IF any moment during "An Evening with Bruce Dickinson" highlighted the Iron Maiden frontman's appeal, it was when he was asked what gave him the biggest adrenaline rush, winning a fencing competition, landing a 747 jet or performing in front of 100,000 people.

It was surely a question that could not be directed at any other person on the planet, and is the perfect example of why the singer could attract a packed crowd at Bradford's St George's Hall with a show that featured little more than a microphone and a slide show.

Dickinson, one of the most popular figures in heavy metal, came to Bradford as part of his spoken word tour on Thursday night.

During the three hour show he spoke not only of his time fronting the legendary band, but also his side career as a commercial airline pilot, his time as a competitive fencer and his recent battle with cancer.

Although the crowd was made up of Maiden fans, they were just as happy to hear the singer discuss his life as a pilot as they were hearing the inspiration behind the band's latest single.

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Anyone who has seen Maiden play live can attest to the singer's energy - during their mammoth sets he seemingly doesn't stop bounding from one side of stage to the other, sometimes dressed as a British soldier and sometimes duelling with a giant zombie.

Thankfully he was similarly energetic during his spoken word show - the chair provided for him on stage left totally redundant.

During the first section of the show he barely came up for breath, detailing his time at boarding school and his early forays into music - playing bongos to a cover of Let It Be during his first band practice.

His time fronting Samson, who played in Bradford on numerous occasions, including shows at Bradford Princeville Working Men's Club, made for some of the funniest moments of the show, and confirmed the old stereotypes of what rock bands get up to while on tour is mostly true.

As expected, his most famous role, fronting a band that has sold over 100 million albums and continues to sell out stadiums and arenas across the world, got plenty of time.

A slide show showed Dickinson's history of questionable trousers since joining the band, as well as the stories about how those trousers seemed a good idea at the time.

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Iron Maiden have a new album, their 17 studio album in a career that has spanned over four decades, out next month, and Dickinson treated the crowd to the video for the first single The Writing on the Wall on the large screen on stage.

He was on fine form when asked to discuss the story behind the video, animatedly describing how he decided to mix biblical imagery with political satire and the history of the band's iconic mascot Eddie.

Despite St George's Hall having hosted a huge range of acts over its history, it was likely the only time Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar and Winnie the Pooh have been mentioned in the same sentence on its stage.

In the second half of the show Dickinson answered questions from the crowd. Many of these were about his treatment after discovering a cancerous growth in his mouth several years ago. Although he approached the subject with his trademark wit, there were several poignant moments. While he was expecting his doctor to give him some profound reason for him getting cancer, he was taken aback to be told that it was just "bad luck" something that completely changed his approach to his cancer battle.

In response to the question about what gives him the biggest adrenaline rush, Dickinson said while fencing contests, flying around the world and performing to huge crowds all gave a different type of buzz, it was fronting the metal legends that gave the most pleasure.

By the end of the evening Dickinson had been on stage for almost as long as he would have been during a Maiden concert. It is a testament to his charisma and storytelling ability that he can still keep a crowd entertained for that time even without the pyros, riffs inflatable zombies and questionable trousers.

An Evening with Bruce Dickinson will visit The Theatre Royal Nottingham on Sunday August 8, the Alexandra in Birmingham on Monday August 9 and London's Shepherds Bush Empire on Tuesday August 10.