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ConcertsHard Rock Hell VI - Fistful Of Rock Day Two @ Pwllheli, Wales 12/01/2012

Posted on Friday, December 21 2012 @ 00:44:01 CST by Dean Pedley
Heavy Metal Continuing with our coverage of Hard Rock Hell VI day two saw another eclectic mix of genres that included Thrash titans Testament, reformed good time rockers Ugly Kid Joe and Sweden's hard rock sensations Bonafide.

Saturday 1 December

Ex- Wrathchild frontman Rocky Shades is still the visual hand grenade from the 80's, you never know what is coming next and he is back with new band Wildside Riot. The early slot on a Saturday is always a difficult one, hangovers and some bruised ear canals ring around the venue. A sizable mass is gathered and man, do these guys deliver. By the end the room is full, word has got out, and the energy levels skyrocket. Bandana's, drum stick twirling and rock star poses, all the boxes are ticked, and you've gotta love it! Playing tracks from yet to be released debut album No Second Take is a ballsy move, one which pays off with the crowd lovin' every sleazy, trashy minute. Little Caesar maintain the momentum on the main stage with their ballsy rock n blues sound and some impressive guitar playing courtesy of Loren Molinare and Joey Brasler. Frontman Ron Young may no longer have the sleazy long haired look of his youth but he can still hit all the right notes and it is good to see them back.

I love finding bands that just impress me from the start, Afterlife are one of those anomalies. Excellent strong vocals from Pete McCoy give them that real edge complemented by some magnificent hard rocking guitars. This Scottish band is certainly one to watch, from this performance a few more fans were added to their facebook profile! Gothenburg based Spiders brought some seventies swagger and glamour to Hard Rock Hell courtesy of front woman Ann-Sofie Hoyles. Their fuzz-box, solo swirling, guitar infused rock is received well from the second stage audience. Sweden has a knack for nailing this vintage sound perfectly and Spiders are no exception.

Swedish rockers Bonafide are fast becoming festival favourites and rightly so; their no frills, down and dirty anthems and the frazzled vocals of Pontus Snibb are the prefect combination. 'Fill Your Head With Rock' is the very definition of the HRH experience and with bands as good as this around the future of rock is in very safe hands. Guitar in hand, Pontus goes walk-a-bout in the crowd as their all too brief set reaches a powerful conclusion.

How to follow that? With the Quireboys of course. Spike is up for the challenge from the moment he hits the stage and with a twirl of the mic they launch into 'Tramps & Thieves'. 'Roses & Rings', 'Hey You' and '7 0' Clock' sound as good as ever and the current line-up is probably the best in the bands history. With a new album in the works and Spike still a charismatic frontman this is a great time to be a Quireboys fan. 'Sex Party', the ultimate party invitation, rounds off what is an excellent set.

The grizzled Tyla and The Dogs D'Amour may have a notorious reputation but they play a tight set that takes in just a few of the highlights from their long and chequered history. Whilst not whipping the crowd into a frenzy as Quireboys did they ease into 'Last Bandit' and faithful classics 'How Come It Never Rains', 'I Don't Want You To Go' and 'Errol Flynn' are given sparkling renditions. The 'classic' line-up of The Dogs are reforming in 2013 so we can expect to see and hear much more from them.

Time for some molten metal meltdown on the main stage as Judas Priest aka Primal Fear take over with their duelling guitars and the Halford-esque screams of Ralf Scheepers prompting much headbanging and air-guitars. Unbreakable has taken Primal Fear to the next level and they are in commanding form as they roar through 'Metal Nation', 'Metal is Forever', 'Bad Guys Wear Black' and an encore of 'Unbreakable pt 2'. With Dark Roots Of Earth well and truly cemented in many 'Best of 2012 album' lists, Chuck and the boys saw out 2012 with a final short UK tour. Bringing the Hard & Hell to Hard Rock Hell, Testament exploded onto the stage amid a wall of dry ice. Now truly to be regarded as a 'classic' band in all departments, tonight their thrash infused set goes down well with the more 'seasoned rockers' who appreciate Testament for all their achievements. Alex Skolnick pulls some killer moves while the solid set is pumped out at an outrageous pace, great addition to an already great line up.

After the sonic assault of the last two acts we are left with the band that can easily claim the title 'Comeback of the Year'. Ugly Kid Joe, the self-proclaimed "last band to make you happy" before the onset of grunge, have been welcomed back with open arms by the UK and Europe and rightly so. Whitfield Crane has the crowd in the palm of his hand from the funky opening of 'V.I.P' and for the next seventy five minutes they dominate. Joined by the bizarrely dressed troupe of Area 51 the stage is ablaze with heaven and hell for the visually appealing 'Goddamn Devil'. 'Cats in the Cradle' and 'Everything About You' may be the songs everyone remembers but they sit comfortably alongside new single 'I'm Alright' and a frenzied cover of 'Ace of Spades'. Crane has the ability to get everyone involved even including the few still seated and, without a doubt, Ugly Kid Joe are THE band of the whole weekend.

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

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