HRH AOR delivered another three days of chorus-driven, riff-laden melodic rock and the sixth edition of a frantic festival finished in style. HRH Mag’s Viki Ridley wrapped up the Day Three action.
Sun Finally Sets On Camp HRH
There’s one band that’s dominated the HRH AOR wraps and rightly so: The Radio Sun made Camp HRH their own with three sets in four days! The finale to their triple bill came on the acoustic stage – back where they started after Thursday night’s fully plugged Bonga Wonga after party bonanza. The singalong anthems and side-splitting stories (frontman Jason Old’s ‘conditioner crisis’ the pick of the bunch) proved the perfect antidote to sore heads and tired eyes as the HRH Mag favourites pushed the boat out for their increasingly loyal army of festival fans. Don’t quite believe the hype where these melodic rock behemoths are concerned? Catch them in Newcastle and Cannock later this week.
First came classic rockers Kooga. Then the superb Skin. And now Nev MacDonald and Neil Garland are doing what they do best with the red hot Hand Of Dimes. The former’s vocal prowess threatened to put HRH’s fellow frontmen in the shade and where so many singers struggle to hit the high notes in the autumn of their careers MacDonald has never sounded better. With plenty of new material to pack into a short but sweet set there was still room for the Skin classic House Of Love. Hand Of Dimes were right on the money and by rights MacDonald and Garland should be earning big bucks on the back of this brilliant band. The reality of the situation means occasional shows and the odd welcome burst of brand new material. But we’ll take what we can get!
The Boys Are Back In Town (Again)
When Jack Russell’s Great White pulled out of HRH AOR VI the race was on to find a suitable replacement. And the only surprise was the odd rumble of discontent when The Quireboys were brought off the bench to warm things up for Saturday night headliner Skid Row. Unsurprisingly, any lingering doubts were quashed within minutes of jovial Geordie Spike striding onto stage – you simply can’t have Too Much Of A Good Thing where the HRH regulars are concerned this was a typically tenacious set from Tyneside’s finest. Blues covers Going Down and Leaving Trunk slotted in seamlessly to a set bulging with the band’s biggest hits. And when Spike pulled out his trusty harp a packed main arena went wild. They said it was overkill. They said it couldn’t be done. And they said HRH chiefs should have looked elsewhere for a main stage stand-in. The Quireboys were having none of it – This Is Rock ‘N’ Roll and this is what HRH is all about.
2018 And Life
Sebastian who? Skid Row might have dropped the ball when Tony Harnell replaced Johnny Solinger on lead vocals but the decision to draft in former Dragonforce man ZP Theart already looks like a masterstroke. Not before time Skid Row have finally gone Bach to the future and settled on a singer more than capable of reprising the band’s early 90s glory days. Theart has the looks – and the lungs – to breathe new life into a back catalogue boasting the classics 18 And Life, I Remember You and HRH AOR VI’s inevitable set closer Youth Gone Wild. The jury was out right up until the moment Skid Row’s latest frontman leapt onto stage but 14 songs later and the critics had been well and truly confounded. Theart was always going to win or lose on a night when the pressure was on and from start to finish this was a sensational victory stroll. Few singers boast his depth and range and unless Lou Gramm throws his hat into the ring (and that would be a story) there’s no better frontman for a revitalised Skid Row.
Exclusive Images By HRH Festivals Photographer Simon Dunkerley