Band Biography

'Higher on Maiden' were formed in the U.K. around 1995 and are The World's Original and Finest Tribute to the Mighty 'Iron Maiden'

For the last 18 years they have played shows in every corner of the UK, Europe and most recently, India, where one gig was broadcast on live TV, in front of 6000 screaming fans.
Higher-on-Maiden are the only Iron Maiden Tribute who's members have actually played on stage with Steve Harris, Adrian Smith, Nicko McBrain, Paul Dianno & Blaze Bayley.
And when Bruce Dickinson was at one of their shows in Sweden he commented to Higher-on-Maiden's front man, 'Big Dickinson' ...... "You sound just like me !!! ... I always wondered what I sang on that bit!"
Higher-on-Maiden have a genuine passion for the music of Iron Maiden coupled with a desire to recreate the live sound as closely as possible. As a review in Terrorizer Magazine said, "Normally a cover band wouldn't warrant a review in Terrorizer, but this lot were so much fun that they are worth a mention. They have the guitar sound down pat, 'Steve Harris' is a dead ringer for 'Arry and the best part was that the set list was one great song after another. Higher-on-Maiden is a great night out for you and the mates to rock out and have a beverage. Eddie even shows up to give his blessing too."
Up the Irons !

Here's a bit of the Bands History ....

HIGHER-ON-MAIDEN (formerly Hi-on Maiden) was born in September 1995, when three friends, ADRIAN SWIFT, QUICKO McBRAIN and Mr. Hayfield, in a band called "Who are the Saints?", started jamming Iron Maiden songs while in rehearsals. Adrian Swift had been playing Maiden songs on the guitar since a very early age, so he knew them like the back of his hand. After several similar rehearsals, they thought the Maiden songs were sounding pretty good, and seeing as there wasn't an Iron Maiden tribute band on the circuit, decided they should focus their attention on this.



Mr. Hayfield wasn't really into doing the Maiden tribute, so he left. Adrian and Quicko roped in their mate SIMON BRADLEY, to play the other guitar part and started advertising for a bass player. After auditioning a couple of bass players, SPEED HARRIS joined the band. The music was now sorted, all they needed was a singer. The position was filled by ELIAS ABBOUD, a student from Lebanon over here studying economics at Birmingham university. The line up was now complete. They played several gigs with this line up, until Elias had to return home to Lebanon early 1996. The band advertised for a new singer, and after several auditions, PHIL WOOLHAMS joined the band.



Shortly after Phil's arrival, Simon took a job Writing for "GUITARIST MAGAZINE" which meant him moving to Bath. Luckily, DAVE HURRY (Python), a friend of Mr.Hayfields, was on hand to fill his shoes.... Phil was only with the band for about 6 months, but during this time they established their name by playing lots of headline gigs including an outdoor festival. Building on their growing reputation, the band booked a headline U.K. tour for the tail end of '96. Phil had commitments with another band, Wormhole, so once again, they were forced to look for another singer……..



Adverts were placed in the national music press and more auditions took place (some of which were humorous to say the least!!!! One guy pulled his trousers down and run around the studio screaming 'Running Free' in a high pitched voice…….but that's another story!). Eventually, they came across JAMIE GIBSON. He had the right image and a decent voice. The U.K. tour was a HUGE success, including a gig at The Royal Standard in London where PAUL DI ANNO got up on stage to do a few songs with the lads!!!!



This line up remained stable well into '97 with the band doing loads more gigs around the country. Until the vocalist (again!), Jamie, decided he was going leave.



Then came a bizarre stroke of good fortune. BIG DICKINSON, from Newcastle, had seen the band's poster in Trillians and decided to contact them on the off chance that the band was looking for a singer or a drummer!!!!! Perfect timing!!!! He came and auditioned in that same week. The band were blown away. He was perfect! A fantastic voice, top bloke and a Maiden fan through and through.



In 1997, the band appeared on Live TV's show THE SHAM ROCK QUIZ and on the same day after recording, Speed and Big met BRUCE DICKINSON and ADRIAN SMITH for the first time. Bruce and Adrian listened to their demo tape that had been recorded a few weeks previously and couldn't believe just how much the band sounded like IRON MAIDEN. Bruce actually commented "You sound just like me!!!!" and "I always wondered what I sang on that bit!!!"



In 1999 the band were asked to go to London to record the music for an IRON MAIDEN tribute album.. The album featured famous singers such as PAUL DI ANNO (Maiden), STEVE OVERLAND (FM), DOOGIE WHITE (Rainbow) and GARY BARDEN (MSG) along with guitarists such as PAUL QUINN (Saxon). The album went on to sell over 50,000 copies in America alone and many more thousands world wide.



By far the bands biggest break came when they were contacted by IRON MAIDEN, and asked if they would perform at the official convention in the year 2000. Of course, the band jumped at the chance! It was indeed an honour. On the 17th of June 2000, the band took the stage at the London Astoria and wowed over 850 Maiden fans with a superb live show which included NICKO MCBRAIN guesting on the drums for GHOST OF THE NAVIGATOR !!!! Straight after the show, The Band were asked if they would go on tour with the IRON MAIDEN FAN CLUB in 2001, playing shows all across Europe. They didn't need to be asked twice.




The boys then took a quiet year out to concentrate on family matters and to prepare for the tour.

In late October 2001, the band started the Convention Tour which would see them playing nine gigs in eight different countries. As an added bonus to the tour, NICKO MCBRAIN went along to each show and did a drum clinic. Of course, it's difficult to keep Nicko off the kit. So when the boys asked him if he would perform a few songs with them, he willingly obliged, every night of the tour!!!!!



At the Convention in Holland, ADRIAN SMITH was there to do a signing. The band asked if he would guest on a couple of songs and he agreed. Because he had to leave early to catch a flight, he couldn't stay around till show time. So they all agreed to do an impromptu performance in the afternoon for the fans. Adrian (Smith), Nicko and the boys powered their way through THE WICKER MAN and 2 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT.



To top it all off, there was a real treat instore at the last show in Portugal……STEVE HARRIS was there!!! He stayed to watch the whole show and even got up in the encore to perform FOUR songs. He allowed Speed to use his checker board bass, and Steve Harris used Speed's. The crowd went mad as STEVE HARRIS, NICKO MCBRAIN and the whole of the band rocked them with THE WICKER MAN, HALLOWED BE THY NAME, WRATHCHILD and 2 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT.

            

© HIGHER-ON-MAIDEN 2014