Four days into the ninth cycle of the ever-evolving HRH Road Trip and it was time to switch venues as hundreds of rock and metal party animals headed for The Zoo. Adam Kennedy wraps up the best of the action on the day HRH Mag kissed goodbye to the White Isle.
Fair play to those who shrugged off Friday night’s hangover and set sail on the Mediterranean – swapping the Road Trip for the Boat Trip. DJs, drinks and daring snapshots of derring-do were the order of the day as the denim and leather clad masses kissed goodbye to the breezy shores of San Antonio for a few hours on the high seas. The scorching sun and bright blue skies might have ceded to heavy cloud cover and a chilly wind but the atmosphere remained red hot on board HMS HRH. Even HRH Mag’s Festival Photographer Simon Dunkerley found his sea legs to capture the best of the action and life as a professional pirate surely beckons for our very own bearded warrior…
A return to last year’s primary venue saw HRH’s party animals uncaged as The Zoo played host to an evening of acoustic and fully-plugged action. The former zoo cum club boasts a chilled-out outdoor amphitheatre perfect for kicking back and a sweaty club ideal for late night shenanigans. And of course there’s the option to indulge in that Ibiza staple – the foam party. As coach loads of rockers filed into the venue there was the chance to catch Nicke Borg, Massive Wagons and Empyre unplugged or a mix of rising stars and seasoned vets on the main stage. A few meerkats and penguins wouldn’t have gone amiss but Turisas arrived looking like a walking petting zoo for anyone who fancied a quick stroke…
MassiveSlightly Smaller Wagons
Hot on the heels of Friday night’s electric (at least when the power was on) set, Barry Mills and Stevie Holl were back for more on Zoo’s acoustic stage and a mix of classic banter and singalong classics made for the perfect Saturday evening chill-out. Apparently featuring the ‘two least talented’ members of the band, anyone expecting the wheels to come off the truncated Wagons clearly doesn’t know frontman Baz. Having turned self-deprecating humour into an art form he went on to roll out five choice cuts including a belting cover of AC/DC’s Let There Be Rock – and all in an animal print outfit perfect for The Zoo. Graham Bonnet was forced to catch a flight before his billed set but Empyre and Nicke Borg completed a cracking bill of stripped back rock and roll.
If all the pre-festival talk was of Turisas’s Ibiza invasion, then one of the festival’s standout sets took place earlier in the evening. Those Damn Crows were in damn fine form and boasted a slew of die-hard fans sporting their distinctive tees lining the front of Zoo’s tiny stage. New tune Devil In My Pocket has been mined straight from the depths of hell and Blink Of An Eye was brilliantly catchy. Rock And Roll Ain’t Dead encapsulated the mood at the very heart of HRH’s raucous road trip and not for the first time Those Damn Crows proved the genre is alive and kicking. Camera shy Evil Scarecrow had a tough act to follow before headliners Turisas brought the Battle to Ibiza. And when visiting time was finally over, The Zoo was still echoing to the sounds of a band born to be wild.