Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Festival 3 - Rock Hard festival Germany 2009 - Part 2

Rock Hard festival - Day 2 and 3

Saturday morning! No, Saturday afternoon.
There was no way morning was going to be an option, especially with the state Dan was in.

I went to the shop to stock up on water and get some food. Of course we'd missed breakfast at the hotel. We didnt make breakfast at the hotel once. Making that decision between food and sleep, sleep won out.

Dan was feeling so ropey we missed Grand Magus. Which was a big shame as they were one of the bands i really wanted to see, but to be honest, it wasn't just Dan feeling rough, and i knew we were probably in for another late night, so better to take things slow in the early afternoon.

The day was peppered with tales of my "small eyes" from the night before. I'm such a winner when it comes to guys. I'm glad that tales of my fails are humourous to the Rock Hard VIP massive. Yes. Winner.
It was real hot on site and i was glad to sit down and watch a band and chill out. Nothing gets you over a hang over quite like a good dose of metal. So we watched HAIL OF BULLETS in the sun. Martin van Drunen is their vocalist who started out in Pestilence, then Asphyx and he was even in Bolt Thrower for a while. (who are REALLY popular in Germany it seems by rough t-shirt count). He has such a distinctive growl. I like it. And good for pushing the cobwebs away Saturday afternoon.

There is however, only one true solution to this predicament - hangover at festival day 2.... must start drinking again.

So after a short pause for breath, we're back up with Thomas at the cocktail bar. Remember i work for Earache, Dan is Earache label manager, we have a reputation to protect (ruin).

I seem to get delayed hang overs that kick in sometime in the late afternoon the next day. Unfortunately this was just when i got to meet the legendary Metal Mike - who i have never met before - of Aardshock magazine. A dude who is from that small contingent of people who were the first ones into metal - tape trading - organising early tours for Metallica, Maiden, Slayer etc.

Chris Jagger pointing out my "small eyes" and Metal Mike

He has some pretty awesome tales of "back in the day". When i hear tales like this, which a catalogue of knowledge like he has, i always think to myself DAMN i wish i'd been there (instead of being in utero, or a very small person) and i wonder what tales i'll tell in 20 years. Surely these aren't such exciting times these days for metal as it was in the early 80's? When you talk about the birth of Maiden and Metallica, it doesn't really compare with me talking about the birth of.... Lostprophets?

I've always thought its important to have a goal or a focus in life, a passion - and thats what Metal Mike, Neal Kay, Malcolm Dome, Geoff Barten, Goetz Kuhnemund, Dave Ling etc. all have in common - this passion that's lasted them through the years and keeps them still working in metal... hell, those dudes ARE metal. And i think that's awesome. If i have half as much passion for metal as they do, i'll be doing well. (and if i have half as much encyclopedic knowledge of metal as they do, i will talk my future grandchildren to death) :-)

So ignoring the Dragonforce set, which seemed to go on forever, Dan and i then watch Forbidden from backstage whilst chatting and "talking turkey". Dan seems to think the beer's going down pretty well at this stage, and Thomas is very helpful is making sure Dan is right back on the wagon. Nice one Thomas.

The keyboard section of Dragonforce seem to be spray painted green backstage, and im keen to get back the right side of the stage as im not working backstage, so i feel a bit out of place. Then BULLET arrive - Thomas has told me these guys party hard. They're all so young... and hot! Amazing. Anyway, no time to think about that... Dan and i are off in search of food, having not eaten pretty much all day.

We witness the Karaoke stage (the only other stage on site which was only active it seemed on Saturday afternoon). I'm fascinated by this little insight into German culture being displayed as i watch a girl do Killing in the name of and then a dude be Rob Halford for Pain Killer, then we have to leave, as Dan goes pale and starts trembling as some cyber metal reject starts to destroy The Trooper. He has churned up sacred ground, and Dan cant deal with it.

We spend the rest of the night chatting to people, meeting people - like Chris Jagger from Heavy magazine who i'd never met before, and was very happy to call me small eyes - thanks!

We party at the bar until about 1am when we head back to the hotel bar.

At this point i am pretty wrecked and feeling a bit queasy. I couldnt eat earlier, my poor tum was saying no No NO - no more festival food please! no more booze please! But i had ignored it. To my detriment. I hung out with Thomas at the hotel bar for a while, laughing with Dan and some Fins before deciding to call it a night.

Sunday morning bright and breezy! We're determined to see BULLET before we return to the UK. People have been talking this band up to me and i'm expecting great things especially having met them the day before. We have time to do a quick bit of shopping where i see my friend Juergen from Wacken 08 - then we watch Bullet.

They put on a good show, it was a shame the stage tech's were fiddling with the backdrop for the next band throughout the set. They didnt blow me away as i was hoping they would. Their singer isn't all that great. And having just seen AC/DC last month, i've seen this done by the best. But they're a good band, and i hope there's more to them in the future. Apparently for Dan the "BITE" "THE" "BULLET" written respectively on the back of the 2 guitarists and bassists instruments was the nail in the coffin. I haven't put this band in the ground by any means, infact i would definately play them on my show, they just didn't quite live up to the hype.

Dan watching Bullet
Saying quick goodbyes Dan and i duck out of the fest and make our way to the train station, we miss UFO and SAXON, but hell, we're heading back to good Ol' Blighty.

Rock Hard festival totally kicked butt. It was a great size (not too big) and a great location. And the atmosphere was fun and relaxed. I think it was my favourite German festival.... so far.

Thank you so much Thomas and Goetz for making me feel so welcome and to everyone else at Rock Hard too for putting on such a great event!

And great to see Bjoern two weekends running!

But holy shit i look tired now!

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