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Hard Rock Hell X – Pwllheli, North Wales, Saturday 12 November 2016

The first band I caught on the final day of the festival on the HRH X main stage was Bernie Marsden, formally of Whitesnake and UFO, and as such had a great set list of classics that everybody in the audience knew and could therefore sing along to. Bernie Marsden had the crowd eating out of his hand, but was also genuinely pleased that people had come out to see him.

Next up on the same stage were Aussie 4 piece Massive with a lively set from the first beat. Despite the Drummer having a kit issue third song in the band took the disruption in their stride and continued to keep the energy high throughout their set.

Hey Hello quickly followed the men from down under and include amongst their ranks, the one and only Ginger Wildheart (when does the man sleep?) All members of the band look like they are having a great time on stage as they rattle rapidly through their catalogue, not missing a beat or a strum.

Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons are next up on the mainstage and as it is the Motorhead guitarist’s band Motorhead fans in the audience go mad for them. The set mainly consists of covers from the like of Motorhead, ZZ top and Black Sabbath, but who cares, the beers have been flowing for two and a half days so a hard rock sing along is more than welcome.

Americans, Living Colour, are late on stage, due to what appears to be technical issues, which plague them throughout their set. Despite each member of the band removing their in-ear monitors intermittently throughout the set, Living Colour continue their set full of rock/funk/jazz/rap professionally showing the experience they have.

Judging by the noise of the crowd you’d expect the next band on stage to be the headliners for the evening. Unfortunately Ginger Wildheart was not the headline act, but that did not deter him from producing a set that was worthy of a headline act, and was probably my favourite set of the weekend. Full of energy and packed with songs, as well as guest slots from the Hey Hello band members this would have ended the night nicely.

Next up RATT, again high hopes for them, but again disappointed, as were most of the crowd it seemed, as after just three song the main stage audience began to dwindle rapidly. This isn’t the RATT of old, this RATT lacked energy and enthusiasm, and were, to put it bluntly, boring.

And so for the final act of the weekend, all the way from Jacksonville, Florida, Molly Hatchett. With their brand of Southern hard rock, musically they couldn’t be faulted. Well-rehearsed and professional they started the set well. Shame they went off on a rant and thanked the English crowd and how much they loved being in England. Oops, that didn’t go down well with the mostly welsh crowd, who rapidly left the main stage to finish their pints elsewhere. An unfortunate ending to what otherwise was a great festival, with some great, talented bands, both old and up and coming.


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