Just as I thought… loads of back combed/long hair girls and guys, band shirts, cowboy boots, plenty of hair spray and splashes of animal print…but oh my I was in heaven! To be surrounded by people who love the same music/style as you is a great feeling for a girl who comes from a town where it is not so common place and in many ways frowned upon. If you’re not wearing tracksuit bottoms, market stall trainers and an outdated football top, you’re done up too nicely and god guys with long hair…forget it!
We queued up outside the City Hall waiting to go in but alas the doors did not open on time, a lot of metal heads were burning in the heat complaining like vampires which made me laugh so hard! A few basic bitches walked on by laughing and childishly giggling to themselves but didn’t dare look any of them in the eye. I loved the fact that so many people from so many places were there, Danes, Russians, Germans, the odd Japanese and a few Geordies 😊. The fact that Hull was named the City of Culture 2017 was a brilliant idea to have this event here but to find out that the organiser had no help from the funding bestowed upon the City was quite sad. The idea of the event was brilliant and this weekend in Sheffield it is the turn of Hair Metal Sleaze Festival, I would have loved to have gone to that too but I’m really stretching with time off from work. I think my boss would have killed me as would my poor credit card!
45 minutes ater the doors were meant to open, we were allowed in and I had to present my winning tweet and email to claim my wristband but the door staff had no idea, didn’t check my details and just gave me a band anyway… I could have been talking shit for all they knew and got into the event for free! But hey, all I cared was that I was in. Everyone piled in and of course like all metal heads the first pit stop was the bar! With two bars in the building and two members of staff on each there was a long queue at both bars. I personally wasn’t thirsty yet so I just hanged around the lobby outside the door, once opened I went straight to the front bar. Shiraz Lane was meant to be on stage at 1.30pm but since the doors didn’t open until 1.15pm, the event was already running grossly behind so to my surprise when they opened the doors to the perform stage, they were STILL setting up and doing sound checks?! Hang on! You’ve been here all the morning, what the f*** have you been doing?! But whatever, at least it was getting started.
The first band looked like a Guns n Roses tribute act, they sounded ok and were decent to listen to but I was mainly waiting for Shiraz Lane and they kicked arse! Their sound was on point, they looked awesome and performance value was amazing, it was great meeting them after the show by the merchandise stand too. Really humble guys, they came over to chat since I was on my own and I didn’t want to burden them with my presence when so many other people wanted to see them. I guess it’s just the English in me, I can wait in line being polite. I missed them a lot, 9 months has been a long time since seeing them last. Killcode was on after them and they sounded great too, typical over the top Americans but were fun to chat to as well. There was a break but everything was still running 60 minutes behind so nobody really knew what the times were or anything so people were just milling about and then the bars ran out of beer on tap!!! You’ve got a festival filled with metal heads and you’ve ran out of beer! And I noticed 6 bottles of empty Jack Daniels on the side, luckily they had some bottles of Coors and Budweiser but they didn’t last long. Thankfully there was a Tesco over the road and a few pubs dotted about to quench the hunger of thirst.
I watched a few more bands until about 8pm and for some reason the sound quality just went down hill, the bass drum got turned up, so they turned the mike up, but then you couldn’t hear the main guitar and the rhythm guitar became non existent but because the singer then thought they couldn’t be heard they screamed through the mike which gave me such a headache and earache. By that point my back had started to give way anyway and I forgot my painkillers so I went back to the hotel and rested up. The main event for me was Sunday evening.
The next day everything continued to go down hill, some bands had refused to play and the rumour mill started going around that they weren’t being paid. Michael Monroe was meant to do a VIP only acoustic session on the Saturday night but when he arrived at Heathrow airport he had no transport from there to Hull, he had no hotel booked for him to stay so he just turned around and went back home! I would have been rather annoyed that I had paid extra to see him to then learn that he wasn’t coming because the organiser messed up. Another band had pulled out on the Sunday so the whole line up had been moved around and people were really unsure about what was going on, what time people were on or what was happening. People were just milling around, getting drunk, casually looking round and not much happening. The biggest pain in the arse came later in the day.
One band finished and as usual the room started to empty, people getting refills, roaring with laughter, comparing photos and just chilling, the turn around was about 15 minutes but something had obviously gone wrong because 15 minutes turned into nearly 2 hours! It was said that they were waiting for the singer from Loudness, a Japanese metal band from the 80s, who’s plane had got delayed at Manchester and then got caught in traffic. People were starting to get restless, I mean I’m sure they could have found someone to come on stage in the mean time just to keep the flow of the day going. It really stalled the day and the same problem as the day before the sound quality was very poor, the levels were not right and it gave off awful feedback. Thankfully the sound tech guy for the band D.A.D really knew his stuff and spent ages sorting out the levels, the mikes everything. So when D.A.D came on, they sounded amazing. I’ve never heard or seen them before and I was really surprised and thoroughly enjoyed their set. I loved Stig Pedersen’s bass guitars and outfit, why he does it I’m not sure but he was a true showman and they looked amazing.
But the main attraction for me was the insanely handsome and fun loving guys from Reckless Love. My Finnish merry metal heads. They always know how to put on a show, Olli’s moves and gorgeous locks, Pepe’s wild hair and quick fingers, Jalle’s cheeky smile and Hessu’s double bass drum action melts into one amazing show which sadly was very short (for me) since everything beforehand had messed up. Reckless Love were meant to be on at 8.10pm they were not on stage until 10.20pm! That’s insane! Sebastian Bach and his Allstar band were meant to be on at 9.10pm and were not on until 11.30pm after having to set up. The event was meant to finish at 11pm, we got out at about 12.45am but I waited to see Reckless Love, I only caught Olli and Pepe but it was worth it. I was going to get a photo with Sebastian Bach but he proved how much of a dick he was to a girl in front of me so I thought better of it. This girl was nearly crying as she was so excited to see Seb, he said yes to a photo but as she wrapped her arm around him, he shrugged away, said that she was being inappropriate and got in the van and drove off. I felt so bad for her as she was so excited to see him and he blew her off. I didn’t think anything that she did was inappropriate and also can I just add, the fans are what put you where you are today! I’m not saying devote everything to them but remember and be that thankful that you’ve got to do something with your life (your hobby) and it makes people so happy so just a give a little back. Another thing, you are actually a has been so stop walking round with a fucking ego like Gaga who deserves it cos she’s awesome and in some terms still relevant.
Basically the whole thing was a brilliant idea, bringing 80s hair metal back with some golden oldies and fresh new talent melted together to create a cracking event but it felt a bit juvenile. The organisation was poor, they needed better sound techs and stage hands, the venue needed to stock up more, the time table needed to be adjusted and it’s a shame that there wasn’t more people. The rumour was the the organisers took a £50,000 loss which is a such a shame. I still enjoyed myself and met some amazing people and just one weirdo that followed me to McDonalds and then I lost him so not all bad. I normally get a whole group of weirdos.
Great event, great fun just needed better planning!