Hard Rock Hell 6 - Fistful of Rock - Review
So the end of the year approaching, and time for another festival, Hard Rock Hell, and the first time for the team here at LTMDTT! Recently moved to a new venue, we set out on a little road trip to Wales ready for a weekend full of rock, glam, blues and metal. A festival in December? Why not!
Things kicked off on Thursday evening with a special pre-party over at the Jagermeister stage where we were treated to a whole array of rock goodness. Sets from the brilliant Sons of Icarus, and legendary glamsters Tigertailz were a highlight, as well as TNT who served up the classic rock till the early hours. The perfect opportunity to get settled in and wet our appetite for what was to come.
Day two at HRH for us began with the superb Blackwolf. A very promising new band who are beginning to make quite a name for themselves. Plenty of riffs, plenty of grit and some stunning vocals, a brilliant way to get the day started. Next up were a big highlight of the day, The Burning Crows. Right in the middle of a tour with Quireboys, they treated us to a fantastic set, and they are really something special. A lot of swing, plenty groove and hips swinging, keep your eyes on these guys! Electric Mary took things up a notch with their heavier sound, and the HRH crowd lapped it up, followed by Motherload who were also out to impress with their breed of hard rock. The fantastic Slam Cartel also impressed with their set full of fuel and charisma, they did the trick on winning round the people.
The big headliner this evening was Mr Skid Row himself, Sebastian Bach. After some technical issues and a lot of waiting, he finally got himself on stage and delivered a storming set. It is safe to say, his voice is not what it once was, but you cannot deny that Bach give it his all on stage. Classic like Big Guns, 18 and Life and of course Youth Gone Wild sent the crowd…wild. I Remember You sounded particularly lovely and brought the evening to a great end.
Saturday, day three, and after a great couple of nights already filled with brilliant music (and partying), we are beginning to feel it. Luckily, we had a lot more to look forward to on the main stage today.
Electric Boys were first up for us today. They brought the funk and showed us they have lost none of their appeal and are still fantastic live, with Conny Bloom proving the perfect frontman. After a bit of a slow start, they turned it up and by the end of their set the whole place was singing along to All Lips N’ Hips. Bonafide brought the fire, quite literally with some unexpected pyro from The Inferno Girls. A heavy dose of classic rock, they have swagger and the right amount of cockyness and provide us with a tight and thrilling set.
Big highlights of the day come from the legendary Quireboys. Full of charm ad wit, Spike Gray won us around with his gravelly, whiskey tainted voice, and Seven O’Clock it may not have been, but we were certainly having a party. LTMDTT favourites Jettblack were up next, another big highlight. Sadly missing Will who is off currently off on tour War of the Worlds, the band were on top form regardless and brought us some tight riffs and fist pumping moments, brilliant fun. Followed by Dogs D’Amour who were back and showed they are still on the top of their game once again, with Tyla working his way through their hits.
Ugly Kid Joe were the headliners tonight, bringing skater friendly rock to the masses and providing one of the biggest singalongs of the whole weekend with Everything About You. A set with bounds of energy and from both band and crowd, very fun indeed. Closing the stage tonight were the ever incredible Graveyard. It pains me this band were not on earlier in the day as i have no doubts they would have wowed. Absolute perfection musically, they still managed to pull quite a gathering and remain one of the greatest live bands i have seen. Please check them out, you will not be sorry.
And so we reach day four, the last day, and no doubt many hangovers being nursed, but we took to the main stage yet again for another solid day of rocking.
A set we’d been looking forward to did not disappoint, the Red, White and Blues wowed us with their bluesy roots, a really great live band. Sadly Kobra and the Lotus did the opposite. Full on metal riffs that did sound great, but unfortunately we jut weren’t feeling the energy from them at all. Fozzy brought a storming set, Chris Jericho showing the crowd he has exactly what it takes to front a rock band, but it was Soil who won the evening for me. Heavy, loud and grinding metal that united the crowd into chanting the words to Halo in unison. Brilliant.
Headliners tonight and bringing HRH to a close was Buckcherry. Drowned in clouds of smoke and blue light, they commanded the attention of the whole place from the offset, ready for a set full of all their hits, All Night Long, Next To You, Sorry and Lit Up. Something didn’t seem quite right however, the band slightly vacant, not too engaging and Josh Todd's voice slightly tarnished, perhaps from the current tour. Crazy Bitch of course ended the evening, an anthem if ever there was one, but sadly not reaching it’s full potential tonight.
All in all, Hard Rock Hell proved to be a great festival, a great first time for us and a whole lot of great bands on offer. One of the last independent festivals left, the guys in charge certainly know how to put on a party. Bring on next year!
(photos courtesy of Joe Winn)
Graveyard - Lights Out
Every once in a while a band comes along that takes your breath away, last year Graveyard was one of those very bands. Hisengen Blues was a brilliant album; a mix of metal and blues rock with that 70’s psychedelic vibe. First single Goliath gave a taste of what we expected to be a great follow up. There’s only one way to find out if this rings true…
The echoing sirens of An Industry Of Murder sets the tone for another intriguing musical journey, Graveyard style. From pulsing drum beats and Sabbath-esque distorted guitars straight into the smooth melodies of Slow Motion Countdown; the variety and musical knowledge of this quartet are unquestionable. The Suits, The Laws & The Uniforms is jam packed with funky riffs and particularly enticing vocal from Joakim Nilsson. His raw, gravelly tones really add an extra dimension to the group through a charismatic, passionate delivery. Goliath provides a big belting chorus, nifty guitar rhythms and intricate layers; a great live track to be sure. Whilst only containing nine tracks, they are nine tracks of face melting rock finishing on the charming 20/20 (Tunnel Vision). Full of grandeur, howling vocals, tasty riffs and pounding drums, Graveyard have covered all the bases with charm and class.
Who knew a blend of heavy metal, blues, psychedelia with a dash of swagger would create such a compelling sound. Graveyard have produced three killer albums and are mind blowing live; definitely worth investing some time into!
New Graveyard track unveiled!
Graveyard are back with new song Goliath, the lead track from their new album Lights Out due for release Nov 6.
The track is packed with heavy guitars and frantic solos that we have come to expect from the Swedish hard rockers, and the band say this is only a taste of what we we can expect on Lights Out.
You can hear the track in full below:
Graveyard release new album information
Blues rockers Graveyard have unveiled the title and release date for their next album. The Swedish quartet will release their third album named Lights Out on 26th October. They commented on their official Facebook page that they are ‘one guitar solo away from being done with it.’
They have promised an extensive tour after the album drops; with some UK dates already cemented for November, don’t forget to get your tickets!
Graveyard - Roadhouse, 23.03.12
On the streets of Manchester, people of all ages are getting ready to let loose on a balmy Friday night; whilst rumbling underground within the small space of the Roadhouse, rock n roll fans are bouncing round to some blues infused rock, Swedish style.
First up are Horisont, a band so musically tight, its rather mesmerising. Every single beat, rhythm, note is perfectly in time, their dedication to their work shines through. Their long, shaggy hair displays their influences as well as their music, with that classic rock sound that rose from the roots of blues. They easily win the crowd over, and their 45 minute set flies by, a great support act for the evening.
The crowd eagerly anticipate the arrival of tonight’s headliners as a Swedish sung folk song rings round the room, encouraging some comic dancing from the audience. A huge cheer accompanies Graveyard’s stage entrance and they begin their whirlwind set with Uncomfortably Numb, a strange choice as an opener in my mind, nevertheless, the crowd fully threw themselves into the set, literally! Shouting back every word, the small, but extremely enthusiastic crowd enjoyed every second, and rightly so; the quartet delivered their gritty rock n roll sound with excellent precision. Their set had a good mix of both albums and displayed their continuing musical growth. Joakim Nilsson’s raw vocals have great commanding power and the underlying psychedelic tones to their music bare resemblance to the mighty Led Zeppelin. Their closing track Hisingen Blues has Whole Lotta Love written all over it, particularly in the guitar riffs, and has the crowd going mental.
Chants of ‘Graveyard’ and ‘We Want More’ fill the tiny space until the bands return. The night ends on Siren and as the audience filters out, their ears ringing with the sound of dirty rock n roll, it’s clear this band are something special.
The merry month of March!
The gigs are picking up, and here are our recommendations for March!
Black Stone Cherry
Southern quartet Black Stone Cherry are returning to UK shore after a hugely successful tour with Alter Bridge last November. Full of dirty, gritty rock n roll, they are always a brilliant watch; and not only that, they have the brilliant Rival Sons in support! Tickets and dates here.
The glittering foursome are heading over later this month after an awesome set supporting heroes Motley Crue and Def Leppard. Not only will you get brilliant music but I can guarantee you will laugh so much it hurts! They also have great support from Cambridge lads The Treatment. Tour info can be found here.
The Answer/The Union
The Answer and The Union are embarking upon a joint headline tour this month and it is set to be an evening of hard, bluesy rock; what’s not to enjoy?! Dates and tickets can be found here.
After clearing our doubts whether metal and dubstep would be a good mix, Jonathan Davies is leading his troops across the UK for more earth shattering performances. Always a great live band, they are well worth going to see! Info here.
March has got a lot of bluesy rock n roll on offer, and a band we feel really shouldn’t be missed is Graveyard. Hailing from Sweden, this quartet have got the essence of blues music completely right. At less than a tenner a ticket, you’d be a fool to miss out! Tour info here.
Thinking about it, I have seen over 100 live performances this year; so you can see my dilemma when asked to just pick one of those! There are two gigs that I battled between as ultimate favourite; the outcome being Alter Bridge. Even then, I still had a difficult time picking which one of the 4 shows I attended. Glasgow narrowly wins it for me, just over the big one at Wembley. The band were on fine form, as were the crowd, and you could feel the connection between the two. Blasting through hits off all three albums, the energy levels were sky high and the smile on my face never left. A band focussed on their music, they are an excellent live band. A hilarious appearance from Ben and Chris from Black Stone Cherry (who were also brilliant!), dressed as young girls with bunches and knee high socks, was a cheeky bonus in celebration of Mr Kennedy’s birthday. Admittedly, I am a huge Alter Bridge fan, but I would not place them top if they didn’t deserve to be there!
A close second was Slash & Co in Manchester. Despite Stoke being a special occasion for Slash, the crowd were infinitely better in Manchester; something I often find! Fans singing along to Guns N’ Roses classics echoed around the Apollo and the chemistry of the band onstage makes them an extra special band. Slash’s guitar genius had the audience in awe and Myles Kennedy tackled a variety of songs brilliantly.
Forgive me for waffling on, but I would also like to give Rival Son’s end of tour party in London a mention. They are a special band and sure to be a huge hit in 2012, make sure you get involved!
Small mentions to Rob Zombie’s Download set, Vintage Trouble and Def Leppard!
Carrying on from that, my album of the year also goes to the LA rockers! Pressure & Time truly is a fantastic album; no nonsense, back to basics rock n roll. Going back to the roots of rock n roll, Rival Sons take their influences from the old rhythm and blues classics; Otis Redding, Little Richard, all the greats. Each member adds another dimension to the group, creating a unique, addictive sound that would not have been created if any one member was different. The passion with which they play is as clear as the light of day. Since owning the album, I have found it difficult to find time to listen to anything else! Expect to hear their name a lot in 2012, and don’t forget to check them out for yourselves!
Other albums I thoroughly enjoyed were Michael Monroe’s Sensory Overdrive, The Answer’s Revival and Graveyard’s Hisengen Blues. Graveyard are another group set to have a big year next year!