My last venture to Hafan Y More was almost 20 yrs ago, when we took the kiddies for a day out to what was then Butlins for an extremely bad day out. Some of this has stayed with me as Ive been a reluctant attendee. The modern version is a pole apart for what the site used to be. The main AOR stage was absolutely fantastic, airy, on multiple levels, and at no point claustrophobic. I just feel sorry for the team that have to clean the bogs! Accommodation, eateries and bars are all within walking distance from the main AOR arena. No shuttles required here as 95% of the punters were in their very own exclusive site.
The venue is nothing but superb, there was a Metal Market selling all your metal going needs (everything from patches, jewelry, CDs, Vinyl for old farts like me, and even Rodney Matthews was in attendance). For those wanting the full metal experience you could go nuts for go karts, crazy golf, laser quest to the all out turbo earthquake rig that is HRH’s wall of sound.
Compliment that with 30 of the best AOR (or should that be mini Sweden Rock!), Sleaze n Melodic Rock acts from right across this magnificent spectrum and its a natural high you can achieve other than taking drugs or sniffing in the male Elnett aroma
Theres the introduction to HRH AOR, and lets say the event lived up to expectations and then some. There may well be something that lives on beyond the old adage of ‘todays newspapers become tomorrows fish n chip paper’. Lets call it 'Memorex Gate' (their old ad was, "is it live....or is it Memorex", or if I cant advertise, 'Tape Gate. More of this later....
The Poodles were completely new on me. Living in a cave in Wrexham does that sometimes. I have never seen them, never heard a single song, and talking to people afterwards they seemed to be a Marmite band, but to me, they were that first band of the day that truly thought they were rock stars, and it clearly showed and helped their performance. ‘Metal Will Stand Tall’ is your typical Euro ‘singalongametal’. Me? I love stuff like this. 'Shut Up' reminded me some of the 80s classics in the vein of Malmsteen and Dio. Jakob Samuel is not only a man who loves himself, but a belting front man – full of style, poise, power and a set of pipes that stand amongst the greats. Perhaps that’s why they are called The Poodles, as I think only dogs can hear the higher register of Samuel! After ‘Line of Fire’ there was a slight fuck up by the band, but it was all handled with comedic effect. The new songs -'The Greatest' and 'House Of Cards' were both excellent songs, and show the fact that The Poodles have a great past, present and future.