So, following on from my last diary, I met up with the Banger Boys on the Monday evening for dinner and a few beers -- not too crazy as it happens as they had just flown back from Helsinki in Finland where they were working on a new project, which no doubt you will hear of in the near future. The trip included a delay of some 2 hours at the connection in Germany. All considering they did pretty well to get out with me! Its always fun to see Sam, Scott and Dave. Especially of course Dave as he worked with me for over 15 years, first as my assistant then moved on to cover a number of areas on Maiden with me, particularly all the recording, visuals, recently IMTV, screens at the shows etc. However he relocated to Toronto -- not to get away from me, but for a young lady he says! After all the stuff he did with Banger on Flight 666 they offered him a job so all worked out well.
We have spent time upgrading our screens at the shows with more cameras - 2 on Nicko, our Ed-cam and one out front from behind the drums in addition to the 2 front of stage and 2 on sound platform. With the size of many of the venues we play it seemed only fair to present a fuller show for those further back. our new man on this , Andy, spent most of his career on music TV, a lot of it live, so has the experience to edit live at a good pace, though still dependant of course on the quality of the cameramen who do vary from place to place. Andy also is now responsible for IMTV amongst other things so I hope you are enjoying the new episodes.
The rest of the time prior to the Toronto show as working to keep up with everything we have going on so by the time the show came around I was very ready for human company and a great show. And so it was. The Molson Amphitheater is by the lake in a very scenic area. We were sold out at 16,000 and as always here a terrific audience. Needless to say we all had a good night out in the pub afterwards
The following day we flew up to Ottawa where we were playing the opening day of the Ottawa Blues Festival, which is in its 14th year I think they said. There are many music events spread over the 10 days or so the festival runs featuring all sorts of music and as you can tell not all of it is Blues anymore , though they do have some great Blues players appearing still. Google it if you are interested. Tickets are partly on a one concert only basis or you can buy tickets covering some or all of the events. We had over 20,000 turn out to see us which was spectacular considering we haven't played Ottowa - incidentally the capital of Canada -- for many years and after the reaction we had we certainly won't leave it as long next time. This was arguably the best audience of the tour so far, very loud and active. They also gave us the "Maiden....Maiden" chants we hear so much around Europe and most of the world but has not caught on hardly at all in North America so this made us feel even more at home!!
After the show we moved on to Montreal to give us a full day off and prepare for Montreal and Quebec, two places that figure heavily in our history. More of that later..