Hard Rock Hell - Day 1

November 10th 2016
Camp HRH, Pwllhelli, Wales


A good start to Hard Rock Hell

Hard Rock Hell ***1/2 based a stone's throw from the Welsh coastal town of Pwllheli on the Llyn peninsular sits a rather normal family holiday park which is taken over by thousands of Rock and Metal fans every year in the form of Hard Rock Hell. This year the festival celebrated its 10th Anniversary with an epic fifty bands across three days, including headliners Ugly Kid Joe and American legends Ratt.

The Texas Flood (Pictured Above)

The Texas Flood *** kicked off on a cold Thursday night, the festival's opening band were Wales' very own The Texas Flood, a proper all out Rock band with a real Bluesy groove and melodies. Playing majoratively tracks from their album 'Young Dogs, Old Tricks', we were also treated to a preview of their upcoming as yet untitled follow up due early 2017. If their debut album is anything to go by, that would happily sit in any Rock fans collection. Also it is nice to see them in their homeland, where they have a great deal of support from friends and fans. If your a fan of AC/DC, mixed with traditional Country Rock or Southern Metal... you can't go wrong with The Texas Flood.

Check Out! The Texas Flood Video for 'Let the wind Blow' Below...


T​he Amorettes (Pictured Above)

The Amorettes **** following on after quite a lenghty delay were Glasgow's finest The Amorettes, who hit the stage with the fast paced 'Stealing Thunder' followed shortly by 'Let the neighbours call the Cops' from their new album 'White hot Heat'. Even though vocalist and guitarist Gill Montgomery having to perform in a leg protector, it doesn't stop the energy of the bands set. This is a good slice of Rock, done the Scottish way.

Check Out! The Amorettes Video for 'Give Em' Hell' off HRH TV Below...


Praying Mantis (Pictured Above)

Praying Mantis **** As I absolutely adore the early 1980's NWOBHM era, catching Praying Mantis at Hard Rock Hell was a definite highlight. 'Fight for your Honour' and 'Highway' from their latest album 'Legacy' seem to gel well with classics such as 'Children of the Earth, Captured City' and the self titled track 'Praying Mantis'. The relatively new vocalist John Cuijpers had a notably good performance, handling the older tracks exceptionally well. It's hard for a new vocalist to come in and do justice to songs that are well know for being sung by someone else, but if you had to have someone else singing the material... then John is the man.

Check Out! the Praying Mantis Video for 'Letting Go' Below...


Last in Line (Pictured Above)

Last In Line **** From a 2011 jam session in a rehearsal room in Los Angeles, has come Last In Line, a band that keeps the music of the late, great Ronnie James Dio and Jimmy Bain alive. Featuring legends such as Viv Campbell and Vinnie Appice, they keep the Dio esque core to the music true, having been part of the 'Holy Diver' and 'Last in Line' albums. A fierce rendition of 'Stand up and Shout' is quickly followed by 'Straight through the Heart' before vocalist Andrew Freeman is let loose on their brand new tune 'The Devil in Me'. Despite playing such Dio classics as 'Holy Diver' and 'Rainbow in the Dark', Last In Line are proving that they are not just a covers band, but that are wanting to pay tribute to their former band mates Ronnie and Jimmy in their own way.

Check Out! the Last in Line Video for 'Devil in Me' Below...


Hayseed Dixie *** Closing the first night of Hard Rock Hell comes a Hillbilly tribute to AC/DC and various Rock songs in the form of Hayseed Dixie. Opening with AC/DC classics 'Dirty deeds done dirt Cheap' and 'You shook me all night Long', it is easy to see why the have been given such a late slot... you know it's party time. A mash-up of Edwin Starr's 'War' and Black Sabbath's 'War Pigs' seems to keep the crowds attention but by Journey's 'Don't stop Believing' it is clear the Hillbilly joke is wearing thin. A medley of 'Highway to Hell, Free Bird' and Elton John's 'Tiny Dancer' closed the set as the majority of drunken revellers remained.

Check Out! the Hayseed Dixie cover of Survivors 'Eye of the Tiger' Below...


Review and Photos by Pete Webb (RugbyDropout)