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HRH Sleaze O2 Arena Sheffield 2/09/18. Day Two


HRH Sleaze O2 Arena Sheffield 2/09/18.

Day Two

My plan today was getting all my interviews done early so I could see more bands play. There were a few early acoustic sets in stage two again for the lucky VIP’s and press, the first to play were Falling Red. I had reviewed their brilliant album Lost Souls earlier in the year so knew what was to come, but I was interested to see how their style sounded acoustically, let me say it sounded pretty good to me and the medium crowd enjoyed what they did too, they were on the big stage later in the evening and I heard whispers in the crowd that they were looking forward to it.

Next were another band doing a double shift, The Black Bullets, I saw them turn up and if they sounded as good as they looked then the large crowd were in for a treat. I wasn’t going to be able see the acoustic set but from what I could hear in the press room they sounded damn good, and I was definitely going to catch their full set later.

On the same stage next: Black Roze and they were doing an acoustic set and straight after into their full one, I’m sorry to the band but what with my preparation in press room and interviews and clashes I missed both your sets and was gutted, I caught glimpses of it and heard you and I really liked what I heard, a female fronted band, goth rock by the look of you? I hope to catch you at another gig and maybe have a chat.

I managed to catch a small part of Neon Animal, a rock and punk band with lead singer Mark Thorn looking and sounding like Mick Jagger’s lovechild (SORRY MARK) – I know you hate that cliché but it does come across on stage dude, it doesn’t mean I didn’t like what I saw hope to see you on the road again and I enjoyed our little chat outside.

With nearly all my interviews out of the way I was looking forward to seeing Black Bullets’ full set: they describe themselves as the devil’s house band and come from Hellsvlle, (I’ll have to check that one up on the map), I would describe these guys as gypsy punk rock and rollers, high energy, fast paced, low slung guitar, kick ass muthafuckers. They are Billy T lead Vox/harmonica, Lance Skybaby lead guitar, Skinn Klick guitar, Carl D drums and vocals and Alice E Atkinson bass. If you like your music loud and fast with a taste of punk metal then you will absolutely love this band! I loved what you did but that’s all I’m going to say, if you trust my reviews just go out and see these guys perform you will not regret it; if you come out disappointed you don’t deserve to listen to music. See you on the road again.

The band up next were Leicester lads Midnight Dogs: a late addition to the bill as a band had pulled out, I know my friend Rob the lead singer of the band was itching to get on stage and perform. They were going to bring a totally different vibe to the afternoon and take you on a retro 70s rock and blues journey. The band, Rob Cass lead vocals, Dan Harper guitar, Steve Wonderwood Bass, and Neil Drage drums. Rob himself has the swagger and a velvet voice from a bygone age with a nice bluesy growl when needed, they play down and dirty rock and roll with a blues edge and songs that tell wonderful stories with catchy riffs and thumping basslines. They have a new album coming out next year so be ready for that, sorry Rob man I couldn’t catch all your set but I know we will see each other on the road again soon. I was so pleased to see such a great crowd for you and as always you delivered.

I went back down to the main stage to catch Falling Red’s set: the crowd was huge and they were playing their hearts out, loving every minute of it. These Cumbrian sleaze punk rock metal guys are Rozey lead vocal and lead guitar, Dave drums, Shane guitar and Mikey bass, what I love about their performance was you could see they don’t take themselves too seriously, they have fun on stage with their party antics, but mix their sounds with punk, some nice ballads and even a tinge of country. They had the great idea to produce a t shirt for their single Enemies taken from their recent album Lost Souls and got the fans to design the logo. They are a little bit different from most of the sleaze glam bands out there and if you like loud heavy but also great melodic tunes and ballads then go and see these guys somewhere on the circuit, glad I managed to catch you playing live at last.

Coming to the main stage next were Shiraz Lane. These five guys from Vantaa Finland, although still in their early twenties, are creating a storm in their homeland and are already veterans of the underground scene there, being championed by the likes of Children Of Bodom and Lordi, who have called them one of the most entertaining bands they have seen. Hannes Kett has an incredible voice and a falsetto to die for, along with the twin guitar work of Jani Laine lead and Miki Kalske rhythm, bass man Joel Alex, and drummer Ana Willman, they play loud and heavy melodic rock metal with an attitude, dressed in bright shiny shirts: their influences range from Aerosmith to G.N.R. They are full of energy with Hannes forever tossing his long blonde mane around. They went on an extensive tour in 2015 with Santa Cruz, playing one of the most prestigious clubs in Finland, which led to a world-wide record deal with Frontiers Music. Playing songs from their debut album For Crying Out Loud and their recently released 2nd album Carnival Days, these boys may be young but take it from me they’re going to be around for a long time. They are sorting more tours out for the UK and you won’t go far wrong if you went to one of them, lovely to meet you guys and look forward to the next time.

I had a half hour rest before the next band were due to come on, having spoke to their roadie earlier in the day I was really looking forward to seeing them these WERE going to be different. Time for a beer and some grub.

How do I describe the next band? Toxic Rose, Dark thrash horror, there’s a new genre for you! This four piece from Stockholm have made a name for themselves with their unique look and mix of sleaze thrash metal, think of Rob Halford’s studded jackets and double it (those things weighed a ton! Trust me I lifted one later), industrial strength makeup and the lead singer looking like the spawn of Gene Simmons and with the theatricals of Alice Cooper. But these guys are no novelty act: singer Andy has the voice to match the image, deep growls but also great range, Tom guitar and backing vocals is a brilliant axeman and shows off his skill throughout their blistering set, Johannes bass and backing vocals a wonderful haunting deep bass sound and finally some double pedaling on the drums (AT LONG LAST) and top notch it was from Michael. With songs like World Of Confusion, We Own The Night, and Sinner, I was absolutely engrossed by their act and when Andy picked up a Skull and drank blood from it, and then went on to spit it into the audience fuck yea! this was what I had been waiting for all night, absolutely stunning. I can’t wait to hear the new album and see you guys down the road again, it was great to meet you after the set and here’s to the next time.

From theatrical metal we go back to the glam and hair, after all this is a Sleaze fest, and they don’t come much more glam or sleazy than legendary Welsh rockers Tigertailz. Hairspray heaven and glammed up to the nines, the members are Rob Wylde, lead vocals after his Midnite City set last night he still looked as fresh as a daisy, founder member Jay Pepper lead guitar, the wild and wonderful Berty Burton, also double shifting with the Last Great Dreamers from last night and Matt Blakout, drums. This was one of the biggest crowds of the weekend and having been playing over thirty-five years these veterans of hair metal and their second time at the Sleaze festival were here to delight them once again. Kicking off with Sick Sex from their 1990 chart album Bezerk which took these guys into the top of the tree of glam metal alongside the American bands like Motley Crue etc, Rob immediately had the fans both young and old echoing ah ah ah ah in the chorus and this was just the first song, by the time they had got to Shoot To Kill they had the whole audience in the palm of their hands, nonstop fist pumping, dancing, and screaming. Whether or not you are a fan of hair metal, you have to admire the way that this band commanded the stage and when they ended their set with the favourite Love Bomb Baby the room erupted. Second time here for Tigertailz and I’m betting it won’t be long before they are back again.

Now to the headliners Backyard Babies, a lot of the glam fans had left but the crowd was no less, as the punk and underground fans had amassed instead, these Swedish punk metal rockers formed in 1987: originally called Tyrant they changed it after a Canadian band had the same name. They are attributed for making sleaze rock popular in Sweden, and have released seven studio albums so they were going to have an interesting setlist with so many songs to choose from. They have won a number of awards including two Grammys. The band is Nicke Borg lead vocals/guitar, Dregen lead guitar vocals Johan Blomquist bass, and drummer Peder Carlsson, to follow Tigertailz was a big ask and a lot of people thought the Tigerz should have been headliners, so Nicke and the rest of the band had a lot to prove but I had known about this band for years and was looking forward to seeing them live. Their intro tune was the Sex Pistols Friggin’ in the Riggin’ so that had the crowd smiling straight away they came running on stage to huge roars and metal horns everywhere kicking off with Made Me Madman and UFO Romeo, in fact they treated us to more than half of the Live Live in Paris album but we also heard the new single Shovin’ Rocks from the new album Silver and Gold out next year. After they had finished the crowd yelled for more, and that’s what they got: a four-song encore. Awesome performance that more than deserved the headline spot (JUST MY OPINION), don’t bite my head off, if you don’t agree.

And that was Sleaze done for another year, and something for everyone, we all like different styles of music and this festival definitely brings that. I think everyone went home happy and I look forward to seeing some of you crazy Muthas at HRH in November.

Review by Dave Martin & Pics by Carol Henson aka LadyGigger

HRH Sleaze O2 Arena Sheffield 2/09/18. Day Two

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