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HRH day 3


HRH XI Day 3

After all the fun and games last night and chatting to the people saying that the capacity was too much in stage one even dangerous at times, I looked at the programme and noticed stage two today were showcasing all the rising stars, interesting to review and probably safer. Missed the first band so started with Western Sand. Formed in 2012 this band have rapidly built a reputation for themselves playing classic southern rock with an energetic and powerful performance. These Bournemouth lads can only go from strength to strength, the second stage was packed out and I had a feeling it was going to be like that all day.

Slipped over to stage one it wasn’t too full, Buffalo Summer a South Wales 4 piece were coming on so I thought I’d give them a looksee, to be honest I wasn’t impressed, the front man was too sure of himself: thought he was David Coverdale and they sound like a poor Whitesnake tribute act. Only my opinion remember! Being from wales they had the locals there to support them.

Back to the music in stage 2, and Syron Vanes. Formed in 1983 inspired by the new wave of British Heavy Metal this band from Sweden were one of the rising stars from there. They play old school metal and the crowd enjoyed them.

Stage 1 caught the last half hour of Toseland. Formed five years ago by James Toseland, not my cuppa tea: AOR but not done as well as the big names, but they have a reputation and there was a large crowd for them.

Stage 2 and Northampton band Burnt Out Wreck, Scottish ex Heavy Petti’n front man Garry Moat sings ol’ fashioned nwobhm style rock and fun songs in the vein of Steel Panther they played numbers from their recently released first album Swallow, and a lot of fans had travelled across to Wales to see them.

STAGE 1 and The Von Hertzen Brothers had started their set. Formed in 2000 this Finnish band consisting of surprise!!! three brothers, combine classic rock with a very strong progressive vibe. Very different to anything else we had seen so far, energetic, funny, and a big crowd pleaser.

The no 1 stage was filling up again not suprisingly as the next band was Gun. These Glasgow legends were formed in 1987 and are probably most famous for their cover of Cameo’s Word up and when they started to sing it all the crowd were jumping and dancing along to it. In the early days they have supported the Stones and Bon Jovi, and the charismatic lead singer Mark Rankin is the cousin of the Texas singer Sharleen Spiteri.

As I said it was filling up fast again, so I decided to stay put, glad I did as next up was American band Lynch Mob.

Formed by former Dokken guitarist George Lynch in 1989 they have been though a number of band changes and musical ones including rap metal, they play many old Dokken numbers as well as their own material. A great band to see live. Just a shame Mr Lynch thought he was at a different event it was Hard Rock Hell, buddy, not Hellfest, next time do your homework

Next up was Reef, now remember this is just my opinion, I found this a strange band to have on the bill especially who was coming on after them. I class Reef more in the indie vein rather than hard rock. Anyway as much as I would have liked to go to stage two, with the crowd like it was I was stuck with it. So, to the band they had a massive fanbase up the front of stage and I guess they do what they do well, the one song I knew Place Your Hands had a fantastic response and lead singer Garry Stringer has a decent voice and kept the audience entertained.

Strangely the crowd was getting smaller now before the Final band of the event, Black Star Riders. Now if you don’t know of them they are former Thin Lizzy legend Scott Gorham’s incarnation of the band. Gorham himself calls them the new evolution of Lizzy. Formed in 2012 he originally took them out on the road as Thin Lizzy but didn’t feel right using the name with Phil Lynott no longer being here, so the Riders were born. They are now into their third album Heavy Fire. They started their early tours playing almost all Lizzy songs and a few album tracks but Gorham felt they were becoming a kind of tribute band so now with more album material they play ony three or four which we got tonight, and the rest new songs in the Lizzy style, which the former Almighty irish wildman Ricky Warwick delivers brilliantly and uncannily sounding like Lynott. A blistering set and I think the crowd went away happy.

Well that was Hard Rock Hell XI, a fantastic event and congrats to Jonni, Fleur and all the hard working crew.

Just be careful that you don’t over fill the venue next time. The Riders set was not as full as it should have been because it was getting difficult to enjoy with the over crowding, listening to peoples comments after the event.

But overall a fantastic job.


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All reviews by Dave Martin and all photos by Carol Henson.