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HARD ROCK HELL VI - Fistful Of Rock
Pwllheli, North Wales 29 November - 2 December 2012
On the morning of Thursday the 29th November, many people set off for
Pwllheli in North Wales. The new location, for the famous end of year
festival, in most metal and rock fans calendar.
venue being at Haven Holiday Park and the Thursday night being the party
to kick off the whole weekend early. As expected for the time of year,
it was cold, damn cold.
everyone had settled in and the drink flowed. The party atmosphere hit
town in a big way, with a colourful wild west fancy dress theme.
entertainment from many bands in the second stage area. Including famed
TNT doing a headlining slot and another new line up Tigertailz as one of
the many supports.
had the same idea after mostly trekking so far and also the chaos of
booking in, get drunk!
and new met up, with the bars full, laced with a friendly, fun vibe. The
bands roared, loving this opportunity to open the festival pre party and
everyone was thoroughly entertained.
night off with a DJ set from veteran rock industry maestro Krusher. This
is definitely the better option than travelling up on the Friday. Rather
than going through all the protocol to rush around and then see the
bands on both stages.
Friday morning/lunchtime looms and the smell of fry ups around the
caravan site. Greeted with sunshine and yes still cold, the afternoon of
great music begins.
is brilliant with two stage buildings directly opposite each other and
an outdoor bar in the middle. With an array of Spar, Starbucks, Burger
King etc, adjacent. With new arrivals coming in their droves, eager
after check in, to rock!
noting this point how all the staff, have tried their best to resolve
every dispute, they can. Working long hours and dealing with teething
problems, that naturally arise in any virgin project.
followers of this festival, are back full of life and loving the day.
Surrounded by new comers eager to have fun and excited about this live
feast. There is so much to talk about band wise and this is just a
festival overview. Anything or anyone not mentioned, is not intentional
neither bias. So here is one man's greatest hits and memories.
The much talked about Massive Wagons, pulled off an impressive
showcase of their body of their work. Also a live show that I dare any
metal lover not to embrace.
charmed The Idol Dead, in hot pursuit of satisfying this crowds
lust for a good show. This served up as great openers to the established
and rising Mother Load - their sheer energy and powerful meta, set up
the night ahead.
Rocks, really stood out following such a great act with an equal
gusto, to steal the show. With an impressive set of vocals and tight
musical accompaniment, that rocked. The guitarist didn't just come into
the crowd, he joined them playing away and wanting everyone to join in.
It is true to say many bands, kicked ass and wanted the best for the
audience. Molly Hatchet were amazing and there was a
definite, hub of excitement leaving that show. Which didn't do
Sebastian Bach any favours, by finally starting almost an hour late.
guy's been around since the day when metal was cool and there were
plenty of ladies willing forgive him. Once he rocked up to the stage
with Slave To The Grind, even the pissed off guys, launched into the
Putting on a
worthy performance for a main stage headliner. The party rolled on way
after that, on both stages and everybody seemed to be partying hard
again. What's the point in being into rock or metal, if you can't have a
good time eh!
1 December 2012
I think everybody got their rhythm by Saturday although people are still
rolling in. There is a definite feeling of community amongst the people.
Also with all the staff on first name terms with many. Although
operating on virtually no sleep, still smiling and joining in the
This is the
day that promises, some real nostalgic greats that ruled the early 90's.
with Little Caesar, who made a comeback in 2009 after very long
break since singer Ron Young, was in such movies as Terminator 2. This
slightly newer and Little Caesar, played a great opening show, hits and
new stuff alike. Really integrating with the crowd and performing a
solid set of bluesy hard edge rock. Picking up some new fans amongst the
youth along the way.
the Electric Boys, who again enthusiastic to put on a great show,
for the love. Although greeted with some technical difficulty, they
breezed through it like pros and put on an excellent performance.
Bonafide after that just keep rising and rising, I am hearing
their name everywhere.
evening is about to start and Krusher takes to the stage. Enigmatically
revving up the crowd and in his own unique style announces The
Quireboys. The ever going and never stopped singer Spike, has a look
on his face of excitement and joy, to be there.
their hits, Spike regales the crowd with charming intros and the energy
or Rock N Roll. Jett Black are up next taking no prisoners and
determined to keep up the entertainment factor high. Fitting in well
with their place on the billing, I recommend, anyone hasn't checkout
perfect for the Dogs D'Amour who put on an impressive set of
better than ever, with magic of their former glory that established them
25 years ago. Primal Scream retained the energy and love for the
lights go down and rise to Testament. Chuck is a legend and the
crowd roar to his presence and beaming smile. A virtual non stop career
which has gathered many fans and also respect. This is reflected in
their set and I defy even someone who doesn't like thrash, not to enjoy
one of their gigs.
It goes to
show, unique style and talent in any genre, can give you true longevity.
Where could it go from here and how can the night get any better.
gentleman, Ugly Kid Joe! Whitfield Crane has seemed to jump in a
time machine. Looking exactly the same and with the same youthful energy
of 20 years ago. Back for the attack and sounding brilliant, these guys
were out to rock. Also giving their own brand of cool to the proceedings
and put on a blinding show.
Sunday I must admit I had to admit defeat and have a much deserved
rest. With the second stage closed and only the main stage open. I got
some much deserved sleep and relaxation in the luxury caravan, until the
accommodation is really spacious and very nice, with great facilities.
So in the evening after catching up with people, I caught the tail end
of Dr Feelgood - my colleagues and friends thoroughly loved this
land marked band.
stage is fully packed and everyone has still got that Friday feeling on
a Sunday! Fozzy put on one of the most impressive shows I have
seen all weekend. The crowd seem to love vocalist Chris Jericho as they
play over a decades worth of albums.
up perfectly for the much loved Soil. Ryan McCombs' return had
many people excited and the minute he entered the stage, he didn't
disappoint. Playing the band's hits and entering the pit singing to the
crowd. This was a real energy show from a unique band, that are well
Closing this amazing hard rock festival, were the mighty party band
Buckcherry. The crowd erupted as the band opened with Ridin', Josh
Todd hits the stage and proceeds to own it.
pros, really know how to put on a show and what a show. Also showcasing
their new single Gluttony, which will be released next year.
encores, the first, of course Crazy Bitch and the second Porno Star.
What a great choice to headline such a prestigious festival, Ace who!
So in conclusion, the people who organise this festival, work hard at an
amazingly efficient rate to make sure everything runs as smooth as
possible, for everyone.
This is a
well oiled machine and sleep doesn't seem to be an option. The
organisers must be congratulated for putting on such a great and
memorable event, in this new venue. I strongly recommend anyone with a
love for hard rock to attend this year end summit and to cancel
Christmas because it is likely to be overshadowed!
and photos by Jeff Oram
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