As HRH festival regulars will testify, Graham Bonnet has never lost that natural ability to grab the attention of a full house and hold wrapt fans in the palm of his hand from start to finish.
Perhaps his voice isn’t quite so strong and during this set at the Frontiers Rock Festival the veteran vocalist admits he may have smoked one too many cigarettes in his time. But that trademark charisma and the support of a red hot band more than compensates for the odd bum note.
Conrad Pesinato, in particular, is a revelation as he switches between Blackmore, Vai, Malmsteen and Schenker with consummate ease. Every guitar hero’s wet dream it may be but Bonnet’s wingman avoids the almost inevitable note for note imitation to stamp his own mark on a slew of bona fide classics.
Alcatrazz, the short-lived project that featured a revolving door of rock’s rising stars on guitar, feature prominently and the band’s back catalogue stands up well in the company of more familiar classic rock anthems. Suffer Me is a standout and suggests Bonnet’s work with Yngwie Malmsteen is long overdue a detailed reappraisal.
Since You Been Gone is saved until three songs from the end and at this point Bonnet’s voice is warmed up and he’s on a roll. Wrapping up a solid night’s work with Lost In Hollywood is a canny move but it’s Pesinato who, yet again, steals the show.