HRH AOR V is in full swing and the HRH Mag team are on site to round up the very best of the action. Here’s our Day One wrap.
It’s Just Like Family
Check in, quick change and hit the bar. It’s a familiar routine but for the HRH community it’s a case of if ‘it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Thousands of fans descended Camp HRH ahead of another fantastic weekend of melodic rock and they were instantly met by a barrage of Aussie angst in the shape of new Off Yer Rocka signings Tequila Mockingbyrd. Already part of the HRH family after ripping it up at HRH X, the feisty trio are destined for big things. Choice cuts from debut album Fight And Flight got the party started in style.
Back In Black
HRH AOR is always a highlight for the rock and roll fashionista but there was a darker look to the masses on day one. Bar a fabulous pair of purple sequinned Lycra pants matched with a garish animal-print jacket (a clear winner) it was all about the distressed leather jackets, jet-black tees and Daryl from Derby’s trademark bandana. Fingers crossed for a full wardrobe of 80s throwback classics on Friday – with plenty of added hairspray, heels and good humour.
An Actual Magazine?
Yes, that’s right. The naysayers would have us believe that print is dead but it’s alive and kicking at Camp HRH with the first 132-page glossy HRH Mag making a big impression. Flick through the pages of this fabulous free (!) tome and it’s possible to find features on HRH favourites The Quireboys, prog rock masters Marillion, Hammerfest-bound Armored Saint and HRH XI headliners Airbourne! But there’s more! Def Leppard, Blackberry Smoke, Black Star Riders rub shoulders with pages of tattoos, bikes and The Dark Circle’s very own Viki Ridley. Missing a copy? You’ll miss out.
Bonafide Are Back
And in a big way. New album Flames (reviewed in HRH Mag) is full of hard rock heaven and lead single Smoke And Fire had a packed main arena pumping fists in unison with performer-in-chief Pontus Snibb. The super Swedes are celebrating their 10th anniversary – and celebrating it in style. It’s been said before but this really could be Bonafide’s year and if it doesn’t happen we might as well give up and live a life listening to elevator jazz. For now the best advice is to Fill Your Head With Rock.
The Quireboys Can’t Be Beaten
They should, by rights, be top of every festival organiser’s list as the go-to opening night headliners. And they are where HRH AOR is concerned. It’s always way past Seven ’O’ Clock but Spike and co. ALWAYS party and party hard. Right now a band with a back catalogue bigger than Sebastian Bach’s ego are confident enough to throw in not one, not two but three songs from new album Twisted Love: the terrific title track, a revamped version of Gracie B and the brilliant Breaking Rocks hint at a deeper, darker and bluesier direction for a band that continues to push the boundaries. When the curtain came down on The Quireboys the HRH community knew AOR V had arrived.
*Exclusive images by HRH Festivals Photographer Simon Dunkerley