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Thursday 10th to Saturday 12th November 2016

metal talk
Words: Johnny Main, Chris Nelson, Steve Göldby
Pictures: John Inglis and Carlan Braid

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Saturday 11.00pm

Living Colour drew a sizable crowd for their short set. although the band didn't seem to be having a whole lotta fun.

Molly Hatchet and Ratt ended proceedings with a whimper rather than a bang whilst Ginger Wildheart was a class act from beginning to end.

Saturday 6.00pm

Bernie Marsden seemed surprised by the big crowd that came to see him and his set was a masterclass from start to finish whilst Australian quartet Cherry Grind prove to be a surprise hit.

The number of Motorhead and Wildhearts shirts increases, showing who the top draw are for later in the day whilst members of Living Colour can be seen wandering around the site ahead of their only UK site this year. What kind of reception they get after pulling out of the Glenn Hughes tour and consequently taking this year's HRH headliner down with them is anyone's guess.

Ginger isn't complaining though...

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Cherry Grind

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Bernie Marsden

Saturday 12.00pm midday

Hangovers are cleared and the team are all ready for the final assault with an action packed day planned.

Highlights of the day include Soil, Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons, Bernie Marsden, Ginger Wildheart, Tequila Mockingbyrd, Aaron Buchanon and Black Aces.

Saturday 11.00am

Vixen were the last act of Friday, but the crowd were in anticipation as they waited for the girls to hit the stage. 'Rev It Up' kicked things off, and it was great to see original vocalist Janet Gardener back in the band. She's been sorely missed and is a much needed addition to a band that was slowly in decline.

Roxy, Gina and Share supplied the backbone to some great tunes, and anyone who thinks girls cant play as good as the boys had better think again. It was a great way to end the second day at HRH, and 'Edge Of A Broken Heart' was a great way to finish the set. Come back soon - we've missed you.

Saturday 8.30am

Here's some more photos from some of Friday's highlights.

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The Treatment

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The Departed

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Sweet Savage

Friday 11.30pm

So it was time for Bonfire to light up the stage. New vocalist Alexx Stahl was drafted in at the last minute, and did a pretty commendable job, although he did struggle a touch with the higher range but he certainly seemed to be going down well with his female admirers.

Guitarist Hanz Ziller is the only original member of the band, but still has the passion and ambition to put on a great show. Playing a mixture of their back catalogue with tracks from their two biggest selling albums, 'Fireworks' and 'Point Blank', going down a treat.There was mixed reaction from the crowd, but we totally loved the show and look forward to the new album coming out in early 2017.

A Graham Bonnet show is like a box of chocolates - you never know what your going to get, but luckily tonight it was an all flavours, killer set. Guitarist Conrado Pesinato had the hardest job of the whole weekend, having to play solos by Ritchie Blackmore, Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Schenker and Steve Vai. Most people would cower at the task in front of them, but Conrado embraced it and tackled it with ease.

Graham's voice was on top form also, and got the harder song choices of 'All Night Long' and 'Night Games' out of the way early on in the set. Schenker's 'Dessert Song' and Alcatrazz's 'God Blessed Video' were highlights, but all in all it was a great back catalogue to choose from. The hits were rolled out, and the night was a great success.

Friday 11.00pm

Just a quick lowdown from today's proceedings. It's a storming festival so far with one or two technical difficulties that are slowing us down a bit but hopefully these will get ironed out and and we'll get to update more often on Saturday...

New bands like Mason Hill and JoanOvArc set the bar high with their debut performances at Hard Rock Hell today.

The Treatment turned in a solid performance managing to get the rock'n'roll on in front of a packed audience whilst 4Bitten put on a great show for a more modest gathering.

Ricky Warwick And The Fighting Hearts made an Almighty racket in a spellbinding set whilst Graham Bonnet and his band would have been happy to play all night long.

Ugly Kid Joe provided another knockout performance which included a barnstorming cover of 'Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap' before Vixen brought the day to an end on the main stage with a UK exclusive performance.

Friday 2.15pm

Everyone is showered, fed, watered and raring to go now and even Chris Nelson is awake and compos mentis and able to recall Praying Mantis and Last In Line from last night. We had to pour some beer on his cornflakes to bring him back to life first but here's what he made of Thursday night.

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Praying Mantis

Praying Mantis took to the stage on the first day of HRH to a fantastic array of support from the crowd. The formidable rhythm section of the Troy brothers, Chris and Tino, powered through a terrific setlist of their most popular songs.

Current vocalist, John Cuijpers, is a fantastic addition to the band and has a terrific set of lungs, easily achieving the high notes of former frontman Mike Freeland. The band have recently been supporting Y&T on their UK tour and the sharpness of the performance told its own story. All in all a fantastic start to the evening.

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Last In Line

For many, the band most looked forward to on the opening night were Last In Line. Made up of former members of Dio and each veterans of their art, just to see artists such as Carmine Appice, Vivian Campbell, Phil Soussan, Erik Norlander and Ronnie’s stand in Andrew Freeman enjoying themselves on stage playing a mixture of Dio classics and songs from their debut album 'Heavy Crown', was a joy and their professionalism shone from the start.

From the opening song, 'Stand Up And Shout', through to such iconic tracks as 'Holy Diver', 'Last In Line' and 'Rainbow In The Dark', they just oozed class. No one will ever replace Ronnie James Dio, but his legacy and songs will live on as long as this band continue.

Friday 11.15am

Well that was some night last night and as the beer mist clears and the cold light of day descends, here's some thoughts from the opening night of Hard Rock Hell 10.

Scots trio The Amorettes were White Hot as they set the place alight with a high octane set with tracks old and new, cementing their reputation as a great live act.

Praying Mantis filled the Fastway slot with an electric performance showing there's lots of life in this animal yet. On a high from their recent tour with Y&T, they didn't put a foot wrong, 'Dream On' being the highlight of the set.

Sweet Savage led the Northern Irish charge of the weekend with a solid set that got the fists flying and the heads banging.

The heavyweight drumming of Last In Line's Vinnie Appice laid the foundation of a headlining performance where Campbell showed his true colours as a rock guitarist, paying tribute to Dio and playing tracks from their 'Heavy Crown' album.

The Friday action kicks off shortly so more updates to follow this afternoon. Now where did we put that bacon sandwich..?

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The Amorettes

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Last In Line

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Praying Mantis


Thursday 5.15pm

It's game on in Pwllheli as Hard Rock Hell 10 is underway and rocking hard.

Hell in Pwllheli kicked off earlier with a grand opening ceremony and first band of the weekend, The Texas Flood, are currently blasting away on Stage Two.

Our intrepid reporting team are out there, somewhere, pens, pads, cameras and beers in hand and as soon as they return to base, we'll start bringing you the lowdown on what is going to be one stonking weekend.

In the meantime, here's the stage times for today, Friday and Saturday.

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