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ConcertsHard Rock Hell VI - Fistful Of Rock Day One @ Pwllheli, Wales 11/30/2012

Posted on Wednesday, December 19 2012 @ 00:25:29 CST by Dean Pedley
Heavy Metal Spending an extended weekend at a North Wales holiday park in freezing temperatures might not appeal to everyone. But for the Hard Rock Hell faithful this festival has been an annual ritual going back to 2007 and has proven a real success story at a time when people are quite rightly demanding more for their hard earned cash. Offering excellent facilities and a real mix of bands the HRH organisation has built a legacy of exceeding expectations and ensuring no one leaves disappointed. With killer sets from the likes of Ugly Kid Joe, Quireboys, Molly Hatchet, Testament and Fozzy, HRH VI delivered across the board. In the first of three articles the Sea of Tranquility tag team of Dean Pedley and Mark Davies review Day One.

Friday 30 November

There has been a real buzz around The Burning Crows over the past few months and they are enjoying a growing reputation as a kick-ass live act. Their turbo-charged, up-tempo set goes over well with charismatic frontman Whippz getting the crowd moving and they soon draw in those still at the bar. With the band heading into Rockfield studios early in 2013 their debut album is definitely one to watch out for. With a promising start, Welsh rockers Buffalo Summer seemed to tick all the right boxes. Their classic rock credentials shone through and the assembled crowd lapped it up, Andrew Hunt's vocal ability is beyond question, however some more power to complement the amazing band would have been a welcome addition.

Over on the second stage, the AOR rock of Serpentine drew a sizeable attendance, a combination of hard rockin' guitars and the velvet vocals of the superb Matt Black were a revelation. A real blast back to the day's when rock dominated the charts, melodic, majestic….marvellous! The sound of AOR veterans Dante Fox is characterised by the sparkling vocals of leading lady Sue Willetts and their hook filled and uplifting songs bring a warm glow on what is proving to be a very cold evening on the Welsh coast.

Dan Baird & Homemade Sin prove to be one of the highlights of the whole event as the original Georgia Satellite is joined by a band of superb musicians including fiery guitarist Warner E. Hodges (also known from Jason & The Scorchers). After wowing the HRH crowd 12 months ago it is plain sailing for Homemade Sin as they excel with 'Railroad Steel', 'I Love You Period' and the solid gold of 'Keep Your Hands To Yourself'. Their fifty minute masterclass of pure rock n roll concludes with 'Rockin In The Free World' which prompts a huge crowd sing-a-long.

Kudos to most of the bands on this spectacular bill, many have travelled great distances to be here as have Slam Cartel, their half hour set is an explosive tour de force of old fashioned, back to roots rock. Giles Van Lane twists and contorts his body around the stage like the proverbial old school frontman, injected some infectious energy into the crowd. Airing tracks from their fantastic debut album Handful Of Dreams it soon gets the crowd eating from their palms, simply a great live band. The Southern Rock theme really kicked in with the current incarnation of Blackfoot; the revamped line-up effectively being a 'Next Generation' of musicians hand picked, endorsed and mentored by Rickey Medlocke. Despite this tenuous claim on the name they roar through 'Train Train', 'Fly Away' and the blazing 'Highway Song' with no shortage of energy and enthusiasm, lead guitarist Tim Rossi certainly making an impression with his teeth-playing and OTT histrionics.

Partly by virtue of their not inconsiderable size, Molly Hatchet bring a huge presence to the stage and then spend ten minutes or so tinkering with equipment. Despite this inauspicious start they play a storming set with 'Whisky Man', 'Gator Country' and 'Fall of the Peacemakers' sounding as strong as ever. Phil 'Hell Yeah' McCormack dedicates their cover of 'Freebird' to the fallen members of Skynyrd and Hatchet before they close out with signature anthem 'Flirtin' with Disaster'. Did Molly Hatchet deliver? Hell Yeah!

After a strong run of bands on the main stage Sebastian Bach proves something of a stop-start headliner. Kicking off forty minutes late provokes murmurs that he has been "spending too long with Axl" and when he does start with 'Slave to the Grind' the patchy mix leaves the vocals coming across as an ear piercing squawk. With his recent solo material received to general indifference Bach plays up to his prickly persona, berating the photographers and stomping around but thankfully debut album classics '18 & Life', 'Youth Gone Wild' and 'I Remember You' save what could have been a disaster.

Words – Dean Pedley & Mark Davies
Images – Mark Davies
Thanks to Jonni, Claire and all of the Chic PR Team

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