Picture the scene: you're an RAF squaddie who also happens to be a heavy metal fan, attending a party at a hangar at your base commemorating the retirement of a major military vehicle (the transport aircraft Lockheed C-130 Hercules, to be precise), when the covers band on stage launches into Iron Maiden classic The Trooper. The singer on stage is doing a remarkable job of imitating Bruce Dickinson's unmistakable yell, when, upon closer inspection, you suddenly realise that the singer on stage is Bruce Dickinson.
That's exactly what happened at a C-130 Hercules retirement party being hosted by No. 47 Squadron at the RAF base in Brize Norton, Oxfordshire on Friday evening (June 23). In video footage since posted to social media, Dickinson can be seen giving it full whack as he roars his way through the timeless Maiden anthem, to the delight of both his temporary bandmates and the dozens of people in attendance.
Perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised. Dickinson is, after all, something of an aviation expert himself; he owns a full airline transport pilot's licence and has not only flown commercial aircraft but piloted Maiden's own, mighty Ed Force One plane. He's also launched his own aircraft businesses and even wrote an Iron Maiden song, epic, 18-minute 2015 track Empire Of The Clouds, about the ill-fated R101 airship. Who better to sing some heavy metal thunder in an actual RAF hangar?
Watch the video of the unique performance below.
Iron Maiden are currently in the middle of their rapturously received Future Past tour, which celebrates 2021 album Senjutsu while exploring deep cuts from 1986's classic Somewhere In Time. The full list of Future Past tour dates is below.
Iron Maiden Future Past tour dates 2023
May 30: Prague O2 Arena, Czech Republic
May 31: Prague O2 Arena, Czech Republic
Jun 03: Tampere Nokia Arena, Finland
Jun 04: Tampere Nokia Arena, Finland
Jun 07: Bergen Koengen, Norway
Jun 09: Solvesborg Sweden Rock Festival, Sweden
Jun 11: Leipzig Quarterback Immobilien Arena, Germany
Jun 13: Krakow Tauron Arena, Poland
Jun 14: Krakow Tauron Arena, Poland
Jun 17: Clisson Hellfest, France
Jun 19: Zurich Hallenstadion, Switzerland
Jun 21: Hannover Zag Arena, Germany
Jun 24: Dublin 3 Arena, Ireland
Jun 26: Glasgow OVO Hydro, UK
Jun 28: Leeds, First Direct Arena, UK
Jun 30: Manchester AO Arena, UK
Jul 03: Nottingham Motorpoint Arena, UK
Jul 04: Birmingham Utilita Arena, UK
Jul 07: London O2 Arena, UK
Jul 08: London O2 Arena, UK
Jul 11: Amsterdam Ziggo Dome, Holland
Jul 13: Antwerp Sportpaleis, Belgium
Jul 15: Milan, The Return of The Gods Festival, Italy
Jul 18: Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona, Spain
Jul 20: Estadio Enrique Roca, Murcia, Spain
Jul 22: Bizkaia Arena Bec! Bilbao, Spain
Jul 25 Dortmund Westfalenhalle, Germany
Jul 26 Dortmund Westfalenhalle, Germany
Jul 29: Frankfurt,Festhalle, Germany
Jul 31: Munich Olympiahalle, Germany
Aug 01: Munich Olympiahalle, Germany
Aug 02: Wacken Open Air, Germany