Just a quick report on the Athens gig. It was a fantastic 3 days. I got in late on Thursday and met up with Spyros who contacted me after my request for help - he's a cool guy, seriously into Maiden. We had some beers and Greek food, I did the old touristy bit on Friday - Acropolis etc. The weather was scorching. Spyros drove us at 100 miles an hour to the gig, piping the horn and with BNW at full blast.

The venue was open air and next to the beach which looked strange to an English bloke used to Sheffield city hall. The setlist was the same and the crowd joined in with everything especially the new stuff which the band really appreciated. Bruce changed The Clansman to include the words 'Alexander the Great' (don't ask) but the crowd were really chanting for the full song. Bruce said they'd have to wait 3 years and then they'd be lucky (note next tour not till 2003). He did do a solo of 'Alexander the great, his name struck fear ..... he died of fever in Babylon' twice during a break in Sanctuary. The atmosphere was very exciting, the Greeks go absolutely mental for Maiden. I was near the front and had a job keeping myself upright. There were quite a few distress flares let off, apparently this was a big problem during Ed Hunter tour last year and Bruce kept a keen eye on those nearest the stage. Anyway, I didn't get to bed 'til 1:00 am and I had a 6:00 am flight which meant getting up at 4:00!! At the airport I was hanging round duty free, I turned round and BANG - it was Steve Harris waiting for the same flight. I nearly fell over. He was flying out early because he was either playing football with Maidonians or, if that was rained off, going to the West Ham game! I said a quick hello, I think he was surprised anyone had recognized him, nobody else had. I checked in still a bit dazed through lack of sleep and seeing Arry. Arry came down after me and sat down. I couldn't resist going up to him and asking for a quick chat - no problem. We chatted for about half an hour before getting the bus to the plane. Wally Grove joined us and he showed me the wound from the infamous biting incident. We all dozed on the plane, I really wanted to talk to Steve but I didn't want to pester him. We got to Luton and as we waited to get off I had another chat with them both. Steve's youngest son is about the same age as mine, he said it was hard being on the road so much. I think he's ready for a LONG rest, if I remember right he confirmed that the new album wouldn't be out 'til late 2002. I thought Steve was very friendly but a bit shy if you can believe it. He's quiet and modest, absolutely nothing like on stage. I've waited 18 years to meet the band and I'm really glad it was Steve that I did meet. So, well worth the trip. I fancy Spain or Portugal next time.

Review Submitted by "Mitch" - gary.r.mitchell@postoffice.co.uk