(Photos: Lindzrs Media Photography & MB Photography Scotland)
Could things be any better than the great first day here at HRH?
Well, there were a few sore heads and jaded faces wandering round the site after the excesses of the first night, which closed with the amazing Dee Snider, so I expected the areas to be quieter while folks recovered by means of caffeine and a walk on the beach.
‘Those Damn Crows’ were first up and singing songs from their album ‘Murder and the Motive’ and a new track, ‘Going Down’, from their soon to be recorded second, the crowd had turned out in good number and the boys from South Wales woke everyone up with a cracking start to the day.
Running down to the acoustic stage across the park as fast as my little legs would carry me, ‘The Jokers’ played a few songs really stripped back and with the lights low and coffee in the air it was the perfect breather, and a small but appreciative crowd then stayed on to hear ‘Blind River’ also strip it back. The tiny stage was filled with The Gravel tones and hard played acoustics which reminded they were at a rock festival. The songs were good but did not lend themselves as well to the acoustic feel. These guys are southern rock with a big sound.
Stage 1 arena, again, had a gentler start for about 2 minutes before Prog rockers ‘Goldray’ shimmied and swirled their way through a strong set of songs from their successful debut album, ‘Rising’. The band features Kenwyn House, former guitarist with Reef, the sound was big and the vocals crisp and soaring. Kate Bush-esque combined with Zeppelin.
‘Syteria’ have only been together for a short time, former Girlschool guitarist Jackie Chambers has a band of three talented individuals who have been playing dates this summer to promote their album ‘Revolution’. Keira, Julia and Pablo have a good sound but, unfortunately a couple of technical issues with Julia’s guitar hampered a little. However, Julia does have a cracking voice and the band seem tighter than when I saw them last this summer.
Grunge girl band, ‘The Kut’ entertained on Stage 2 with tracks from their ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ EP and I’d make the effort to catch these girls if you can. Really strong tunes and a quirky edge.
‘Florence Black’ blasted their way on to the stage and Fozzi, Tristan and Perry from South Wales, known for their delicious riffs and way too rich vocals and awesomeness, continued to thrill the now full room with a stunning set of songs from their new, very recently released EP, ’EP II’. The run of recent dates with Idlewar have tightened the sound up on stage and the guys really did deliver.
Scooting over to the Main Stage, the rumbling of approval around the room for ‘Florence Black’ were still audible but as the crowd packed tighter and tighter into the arena, it could only mean one thing. HRH favourites, ‘Tyketto’.
Performing songs from their back catalogue and a couple of real surprises, ‘Faithful’, ‘Circle The Wagons’, ‘Wings’, ‘Rescue Me’, it all became a bit of a feverish, sing-along blur, culminating with ‘Forever Young’. I can’t put across how strong and phenomenal this band is live. You can taste the energy and the chemistry on stage between Chris, Michael, Ged and Danny. Chris Childs is on Thunder duty so his bass position was filled by Greg Smith, big boots which were admirably filled. Danny is the hardest working vocalist in the AOR world by far and perhaps it’s the constant singing but his voice seems to get stronger and stronger. I’m not sure he needs the mic.
The room did not thin out, remaining packed to the rafters. ‘Y&T’ were met with rapturous applause and cheers a plenty. Another favourite band and I think a few thousand people sang along to every word with the amazing Mr Dave Meniketti. The way Dave makes the guitar sing is unreal. Soaring riffs played with such a clarity and passion. Stunning songs memorably played. ‘Winds of Change’, which Dave dedicated to three of the original members of ‘Y&T’ who have now all passed, was so beautiful it actually reduced some of the hardened rock fans to tears. A heartfelt tribute to friends long gone.
Picking up the pace, the set list was truly fan orientated. John, Arron and Mike all playing their part in delivering a cracking show. Thank you ‘Y&T’ for yet another riff roaring, emotional rollercoaster of a set.
When the room couldn’t get any hotter without bursting into flames or the walls popping out with so many people, the stage filled with Marshalls. A wall of sound which the expectant crowd were waiting to hear explode. And it did! Aussie rockers ‘Airbourne’ tore the stage in two with their brand of loud, energetic guitar driven insanity.
Beer flying everywhere in inimitable fashion for this band. Fans bouncing and hair flying everywhere. This is what the crowd wanted and this is what they got. Frantic, frenetic, loud, sweaty rock and roll.
HRH, I thank you!
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