Saturday 15th November 2014.
So Saturday’s events are already upon us, my doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun mad if this statement is true, then today will be over in a flash, as today’s line up is incredible! Today was most certainly my favourite day of the weekend, what with Blues Pills, Diamond Head, Michael Schenker, Blue Oyster Cult, Girlschool, The Vintage Caravan and Theia UK to name but a few!
On Stage one, Oldman Lizard kicked off proceedings and the bands name was a dead give away to their playing style. Like three old men, they strum out some sludgy, doomy, southern rock sounds. Musically I really enjoyed them, but visually, they didn’t excite me all that much. Speaking of old men, More were opening up the 2nd stage today, dubbed the Doom and MetalStage, in honour of the bands that would be playing on it. I mean no disrespect by calling these guys old, its just a fact, but its great to see the older generation giving the younger bands a run for their money. Some were lacking in the mobility department, but they sure know how to rock out and the crowd loved it. One member of the band is lucky to be alive, in all honesty, as it was non other than legendary music producer Chris Tsangarides, playing guitar, who was recently hospitalised with Legionnaires disease, mental, thankfully he’s pulled through and was here with us, playing today, which everyone showed him the love and respect he quite rightly deserved. I love metal heads!
Black State Highway were a band that captured my imagination, both musically and visually, as their vocalist and front woman, Liva Steinberga, is beautiful in both the looks and voice department and jeez, what a voice, she belts out those vocals with some real passion! We got to speak to both Olie (guitar) and Gordon (bass) so check out that interview on our YouTube channel.
Due to interview commitments, the next band I refused to miss were the fabulous Blues Pills, who have taken the world by storm these past twelve months or so. Signed to Nuclear Blast, these guys haven’t stopped touring the world, so it was a great pleasure to see them here in Wales. Picture the scene, its 2pm, main stage, which is usually pretty quiet as people are still nursing hang overs from the day before, but not for these guys, oh no! Before they started, the crowd wasn’t even half filling the room, but as that first note rung out, the room had filled to near full capacity, which was fantastic to see. I can clearly remember loosing my shit come the second song, I can’t for the life of me remember which track it was, I think it was “Aint No Change” but don’t quote me on it, all I do remember is watching superstar guitarist Dorian Sorriaux, who’s a legend in the making, giving us a somewhat subdued guitar solo, which he built up the intensity, until he’d built up so much tension, by the time he dropped the awe inspiring solo and let it rip, I almost screamed out as if I’d climaxed myself, believe me, it was beautiful, I nearly cried! The other superstar and future legend in the making is vocalist Elin Larsson, who’s an absolute stunner and what a voice, incredible. Sadly the drummer and bassist seem to become somewhat over shadowed by the brightness of Dorian and Elin, but it takes all four to create the beautiful sounds that is Blues Pills!
Speaking of Legends, it was the turn of non other than Diamond Head, and yes, “Am I Evil” is that fantastic song written by these guys, that Metallica covered! I first saw that track, performed live, when I attended the big 4 tour, where all the bands let it rip on stage, I’m talking 10 lead guitars, it was insane! It’s worth mentioning, new vocalist, Nick Tart is a fantastic replacement and his energy on stage seems to have rejuvenated the energies of the rest of the band. Although a legend, Brian Tatler was humbled by the crowds reaction, who were cheering his name, out of respect!
Yet another guitar legend next, Michael Schenker, who is better known for helping the likes of the Scorpions and UFO to become the much loved bands they are today. People had mixed reviews of the set tonight, but in all honesty, there was a problem with Schenkers monitor, so he couldn’t hear what he was playing, thankfully, the HRH stage crew managed to resolve the issue quickly so the show could go on in fantastic fashion. All the hits were played tonight, which the crowd loved, as did I, and it was like one big sing a long session as everyone knew the words to every song played!
Blue Oyster Cult were the surprise band of the weekend for me, as before tonight, I only knew that one song, that everyone else knows “Don’t Fear The Reaper” but after tonight, I have a new found respect for this band, as they were awesome live, the riffs rang out a plenty!
Thiea UK, from Burton managed to get to this years HRH and quite rightly so, as they are a fantastic young rock band, with a very mature sound and work ethic. They even managed to get a guest appearance from Fleur, which was the first time I’d seen her all weekend. Kyle did try to get her up on stage, but she wasn’t having any of it, so the next best thing was Emma, who belted out the words “whoop Dee Fucking Doo” which is the bands most successful track to date, in my opinion!
A band I’ve fallen in love with are Thunder Mother, five young ladies from Sweden AND Ireland, these ladies are a female version of AC/DC, who are much better looking and less likely to take out a contract on your ass!
Girlschool was an absolute pleasure to see tonight, as I know my dad loves these ladies. Although they’ve been touring longer than I’ve been alive and despite the technical issues these ladies had, they soldiered on with true professionalism. It was also a pleasure to here these ladies perform Race with the Devil, live, as it’s my favourite track, thankfully they had enough time to play it! I actually got to speak to Jackie (The blonde one) and Kim (the Brunette one) in the Mash and Barrel the next day, which was also an honour. Frank says thanks, by the way.
Closing stage 2, we had those cheeky chaps from London, The Broken Chords, who I love, although I find it odd that bassist, Aiden plays bear foot, when on stage.
Closing stage 1, we had the awesome The Vintage Caravan, from Iceland, who I felt a little sorry for, as they closed stage 2 last year, yet these guys are good and deserve a better time slot, in my opinion. However, the die hards and the non sleepers who hadn’t yet had enough and weren’t ready to go to bed just yet, certainly enjoyed these guys too!
To conclude, I feel this year has been the best all round really. The HRH team seem to have got to grips with the new venue at Pwhelli and is now working like a well oiled machine. I’m glad to say, it was great to see more seating in and around the stages and by the outside bar area, which meant people were less likely to hide away in their caravans, which meant each and every band got a healthy crowd, which is why we’re all here is it not, to see some great live music!
I for one can’t wait for next year as I’m gonna take my dad with me, who is a big fan of the type of music HRH proudly feature. I’ve already bought our tickets and booked my place at next years event, yet no-one has been announced, I’m just that confident next year will be equally as awesome, if not better!
Until next time, music fans, Peace out.
Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)