HRH7 Day3

HRH7

Today’s start was a little more humane, allowing me to lie in but not for much longer as a full day lay ahead therefore a fat boys breakfast was very much needed.

Arthemis

Arthemis

Kicking off the main stage was Arthemis another band that I’d seen this year at Hammerfest V. I liked them when I’d seen them perform at that festival, but today’s set was extra special as Andy (the shred master) was in fine form and the crowd appreciated his efforts and was given a massive show of respect for his craftsmanship.

The Jokers

I then ran over to stage 2 to catch a glimpse of The Jokers, as I knew I had them coming up for an interview and thought it only polite to catch some of their set. As I entered the pit, and raised my rather large camera to start documenting the set, Wane Parry announced here they are, the paparazzi! Hearing this, Paul saw this as an opportunity to go walk about with his guitar into the crowd, a rockin as he went which certainly gave us photographers a perfect shot and summed up these guys as the awesome band that they are!

Black Spiders

Black Spiders

Due to interview commitments, the next band I got to see perform were non other than the Black Spiders. Having not seen them live before, I can safely conclude that they didn’t disappoint, what an epic set! Having been around since 2008, these guys have supported many of the greats, have produced three sterling albums, the latest being “This Savage Land” which is brilliant! The bands signature, during a live set is to get everyone in the audience to raise their middle fingers up and shout FUCK YOU BLACK SPIDERS, and I think it’s safe to say that everyone enjoyed doing this and continued to do so to each other, for the rest of the day!

Fake Club

Having just interviewed the crazy quintet Fake Club from Landan town, I thought I’d better see what all the fuss was about. Despite being five rather young and attractive ladies, who do indeed play their musical instruments well, my first impressions were that I wasn’t that impressed. Initially they seemed static and bewildered with their surroundings, but after the second track or so, the girls seemed to loosen up and start to enjoy themselves. If I’m honest, once lead vocalist Rosie got into performance mode, the rest of the band seemed to relax. Rosie even had a go at bashing her cow bell and you cant beat a bit of cow bell! These girls are definitely a band to watch out for it 2014 and they AIN’T THE SPICE GIRLS, GOT IT!

Snakecharmer

Snakecharmer

Having seen Snakecharmer a couple of months ago, I wasn’t too bothered about seeing them again but thought I’d go get some images to accompany our review. Now that doesn’t mean to say I wasn’t impressed the first time round however, I’m now very glad that I went in to check them out, coz it was AMAZING. Having been subjected to all manor of colorful bands before them, these guys were a real breath of fresh air as they opted to strip it right back to the bare bones and gave us a true master class in less is more. Their musical style is predominately rock/blues and was the real jaw dropping moment from today’s performances – I was blown away! In true HRH style, the bands that were booked to play this festival were so varied, whilst complimenting each other well which makes for a very interesting festival. These guys were such a band brought in to mix it up and make things interesting, loved it!

Gold

Gold are a band I was really looking forward to seeing and having traveled from the Netherlands to the UK for the first time, they’d performed a few shows in and around the country already before gracing the 2nd stage here at HRH7. The band name Gold is taken from the ABBA album of the same name but I have no idea why, as ABBA are from Sweden and bare no resemblance to Gold’s musical style? I first got interested in this band through their liberal approach to their music video “Love the Magician” and if you like nakedness, check it out. That aside, I can honestly say this band have produced some catchy tunes and Milena’s vocals are somewhat angelic that send me into a trance every time I hear her! In our interview I also thanked them for their rock and roll poses on stage, it certainly makes our job easier and looks great too. You have to check this band out!

Paul Di’Anno

Paul Di'Anno aand Blaze Bailey

Over on Stage 1, Paul Di’Anno was finishing off his set, and having played immediately before him was another ex Iron maiden vocalist, Blaze Bailey. Much to everyone’s delight, Blaze actually came on stage with Paul to do an Iron Maiden track, which was a great pleaser for the audience, so much so for one fan who tried to get on stage to show how much he appreciated it. His appreciation was short lived though, as security wasn’t going to let that happen!

Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe

Michael Monroe is the name, but the motif means much more, as it represents a band with a wealth of experience and it shows. Tonight’s set had it all, saxophones, drums, guitars, all the bells and whistles you’d expect and the crowd loved it. I have to say Michael was by far the most energetic front man of the weekend, he was literally climbing over everything and how he managed to jump from the crowd barrier back to the stage (some 2meters) in those trousers, is beyond me.

Airbourne

Airbourne

There could only be one band to follow Michael, as far as energy goes and that was the mighty Airbourne, from Australia! To be given the opportunity to photograph these guys was an absolute honour and I send out a big thank you HRH for that, however the stage conditions were a nightmare as I could see anything through the smoke! These metal manics from down under, are the masters of headbanging in unison, but we’ll forgive them. As far as jokes go Joel was in fine form, he even had the audacity to bring up the fact England were loosing in the ashes! The beauty of an Airbourne gig is that you’re never quite sure what’s going to happen and at one point I looked away for a second, only to look back and see Joel playing his guitar in the middle of the HRH crowd. I did a double take on that one as he was actually sat on someones shoulders, giving high fives to party goers in between riffs!

The Answer

The honour of closing the main stage at HRH7, this year was given to Northern Ireland rockers The Answer. Ever increasing in their popularity, these guys and their hypnotic style of rock really lifted everyone’s spirits. Having spent most of the weekend on our feet, I along with several other media types took the opportunity to have a five minute sit down and to enjoy these guys whilst giving them our undivided attention. Not having any energy to move, we had no choice but to immerse ourselves in the music, and as we did, we paused to expressed our sentiments on what we thought was truly an incredible weekend.

Lawnmower Deth

Lawnmower Deth

Although not quite over yet, we still had the mighty Lawnmower Deth to go, who officially closed out HRH7. This is a band that I’d heard so much about, but was yet to see live. I’d seen the guys floating about giving interviews and briefly got to say hello to Paddy, but it’s what happened on stage that’s important and at 2am the 2nd stage was still rammed full of party goers, eagerly awaiting this bands set. Primarily active in the 80s and 90’s, they are said to be thrash, true British thrash perhaps? Personally I thought the band were quintessentially punk in its origins, less we forget how influential that genre was on the British public, back in the day. Much to our delight, there were with antics galore on stage with one song that lasted around 10 seconds and mayhem being this bands primary objective. I’d say they certain achieved what they set out to achieve and the HRH7 crowd loved them for it.

I think I’ve waffled on long enough so I’ll end by saying a MASSIVE thank you to all the HRH7 team for allowing music224.com the opportunity to cover this remarkable festival, long may it continue!

Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

HRH7 Day2

HRH7

Friday kicked off around mid-day for most but not for me as after only six hours sleep I was up, out and ready to interview Arthur Brown for 10am.

A total of twenty two bands were on the agenda today which unfortunately meant I would miss a fare few due to interviewing commitments. I too can’t mention everyone, or my life will be over before I know it, but what I will do is give my highlights of the bands I liked and tell you about the bands you should go and see live, in the future!

On stage two, or the Jagermeister Stage, we had Wildside Riot opening and giving the audience a taste of their sleaze rock and looking to be fighting fit.

Screaming Eagles

Screaming Eagles

Opening stage 1, we had the Screaming Eagles, a classic four piece rock and roll band from Ireland. Doing my research on the bands playing this weekend, these guys really stood out so I was very excited to watch these guys play and I’m please to report they didn’t disappoint either. For an opening act, the main stage was rammed and everyone seemed to be rocking along with the band which was great to see! There isn’t a lot on these guys but that’s changing fast, with wide spread press coverage, these are definitely a band to watch out for in 2014, also check out their music video – very funny.

Tygers Of Pan Tang

Tygers Of Pan Tang

Tygers of Pan Tang are a band that need no introduction however, they started in the late 70’s, had some great success, then around 87’ they disappeared from the scene for 20 odd years. That all change in 2008 with the arrival of a new album ‘Animal Instinct’, which was followed up last year when they released ‘Ambush’. Having never seen them live, but having heard their music a lot in the past, I was looking forward to this. Their classic hard rock anthems rung true all around the main stage, with many fans singing along to every track.

Alunah

Alunah

I managed to pull myself away and headed on over to the 2nd stage for Alunah and thank god I did! At first I didn’t quite know what to make of this female fronted four piece band from Birmingham, but its safe to say I was certainly intrigued, so I stuck about for a while longer. Dubbed as Doom Psychedelia, they have the whole stoner/rock/doom sound going on that seems very popular right now. Having released two albums under Napalm Records, all I can say is these guys are so gritty, I had to check to see there wasn’t sand in my ears. A real gem from this weekend, for me!

Crucified Barbara

Another band that sort of caught my eye were Crucified Barbara. Four very lovely ladies from Sweden but forget the cliches of blonde beauties as these girls f’in rock – if only I could have seen them! I can only assume the girls wanted to create an air of mystery about them, which certainly worked where I was concerned. Signed to non other than Nuclear Blast, these girls mean business and pack a mighty punch when it comes to their, dare I say it, balls to the wall, thrashy rock/metal music! I was completely mesmerized by their antics on stage too, definitely have a listen to these girls, especially the track “The Crucifier” what a riff, catch these ladies on tour ASAP!

Kyrbgrinder

Kyrbgrinder

Filling in for another band, we had Kyrbgrinder who certainly made the most of their slot on the 2nd stage. A three piece band from London and what they lacked in numbers, they made up for in personality, jokes (although some were tumble weed moments) and awesome music! Johanne James, the lead vocalist, was also the drummer and he certainly kept the crowd entertained. I’d just like to thank HRH for choosing these guys to stand in as they were another gem of the weekend and we’ll certainly be looking out for more shows from these guys!

Druganaut

Druganaut

The biggest find of the weekend for me were Druganaut – hailing from Newcastle which seems to be the place when it comes down to producing some amazing metal bands just lately. Not quite knowing who I’d just met, I was stood outside the media area at stupid o’clock, waiting to do an interview and these guys had just arrived, having got up even earlier to make the long drive down. As we chatted, it transpired we knew many of the same people, so I promised to check them out and thank Christ I did! Craig on vocals was dressed in a make shift toon army football kit, whilst the rest of the band optimized your typical rock stoner band type. The music however, was fierce, incorporating some really dirty low down riffs. The energy from the band was great to see, as was the face pulling, this is a band going places, trust me!

Black Star Riders

Black Star Riders

Back to stage 1 for Black Star Riders, a band that everyone who’d bought a ticket for this weekend wanted to see! I do need to point out, music224.com were meant to hold an interview with the band today, but a miscommunication meant we missed it so please don’t think we ditched you, as I was completely gutted on Saturday when I’d realised the error!

Having seen and photographed BSR’s first ever show at Marshall Amps theatre, I kind of knew what to expect however, in attendance tonight was a much greater number and when I’d seen them last the band hadn’t yet played Download or to sold out shows around the world, so to see if the show had gotten any better, if that was at all possible was an exciting prospect! Known for being the members of Thin Lizzy, they have now rebranded to enable them to release new music and do what they do best, entertain large crowds in style. That said, their set list is a mixture of both new and old stuff that goes perfectly together and making the overall set and show one hell of a ride! A fantastic co-headlining band, for sure.

Skindred

Skindred

With the crowd salivating for more, the next Co-headlining band were another band I was personally looking forward to seeing again, Skindred. Not your typical rock and roll band, far from it, but as Benji pointed out in his intro, they are a band that have grown up on a staple diet of rock and metal and you catch glimpses of their musical influences in their own music, they just choose to do it in their own way. Some get it, some don’t, but the fact remains that they have appeared at many of the big festivals, predominately being rock and metal fans in attendance and have successfully won them over. If you’ve never seen a Skindred show, I strongly urge you to do so, I promise you they’ll win your affection with their live show antics as they are very entertaining. Varied, energetic, exhilarating and above all, one hell of a night out, just ask the HRH7 crowd who were the most energetic that I’d seen them all weekend!

After a long day, a few well earned pints were had with friends and festival goers alike. Playing out the days antics were a band that were smashing the second stage, Trippy Wicked. I couldn’t help but feel the beer made the music sound even better but that’s not to say I wouldn’t have enjoyed their set had I been sober, but they were wicked. I also discovered, on Saturday during our interview, the girls in Fake Club enjoyed their set too, but maybe a little too much as the guitarist clashed heads with a band mate and probably broke her nose which explains the blue plaster she was wearing during her set the next day!

Review and photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)

HRH7 Day1

HRH7

Hard Rock Hell 7.

Hafan Y Môr Holiday Park, North Wales, 28th November 2013.

So, its all over for another year but time for me and the many others who have worked hard at gathering together the shots of bands, the processing of interviews and the writing of our reviews, to all give our respective opinions on the weekends antics! With HRH being in its seventh consecutive year, I think we can safely say this festival has got all the ingredients right and knows how to put on a great weekend. I know HRH8 has already been set in motion, so am looking out for the announcements soon!

Thursday.

The run up for this festival seemed to take for ever, I think my excitement didn’t help, what with the amazing line up this year! The mayhem started on the Thursday at around 5pm, unfortunately I’d only just finished work at this time and still had 3 hours of traveling ahead of me but thankfully, Mark and Jo Lloyd (they’re married don’t you know!) had the right idea and got over to North Wales within plenty of time to witness the first acts and the official opening ceremony, here’s what they have to say.

Massive Wagons

Massive Wagons

(Jo) Whilst Massive Wagons are a new band for me, I was instantly hooked on the no frills, balls out rock and roll, that these Lancaster lads produced. Their on stage demeanour screams that they want to have fun and were the perfect opening act for HRH7.

When I did eventually arrive (Jay) I asked Mark how these guys had performed. His remark was these had been the most energetic and exciting band of the day so far, so I was gutted to have missed them. I also missed their first ever acoustic set, which I know they were bricking it, but they performed remarkable well, considering! We did managed to obtain an interview with two members of the band on the Friday, Bowz Bouskill – Bass and the better looking of the 2 guitarists, but due to technical difficulty, we wont be airing it, this time round! (SORRY) I will say this though, the guys we spoke too were real gentleman and I promise music224.com will be giving you plenty of support over the coming year. I’ll end by saying Massive Wagon’s were one of the few bands that stayed and partied the entire weekend, what a great bunch of guys. However, selling your mates T-shirt off is back was a bit brutal but funny all the same, especially seeing that the poor chap having to fit into a zip up hoody, two sizes too small!

Uli Jon Roth

Uli Jon Roth

With a set full of Scorpions classics, I was blown away by both his guitar skills and stage presence as both were outstanding and he really showed the room how to rock!

Opening Ceremony

Opening ceremony

Featuring entertainers Area 51, the opening ceremony was full of fire, adrenaline and excitement. The crowd were enthralled and couldn’t wait to see what happened next. Only downside was this all took on the smaller, second stage and I would of loved to have seen what they could have done in a larger space.

Bernie Torme

Bernie Torme

Referred to as a psychedelic Blues Shredmeister, Bernie Torme returned the evening to its guitar theme and really got the party atmosphere going with the fun they were having on stage.

Thanks Mark and Jo, more from them later. So I’d arrived, the journey was long and I nearly died twice, but now the enjoyment could begin! Having parked up, I had a vague idea of where the new media area was, so off I trotted to obtain my passes. I rushed towards the SPAR shop, not really having a tube of glue where I was going.  However, I did run into non other than Scott Gorham and Jimmy DeGrasso of Black Star Riders, I briefly shook their hands then promptly asked if they knew where I needed to go, thankfully, in his thick American accent, Scott said, first tree, turn left……Thanks Scott and off I went!

Arthur Brown

Arthur Brown

I’m so glad I managed to catch the Crazy World of Arthur Brown set in its entirety. On stage, we had a mish mash of crazy characters, a hooded monk on Keyboards, an extra from the sergeant pepper band on bass, a rather attractive lady on guitar, complete with decorative face paint, a dirty faced and talented drummer, a dancing phoenix of the flame, which was a substitute for Arthur Browns Fire antics and finally the great man himself, dressing in an array of colorful outfits and face paint. Now, knowing that Arthur Brown is pushing 70, he doesn’t let the fact deter him from running around the stage, jumping into the crowd and he can still dance like a loony toon. The mans energy is as emphatic as ever and the younger generation of musicians should take note, as he could teach some a thing or two about showmanship!! A great moment was hearing the anthem “Fire”  for the first time live! We managed to catch up with Arthur Brown for an interview, so be sure to check that out!

Attica Rage

Attica Rage

Having witnessed the rage first hand at Hammerfest V earlier in the year, I was happy to have them in front of me again. I can safely say, an Attica Rage gig is never going to be dull, what with their great heavy rock’ n roll/metal Glaswegian sound and energy, not to mention the things they manage to get away with on stage. We had scantily clad female dancers, war drummers, we even had a fire breathing crazy person, who managed to not burn the Jaegermeister stage down to the ground, yet displayed an awesome spectacle, worth of a Rage gig! Jonny is the perfect front man with powerful vocals and flanked either side by both Stevie on guitar and Colin on bass. Much hair was flying as per usual and finally, we have the ever charismatic Richie the rage machine on the drums, who was in fine posing form! Attica Rage were the official headliners tonight, closing the first day, and they gave the crowd a worthy spectacle to remember.

Fireroad

Fireroad

If Attica Rage weren’t enough for you, we had more Rock and Roll delights from these guys, well three of them at any rate. I for one wasn’t ready to go back to my room just yet, neither were a lot of others who saw this as an opportunity to catch up with friends they hadn’t seen in a while. Fireroad certainly helped to keep our spirits high, our glasses full and provided an energetic soundtrack for an enjoyable evening. Knowing I had a long weekend ahead, I eventually called it a night and strapped on the onesie to ensure I kept warm on this cold November night, by the Irish sea!

Review by Jay Hawkins in partnership with Mark and Jo Lloyd and photography by Mark Lloyd (Amplified Gig Photography) and Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)