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Pontins, Prestatyn, North Wales 3-5 December 2009
campers, it's that time of year when hoardes of heavy metal fans travel to
the North of Wales to a Pontins holiday camp based here in (Not so sunny
this time of year) Prestatyn. A small town on the Atlantic coast
with winds that will freeze your cockles.
tents are not required for this festival, but sleeping bags do help keep
you warm in these 50's style chalets.
Back in the
seventies Reg Varney along with Blakey and Olive recorded the film Holiday
On The Buses. A film full of high jinx and capers. The camp
hasn't changed much since then and there would be much more laughter to be
had on this fun filled weekend.
With a four
and a half hour journey from London I arrived late Thursday afternoon,
after checking in and getting the keys to the chalet, it was time for a
little drinky before disembarking to watch the first of the nights action.
Only a limited amount of tickets were sold for the first night on what was
billed 'The Vikings Ball'.
people dressed in Viking gear complete with horny plastic helmets the
party atmosphere had been set. First band i caught on the night was
Brum power metallers Marshall Law, a band who have improved
tremendously since those early Marquee days. Just what I needed after a
long journey to wake me up. Some proper metal.
made their first proper gig here last year in the smaller venue of the
Queen Vic pub. They brought the house down then and gave another
stonking performance promoting the just released debut 'The Awakening'.
Singer Simon Hall is a larger than life character and you would never take
the band featuring former Gillan members Bernie Torme and John McCoy did a
fine hour set.
Torme is not
the worlds best singer, but this only adds to the punky edge the band
have. He does have his own unique guitar sound that was turned up in
the mix after a few songs. Covers of 'New Orleans' and 'Smoke On The
Water' made everyone happy.
I was hoping
for a bit of a Gillan reunion as drummer Mick Underwood had played earlier
in the evening with his band Raw Glory and there were whispers but to no
avail. Most probably didn't wanted to be upstaged by GMT's Robin
Guy, who is rapidly becoming one of the best drummers on the scene.
midnight it was left to first of many NWOBHM bands this weekend Weapon,
who have recently reformed. Having said that they originally only released
two singles and are mostly remembered for supporting Motorhead back in
1981 on the tour that was immortalised on the LP 'No Sleep 'Til
Hammersmith'. Although the band didn't set the stage alight,
enjoyable nonetheless and a bunch of likeable fellows too.
on the razz the two previous nights, I ignored the disco and retired to
the chalet to recharge my batteries as I knew I had two days of over
fourteen hours of music each day over the next two days. It's gonna
be a long ride.
Hard Rock Hell Part 2 (4 Dec)
Hard Rock Hell Part 3 (5 Dec)
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