Well I had a blast at HRH AOR it has to be said.
An amazing venue, the Magna Centre in Rotherham is an old steel works, how metal is that?
I saw as many acts as I could between doing interviews with various artists. Here’s a quick round up.
First on the bill were Spill Sixteen, a local band who despite early sound issues gave us a solid performance full of enthusiasm despite the small crowd. It’s this influx of new young bands that need our support.
Next up Daylight Robbery, one of the bands on my ‘list’ to see. and they didn’t disappoint. Singer Tony Nicholl has the type of rock voice that really appeals to me. They set the bar high for the rest of the bands to follow in my opinion.
Managed to catch most of Dante Fox’s performance. Sue Willetts sounded nervous between songs but those nerves didn’t show during an excellent performance with new material off their latest album Lost Man’s Ground standing up well to a live rendition.
Next up were Romeo’s Daughter with the lovely Leigh Matty on vocals. This is a band who have a real soft spot in the hearts of AOR fans and it was great to hear those great songs from the first album live again as well of course songs from Rapture and their comeback album, Delectable.
I was looking forward to seeing Danny Vaughn having not seen him sing live since seeing him with Tyketto rather a long time ago! The crowd was buzzing as Danny gave us a superb performance of solo material from across his albums as well as some Tyketto tunes. There was a technical issue during his set, but ever the professional it did not affect Danny and his bands delivery of a great set.
Again due to interviews etc I didn’t get to see the whole of the next set from British AOR legends FM.
They really did deserve to have been bigger back in the 80’s, another well documented case of a UK band who didn’t hit the big time in the way people expected. And not due to lack of talent nor superb material. It’s so obvious how much the band still enjoy playing live, and I’m glad I managed to see them after again more years then I should mention.
And then what has to be one of the bands top of my list to see over the weekend.
That band of course is Tesla, a band I never managed to see in those heady days of the late 80’s/early 90’s. Was I disappointed? Was I hell, I loved every minute of their set which peaked with an absolutely rocking Modern Day Cowboy.
In quite a quirky end to the day’s line-up, Vega came on after the headliners!
It’s a real shame that the audience had diminished somewhat. But that certainly didn’t deter them from playing a great set to an appreciative crowd.
I rushed over to the second ‘stage’, which wasn’t a stage, in fact there wasn’t even a drum riser!
It was rather a long way it has to be said, I kept thinking I was about to find myself in Sheffield.
The reason for the rush was to catch a couple of songs from Swedish singer Mia Klose. Her album London, released last year, is full of late 80’s feel good songs. Considering the restraints of the second stage, Miss Klose and her band played a very tight set.
First band of the Sunday was Barbe-Q-Barbies. I’ll be honest and say I’m not overly familiar with their material having only heard their album Breaking All The Rules a couple of times. But again as like Spill Sixteen, the fact they were on first with a small crowd it did nothing to water down their set. They remind me in some ways of the likes of Rock Goddess or Girlschool which is no bad thing.
Next we had Welsh rockers Buffalo Summer, a band I first heard on Jim Hussell’s Rock Show.
Very much in the Black Crows school of rock, they delivered a very polished performance and I can see them only growing in stature due to their delivery of some solid material.
There was no way I was going to miss the next band. I’ve been wanting to see H.e.a.t. since their first album.
They’ve only got better and better in my humble opinion. They were without doubt one of the act of the whole weekend with Erik Grönwall bouncing round the stage like Tigger after ten espressos!
The band are just so tight and any signs of the fact they’d barely had any sleep over the two previous days weren’t evident. Yes I sang along during Downtown, my favorite song from their third album Address The Nation.
What they did was left me impatient to see them again, something you always want from a band.
I missed Ten unfortunately due to my other commitments but I was not going to miss seeing Moritz on the big stage.
The audience rapidly filled up as the band delivered a World class set of AOR & melodic rock. If the audience had known that vocalist Peter Scallan hadn’t sung live, with the exception of a few warm up gigs, since 1989 then they would of been totally gobsmacked!!
Any nerves the band had before they hit the stage were not in evidence, and it was plain to see how much this meant to them and how much they were enjoying the whole experience.
I was so pleased to see how they were received by the audience and there is no doubt they left the stage having gained a raft of new fans.
It takes a brave man to take to the stage armed only with an acoustic guitar.
That man was Kip Winger. People who might only remember him as the front man of Winger will be doing him a disservice as his song writing is exceptional, and Kip delivered us a master class.
I’ve not seen Skid Row since about 1990 and so I’ve not seen them with Johnny Solinger on vocals.
Now they were most certainly a ‘Marmite’ band at HRH with myself being firmly in the ‘loved them’ camp.
No Seb’s not in the band, Johnny’s been the singer far longer then Seb was.
For me they were loud, hard & raw, just how I wanted them.
Now I didn’t think I’d manage to see any of Jeff Scott Soto’s set seeing as how he didn’t hit the stage until nearly 1am on Monday morning!
But I managed to last long enough to see the first few songs. JSS is held in high regard as a vocalist and that is because he is! Plain & simple. Wish I’d seen all of the set as he was joined on stage by Nathan James to duet on Stand Up. If you’ve seen the YouTube footage of this you’ll understand why.
And there you have it, two days full of great music.
I shall be broadcasting the interviews I recorded over the next couple of show.