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HRH XI Day 2.

Kicked off in Stage 2, Those Damn Crows,local Welsh boys so a big crowd. You could see how popular they were by the reaction when they came on. They play no nonsense rock with an attitude, and I’m sure it wont be long before they play the main stage here.

Kingbreaker next, once again on stage 2.

A strange mix of eerie grunge, with Australian bassist Tom, Portugese guitarist Gabriel, Finnish drummer Mikko, and the unique voice of Spinky the female lead from Hertfordshire with her star painted eyes showcasing their debut album To The Fire. A mixed reaction from the crowd.

Off to catch first band of the day for stage one and I was welcomed by a female lead singer in diaphonous robes. This was acid psyche rock band Goldray. The only way I can describe them is think of all the trippy groups: The Doors, Floyd, Jefferson Airplane etc all rolled into one and that’s them.

Stage one again and welcome Syteria: Three females – vocals Julia Calvo, lead guitar Girlshool’s Jackie Chambers, bass Keira Kenworthy and the only male the happiest drummer I have ever seen, (never stopped smiling) the wonderful Pablo.

Not surprisingly they play nwobhm style music delivered by Julia dressed in a leather stormtrooper outfit with cap and studded bra.

Next on main stage was Graveltones, now if anyone read my review of this band on HRH blues last year, you will know what I think of them. I gave them a longer listen this time but I just can’t get into them. Two Australian friends based in London. One plays guitar with a whiny voice, the other beats the bejeesus out of the drums. I’m sorry guys I have tried but you’re not for me. The front part of the crowd were obviously fans but a lot of the audience were just standing wondering what the hell was going on.

Off to stage 2 for The Jokers, now this was more like it. They play good pure rock and roll with a twist of metal. Formed in 2006 the room was packed and you could see why they should have been on the first stage in my opinion.

Still on stage 2: Fire Red Empress. Female singer, nice makeup, pretty as hell, but an average band as was her voice.

Another female fronted band next, The Kut and the first true grunge band of the night fronted by blue haired fantastically named princess Maha with an equally fantastic joplinesque voice to match, this London band have a big following and the place was jumping.

Back to stage one and it was really filling up. The band from Frankfurt The New Roses were coming on and quite a few fans had come from Germany. They are one of the biggest bands to come from there in recent times, a mix of rock blues and thrash, they didn’t disappoint the now massive crowd.

The legends Tyketto were next: formed in 1987 by former Waysted vocalist Danny Vaughn the only real glamrock band on the bill. They released their recent album Reach in 2016. By now the room was getting very full and I decided to stay in stage one as the place was really filling up, people were finding it hard to move from stage to stage.

Veterans Y&T were the penultimate band of the night, Dave Meniketti and his band have been rocking now since 1974, originally called Yesterday and Today and named after a studio album by the Beatles that was playing on Meniketti’s turntable at the time, eventually shortened to Y&T. They were at HRH three years ago and still continue to play good old fashioned rock.

Final band of the night were Airbourne, and a lot of people had come to see these Australians. Formed in 2003 by wildman and lead singer Joel O Keefe and his drummer brother Ryan, Airbourne play no nonsence hard rock and Joel’s two party tricks are finding the highest poles or stanchions to climb while playing his guitar, a bit difficult in small venues, and smashing open cans of beer on his head and throwing them into the crowd. He did the security no favours at this event when he told them to get wild and crowd surf and jump on people’s shoulders, there wasn’t a lot of room and the front and middle of the crowd were getting jostled badly, he kept security on their toes the whole of the set.

He rocks hard and he plays hard.

Carol managed to move between the stages and was able to capture Kikamora, Sideburn and Blind River on stage 2. I was sorry to have missed Blind River, which included guitarists from the much-missed Godsized, and Pig Iron.

Review Dave Martin, Photos Carol Henson


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