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Bruce Dickinson: We'll have a word with China over Iron Maiden censorship

Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson has promised Chinese fans he’ll work to lift censorship on the band’s performances in their country

Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson has promised Chinese fans that he’ll do something about government censorship that prevented the band from delivering their full-power show in China.

The country’s Ministry of Culture is well-known for requiring changes to musicians’ performances, including the banning of songs that might be seen to criticise the government, or which are regarded as subversive.

That didn’t stop Iron Maiden from visiting China for the first time on their The Book Of Souls world tour – but it meant their performances didn’t include pyros, smoke effects, Dickinson’s flag-waving antics during The Trooper, throwing merchandise into the crowd or using strong language.

A fan video shot in Shanghai earlier this week shows Dickinson joking with the crowd, saying: “They did say ‘no cameras.’ Do I care? Everybody take out your camera device – take a picture.”

He goes on: “It’s great to be in China tonight. We ripped it up in Beijing, and we thought, ‘That was a bit serious.’ They had a few rules, so we kind of stuck by the rules and we didn’t do any swearing. There’s another thing I can’t do – see if you can guess what it is later on.”

With each swearword mouthed instead of spoken, he says: “We don’t really give a shit about all that, because the most important thing is the music. The most important thing is that we’re here, and you’re here, and we’re going to have a great fucking time.”

Dickinson then refers to a TV interview with guitarist Janick Gers, saying: “They’ve got these great pictures of the show with flames everywhere, dry ice and smoke. I thought, ‘That’s a fucking shame, because we can’t do that – we got a little bit restricted.’”

He adds: “Next time we’ll have a word. Next time we come back to China.”

Iron Maiden’s world tour continues until August and includes a headline appearance at the Download festival on June 12.

Iron Maiden The Book Of Souls World Tour remaining dates

May 01: Aucklane Vector Arena, New Zealand
May 04: Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Australia
May 06: Sydney Allphones Arena, Australia
May 09: Melbourne Rod Laver Arena, Australia
May 12: Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Australia
May 14: Perth Arena, Australia
May 18: Cape Town Grand Arena, South Africa
May 21: Johannesburg Carnival City Festival Lawns, South Africa
May 27: Dortmund Rock Im Revier Festival, Germany
May 29: Munich Rockavaria Festival, Germany
May 31: Berlin The Waldbuehne, Germany
Jun 03: Lucerne Sonisphere Allmend Rockt, Switzerland
Jun 05: Rock In Vienna Festival, Austria
Jun 08: Arnhem Gelredome, Netherlands
Jun 10: Paris Download Festival, France
Jun 12: Donington Download Festival, UK
Jun 15: Oslo Telenor Arena, Norway
Jun 17: Gothenburg Ullevi Stadium, Sweden
Jun 19: Dessel Graspop Metal Meeting, Belgium
Jun 21: Herning Jyske Bank Boxen, Denmark
Jun 23: Kaunas Zalgirio Arena, Lithuania
Jun 25: Moscow Olimpiyskiy, Russia
Jun 29: Hameenlinna Kantolan Tapahtumapuisto, Finland
Jul 01: Sopron Volt Festival, Hungary
Jul 03: Wroclaw Stadium, Poland
Jul 05: Prague Eden Arena, Czech Republic
Jul 06: Zilina Airport, Slovakia
Jul 09: Viveiro Resurrection Festival, Spain
Jul 11: Lisbon MEO Arena, Portugal
Jul 13: Madrid Barclaycard Center, Spain
Jul 16: Barcelona Rock Fest
Jul 22: Milan Mediolanum Forum, Italy
Jul 24: Rome Rock in Rome Sonisphere, Italy
Jul 26: Trieste Piazza dell'Unita D'Italia, Italy
Jul 27: Split Spaladium Arena, Croatia
Aug 02: Esch-sur-Alzette Rockhal, Luxembourg
Aug 04: Wacken Open Air, Germany

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