Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain joins Royal Marines Band for Royal Albert Hall performance - in pictures

A legendary heavy metal musician joined the Royal Marines band for a spectacular performance at the Royal Albert Hall.

Iron Maiden drummer Nicko McBrain joined Massed Bands of His Majesty’s Royal Marines for the annual showpiece event earlier this month. The band whose members are among the world’s finest military musicians – opened the show with the national anthem in honour of His Majesty the King, who is also Captain General of the Royal Marines.

The night of pageantry celebrated the 360th anniversary of the Royal Marines. It was held 52 anniversary of the Mountbatten Festival of Music. Nicko said: “I was so stoked. It was suggested ‘would you like to do next years [Mountbatten Festival of Music]’ and I went ‘of course I’d love to do it!’, what an honour, a great honour to be asked and to be involved.” The 71-year-old played his own drum kit, named Legacy of Royals, alongside the Massed Band and Corps of Drums for the piece The Maiden Legacy, a medley of Iron Maiden’s most popular songs.

His drumkit is going to be sold at auction in order to raise money for the Royal Marines Charity and the Grand Order of Water Rats Charity. Issie Chadwick, first time performer at the Mountbatten Festival of Music, said: “This is my first time performing at the Royal Albert Hall, and although I’m not front and centre for my first song, I haven’t really done many solos before. This will be one of my first solos on one of the world’s biggest stages.”

The evening saw the showcase of another performance, Invictus. This piece, centred around the Invictus Games, also featured a video of Team UK alongside other athletes. Among them was Becky York, a former Royal Marines Musician. Becky, who plays the clarinet and piano, joined the Royal Marines Band Service at just the age of 18. During her time with RMBS, she performed at many high-profile events including the Royal wedding of Their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales, but was medically discharged in 2014 due to an injured hip. This piece is a tribute to the Invictus Games, Team UK and all the wounded, injured and unwell service personnel involved in the games.

Other pieces performed by the band include Top Gun and Commando Force, featuring the world-famous Corps of Drums, Saved from the Waves, a piece commemorating the 200th anniversary of the RNLI and Splashes of Tartan, featuring dancers and pipers from the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo performers. Lieutenant Colonel Huw Williams RM, Principal Director of Music for RMBS, said: “We have a wide variety of styles and pieces at this year’s Mountbatten Festival of Music. Alongside the regular ceremonial pieces and modern arrangements, we have some guest artists including pipers and dancers from the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and athletes from the Invictus Games."