|HRH AOR – Pwllheli, Hafan y Môr Holiday Park – 9 March 2017|
|Written by Mark Ashby and The Dark Queen|
|Wednesday, 15 March 2017 12:35|
As anyone who has ever attended any of the various events held at the temporarily christened Camp HRH will attest, getting to this remote corner of northern Wales is pretty much an epic adventure in itself: one wrong turn on the winding roads leading to the Llŷn Peninsula and you can find yourself halfway up a mountain herding sheep out of your way… Fortunately, despite having to leave Belfast at an unearthly early hour, the Über Rock team arrived at the Hafan y Môr Holiday Park in one piece following a relatively uneventful journey – thanks in no small part, it has to be acknowledged, to the expert navigational skills of herself and the chauffeuring services of our good friend Darren from the MetalPlanet site.
Aussie exiles Tequila Mockingbyrd kick the weekend’s proceedings off in suitably feisty fashion, with their chunky, punky riffs and cocksure attitude which immediately get the very healthy turnout of early comers dancing and grooving in front of the stage. Stand-in bassist Keira looks a total natural as she shimmies and poses for the camera, and despite their lack of time together the band are tight and look like this line up have been partying up and down the highways and byways of the Über Kingdom of Rock ‘n’ Roll for many years rather than just a few days!
One thing you can always rely on in this hoary old rock ‘n’ roll business is things being in a state of constant flux and subject to change, and so it proves tonight, with a last-minute change in the line-up. With Dante Fox unable to traverse the Atlantic Ocean for one reason or another, Last Great Dreamers step up to the plate to perform their first show not only of the weekend but of the opening night (yep, a mere two hours after quitting the main stage they were back in action at the after show party down the hill).
Probably – nay, definitely – the most dapper outfit on the weekend’s bill, they display a naked, punky attitude in their high-energy rock ‘n’ roll, which is characterized by Marc Valentine’s cheeky, gnarly vocals (which alone make them the perfect counterparts for The Quireboys on their current tour), big fat harmonics and catchy-as-fuck choruses. It’s the right mix of sleaze and steampunk from a nonstop groove machine who seem to have an endless supply of adrenaline as their second show is just as intense and in your face.
“The crazy Swedes are back in Pwllheli’ declares Bonafide frontman Pontus Snibb: well, they are most definitely no strangers to this stage, as they have played HRH perhaps more times than any other band, with the possible exception of tonight’s headliners! Their classic blues-based rock ‘n’ roll is based on big-bottomed, thumping rhythms and topped off by harmonies more contagious than a dose of man flu. Yep, these boys know how to get a rock ‘n’ roll party started – and to keep it going. With the set built mostly around the superb new album, ‘Flames’, it’s ballsy and bold as polished brass, with loads of grunt in its engine and plenty of power under its pedals, and delivered with plenty of genuine passion in its veins, coupled with a catalogue of crowd-pleasing tunes which are not only delivered with aplomb and energy but just scream “dance you muthafuckers”. And that we certainly do as these Scandinavian rapscallions fill our heads with rock ‘n’fuckin’ roll the way it’s supposed to be played – loud ‘n’ proud…
Of course, there are rock ‘n’ roll party bands – and then there are rock ‘n’fuckin’ roll party bands… and then there are The Quireboys. As Spike declares, “this has become something of a Thursday night tradition”: and who the fuck are we to argue with tradition? Certainly not your Über Rock team, that’s for sure!
With their unique, infectious brand of ‘Twisted Love’, you can’t really have ‘Too Much Of A Good Thing’ when it comes to Spike and the boys (although you can have too much of the strobe lights, which have been overused all night – and will continue to be so all weekend). Knowing that you’ll never be ‘Misled’, you can’t help but smile (well, unless you’re that old misery guts of an aforementioned driver), tap your feet and wiggle your wiggly bits, content that this is indeed rock ‘n’ roll done properly.
“Whoa-ho, there’s she goes again” rasps Spike in his own distinctive style, and she most definitely does, as herself is bopping away beside me like the teenage she still is her head. It’s a rambunctious run through of their best loved songs, as well as new material such as the single ‘Breaking Rocks’, with the likes of ‘Hey You’ getting nearly every arm and voice raised… Spike may claim that he doesn’t love us anymore, but we sure as fuck love him and the ‘Boys – and I’m pretty damn sure the feeling is mutual at the end of the night, or more especially at ‘7 O’Clock’, which it is each and every day on which The Quireboys play and call time for a ‘Sex Party’ (apparently it was in keyboard player Keith Weir’s caravan)…
And the party did indeed carry on, into the wee small hours, as your ÜR team continued to rock the night away with the still-hyped Last Great Dreamers and the excellent Killer Bee before finally crawling into our caravan at an ungodly late hour for a few valuable hours’ kip in preparation for doing it all over again come the next sunrise… Sure, we wouldn’t have it any other way…
All content © Über Rock. Not to be reproduced in part or in whole without the express written permission of Über Rock.