra layer which sounded powerful. New songs such as Ride It, It Ain’t Easy and Got No Soul are well received in a set list of quality. The highlight though being the classic Bad News with the crowd sing back in unison as the song changes into Sabbath’s War Pigs. Again technical issues stop Donna’s guitar from working however when it does kick in, it almost sounds like it was meant to be as the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. The Babes are always a good time.

What can you say about The Iron Maidens that hasn’t been said? Musically they are fantastic, well it’s Maiden songs after all, however it’s the little extras such as the stage props ; the Somewhere In Time Eddie malfunction after losing a gun shoot with guitarist Nikki Stringfield, the dual British and Australian flags during The Trooper to the West Ham United sticker on Wanda Ortiz’s bass guitar that makes this just a little more fun.

The set list included all the classics, The Number Of The Beast, Phantom Of The Opera,  however as Kirsten said, they also play a song Maiden themselves haven’t played, Alexander The Great, which was a delightful surprise in this set list or predominately 80’s Maiden.

Naturally the set finishes with Hallowed Be Thy Name and Iron Maiden, to a very drunk, boisterous, old school metal crowd who loved every moment of being taken back to youth. For many people this may be the closest the get to these songs these days too. As the final notes of Iron Maiden blasts out, I check my watch for the finish time, in almost perfect synchronicity it’s 2 Minutes To Midnight.

Live Review by Iain McCallum