Gig review: HRH AWARDS 2019 – Great Yarmouth, 6 November 2019

For 13 years HRH has seen some of the finest bands and singers in the rock world grace its stages. This will be the third time that the HRH Awards have been held prior to the main event with a night of red carpet glitz, legends and rising stars seated with media and punters and a few invited bands from the relatively new to fan favourites getting everything off to a great start.

A barrage of photographers line the side of the red carpet and everyone arrives, flashes firing and dancing girls dressed in very little but Halloween inspired makeup, pose with all the invitees and guests in groups before finding their seats at tables bedecked with alcohol and shot glasses.

As the smoke and lights flooded the main stage Johnny Davis welcomed everyone and introduced the first nominees for the evening. The awards were interspersed throughout the night with live performances, the first of which was from Twister.

The Durham band are high energy with a great stage presence to match the impressiveness of their songs. Not a band I have heard much from but one that gained a fair new fans last night.. Soaring guitars, catchy melodies and high-octane rock and roll delivered with pizazz and obvious enjoyment.

The dancing girls followed, met with cheers and appreciation, I almost felt sorry for Spidervayne having to follow them but the four-piece continued where Twister had left off. Grungy rock with obvious influences from Alice in Chains, the band sounded impressive, another good choice from the HRH team.

Murf has a strong voice needed when you have the aggression from his own guitar and that of Faz. Rumbling riffs and a low pulsating bassline from Kev partnering the rhythm with Sam on drums. The low light and smoke ensured the whole performance matched the music.

Wolverhampton band Liberty Lies have played HRH before and they seemed genuinely pleased to have been invited back to perform. I had recently caught them supporting Inglorious and also Mike Monroe which may be why they blew the other performances away with how tight they were.

Even when the lights went out and everyone in the room lit the stage with their phone torches, they didn’t stop, in fact, the song they were playing at the time ‘Day In The Sun’ seemed ironically to work with it. A big vocal, huge melodies and a tight band. Awesome.

Johnny Davis introduced the next band as one who had asked to play the awards night, a band who loves playing at HRH and it showed. The performance from Killcode was brooding, playful, professional and thoroughly enjoyable. Playing to the cameras, front man Tom Morrissey commands the stage, while Chas slaps up the riffs and DC Gonzalez fills them in. Erric Bonesmith is a demon on the bass, foot on the monitor, playing to the crowd as Rob Noxious ensures the kick drum slaps you in the gut.

The New Yorkers have 2 EP’s ‘To Die For’ and ‘Taking It All’ and 2 albums, Killcode and their 2016 album, The Answer. It was good to her songs from these and although a pretty short set they did manage to blow the roof off in the process.

The surprise of HRH Legend winner Toby Jepson was clear to see, for once the Wayward Sons front man really was lost for words as he picked up the award. He has played at HRH numerous times over the year and I’m sure picking up the award will see his performance with his band be all the more sweeter on Friday.

As the alcohol had continued to flow so did the expectation for closing band The Quireboys. In a room where the majority of people were a tad worse for wear but also in the party mood, what better band could there possibly be to lead the singing and enjoyment.

As people stood on tables and crowded the front of the low stage the enigmatic Spike took the few hundred strong crowd straight into ‘Mislead’, ‘There She Goes Again’ and then ‘Hey You’. How the guy does it is beyond me. The band are as always outstanding, they love playing, clearly evident as they laugh and move around the stage behind Spikes energetic mic-stand swinging and enthusiastic dancing.

They are a serious band but are the most entertaining and crowd pleasing of the night and it isn’t just the alcohol, it’s the classic songs. At 2am in the morning, the band retreated as did the punters. I’m sure there will be some sore heads requiring plenty of TLC and large fry-ups.

 Review and photos by Lindsay Smith

The award winners:

HRH Axman – Ben Wells
HRH Angel Of Rock – Doro
HRH Young Blood – Ryders Creed
HRH Rising Stars – Massive Wagons
HRH Metal Maniacs – Evil Scarecrow
HRH Global Heroes – Skid Row
HRH Sleaze Lords – The Quireboys
HRH Mjolnir – Tigertailz
HRH Bad Ass Bass – Kraven Morrdeth
HRH Legend – Toby Jepson

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