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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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 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!
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 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.
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 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.
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)