Hard Rock Hell – More Saturday Bands
The Quireboys, Elixir, Witchfynde, Angel Witch, Marya Roxx, Rogue Male and W.A.S.P. rock Prestatyn!
* The Quireboys – A class act, and one of the highlights of the festival so far. Spike reminded us that it’s 20 years ago this week since the band’s single Seven O’Clock was released – “When I was 12 years old,” the frontman quipped. Now here’s a question for ya: who would you rather have – The Faces with Mick Hucknall on vocals, or an impressively revitalised QBs? To our eyes and ears, there’s no contest. (Hucknall it is, then. – Ed.)
* Elixir – The surprise NWOBHM package. Fearsome twin-guitar attack and a fabulous anthem in Midnight Messiah. Why have they never been able to capture this livewire spirit in the recording studio?
* Witchfynde – More NWOBHM genius, with the amazing Montalo starring on guitar. A mirthsome moment occurred when the singer proclaimed: “Mr Lars Ulrich said to me, when you get to Prestatyn you must play my favourite Witchfynde song.” Which they did. ‘Twas Leaving Nadir, of course – one of the great undiscovered NWOBHM classics.
* Angel Witch – A third NWOBHM triumph, with the enduring Kevin Heybourne guiding his troops through classic after classic. Natch, the set climaxed with the rousing crowd-participation chant of “You’re an Angel Witch, you’re an Angel Witch.” We would’ve been stunned if it hadn’t! And who was that guy on bass? Will Palmer, manager of Cathedral, that’s who. Or as a Cathedral-member-who-shall-remain nameless whispered to us: “Will? Yeah, his mum is in EastEnders.”
* Marya Roxx – When we stepped into the hall we could’ve sworn Lauren Harris’ set had been brought forward. On closer inspection, however, Marya Roxx proved to be a fearsome, claws-out she-wolf – making Ms Harris look like a fluffy pussycat. “Get your whips out,” Ms Roxx urged at one point. Yeah… but only if you put the handcuffs away, dear. Otherwise things could get dangerous.
* Rogue Male – A credible if somewhat shambolic return. Regardless, it was great to hear Crazy Motorcycle again.
* W.A.S.P. – Absolute dynamite. Blackie Lawless, buzzsaw bracelets and all, has still got it – in spades. He rolled back the years with a blistering display. Wild Child, I Wanna Be Somebody, Blind In Texas… what a relief it was to heard these old chestnuts delivered with power, passion and, yes, credibility. While many of his peers may be creaking into retirement, Blackie proved he can still deliver.
Tags: Hard Rock Hell