What I will categorically state, is that despite not being AOR, Aaron Buchanan &TTC and Joan ov Arc, were both great bands, particularly 'AB&TCC' who exploded onto the Main Stage in my opinion and were one of THE bands of the weekend (more below). Whilst not being known to me before Friday, both most certainly are now, and isn't that what makes gigs worthwhile?
I understand that changes had been made by the organisers due to late cancellations, Great White aside. We appreciate all their efforts to give a mixed and excellent line up despite any obstacles they are presented with. Which is what makes HRH a sold out event 12 months in advance (almost).
We get ‘Dark Days’ from his ‘Slam’ album, followed by ‘Spotlight Kid’ and ‘Street Of Dreams’. At his point, JTT could have farted the next song and I’d still be happy as a pig in shit. Salán is a very good foil for Turner and some of his solos were close to Blackmore’s. A couple of rarely played Rainbow tracks for Bent Out Of Shape followed, the raucous ‘Drinking With The Devil’, and guaranteed sing-a-long-a ‘Stranded’. The filling between the two BOOS sandwich was a treat from his very first solo album, ‘Endlessly’. I swear to God that had he followed this up with ‘Rescue You’, I would have needed to be carted out in an ambulance. Sadly this was not the case, but second best was a song from the classic album he did with Malmsteen, ‘Rising Force’. Just 45 mins in, that was the set. Done. An encore dedicated to the great Ronnie James Dio in ‘Long Live Rock and Roll’ completed it. As a 51 year old bloke, if you have asked me 3 years ago if I’d get to see a Rainbows heavy loaded electric set, I’d have crawled though broken glass to witness it. Even this time, if I were any closer to him, I’d be receiving a restraining order. But, this is now my third JTL gig in the last 3 years and on each one I have been left feeling a little bit wanting more.
Jac is an amiable front man, who operates at 30 DHACF (that’s 30 Devil Horns and clenched fists per song. He was handing them out like sweets). ‘Blow me Away’ was another good song where a Hammond organ plays its part. ‘Let It Go’ comes from the same stable as Ratt’s ‘Invasion Of You Privacy’, both riff wise, and chorus.
This slot gives TRS a chance to hit the audience where it hurts, and they deliver on all fronts. With the big stage and more time, Janevski bounds around like it is their last performance, and in Jason Old, we have a guy who likes to talk about hair care. Thankfully, he can sing also! TRS epitomize what this festival is about, melodic rock. The audience gets hit with a barrage of their ‘pop/rock’ brand and manage to cram in a hefty fourteen songs. It could have been seventeen had they stopped Mr Old from singing ‘Working Class Man’ and chatting away!! I’ve said this many times before, but they do this ‘power pop/rock’ so well, in a way that a band like Coheed & Cambria does. Jeez, there were too many songs to pick from, but highlight for me were ‘One In A Million’, the raucous ‘Tonight’s The Night’, and a song they have made their own, the excellent Andy Taylor cover, ‘I Might Lie’.
There was a spare slot going on Sat night after Jack Russell's Great White pulled out a couple of weeks ago. I've heard on the grapevine that Spike books a caravan for him and the gang the same weekend as HRH AOR over in Criccieth. He is 'on-call' for the whole weekend. Its true I tell ya!!