Black Wizard wrote:Hammerfall, Sonata Arctica and others were doing more substantial UK tours several years before Blind Guardian bothered to.
True, but it's not like it's been a regular thing for most of those bands. To use the two bands you mentioned as an example (and I may be mistaken), Hammerfall went beyond London for their tour in 2007 and 2010 but since then? Don't think they've done an actual UK tour in 10 years.
As for Sonata? Again, they did a tour in 2008 and I've lost interest in them a lot in recent years so not sure but I think they've only done 1 tour outside of London since then.
As for other big or notable power metal bands from Europe doing tours involving more than just London? (Based on my recollections of the past 15 years or so)
Helloween - 3 date UK tour in 2006. Nothing since then apart from the tour booked for October this year
Avantasia - Nope
Gamma Ray - Nope
Primal Fear - Nope
Rage - Only 1 tour outside of London in the last 15 years I believe?
Stratovarius - Nope
Axel Rudi Pell - Nope
Manowar - 1 tour that involved more than just a single show in Birmingham
Doro - 1 tour outside of London which was last year
Powerwolf - 1 tour outside of London which was last year
Accept - 2011 a couple of Hammerfest warm-up shows
King Diamond - Nope
Iced Earth - 1 tour which only involved London, Birmingham and Glasgow in 2014
Rhapsody - 1 tour earlier this year
Kamelot - 1 tour in 2008
Grave Digger - Nope
Battle Beast - 1 tour in 2017 and one last year
Orden Ogan - Nope
Nightwish, Sabaton and Within Temptation are the only 3 bands that stick out to me from the genre that have consistently done more comprehensive tours of the UK. I would have included Edguy in that list too but Tobias seems to have ditched them in favour of Avantasia entirely now.
If anything, the folk metal bands seem far more interested in touring the rest of the country