Gig review: PLANET ROCKSTOCK – Porthcawl, 7 December 2014 (Day 3: Magnum, The Answer)

Magnum - Planet Rockstock, Porthcawl, 7 December 2014

Jagermeister Second Stage

Fireroad have the task of opening the Jagermeister stage on the Sunday, and having just come back from America where they played with Lynyrd Skynyrd on the Simpleman Cruise, getting this crowd going should be no problem.

Fireroad - Planet Rockstock, Porthcawl, 7 December 2014

Opening song ‘I Got Sound ‘ with its infectious bass and drum intro instantly gets the foot tapping.  Blasting out a six song set which includes ‘Minute’, possibly the best unreleased song in 2014.  In my opinion if a half decent record company gets behind them, and with the right break, these guys will go a long long way.

I found it hard to believe that Aaron Keylock is only 16 years of age when he plays with a far greater maturity than some of his peers. With a tight thumping rhythm section behind him who also don’t look old enough to buy cigarettes let alone play with this much confidence.

Having gained a support slot on the Blackberry Smoke UK tour, there seems to be a growing thought that if this kid is as good as he is now, then how good is he going to be in the years to follow?

The Amorettes - Planet Rockstock, Porthcawl, 7 December 2014

Scottish three piece female rock band The Amorettes  stunned everyone by just sneaking on stage and cranking out the opening number ‘Rock Me, Roll Me’ , the PA system was still playing an AC/DC track. It wasn’t long before everyone’s attention turned towards the girls.

There will always be people who compare any female rock band against the likes of Rock Goddess and Girlschool, but The Amorettes have a lot more balls and grit and are more in tune with The Runaways than any of the other bands mentioned. Plenty of attitude and great playing which has landed them a support slot on the upcoming Europe/Black Star Riders UK tour.

Main Stage

It must be nerve-wracking enough to open a main stage at any kind of festival in normal circumstances, but it must have been so much worse for Voodoo Six.  A day before they had to get a guitarist in to learn their setlist due to their normal guitarist not making the festival.

Voodoo Six - Planet Rockstock, Porthcawl, 7 December 2014

The band coped admirably well under the circumstances and should be very proud of themselves.  Their setlist included ‘All That Glitters’, ‘Sink Or Swim’ and  ‘Long Way From Home’ and the Sunday night crowd seemed to like them also.

After Adrian Vandenberg’s Moonkings pulled out at short notice Planet Rock presenter/ organiser Paul Anthony asked FM to step in at the eleventh hour. They all but stole the show.

FM - Planet Rockstock, Porthcawl, 7 December 2014

A setlist containg mainly all uptempo rockers with one ballad in ‘Closer To Heaven’, FM were there to have fun and to give Rockstock a good time, featuring ‘Crosstown Train’, ‘Tough Love’,'Tough It Out’ and closing with the sing-a-long ‘Burning My Heart Down’, the band are so at ease on stage that it looks effortless, joking and laughing all the way through with each other until all too quickly they were finished. FM definitely saved and made the weekend.

The Answer - Planet Rockstock, Porthcawl, 7 December 2014

A lot of The Answer fans came especially to see them this weekend and were treated to two new songs off the upcoming album, the pick of the two being ‘I Am What I Am’. Vocalist Cormac has a habit of getting into the crowd at festivals and tonight was no exception, climbing down over the monitors and standing in the middle of the crowd like an evangelical minister.

Magnum - Planet Rockstock, Porthcawl, 7 December 2014

After nearly 40 years Magnum  are the ultimate professionals and their show is never half-hearted.

With Mark Stanway high up on the left and Harry James high up on the right, the stage is left clear for Bob Catley to interpret the songs with hand gestures and emotion.

Magnum - Planet Rockstock, Porthcawl, 7 December 2014

Tony Clarkin has never been been a shape-throwing guitarist, he quietly stands there making sure the guitar parts are perfectly delivered, surveying the crowd with an occasional smile, a truly wonderful songwriter and guitarist.  Al Barrow has been with the band since 2001 sometimes it is forgotten how integral a part of Magnum he is now.

The first six songs of tonight’s show are taken from the last three albums including ‘Live Til You Die’ , ‘Black Skies’ and ‘Freedom Day’. Although the setlist is not all about the past, the biggest cheers are for songs from the classic Storytellers Night including ‘How Far Jerusalem’  which sends everyone into a jumping frenzy with their hands aloft pumping their fists into the air to the chorus.

Magnum - Planet Rockstock, Porthcawl, 7 December 2014

Les Morts Dansant is possibly one of the greatest songs ever written by Tony Clarkin, conjuring visions of death and war with the sentiments echoed by a lot of Magnum fans here tonight.  ‘On Christmas Day’ (their recent single release) and  ‘Sacred Hour’  leave the fans wanting more.  Magnum should be treasured as jewels in the crown of British Rock.

Planet Rockstock was a fantastic success, and here’s to another great event in 2015.

Review and photos by Darren Griffiths

Day 1 (5 December)
Day 2 (6 December)

In his show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on Sunday 29 March David Randall featured a selection of tracks from “Albums of the Month” (January-March 2020) (29:45)

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 30 March (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HARTMANN 15 Pearls And Gems (AOR Heaven)
12:00-13:00 H.E.A.T. II (earMUSIC)
14:00-16:00 GRAHAM GOULDMAN Modesty Forbids (Lojinx)

Power Plays w/c 30 March (Mon-Fri)

LOUISE LEMON Devil (Icons Creating Evil Art )
BLACK ORCHID EMPIRE Winter Keeps Us Warm (indie)
ONE DESIRE Shadowman (Frontiers)
CRYSTAL IGNITE Black Mamba (indie)
PICTURESQUE ATTN: (Rude Records/Equal Vision Records)
SKARLETT RIOT Human (indie)

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