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!
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.
(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
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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)