STEVE HARRIS's BRITISH LION Announces Small-Venue Fundraising Show

May 3, 2024

BRITISH LION, the side project of IRON MAIDEN bassist and founder Steve Harris, has announced a very special show at The Booking Hall in Dover on Tuesday, May 21. Their appearance will be as part of a campaign to keep one of Britain's small music venues still operating.

The owner of the Old Harbour Station, which houses The Booking Hall Dover, is putting the property up for sale. This puts the future of The Booking Hall music venue at immediate threat as there is no guarantee the venue could keep operating under new ownership. The likeliest outcome would be that the building would be purchased by developers, meaning no more music venue.

Stuart Cameron of The Booking Hall comments: "It's fantastic to welcome back to the venue BRITISH LION for a fundraiser show to help us purchase the Old Harbour Station. The amount of support the venue has received since announcing our (The Booking Hall and Music Venue Trust) plans to purchase the building and secure the presence of a live music venue forever in Dover has been overwhelming at times. None more so than when Steve Harris and his team reached out to offer their services free of charge, so that all funds can go straight into making the purchase a reality! Also performing on the same evening is Tony Moore, another IRON MAIDEN legend. We can't thank BRITISH LION, Steve and his team, and Tony Moore enough. It's incredible to see that our little venue in Dover can get such amazing support from such industry veterans."

To coincide with this very special show, BRITISH LION will also return to London's legendary Cart & Horses venue in Stratford where IRON MAIDEN played their first-ever gigs. BRITISH LION played three packed out shows there in January and is thrilled to add a fourth show there in what is fast becoming a home from home. The band will also play summer shows in Faro, Portugal and Seville, Spain in June.

Harris says: "We were very concerned when we heard that The Booking Hall was at risk of closing. It is a fantastic venue and we just wanted to get involved and be a part in keeping this brilliant music venue alive. We're looking forward to playing a few other shows, including a return to the Cart & Horses as well as shows in Faro and Seville in July."

BRITISH LION upcoming shows:

May 20 - Cart & Horses, London, UK
May 21 - The Booking Hall - Dover, UK
July 20 - Moto Clube Festival, Faro, Portugal
July 21 - Sala Custom, Seville, Spain

BRITISH LION's second album, "The Burning", came out in January 2020 in digipack CD, double gatefold vinyl and digital download formats via Explorer1 Music (E1). The LP was recorded, engineered and mixed at Barnyard Studios by Tony Newton and produced by Steve Harris.

BRITISH LION's first U.S. tour took place in January and February 2020.

BRITISH LION comprises singer Richard Taylor, guitarists David Hawkins and Grahame Leslie, Harris on bass and keyboards, and drummer Simon Dawson.

Asked by the Tampa Bay Times what the itch is that BRITISH LION scratches that he doesn't get in his job with MAIDEN, Harris said: "I suppose playing small clubs and being close and personal with the audience. I love playing big places as well. I enjoy them all, and I'm very lucky that I can do them all. But also, it's clubs that I never played with MAIDEN, even in Europe. There's a famous club called the Milky Way in Amsterdam, which I managed to play with BRITISH LION, but I never did that with MAIDEN. There's places that I'm playing on [the U.S.] tour that I've never played before. So it's all new ground. It's a challenge. It's nice. I like a challenge."

In a 2020 interview with Bass Player magazine, Harris said that he loves playing small clubs. "I'm very lucky that I can play all types of gigs; massive gigs and small ones as well," he said. "It's a change. I'm not trying to conquer the world with this band; there's not enough years left in me to do that anyway."

Asked if the different venues present a different set of challenges, Steve said: "I actually think it should be the same, whether you're playing for 200 or 200,000 people, you know. To me, there's no difference. You still give 110 percent wherever you're playing. We had one gig where the promoter just didn't do [anything]. I think we had, like, 95 people in there, but it was still a great gig, one of the best of the tour. It doesn't matter. We're still going for it, and I was proud that we went out there. It was fantastic."

Photo credit: John McMurtrie

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