Midnight Messiah Warm-Up Show

Midnight Messiah Warm Up Gig
Cart & Horses, Maryland

Friday 19th April

Hailed as the birthplace of Iron Maiden, it’s seems fitting that Paul Taylor and Phil Denton, the creative heart of Elixir, which at one time featured Maiden alumni Clive Burr on drums, should choose to debut their new outfit at the very same venue.

Billed as a warm up gig ahead of their upcoming headline show in Belgium and series of festival performances in both UK and Europe, this show could be looked on as a shakedown to iron out any bugs before the bigger shows.  A palpably nervous Taylor can be seen pacing the floor before hand, perhaps unsurprisingly as this will be the first time the five piece have shared a stage together.

Paul & Phil Cart & Horses, 2013

He needn’t have worried.  From the opening assault of Thirty Pieces of Silver and Damned for all Time, it’s obvious that the hard miles put in on the road over the years has paid off.  The rhythm section, featuring a be-shaded Dusty Miller on bass and Darren Lee on drums, hold down a furious beat, while guitarists Denton and young maestro Dave Strange trade licks with virtuosic abandon.  And as Taylor’s vocals soar through Holy Angel, Wise Man of Roklar and the epic Destiny, any worries the band may have had are put firmly in their place.

Darren Lee, Cart & Horses, 2013 Dusty Miller, Cart & Horses, 2013

Running through the rest of their debut disc with a hunger that outfits half their age would be hard pushed to match, it’s clear that this is a band who would give many of their more famous contemporaries a run for their money.  The question and answer soloing in You’re no Friend of Mine has the pub shaking on its foundations and King of the Night has glasses, and voices raised high in the crowd.  As the band head into the eponymous closing number, it is clear where much of this new found spark is from.

Dave Strange, Cart & Horses, 2013

The new energy brought to the band by the addition of Strange is perfectly illustrated in the revised approach to former Elixir favourite Midnight Messiah.  Faster, heavier and downright dirtier, the song is taken to a whole new level with a punch and swagger lacking in the original.

The band close out the show with a real treat for the assembled punters.  Son of Odin classics The Star of Beshaan and Treachery are run through with a power rarely seen before, Strange’s precision guitar work lifting the songs to a whole new level, and bringing down the roof on an evening which bodes well for the future of the band.


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