Watch Pro-Shot Video Of NICKO MCBRAIN Performing Reimagined Versions Of IRON MAIDEN Classics With Orchestra

May 25, 2024

IRON MAIDEN drummer Nicko McBrain performed reimagined versions of some of the band's classic songs with The Massed Bands of His Majesty's Royal Marines on March 8 at this year's 52nd Mountbatten Festival Of Music (MFM) at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England. Nicko played his kit, named Legacy Of Royals, for the piece "The Maiden Legacy" — a medley of the heavy metal band's most popular tracks: "The Trooper", "Wasted Years" and "Run To The Hills". Professionally filmed video of his appearance can be seen below.

On March 5, during McBrain's rehearsals with the Royal Marines Band Service at HMS Temeraire in Burnaby Road, Nicko told The News about how his involvement with the event came about:  "Well, let's see, 2020, the year that we don't talk about, it was the 50th anniversary of the Mountbatten Festival, and I was in attendance as a guest… And it just came about that … the people that I met there at the event, they said, 'Oh, it'd be nice to…' 'cause it was THE PRODIGY, who did the halftime after the interval. And I was absolutely amazed at it. I thought, 'There's these guys playing PRODIGY. It's brilliant.' So that was where the idea came about. And they said, 'Well, what would you like to do next year?' And I was very honored and humbled, and I immediately agreed."

Asked how the rehearsals had been going up until that point, Nicko said: "Rehearsals have been great. Sunday was a bit of a — how do I say it? Very nervous. Because of my circumstances, my right hand doesn't work very well, so I was very, super nervous about that. We got through the rehearsals really well, and then it was, of course, time to come in yesterday with the full orchestra. And my goodness, the north wind does blow right behind me. It blew me away. The power and the sound of these great musicians and a hundred-piece orchestra jamming MAIDEN was just a joy to behold. I wanted to actually stop and listen to 'em, but I can't do that. It's been wonderful."

Nicko played a special kit made just for these shows, created by The British Drum Company. Stu Warmington, international sales manager for BDC, said: "For this kit, we've put different designs of MAIDEN's mascot Eddie as marines through history on each of the drums, from 1664 right up to the present day, so we've got the Yomper, at the battle of Trafalgar and so on. After the shows it's going to be put up for auction for the Royal Marines Charity."

The Mountbatten Festival Of Music is a major source of fundraising for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines charities and the Young Lives vs Cancer charity and takes the audience on an exhilarating ride through the world of music, often premiering spectacular new arrangements and compositions, unique to this event. When combined with traditional military marches, music from the big screen, superb solo items, all accompanied by spectacular lighting effects, the Mountbatten Festival Of Music has packed out the Royal Albert Hall annually for over 50 years.

Nicko's drumkit is being sold at auction to raise money for the Royal Marines Charity and the Grand Order of Water Rats Charity.

McBrain suffered a ministroke in early 2023 and has been recovering ever since.

When Nicko first went public with his stroke in August, the drummer said in a statement that the episode left him "paralyzed" down one side of his body and "worried" that his career with the band was over.

Four years ago, McBrain was diagnosed with stage 1 laryngeal cancer and opened up about it in a single interview in 2021 but otherwise kept it mostly under wraps. The musician received his cancer diagnosis after undergoing an endoscopy at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of the University Of Miami Health System and the Miller School of Medicine. Within a week, McBrain's cancer was surgically removed and he now gets check-ups every few months to make sure the cancer hasn't returned.

Nicko McBrain performs alongside Royal Marines Band (Rehearsals).

Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain performs alongside Royal Marines Band (Rehearsals at HMS Temeraire in Portsmouth).

Video by The News, Portsmouth.

Posted by Eddie The Head Fan Club on Saturday, March 9, 2024

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