more loonies turning up and all three stages open, the big guns are here
to show us how it's done. After the previous nights intake, I was in no
fit state to check out the young blood in the Queen Vic.
Diamond Head who were my first band of the day - only guitarist Brain Tatler remains
from the origInal line up but singer Nick Tart does a good job stepping
into the shoes of Sean Harris.
30th anniversary of their 'white' debut and the band had been performing
it in it's entirely at some previous shows but the set today had more of
their greatest moments including 'In The Heat Of The Night' and 'To The
Devil His Due' but it was always going to be 'Am I Evil' that was going
get the heads some serious headbanging.
fantastic a couple of nights back in London, but with only a hour slot I
felt they played too much new material ignoring some classics from their
However the band were still highly enjoyable and a
welcome addition to the bill with their own brand of melodic rock - but do
we really need a Marvin Gaye cover when they've got so many good songs
of their own?
thing about this festival is stumbling across bands you wouldn't
normally bother to see. Whilst nipping back in from the cold after
a fag I encountered Evil Scarecrow on the Blackstar Stage.
black/death metal band from Nottingham who were excellent, not only
funny as hell, but they also had the songs of quality that will kill off
any black metal band who take themselves far too seriously. Seeing the
crowd chant back 6-6-6 was a joy to behold. Definitely be seeing them
without doubt, the band of the weekend. With so many crowd
pleasers in their set, songs like 'Doctor Doctor', 'Only You Can Rock Me'
and 'Too Hot To Handle' are perfect sing-along HRH fodder which had grown
men crying into their pints.
voice hadn't sounded so good in years. Vinnie Moore on guitar was so
fluent and bassist Barry Sparks - stepping in for the on-sick leave Pete
Way - was clearly enjoying every moment. I've never seen this version of UFO
play so good, they were magnificent.
Due to time
restraints the band didn't have time for 'Lights Out' or 'Rock Bottom',
but it didn't really matter, the day had already been won.
veteran band where a hour set doesn't really do enough justice was Uriah
Heep. Another set full of classics including a surprise rendition of
'Free 'N Easy', a track from the John Lawton years, but songs like 'July
Morning' and the storming 'Easy Livin'' are pure solid gold material.
Mick Box went home with an even bigger smile on his face.
Babe of the Week award was the stunning Canadian Brittany Paige (3!),
lead singer of Kobra & The Lotus. The metal queen sounded like Geddy
Lee's younger brattish sister belting out an arsenal of 80's flavoured
power heavy metal. My pint was trembling, shame they've just finished a
UK tour because I'd like to see them up close and personal again.
heroes Airbourne cancelled their London date the previous night due to
illness and had many fans worried that they may pull out of their show
here too, but we needn't had worried because Airbourne were in fine
form. Joel O'Keeffe voice sounded a little croaky but the band were in
headbanging in perfect non stop synchronicity.
Photo: Lee Millward/GRTR!
'Cheaper Wine & Cheaper Women' (A song which could've been dedicated to
me this weekend.) O'Keefe encouraged many sheila's to get on shoulders
with many willing to flash off their boobies.
I had double
vision by this time. O'Keeffe would later sing from the top of the stage
and run into the crowd without missing a note. Top notch stuff.
Superstar were over at the Blackstar Stage the same time as Airbourne
attracting a large female following but I'm only interested in hardcore
porn stars so I gave them a miss. Jett Black followed who were a lot of
fun (More of them later.)
Back at the
Hard Rock Heaven of the main stage Skid Row were slaving it to the
grind. The more recent 'New Generation' sounded great but it was the
classics from the first two albums that everyone wanted to hear. During
'Sweet Little Sister' guitarist Scotti Hill did a disappearing act, with
bassist Rachel Bolan looking over his shoulder wondering what's going
on, a roadie finally whishpered into his ear that Scotti had fallen off
the side of the stage. The band carried on and Scotti was rushed
of to hospital with suspected broken ribs.
like myself may never get used to seeing Skid Row without the brat of
metal Sebastian Bach out front but Johnny Solinger does a good enough
job filling in difficult cowboy boots. The youth though still went wild.
night almost over, closing the main stage were Swede's Fatal Smile who
are gearing for world domination with their Skid Row meets Marilyn
Manson riff attack.
were drooling over the tall blonde singer Blade. The ballad 'For
The Last In Line' is a dedication to Ronnie James Dio that features
lines of many of his songs that went over the heads of many this time of
night, but the rockers 'Straight To Hell' and 'Run For You Life' ended a
great day on the main stage.
was by no means over for us hardened party animals. By now i had
all the hairs of the dog and was ready to roll yet again.
wandering around the chalets in search of a drink/party I joined Uriah
Heep who were in a happy mood, especially keyboardist Phil Lanzon who
would later join me in my chalet to finish of some vino.
Later I had
to guide him home back to his chalet (Last seen getting a journey home
by the Prestatyn coast guards.)
Later on it
was time to gatecrash the Total Rock room and wake up the lightweights
with a firm finger up the nostrils. With a bottle of Jack everyone was
soon alive and we soon dancing to the tunes of Motley Crue, Poison,
Journey and Autograph's 'Turn Up The Radio', I'm sure next door wanted
us to turn down the radio.
the Metal Hammer crew opposite the full monty, Jett Black came crashing
into the room for some iron board surfing (They were soon flat out and
had me in creases.). With bottle of Jack and then the vodka empty and
realizing the time was 7.30am it was time to retire for another dose of
rock in just a few hours time.