Wednesday afternoon many HRH RTX attendees worked off an evening of overindulgence at Tuesday night’s pre-party with a day of rest and relaxation by the pool. However, it was another form of R&R that was the order of the day as the HRH Ibiza chapter regrouped for a second helping of rock and roll.
Ten years ago the HRH team proposed the idea of hosting rock music based holidays to Ibiza. Of course, there were the naysayers that said this would never work and in 2009 those doubters were served a slice of humble pie when that dream was realised. Fast forward the clocks a decade to the present day and HRH Road Trip has grown in both size and stature as well as gaining the support of both the media and the local population of the Balearic island as a whole.
On arrival at San Antonio superclub Eden, a venue synonymous with superstar DJs, it was the sounds of Ministry as opposed to Ministry of Sound that got the dance floor moving as the HRH Radio team led the masses through the first full night of programming. With its gargantuan mirror ball hanging above the stage, video wall at the rear and colourful lighting throughout the club this beautiful room is truly a spectacle to behold. The venue was packed to the rafters as revellers filled Eden’s main room from front to back as well as lining the balcony surrounding the stage as fans watched over the blues fuelled extravaganza from above.
It goes without saying that not all heroes wear capes and that is certainly the case for show openers Everyday Heroes. By their own admittance, whilst growing up the Welsh upstarts never dreamed of playing in Ibiza, but based on the reception they received throughout their set they are certainly glad that they did. The quartet’s blues-tinged southern rock sound may well originate from South Wales but simultaneously the band conjures up images of Kentucky’s finest Black Stone Cherry.
With only thirty-five minutes to make their mark the quartet get to a business during a set that showcased fan favourites as well as tracks from their forthcoming album. This includes the likes of “Texas Red” and “The Ballad of Robert Johnson”. The band cap off their set with a patriotic touch by way of “Delilah” – which should not be confused with the hit single by their fellow countryman Tom Jones.
Whilst many opening acts find it hard to connect with a crowd, this is certainly not the case for Everyday Heroes. The band proves to be more than worthy of their main stage appearance – this being surely a sign of things to come in the future.
Henry’s Funeral Shoe
The Welsh onslaught of Ibiza continued with Henry’s Funeral Shoe. This two piece outfit can certainly make more noise than most bands twice their size. The duo delivered a set which brought together the very best of contemporary blues-rock whilst at the same time giving a subtle nod to the blues greats of yore. Guitarist and vocalist Aled Clifford’s blistering slide play was on point, but when coupled with the passionate and energetic rhythm of brother and drummer Brennig Clifford the band bring something special to the table. The pair deliver a sound that is reminiscent in places to slide guitar greats such as R.L. Burnside and Elmore James. Whether you are a blues purist or a rock and roll aficionado Henry’s Funeral Shoe has something for everyone.
The beauty of HRH events is that they bring together the very best of both emerging talent as well as featuring a whole raft of legends from across the full spectrum of the rock and blues world. It goes without saying that guitar virtuoso Bernie Marsden fits into the latter category.
With a packed out crowd pressed up against the front of the stage, mere inches away from the man himself the HRH RTX attendees were most certainly “Ready and Willing” for what they were about to receive. Bernie Marsden took the HRH crowd through his vast body of work including his previous employers Whitesnake, his solo albums as well as some of the artists who have influenced him.
Marsden set the tone for the night ahead with a cover of Albert King’s “Born Under a Bad Sign” before elevating the audience with back to back timeless classics such as “Walking In The Shadow of The Blues”, ““Fool For Your Loving”, “Ain’t No Love In The Heart of The City” and the anthemic set closer “Here I Go Again”. There was even room for an impromptu and belated rendition of “Happy Birthday” from the crowd to mark the occasion, which was one day prior. Of course, the fans were in fine voice as they sang wholeheartedly throughout the set.
Bernie Marsden delivered a blues-rock masterclass that left the Eden crowd wanting more. However, if you missed out do not despair as the former Whitesnake axeman will be returning to HRH Blues in Sheffield next year.
For the late night revellers in attendance, the “Final Countdown” to closing time was ushered in by Kee Marcello. The former Europe guitarist became a last-minute addition to the lineup following the recent withdrawal of Rainbow vocalist Joe Lynn Turner, who is undergoing an urgent medical procedure, and subsequently unable to travel.
Bedecked in a snakeskin jacket and red leather pants Marcello performed a set rich in numbers from his tenure with the Swedish hard rock heavyweights. This includes the likes of “Girl From Lebanon”, “Sign of the Times”, and the unmistakable “Carrie”, to name but a few. Marcello was the perfect replacement for Turner and an added bonus to an already stellar HRH RTX lineup.
WORDS AND PICTURES – ADAM KENNEDY