In 1983, Coney Hatch opened for Iron Maiden for over fourty concerts on the Maiden World Piece Tour. Thirty-five years later, Steve Harris reached out to Coney Hatch and asked about the band opening for his British Lion project for five nights in a row within a five hour radius of Toronto.

Coney Hatch fizzled in 1986, the members heading off to work on solo projects and collaborate with other bands (The Guess Who, April Wine, Lee Aaron, Goddo, Toronto) before ultimately reforming in 2010, two years after Carl Dixon’s near-fatal car accident in Australia in 2008. Sean Kelly (Lee Aaron) wound up filling in for Steve Shelski on these British lion support dates, rounding out the original lineup of lead vocalist and guitarist Carl Dixon, vocalist and bassist Andy Curran and Dave Ketchum on the drums.

It would be unfair to say Coney Hatch was better than British Lion. But as a Canadian fan who never got to see Coney Hatch back in the day, I was VERY MUCH looking forward to seeing them perform on this night. There was definitely some magic in the air as they played their twelve-song opening set, sharing stories of their reformation and supporting Iron Maiden back in the day as they delivered material from their 1980s albums along with songs from the more recently issued fourth Coney Hatch album that saw release in 2013. Fans were singing along to deep cuts like “Hey Operator,” “Devil’s Deck,” and “Monkey Bars,” seminal rock anthems from decades past resurrected again to appreciative fans in the room this evening.

Check out “Blown Away” from the Coney Hatch album 4.

British Lion could very quickly fall into the category of “an opportunity to see Steve Harris in a club.” I didn’t even know British Lion was a thing until these Canadian tour dates went on sale and pretty much bought a ticket to see the show because it was indeed “an opportunity to see Steve Harris in a club.” After playing the 2012 debut album a few times in anticipation of this evening’s show and realizing the debut indeed has some inspired songwriting, eight of the twelve songs on said album wound up being performed. Six of the tracks played at Maxwell’s in Waterloo were new songs, including the recently released “Spit Fire” track that debuted online weeks before tonight’s show. There was also a track called “Guineas And Crowns” performed, and I believe this to be an Andy Curran cover of “Nickels And Dimes,” one of his 1990 solo tracks.

Tonight was like seeing a stadium-level show in a small club. Steve Harris, along with Richard Taylor (lead vocals), David Hawkins (guitar), Simon Dawson (drums) and Grahame Leslie (guitar) delivered more than 90 minutes of heavy, tight material to a full house of eager fans. It’s hard to say how many were there with any prior knowledge of British Lion’s material, but that is most likely part of the reason for these tour dates – to see the band live. And, of course, to spend some hard earned cash on some nicely designed tour merchandise. The sound and lighting at Maxwell’s remains top tier. Getting to see a show like this in Waterloo was a treat in and of itself.

Coney Hatch’s Setlist:

01. We Got the Night
02. Stand Up
03. Blown Away
04. Fantasy
05. Boys Club
06. Marseille (The Angels cover)
07. Don’t Say Make Me
08. This Ain’t Love
09. Fallen Angel (w/ Golden Earring “Radar Love” snippet)
10. Hey Operator
11. Devil’s Deck
12. Monkey Bars

Ready to “Spit Fire”? Have a listen to this classic British Lion track.

British Lion’s Waterloo Setlist:

01. This Is My God
02. Lost Worlds
03. Father Lucifer *
04. The Burning *
05. Spit Fire *
06. The Chosen Ones
07. These Are the Hands
08. Bible Black *
09. Guineas And Crowns (Andy Curran Nickels And Dimes cover) *
10. Last Chance *
11. Us Against the World
12. Lighting *
13. Judas
14. A World Without Heaven
15. Eyes of the Young


I like mojitos, loud music, and David Lynch.