Four months after the Hard Rock Hell bash, my liver had just recovered in
time for the second round of the Hammerfest here at sunny Prestatyn in
North Wales - a place that is fast becoming a second home for many
party going, rock loving degenerates. (Please don't talk about
Noel like that...(ed)).
It's a good five hour trip up the motorway from London, but as soon as you
get to the security gate of this Pontins hoilday camp, it's smiles all
round. I'm half expecting a 'Welcome Home' banner put up for us.
Unfortunately Blakey is not there to greet us at the security office
like he does in the film 'Holiday On The Buses', but it's enough for me
to say ''I get you Buckley'' to my photographer for the weekend Mr Noel
'The walrus' Buckley.
After the easy process of acquiring the keys to our chalet, it was time to
relax after a long journey and to get all excited for the weekend ahead.
DJ Krusher Joule and Metaltalk.net's Steve Goldby were our next door
neighbours who came in and said hello to our special friend Uncle Jack.
(Surely a sponsorship deal beckons?)
Emptying the bottle whilst Liverpool got red faced against Lille in the
Europa Cup on Channel 5 was not a good idea, as it meant I missed an
apparently good set from Crimes Of Passion.
It was exactly this time last year that Beholder performed their
very first proper gig in the Queen Vic pub at this festival and went
down a storm. Now on the larger Empire stage and playing to ten
times the amount of people Beholder conquered all over again.
Simon Hall is the handsome beast who is the eye of this beholder, had the
audience in the palm of his hands, leading his merry men through a set
of heavy British metal. 'Never Take Us Down' is fast becoming a
new metal anthem that you will find on a Sunday newspapers free CD in
twenty years time. The perfect band who should in my opinion
support Motorhead on their forthcoming tour.
Having the difficult task of following Beholder was Itailian metallers
Arthemis. Calling themselves thrashers, but they are more in the
Megadeth 'Countdown To Extinction' vein. Good melodic heavy metal with
some great catchy hooks and vocals that you can understand. A
highly enjoyable set. Just one falsetto ... give it to me ...
delicious metal from Italy ... Arthemis ...
A short sharp shock from SSS followed. Some great riffs in
the NWOBHM style was ruined as soon as the singing kicked in, speeding
up into some lawnmower thrash. SSS could stand for many things but
something supremely special is not one of them. The youngsters
down the front loved them though nonetheless.
Gentlemans Pistols are a class of their own. The bearded
beatnik warriors from Leeds are improving with every performance.
With former Carcass guitarist Bill Steer helping to...er...steer the
band, these stoner rock gods are beefing up their sound with more stock
in the newer material. 'Sherman Tank' is simply groovy baby.
The Gentlemans Pistols are fully loaded with some great tunes and their
forthcoming second album is my most anticipated release of this year.
Expect beards from the book of Kama Sutra to become trendy again.
One of my favourite bands of the weekend.
With Krusher Joule rocking the dancefloor for the rest of the evening, a
good night was had by all.
Back in our chalet I was Hank Marvin, and it was time for some more
drinkies and some pizza which was being heated up in the oven.
Unfortunately my drinking companion for the weekend Mr John Oakley found
his pizza a bit too hot to handle. On removing the pizza from the oven,
after saying ''Ooh ouch bugger'' promptly dropped the pizza face down on
the kitchen floor. I'm glad to report he still ate the lot. As Krusher would say 'ROCK HARD, ROCK HEAVY, ROCK ANIMAL'.