Planet Rockstock is one of a number of festivals springing up all over the country during off seasons in the holiday parks and I think it is safe to say that these will continue to grow in the future.
Porthcawl in the middle of December on the coast of South Wales is an image to bring tears to the eyes of even Bear Grylls, however the run-of-the-mill rock fan has no qualms about such mundane things like howling wind and bitter cold rain. There was even one guy in shorts and T-shirt the whole weekend .
Friday night starts early with the doors opening bang on time at 5 pm and at 6pm The Treatment hit the stage in a flurry of colour and sound. Having supported Kiss asnd Motley Crue in the States this year and also just finished a stint with The Scorpions, you can see why rock mags are touting these are one to watch out for in 2015 with their new album also due for release. They gave us a glimpse of it with a new song ‘Emergency’.
Gun are up next and after making their way to the festival by train after signing a new record deal in London, they are in great spirits to enjoy themselves . Over the years they have gone through many line up changes and singers and never really quite finding the right mix since Mark Rankin left.
With Dante Gizzi now taking over lead vocals and quickly turning into a very accomplished frontman it seems they have found the right mix to deliver the classic Gun sound and to also move the band on musically.
The band are tight and looking happy, and with Joolz on guitar spearheading the assault with the classics ‘Word Up’, ‘Steal Your Fire’ and closing with the brilliance of ‘Shame On You’, they head off to enjoy a well earned drink.
Phil Campbell’s All Star Band are basically a side project for the Motorhead guitarist. While the band are full of talented musicians there is no original material to be drawn from, which is a little disappointing, instead covering rock classics such as ‘Children Of The Grave’, ‘Rosalie’, ‘Ace Of Spades’ and ‘Born To Raise Hell’. They certainly get the approval and leave to a fantastic response from the audience.
You don’t get many blues/rock guitarists as pleasant on the eye as Joanne Shaw Taylor and you don’t get many that are as pleasant to listen to either.
From the moment she walked on stage she had the Porthcawl crowd in the palm of her hand and then proceeded to leave nearly everyone in the room with their mouths wide open as we witnessed what can only be desribed as a God-given talent. Not only in the guitar playing department, but this girl can also sing. An effortess set and this girl’s rise is going to be rapid.
“The Voice Of Rock” tag has long been associated with Mr. Glenn Hughes and rightly so. Tonight he brings his new band California Breed to Wales, having just finished a support slot for Slash.
Having started well with the opening song ‘The Grey’ it was noticeable that Glenn was having sound issues on stage, he was frequently telling the sound guys at the side to get their act together and in no uncertain terms during the first couple of songs including the new California Breed song ‘Sweet Tea’.
Andrew Watt is something of a young guitar virtuoso and at the age of just 23 he shows glimpses of brilliance, however I think he needs to work on his attitude towards problems onstage: under no circumstances does any member of any band, no matter how big or small, have the need to use foul language at the sound guys through the microphone for the whole venue to hear.
It wasn’t the guitarist alone that did this, Glenn also showed no respect to the crew, the audience and the organisers, in dropping down his bass guitar on the floor stating it wasn’t good enough and storming off stage with the guitarist. Huge respect to drummer Joey Castillo who genuinely looked embarrassed by it and, after a small drum solo, followed his colleagues off the stage.
The band returned after about a twenty minute break, to a chorus of boos and applause from the crowd that hadn’t left already during the break. A shame really that the voice of rock had decided to give a sour taste to the opening night but as opening nights go, a good start nevertheless.
Review and photos by Darren Griffiths
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