HAIR METAL HEAVEN – Day One

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One of the best line ups in the history of underground glam metal festivals concluded its appearance on Sunday night, 27th of August, in the British city of culture for the year 2017, Kingston Upon Hull.

I strongly believe that his 3day festival, with more than 1000 fans from all over the world, is going to be discussed as one of the most legendary events. The only way for someone to describe it in the future will be as something rare and spectacular that you only get to see once in a lifetime.
Let’s start over!

Kingston Upon Hull is located only two hours east of Manchester. Getting there is quite simple if you just use the national road. The only problem is the right hand driving that is hard to get used to. Especially if you have to enter a roundabout or drive through a narrow road. Hull is a small town and you can walk around easily.
The first day of the festival took place in Welly’s club. A double floor music club which operates also as a music hall with a dance floor and different kind of music in each floor. It wasn’t that spacious but it fitted all the people that came for the festival. In the entrance hall you could find a rich merchandise stand from many of the bands.

Welly

I wasn’t familiar with any of the first three bands of the day, Fragile Things, Mason Hill and BigFoot and since they sounded that they were still searching for their identity sound I must say that I don’t really have the whole picture for what I saw and listened. I would rather not share my opinion until I find the right time to witness them in another show or listen to their studio material carefully. Also around the time they were playing, I stole some time to meet some of the foreign bands that had just arrived in the venue.

Ι will jump right to the Niterain live show, a Norwegian band that is now located in Los Angeles as the singer told me after their show. Although I am not sure he was in his right mind at the time. Niterain is best described as a new wave sleaze band and they have already released two very decent albums which I would love to listen to again, after this really good live show! The singer reminds me of the dearly departed Jani Lane and his moves are carefully studied in a way that the crowd mostly lays eyes on him. His voice is in a good shape but he can still improve. A tight band who will go higher if these guys truly chase their passion. It’s going to be easy for them to become the next Crashdiet. I would love to witness more of their live shows!
Bad Boy, Vendetta, Come Out, Dirty, Romeo, Rock n’ roll, Fight

Niterain

Since the beginning of the festival came with a small delay because of Hardline’s soundcheck, Crazy Lixx didn’t waste any time and they came on stage immediately. Luckily they played my favorite songs from each album. More specific we listened to the following:
Wild Child, Blame It on Love, XIII, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Hell Raising Women, Walk the Wire, Rock and a Hard Place,21 Til I Die

This was the best out of three Crazy Lixx shows I attended with the other two being Chania Rock festival 2016 and the Firefest of 2010.They are really tight and you can tell that they are also good friends. It’s a band of professionals and they really love what they do!

CrazyLixx

The first American band of the festival was Babylon A.D., who I’ve never though that I would ever have the chance to see them live in Europe. Aside the fact that they very cool guys, they have quality in their sound, a strong musical ID and some of the best hits of the 80s. The show started with the song “Back In Babylon”, which was the perfect intro of the night and made everyone crazy. B.A.D. played two new songs of the new album, which is about to be released by Frontiers Records. They also played almost all the songs off their debut album and everyone felt like it was 1989 all over again. The show was a huge success. Derek sang like he was in front of 10.000 screaming fans. At the end of the show he jumped into the crowd but it turned out that they couldn’t hold him. Then he went back on stage and finished the show like a true rockstar by dropping the mic in the crowd! I think that they should have played on the Hull City Hall stage instead of Welly’s since the stage wasn’t big enough for their show. The two new songs we listened to were really good and they seem like they haven’t lost lose their identity over the years. Can’t wait for the new album release.

BabylonAD

Contrary to the previous bands, Eclipse delayed their appearance for at least one hour. Nobody explained why that happened but as a result adding to the initial delay, the festival pushed its schedule way back. Eclipse were better than ever. This is definitely a band that can’t go wrong. Erik Martensson is at the peak of his career, delivering some amazing songs with his flawless melodic voice. The sound of the show was same as the cds. My only complaint was that I didn’t have the chance to listen to the songs from my favorite album Are You Ready To Rock since they weren’t included in the setlist…

Vertigo, Bleed & Scream, Wake Me Up, The Storm, Jaded, Battlegrounds(Acoustic),The Downfall of Eden, Black Rain, Blood Enemies, Stand On Your Feet, I Don’t Wanna Say I’m Sorry

In the Battlegrounds song, Erik revealed to us lots of his musical talent but also his special way to get in touch with the audience. Every single one of the people present in Welly’s, sang with him the acoustic version of one great song and left me with a great image in my mind. Till next time!

Eclipse

Co-headliner of this special Friday was the Swedish band Treat. One of the best of its kind and a strong influence for many of the festival bands. As expected, Treat delivered a great show, being really tight despite the fact that they had a new member in the lineup. Pontus Egberg  was the previous bassist for The Poodles. Anders “Gary” Wikström, Robert Ernlund, Jamie Borger and Patrick “Green” Appelgren, are back together and stronger than ever.

Treat

Headliners of the 1st day were the Americans hard rockers Hardline. This is also a band that I never thought I would ever see live! We listened to almost the entire Double Eclipse album and some new songs from their latest releases. I couldn’t ask for a better setlist while witnessing one of the greatest melodic voices of the hard rock genre, the one of Johnny Gioeli. Hardline literally touched perfection!

Where Will We Go From Here, Takin’ Me Down,Dr. Love,Human Nature,Take You Home, Trapped in Muddy Waters(followed by drum solo),Life’s a Bitch,Fever Dreams,In the Hands of Time, Everything,Hot Cherie

Hardline

This is how the first day ended. Leaving us all stunned and forgetting all about the delays. I couldn’t believe that after that day there were two more days to follow. Two days of pure joy with even more unbelievable bands, such as Danger Danger,Vain,Junkyard,Shiraz Lane, Spread Eagle, TNT, The Poodles and more!

Words: Mariza Crash

Photos: Kostas Kounadinis