Pick Your Rock and Metal

Thursday, November 30, 2017

LIVE REVIEW: HRH XI - Friday mayhem

"FRIDAY night's here, what's the scene, nothing to do, if you know what I mean" were the opening lines of Stiff Little Fingers ode to desolate nights in Northern Ireland titled 'Here We Are Nowheee'. But on Friday at HRH XI there was too much to do rather than nothing.

With bands battling for the audience's attention across two stages timing was everything, however, such was the quality on display that it, as always as HRH, the dilemma was to chose what bands to catch - and where the queues at the bar were the shortest...

Yes, unlike many other fests HRH has such a spread of bars that, apart from the outdoor bar, you can still hear the bands playing.

Competing with the Airbourne documentary on the main stage Those Damn Crows set the bar high for the rest of the day; really high. It's fair to say that there were few bands that were as good across the weekend. There was a grim determination about the band to completely engage and enthral with a hard edge and a steely stare, matched with a wry grin. Excellent.

As if fired up by seeing their predecessors performance Kingbreaker mounted the stage determined to enthral. Spinky commanding all of the stage - painted face and a voice caressing and curdling the souls of the unwary. The London four-piece's sense of musical drama captured their essence and a true sensibility of what hard rock should deliver - it's fucking show business!

With the afternoon rolling on the pressure to do reviews, pictures and interviews always has all review teams, no matter how big or small is in constant motion. That's not a complaint: it is a privilege to be there, meet the acts and take the time to absorb the acts and drink in the atmosphere.

The competition between the stages was intense throughout the day. From Systeria on the main stage through to Fire Red Empress on stage two the smorgasbord of rock captured the spirit of the day.

And, that was the reality of the day (and Saturday too). Whether it was catching a few moments of The New Roses, or Florence Black the choice was always excellent.

The impressive performance of Chasing Dragons clashed with the end of the ever-reliable Tyketto, but the night was owned by the stage one headliners, Airbourne.

Energy, like static electricity buzzed off the stage, crackling and producing a roar of approval, Airbourne do what they do and they do it damn well.

The clichéd comparisons with DC are now long past - they are 'Running Wild' and the audience definitely have done 'Too Much, Too Young'.

Sure, all the usual stunts from Joel are on display, and they don't vary their set too much, but Airbourne are there with one purpose: to rock the fuck out of the place. That is all.

And, we had to it all again tomorrow...

Review by Jonathan Traynor
Pictures by Darren McVeigh and Lizzie Torbitt as indicated.

See Lizzie's gallery here.
See Darren's gallery here.

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