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Hard Rock Hell Sleaze O2 Sheffield 1st/2nd September 2018. Day ONE


Hard Rock Hell Sleaze O2 Sheffield 1st/2nd August 2018.


After previously playing a special event for HRH on the Friday night and a small acoustic set to start today off on stage 2, you would have thought that these boys would have been exhausted. But this is the Idol Dead we are talking about and they don’t do tired, these five guys from Leeds have enough energy between them to power the national grid. Amassing a huge fan base called the Idol Army over their ten years together it looked like half of them were in the hall, it was rammed to the rafters and not surprising if you have ever seen them before: lead singer Polly moving nonstop on stage with more stamina than an energiser bunny, the wonderful KC once again never letting up despite feeling a bit worse for wear from the previous shenanigans the night before never showed a bit of it. Nish beating the living shit out of the drums with incredible expertise, the brilliant Tim Idol with his guitar genius giving the Idols their special sound that people love, and last but not least the big bear bass man Dan. Polly looked taken back by the crowd and shouted this is the only way to spend a Saturday afternoon, and this was it! Twas early afternoon, they were the first band on but man had they set the bar high, delivering a fuel injected set of rock and roll punk with soul. If the other bands were going to impress it was going to have to be something special.

I wasn’t going to catch all the bands sets today or tomorrow: what with interviews to do and the amount of clashes it’s impossible to be in two places at one time, but I was determined to see a little of the next band Psychobabylon: sounding Motley Cruish the man mountain vocalist Rusty D has an impressive voice with a few death metal growls thrown in now and then for good measure, a nice deep bass drum sound and impressive guitar work they had the fans fist pumping along with their songs. I had to leave quite early in their set but enjoyed what I heard from them.

HRH Sleaze is all about Glam, hair metal and as it says the sleaze side of rock, next band were Speed Stroke: an Italian rock band who cover all three of those categories, decked out in bandanas, swirling hair and makeup lead vocal Jack with the sleazy moves on stage kept the female fans happy and when after only playing three songs a bass drum pedal broke it didn’t deter them: they got it sorted and carried on. Sounding very like AC/DC at times I was only going to see a short set as the first act on the big stage were soon coming on, but they play good punchy rock and roll and the fans hung around to see them and seemed to love what they did.

The main arena was getting busy as I went downstairs as the next band to come on were going to be Midnite City: a Nottingham hair metal band formed by the well know Rob Wylde, who was doing a double shift playing with his other band tomorrow. These guys are real hair metal, playing the melodic rock that is so much associated with this style: feel good rock anthems, party sounds and some terrific guitar melodies throughout their set by Miles Meakin, wine swigging Shawn Charvette on keyboards, complete with newly joined Pete Newdeck on drums and bassist Josh Williams to complete the band. Rob commands a stage, swirling his hair and pointing and waving to people he has seen before at gigs; the crowd were dancing and singing along and loved every bit of their performance.

Upstairs to stage 2 to see my friends The Senton Bombs. Four lads from Blackpool Joey vocals/Bass, Damien guitar/vocals, Johnny guitar /vocals and Scott drums, they are setting the live circuit alive at the moment vigorously touring and playing high voltage what I like to call outlaw rock, gathering a massive fan base. Joey with his signature bandana and black shades has a great powerful voice, and with brilliant guitar work from all three guys and Scott’s impressive tub thumping they never fail to entertain. Even when Joey’s bass gave up on him he carried on playing hoping eventually the crowd would hear it again which they did once they sorted it: he thought “fuck it I’m here to play and that’s what I’m going to do” with a new single Outsiders from their new forthcoming album of the same name, look out for it but most of all look out for the Sentons they’re going to be big.

Last Great Dreamers: Having interviewed these guys earlier and what a great bunch of fellows, I was anxious to get downstairs to see their set. We love dressing up they told me and boy do they, waistcoats, bowler hats, colourful jackets, flamboyance is their middle name. I missed them at HRH AOR due to clashes etc and was pleased to not only speak to them but to finally catch them playing live. Slyder guitars and vocals, told me his favourite description of them was Kerrang who called them THE PANTOMIME DAMES OF NOUVO GLAM, that made us all laugh. Having seen them play tonight they are certainly not in this for business for just a laugh; they are all serious musicians and having been around since the nineties and played the iconic Marquee club to name just one they know their craft. The outstanding vocals of Mark Valentine complete with guitar impressive guitar and vocals from my man Slyder, old school drumming from Denley Slade, and great deep bass from the mighty Berty Burton from Tigertailz depping tonight for their original bassist Steve Fielding who was on bass duties with another band that evening .You can’t pigeon hole these guys they have a sound that takes you back sometimes to the sixties, then seventies, everywhere! They just play in your face good ol’ rock and roll music and enjoy every moment of it. Currently touring with Jetboy and later Pretty Boy Floyd they have a new album Thirteenth Floor Renegades which they released on Friday the thirteenth: nice touch guys.

Final band on stage two were to be local Sheffield lads Coyote Mad Seeds competing with a huge band on the main stage they were never going to get a huge crowd but the fans were there for them, they are Joe Elsey guitar lead Vox, Chris Whitehead bass and backing vocals, and Rik Smith drums.

I really liked these guys mainly because they didn’t sound like anyone else I’d heard all day: they play all kinds of genre from underground stoner heavy 70s rock even a bit of blues and they do it all very skilfully the small crowd sang along and enjoyed everything they did, and for the people downstairs you missed a very interesting band, they are currently working on a new ep hopefully out at the end of this year or beginning of next along with an accompanying video. I interviewed them straight after their set and they are really a lovely funny bunch of lads I’ll see you down the road.

The huge band I mentioned were coming to the end of their set so I can’t really comment on them, they were Belgian Sleaze glam band Wildheart and judging by the immense crowd and the cheers I can only say they went down a storm.

With all of my interviews done and no more clashes I was ready to enjoy the next band Jetboy. These Los Angeles glam sleaze hard and heavy rockers were so excited to be playing at HRH: it was their first time in the UK and they were loving it. Formed back in 1983 by guitarists Billy Rowe and Ferny Rod along with Micky Finn lead vocals Billy, Fernie, former Faster Pussycat bassist Rob Lane and drummer Al Serrato they continue to play their own style of rock tinged with blues and classic metal with the same passion that they started with. Micky plays a beautiful harmonica and has the vocals to match. This band are definitely not for kids with Micky swearing throughout the set, he starts by saying, “Hi muthafuckers holy shit we don’t have any of this shit in the States this is fucking insane”, the crowd roared and applauded then they played a mix of old and new songs and show-cased a couple off the forthcoming new album Born To Fly ,which judging by what I heard is going to be awesome. I loved this band: they never let up all night and thanked the Last Great Dreamers, who they are touring with, for driving them around in their van and feeding them, that was cool. I had waited a long time to see this band and it was well worth the wait.

Final band of day one was Hollywood rockers LA GUNS: again formed in 1983 by original members Traci Guns and drummer Rob Gardner, going through a number of band members over the years including one Axl Rose as a singer. The current band are Traci guitar, England’s own Phil Lewis vocals, Johnny Martin Bass, new Drummer Shane Fitzgibbon. and new guitarist Adam Hamilton. I hope I got that right, these guys get through new members every few months it seems. They are veterans of the sunset strip hair metal and one of the two bands, the other one being Hollywood Rose that formed what was to be later Guns n Roses. The place was rammed and they showcased a complete history of their hits including songs from their recently released new album Made in Milan from what I saw to be honest they sounded like a lot of the other hair metal bands nothing really different so I didn’t stay around for their complete set.


I met a lot of old friends and made a lot more new ones, amazing day bring it on tomorrow.

Review by Dave Martin pics by Carol Henson aka LadyGigger



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