...or, The March of The Doom Droids.
As SJW has pointed out in his post, we weren't allowed to take his camera into the gig with us, and I'd not taken mine because it's just one more thing to lose really, isn't it (oh yeah and it's broken too), so any and all photos taken on this particular day are from the journey there and the March of The Doom Droids on the way back.
There was no getting lost or 45-minute phone calls for us this time; I stayed (relatively) sober because we'd caned it a bit the night before (the look on Skum's hangover-riddled face when I came out of the shop with a crate of lager was priceless, I think his words were "Patchie...how could you?" haha) and I was on map-reading duties, so we arrived in no time, navigating a seemingly improbable one way system as only true metal vagabonds with a gig to go to can.
The three hour, spiral-shaped journey around the centre of Birmingham the week before with Anna directing us along probably helped as well.
We arrived, joined the massive queue and sank a few cans, and arrived just in time to pick up a shirt, get some more beers, and watch Girlschool's set.
For those of you not in the know, Girschool are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year (making them as old as yours truly) and play good ol' British biker rock/metal. They were spot on, so much so that afterwards I went looking for their merch to get hold of a the CD with Ronnie James Dio and Tony Iommi collaborating with them, but there was none to be found. It'll probably lose me a few kvlt points but fuck it, Girlschool are top notch, squire.
Skum has a setlist in his post for this show; Opening with Holy Diver this was an excellent selection of tracks from Dio, even if there were no Sabbath songs included alongside the Dio and Rainbow tracks, maybe this is another one of Ozzy's (Iron Maiden hating) wife's moves? Anyway, the set was good, Ronnie James got a bit pissed off with Simon Wright's (ex-AC/DC) drumming at the end of (I think) Rainbow in the Dark - turning to him and demanding to know (over the PA) "Are you fucking deaf?", much to the amusement of Thee Claw. Wright more than made up for this with a cracking drum solo, accompanied in part by Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture.
Ending the show with a triple treat of Long Live Rock And Roll, The Last in Line and We Rock, this was truly a night to remember.
Oh, and we also saw an erstwhile ex-Iron Maiden vocalist hiding under a huge skull print bandana at the bar.
As for The March of The Doom Droids...you'll just have to wait to see what that was all about!