Words and Pics: Kalli Isborne
Due to a long travel, plus the fact I could only get half a day off from my proper job (well I have to buy beers somehow) I arrived at Camp HRH after the festival had opened. I quickly got my press accreditation and once I had find my room was able to drop my gear and wander over to the main stage. With this being the first night just one of the two stages was open, allowing the ever growing crowd to stay warm and cosy inside enjoying the music and the beer.
The first band I caught was The Amorettes, and with only seeing the last two songs of their set I was gutted I hadn’t seen more of the Scottish hard rockers.
Next on stage were English NWOBM’s Praying mantis. The guys put on a very good, well-rehearsed set that the audience enjoyed immensely, as did Praying Mantis by the look of it.
Sweet Savage, the Belfast three piece that sound like a five piece gave us a great set. Including classics and new material from their new album which went down well with at least one audience member who was standing next to me, saying “i like that one….. a lot”. Sweet savage finished their set with a cover of Whiskey in The Jar, which of course led to a singalong.
Formed of Former Dio members Last In Line produce a great set, full of classic Dio numbers and new music. Of course Holy Diver was included and was welcomed enthusiastically by the crowd. To be honest the whole set goes down well. Although there was a controversial moment during the band’s tribute song to a dear friend, Starmaker, was disrupted by stilted entertainers entering the pit and to the sides of the stage.
And so for the evening’s headliners Hayseed Dixie, yes the hill billy AC/DC covers band that seem to have something against Coldplay. The audience are not quite sure for first couple of songs, but they soon warm up once the penny had dropped that these guys do not take themselves seriously and neither should the crowd. There was even some barn dancing breaking out at back of room leading to spilt pints. Even the lead vocalist was drinking prosecco throughout the show, to appreciate the Britishness of the occasion. A great high tempo set that even a broken guitar string during We’re Not Gonna Take It could slow them down.
What a great start to the weekend.