Review by Gary Spiller for MPM
Sssssh! Don’t tell anyone but this realm of mellifluous perfection is our secret; one that isn’t to be disclosed. We’ve hightailed it down the rabbit hole and opened the wardrobe door now we hurtle headlong towards the red brick wall through which we magically pass to the hard rocking equivalent of Platform 9¾.
Here, beyond the secret entrance known only to those who are able to harness the knowledge of the rock, the platform is a heaving, bustling mass. There patiently marking time on the iron road, resplendent in a brand-new iridescent green livery, awaits steed. The Love Rocks Express, belching shimmering steam and pugnacious fire, points towards the south coast. Destination? Sanctuary Promotions very own school of rock!
Neither hand has yet reached twelve upon the timepiece and there is more than just a stirring around the campsite. There’s fully half an hour before noon is pounded but already the wagons are rolling into town. Heading the line is a quartet of likely-looking troubadours who have headed westwards from their Kent base. Eager to catch the first of the day’s trade these southern rapscallions ply their wares with a cheeky twinkle in their eyes.
With the finest Southern grooves known to scientific circles Gallows Circus hit the boards with a determined focus, proclaiming it takes a lot of ‘Faith To Believe.’ Blearily eyed hangovers across the Love Rocks site are being shaken off; the burdens of the festival excesses are being dispelled with a miracle cure of hellfire licks and subversive rhythms. The talons of the rock n’ roll preacher man’s soothing musical doctrine hook the very soul and entice the masses to join in worship at the fiery altar.
No doubt whatsoever as it’s ‘Game On;’ Led Zeppelin and Black Crowes are thrown into the crucible. Molten sacrificial offerings that the get the gods themselves nodding along. Frontman Ian Day’s voice is sublime whilst stand-in guitarist Tom Hunt blazes an incendiary trail. Hooves gallop up the dusty main street; the ‘Medicine Man’ rolls into the backwater township. A low-slung guitar howls at the waning moon’s crescent as it fades in the ever-brightening sky.
Labelled with warnings of being highly infectious the aforementioned miracle cures and potions alike are on offer. Eagerly purchased, by the wagonload, by a keenly admiring throng; the well-founded affirmation of a good time to be had proving to be of substance.
A stunning version of Fleetwood Mac’s classic 1969 blues-rock ripsnorter ‘Oh Well’ is lapped right up before the Circus instruct one and all, in swaggering fashion, to ‘Bring Your Crucifix’ before offering out a stupendously tantalising shot of ‘Hell’s Whiskey’ to wrap up matters.
Noon might have just passed but this head turning performance from Gallows Circus, lifted in the main from their two EPs, will ensure that their wagons will be less weighed down with their wares on the journey homewards.
There’s something in the metaphorical waters across at stage two. Yesterday we were impressed by the charms of The Karma Effect and the Love Rocks organising team pull out yet another giant-sized stage-opening rabbit for us to salivate over in the form of Bolton-based metallic trio Unknown Refuge.
Their ranks have been depleted with the sudden, and quite unexpected, departure of their rhythm guitarist on the eve of Love Rocks. Coupled with lead guitarist Jack Tracey suffering from the effects of an errant wisdom tooth one could easily forgive these youngsters if they had pulled out. However, to their absolute credit “the show must go on” and they rejig their set-list to accommodate their six-string output being down 50 percent.
These three instantly likeable lads set about tearing into Love Rocks with the gusto of a long-famished beast setting about the much-awaited kill. The aphotic forces of their second single ‘Shadows’ hitting the ensorcelled ranks fully square on at the commencing of a 40-minute set centred around their 2021 debut album ‘From The Darkness’.
The stunning shredding of under-the-weather Jack is just one facet of this talented three-piece. Coupled with the rapid percussive elements of vividly attired drummer Morgan Deveney along with pugilistic bass notes from his partner in rhythm Alex Mancini there is no doubt that these guys are force to be reckoned with. A 5am start has not hindered them in the slightest with their youthful exuberance carrying into the likes of ‘Palace Walls’ and the hooky metalliferous tones of ‘If The Gods Be Good’ that are full of northern tribal pride.
Dropping the musical equivalent of a depth charge with a subliminal “Motorheaded” version of Volbeat’s tub-thumper ‘Seal The Deal’ is a matter of courageous sphericals that continues into new track ‘Holding My Breath.’ Alex wryly quips “If you’re gonna go down then we’re gonna go down burning!” No need to worry as this total freight-train captivates. Put simply this is one of the best young bands I’ve seen on the circuit; right there alongside Ethyrfield and Mad Haven in my humblest opinion.
Following Unknown Refuge down from their North-Western HQ are a true phoenix rising from the flames outfit in the form of classic metallers Troyen. Formed back in 1980 in the Warrington area they were soon into the thick of the NWOBHM scene supporting the likes of Spider, Diamond Head and Girlschool. Sadly, the promising beginning came to an abrupt halt when the band split just 20 months after formation with rough demos for a single in the bag.
Remarkably the tale doesn’t end there but travels forward in time by some 22 years! Off the back of an email from a festival organiser Troyen reformed and have been gigging and recording ever since. Remaining founding members Jeff Baddley (drums) and Steve McGuire (guitar) are flanked by six-stringer Steve Haslam and bassist Mark Nortley along with vocalist Mark Walling out front. Walling, whose joining at the beginning of the pandemic expanded the ranks, is a charismatic presence out front and possesses a fine set of pipes.
Hitting the Love Rocks main stage to a wailing siren it’s evident that Troyen possess a dynamic that belies their years. With a thundering percussive drive set opener ‘Your War Ain’t My Fault’ from last year’s ‘Falling Off The Edge Of Forever’ long-player sets a tone with its roaring chorus and underpinnings of Saxon. Missing out, due to the pandemic, on playing Love Rocks in 2020 and then unable to make 2021’s rebirth Troyen are certainly in tenacious form running right into hard galloping steed that is ‘Dreams Never Lie’.
It’s classic NWOBHM coupled with an unashamed old-school delivery. There’s a slice of Dio served up in the twin lead guitar fuelled ‘Syrian Lady’ that serves up timeless chaptered honey right from the metal hive. Walling quips, as the cheers ring loudly, “That’s the singer’s worst nightmare all those long guitar solos!”
The latest album dominates the second half of the set with ‘No Going Back’ settling that age old question of what happens when Primal Scream are alloyed with Saxon? ‘Stormchild’ is aptly entitled bringing booming thunder and electrifying lightening to proceedings. Maiden-esque undercurrents fuse together, ‘Future Friend’ sparking heatedly as Troyen bring their slot to a fine conclusion.
As the mid-afternoon sunshine raises temperatures across St. Leonards Farm so Capital city blues rockers The Bad Day set about taking their chilled vibes to mix up matters with a revivifying approach. This London quartet are completely unknown to myself, and they throw in a mouth-watering swerve ball that come the end of their beguiling 40-minute slot I’m left wondering how on earth I’ve not connected with them before.
Beginning life, in 2017, as The Bad Day Blues Band the latter two words of their name were dropped after the release of their debut lp ‘Table By The Wall’. There’s an astounding shimmering vibrancy – akin to pendeloque-cut of The Star of Africa in the purest of light – about this quadrumvirate’s take on the rockier side of the blues. Their melding of Springsteen and Dr. Feelgood and classic early Quo riffs with such wildcards as The Killers and The Clash ensures you’re kept on your toes throughout. The wheel is being reshaped right in front of your eyes.
With the crispness of primetime Quo (think Ma Kelly’s or Dog Of Two Heads) wrapped about a bluesy 12 bar ‘When The Cage Comes Down’ sinks its teeth into Love Rocks. Attention duly grabbed and firmly grasped, willingly incarcerated in the enclosure no-one is seeking departure. Rolling into the melancholic strains of ‘Half Now Half Later,’ where The Killers collide in a fender-bender with The Who, one feels truly drawn in.
With a swagger befitting Jagger, Richards, and Wood ‘Wandering Man’ showcases the oh-so sweet harmonica of Sam Spranger. It’s an extra dimension that doffs a mighty fine cap to Lee Brilleaux. Throughout homage is paid to bluesmen such as John Lee Hooker in the hip-wiggling ‘Jump’ and B.B. King with a stonking, blues-fused version of ‘Hold On, I’m Coming Down.’ Sam & Dave’s classic soul number given a funky, up-tempo reworking. However, this isn’t a carbon copy of the masters more a modern day take with a slice of the unexpected.
Mid-set a challenge is laid down to the norm as The Bad Day go into full on heads-down mode serving up four tracks rolling into one. This is how these guys roll, with this quartet forming a good chunk of Part 1 of their latest eponymous release.
They match Robert Jon & The Wreck blow for blow in ‘Wake Up Carolina’ before switching, effortlessly to a beat reminiscent of ‘Gene Genie’ in the foot-stompingly-good ‘Queen Of The Dirty Minds.’ With a hint of Jeff Buckley’s ‘Hallelujah’ in Adam Rigg’s vocals The Bad Day threaten to be ‘The Bad Day’ before diverging down along Springsteen boulevard to head towards the intersection with The Killers highway in ‘Devil’s Lullaby.’
George Thorogood grapples with Bo Diddley across the pool table as The Bad Day ramp up things with the finale of ‘Forget’ that cavorts down by jetty whilst the flames of the refinery cast a burnished light upon the oil-slicked waters. One of the true surprises of the weekend.
Bursting on to the second stage Theia are on the charm offensive from the off. Attired in vivid autumnal hues of russet and carmine frontman Kyle Lamley holds aloft, firstly, a placard requesting “Applause” and then, to further good effect, another requesting “Manic Scream”.
It’s pure panto and works a treat; these guys are serious about having some fun! Kyle’s brother Ash is, indeed, behind him and sets about his kit with gusto. Now firmly rebranded as a punchy duo it’s taken a lot of hard graft to get to this stage. Loving what they had outputted as a three-piece the translation to being a dyad has taken a bit of becoming accustomed to. In fact, the first time I saw them as a pairing, at Cannock’s Station venue, things didn’t quite click for me. The potential was clear, but things felt a little on edge.
Forward wind to this sunny afternoon and it’s quite clear the intervening months have paid dividends. With smiles as wide as the Solent the Lamley brothers are clearly loving life. The entirety of this year’s EP ‘The Day’ forms the bulk of their set with a scattering of older tunes thrown in for good measure. Distancing themselves from their previous signature tune ‘WDFD’ is a firm signal of the brothers’ intent.
‘Fire’ delivers a full-on stomping beat that gives full justification of their self-description of being “the bastard sons of Royal Blood and Twenty One Pilots.” This stark change of musical direction – fusing gritty, dirty rock with the modern electro ranging of alternative hip hop – is bold. The deeply resonance of striking ‘Blue Heart’ was written during the pandemic to salute the dedicated staff of the NHS and this afternoon it’s dedicated to “Joanne and her fabulous parrot.” Continuing with his dedications Kyle pledges ‘No Crisis’ to “The lady in a Theia t-shirt, she just told me to fuck off!” The steel-toothed riffs of this track, lifted from 2018 long-player ‘The Ghost Light’, translate well into the new realm that Theia now firmly occupy.
Very recently married to Becky, Kyle jokes about today’s choice of trouserware “In these pants this breeze is something else!” The Kate Bush inspired soulful number ‘There’s A Boy’ in coupling with title track from their recent EP make for a satisfying 40 minutes in the company of Theia. The final act of lobbing stress balls into the crowd seems entirely befitting and sends our rocking Springer Syd into canine overload!
Not one act has ploughed the same furrow as what has preceded them and heading back across to the main stage to join slick southern groove merchants These Wicked Rivers ensures that this theme is a continuing one. Hailing from Derbyshire is about the limit of connections between them and Theia in musical environs; these two bands couldn’t be much further apart in terms of delivery but there’s much adoration for both from the Love Rocks faithful.
Eight years in the distilling TWR is a mighty fine hooch from up yonder in the holler; via two sublime EPs and the much-lauded debut album ‘Eden’ this is a band that has connected with its audience. A truly memorable set at January’s HRH NWOCR which packed out the second stage was swiftly followed up by another stonking set at Planet Rock’s Winter’s End in March. Mark them down as a band hitting the ascendancy.
Sadly, due to logistical difficulties, their trademark standard lamps are unable to make the journey to South Dorset but with a peppy selection of tie-dye drapes that hark back to a psychedelic bygone the stage is undeniably set for another sterling performance. Kicking off with the earth scorching ‘Shine On’ replete with the expansive keys of Rich Wilson coil about Arran Day’s unbridled conflagrant fretwork. The quintet is completed by effervescent drummer Dan Southall who is joined in the engine room by bassist Dale Tonks with frontman and rhythm guitarist John Hartwell providing the bridge.
Acuminated a by finely honed psychedelic edge the hyena-howl of the Skynryd-infused ‘Force’ rolls across the arid plains. The blues-laden astringent riffage of ‘Evergreen’ breaks the scale with Hartwell snarling “Welcome to the evergreen” whilst six-string agitator Day picks his spot with succulent precision.
Casting an eye backwards TWR launch into the profound strains of ‘When The War Is Won’ and its rousing chorus. Excusing myself a moment of personal indulgence this is a track I hope never leaves the set, pure magnificence. Most unexpectedly Hartwell enquires “Does anyone mind if we play something off the new lp?” Not one dissenting voice is heard as ‘Black Gold’ is taken to the masses; herein Hendrix amalgamates with Skynyrd in a scintillating starburst.
TWR’s second EP ‘II’ is the destination for the final two tracks with ‘Testify’ dropping Page, Plant et al into the deltalands prior to the transcendent tones of ‘Don’t Pray For Me’ shooting explosive forces heavenwards. Someone please the holy water.
A little earlier in the afternoon it was announced that Ryders Creed were unable to make it to Love Rocks; a crucial component of their digital sound system had failed the previous night up in Cannock. Despite much work on the band’s behalf the errant hardware was not repairable in time; happily, though, matters were back on track in spectacular fashion for the following weekend’s performances at both Wildfire and SOS (watch out for a forthcoming review of the latter).
The organising team always deliver and the wily rock n’ roll preacher Jack J. Hutchinson has been called up to convey a highly flammable homily in his own indubitable style. Leicester-born ‘JJ’ is, like his blues-rock guitar-slinging peers Barras, Redfern and Ross, much loved in these parts and his appearance is most warmly received. Stepping on to the second stage with just an acoustic six-string and his trusty bowler hat for company Jack sets about a quickfire half hour set with his narrative-deriving tracks balanced with his natural humorous outlook on life. “How the bleep are you doing?” he enquires after ‘Deal With The Devil.’ “I noticed the kids. Don’t repeat anything Jack says on stage” he advises with a glint in his eye.
The beautifully soulful ‘Written In Stone’ chases away the grey skies above with JJ looking skywards noting “One thing I remember playing this stage …. It’s so fucking hot!” Bluesy Southern rocker ‘Kiss Your Ass Goodbye’ is well-suited to be stripped back to acoustic form with Jack gravelly enquiring “Who feeds the wolf on the other side?” Unholstering his six-shooters the bounty hunter enters the dimly lit interior of the saloon; dust particles are picked out by the rays of sunlight. For someone time has been called.
Confessing to never really playing it acoustically ‘The Hammer Falls’ Jack gives the titular track from his latest album an awesome reworking losing none of its original pugilistic impetus in which Zeppelin convenes with ZZ Top in glorious technicolour. The final notes of the emotionally drenched ‘I Will Follow You’ echo about the Love Rocks site and all too soon Jack’s set is at an end. However, it’s with full credit he exits stage left to the loud Love Rocks cheers before grabbing a cheeky photo down in the crowd.
Ascending as rapidly as an orbit-bound satellite Bournemouth hard-rocking outfit South Of Salem is, currently, on the hottest properties on the grassroots rock n’ roll Monopoly board. Local heroes and all-round musical hoodlums in equal measure these south-coast noir hell-raisers have been causing structural damage wherever they have played over the last year or so. Complete kudos to them as they have agreed to extend their set this evening to assist filling the void created by the technical gremlins that have befallen Ryders Creed.
Packed to the gunnels we are treated to their highly praised debut album ‘The Sinner Takes It All’ played in its entirety across a 50-minute set. Ten tracks, each one of them quite rightly tagged as anthemic, chock full to the brim of gothic horror riffs and plague-ridden rhythms. It’s full-on primetime Motley Crue attitude served with a slice of darkened punk ethos. There is, however, time for some moments of sincere tenderness with expressive vocalist Joey Draper connecting with younger members of the band’s family and Love Rocks audience.
As the hauntingly beautiful keys of the intro echo around this lovely corner of Dorset so Salem burst onto the main stage with a thundering explosion; Joey roaring “Let me hear you scream!” his sidekicks set about dismantling Love Rocks beginning with the first two tracks of their album. The vampiric ‘Let Us Prey’ and the duelling lead guitar-fuelled ‘Hate In Me’ set a nitro-burning tempo which doesn’t relent in the slightest.
There’s not a moment to catch your breath, livewire axeman Kodi Kasper is everywhere. One moment machine-gunning the crowd from the bass bin the next leaping through the air. All the while never missing a note. Fellow six-stringer Starfish MacDonald is no less the presence whilst the engine-room of low-slung bassist Dee-Dee and bare-chested heavyweight tub-thumper Pip Sampson drive the V8 beast along at top revs. Unknown to the massed gathering this will transpire to be one of Pip’s last shows with Salem as shortly after the festival it’s announced, so tragically, that a serious hip injury has put pay to his drumming and a replacement will be sought.
By the time ‘Cold Day In Hell totally rips up the campsite we’ve been through the rock n’ roll shredding machine. There is nothing left in the tank; every word of the likes of the heartfelt ‘Made To Be Mine’ and the punky hellhound ‘No Plague Like Home’ have been sung right back at the band. It’s glorious and those aforementioned hellhounds have rolled over at the feet of Draper et al to have the stomachs tickled. There’s a mystical energy afoot.
There’s sensitivity as Draper reflects “We’ve lost a few friends to suicidal thoughts, so we put together this song.” Dedicating the haunting majesty of ‘Demons Are Forever’ to those no longer with us. Love Rocks is spellbound and are in the palm of Salem’s hand throughout. The loudest roar is reserved as the south coast quintet exit stage right following a truly memorable 50 minutes.
The paramount question that is at the very forefront of everyone’s mind is “How on earth do you follow that?” Well, it’s quite simple, in reality, you put on Leicester’s finest powerhouse triumvirate Skam. No messing about these East Midlanders pull no punches and deliver a thoroughbred 40-minute set that takes the beating heart and enduringly caresses it. Face-melting from the top-end drawer marked with the warning “Highly epizootic.”
Rightly proud of their Leicester roots these three lads do things their way: there’s undeniably no question of it. For their third album, in 2017, they unleashed a full-on concept rocker unshackling the tale of a time-travelling RAF pilot. For their fourth studio deliverance, last year, the much-awaited long player was split into two EPs ‘Intra’ and ‘Venous.’ IV, the ‘Senior year’ release, you get the adroit mindset industrially in operation here.
Understandably Skam’s set leans heavily towards these three releases before rounding off with a brace from 2011’s debut album ‘It’s Come To This’. There’s no room for anything from their classic sophomore offering ‘Peacemaker’. It’s quite the expansive stable of pedigreed rock thoroughbreds that this no-nonsense trio can call upon and thus the difficulty in prearrangement is what to omit.
Skinsman of extraordinary omnipotence Neil ‘The Hammer’ Hill pounds an ear-splitting beat whilst sinuous bass-face Matt Gilmore dovetails precisely. Upon this most solid of foundations affable frontman Steve Hill riffs a mighty power chord or four from his burgundy Gibson SG. ‘Circles’ sets the scene and the loyal Skam Massive are out in force; surely one of the devoted sets of fans on the circuit. Skam t-shirts and smiles are out in equally sizeable numbers.
The stampeding beast ‘Take Or Leave It’ gets Steve out on to the bass bins. “Let’s see some dancing” he rallies; the gathered ensemble bounces unified. The EPs are given some Skam-style loving with soulful rocker ‘Deadliest Sin’ a standout with Steve noting, at song end “Enough of that soppy shit” before holding off sparking ‘Green Eyes’ alight as the stage crew apply emergency gaffer tape-based repairs to the torn apart bass drumhead. “The Hammer strikes” Steve observes as he surveys his ‘baby’ brother’s accomplishment. One of his personal favourites, Steve despatches the Maiden-esque solo of the slightly delayed ‘Green Eyes’ into the evening air making smiles even broader.
With an intro that doffs a mighty fine cap to the domain of Sabbath ‘Massacre’ complies in full three-dimensional grandeur with that which is borne up the metaphorical rocking tin. Matt points to the crowd, sticking out his Simmons-scale tongue in time-honoured convention, as the Leicester hat-trick diverge off into ‘War Pigs.’ The ‘massive’ singalong rounding off with an impassioned “Oh Yeah!”
“Do ya want one more?” Steve enquires. ‘No Lies’ of course we bloody well do! In double-quick time he’s off the stage into the crowd leading the faithful at the rock n’ roll altar for the concluding hurrah of a set rammed to the very rafters with epic.
The baton for the final day’s special guest slot has been handed to one of the leading lights of the fine crop of bands emanating from the musically fecund region of South Wales. Culturally proud and undeniably on the ascent Llanelli’s socially aware rockers Scarlet Rebels are still in seventh heaven celebrating their audacious chart-crashing and rightly so. Upon the back of this success Earache Records applied the rubber stamp of approval and swiftly signed them up for a further four albums. This is the tangible level of belief that the label has in this instantly likeable bunch.
Their course is charted, stars have aligned for them. Last year, here at Love Rocks, they comfortably stole the show from a mid-afternoon billing. Today their warming up the arena as special guests to none other than fellow countrymen Phil Campbell and The Bastard Sons.
Celtic pride for sure! They are amongst the hardest gigging and grafting outfits on the circuit and it’s this ethos that has brought them to where they currently are. It’s just over four years since this line-up (plus guitarist Josh Townsend who is sadly unavailable this evening) first played live. There’s been ups and downs for sure, but the future has much promise and potential. Amongst the next stops the Rebels’ satnav is programmed for include Germany and Steelhouse.
Knocking the rock n’ roll ball squarely out of the park the Rebels, with the briefest of greetings from frontman Wayne Doyle, launch into the glammed rock n’ roll tones of ‘I’m Alive’. Think Poison and Guns n’ Roses ramming into ZZ Top at a backwater intersection, and you get the picture.
Under the setting Dorsetshire sun the Rebels roll, seamlessly, into ‘Take You Home.’ It’s truly hard to believe it’s fully a year since we were being introduced to tracks from the then forthcoming ‘See Through Blue’ right here down on the farm. Now there’s a definite polish to proceedings plus a good new number of incredibly cute and fluffy ‘Chopycats’ to keep band mascot Lamb Chop company. An opening 1-2-3 is completed with the AC/DC-infused ‘Take My Breath Away’; turning the attentions to the first Rebels’ album ‘Show Your Colours’. The point, in time, that the tide began to turn in their favour.
Enigmatic guitarist can’t resist launching into ‘Wanted Dead Or Alive’; it’s as if this was written to be the perfect precursor to ‘Part Of Me’. Thankyou Messrs. Jovi and Sambora. There’s a segue into a solitary nod to the Rebels’ former incarnation V0id in the form of anthemic number ‘Let Me In’. This is rock that is ready to resound about arenas and stadiums alike. If justice is to be fully dealt, then these guys will be as massive as fellow countrymen the Manics or Stereophonics.
The conclusive combo of the politically-charged ‘These Days’ – nobody dared think that Boris would relinquish the keys to No. Ten – and the highly emotive ‘Heal’ bring their set to a carousing crescendo.
As we patiently await the final act of the weekend meddlesome Cockchafers interferingly doodlebug about, in the half-light of dusk, like the marauding Bludgers from JK Rowling’s Quidditch. It’s still with a degree of disbelief that Phil Campbell and his merry bunch of Bastard Sons are playing right here this evening on a campsite in the Dorset countryside. Surreal for sure, but it’s simultaneously real too! Lord only knows what the unknowing local populous and those travelling along the A31 thought when the festival banner proclaiming their headline slot appeared roadside!
Love Rocks is the steppingstone onwards to opening up for, none other than, Guns n’ Roses in Dublin from the mahoosive show, of two days prior, at France’s Hellfest. Watching from the side-lines it’s completely apparent that whether they’re playing to 500 or 50,000 it matters not one jot. The sheer amount of energy expended by Phil Campbell and The Bastard Sons, here as nightfall takes a firm grasp, is unexpurgated testament to their professionalism and, above all, sheer pleasure of playing their music in front of an adoring horde.
Scattered, naturally, amongst the set are a good number of Motorhead tracks plus a pumped-up testosterone fuelled ‘Silver Machine.’ In the humblest of my opinions Phil and his lads are thoroughly entitled to hit these tracks head-on. Afterall, Lemmy aside, Phil was the longest serving member of Motorhead recording 16 of the 22 studio albums. These tracks are played in the memory of Phil ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor, ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke, Michael ‘Wurzel’ Burston, Larry Wallis. All of whom are jamming alongside Lemmy in the metal afterlife.
Heading stagewards to Deep Purple’s ‘Highway Star’ PC&TBS take no prisoners with the set opening behemoth ‘We’re The Bastards.’ They’re in uncompromising mood, mission to rock the fuck out of Dorset. Frontman Joel Peters (Bootyard Bandits) sets about the Love Rocks crowd from the start. “Let me hear you scream!” he roars atop of the blood-curdling skin pounding of percussive animal Dane Campbell.
Out stage left Tyla Campbell raises both middle digits and, smiling, careers into ‘Bite My Tongue.’ Not for the last time this evening Peters roars “Fuck yeah.” He loves it, we love it, mutual affection of a primal nature.
Stepping forward to the mic, quietly spoken, Phil asks “How you doing on this Saturday night? Are you ready for some Motorhead? Of course you are!” Damn right! The instructions, upon the metaphorical label, are followed in a frenetic ‘Rock Out’ before a fist-pumping rendition of the anti-bullshit lament of ‘Big Mouth.’
The demonic presence of the underworld tolls the bell as ‘Born To Raise Hell’ does precisely what it states. The crowd goes ape as the incantation takes form.
It’s a high-paced sprint through a marathon back-catalogue; The Bastard Sons have outputted two albums and an EP of their own in addition to Motorhead’s expansive offerings. ‘High Rule’ and the downright dirty blues of ‘Get On Your Knees’ are lifted from 2018’s ‘Age Of Absurdity’ to showcase what the Bastard Sons are all about. Surveying the scene Peters sagely notes “Fuck you’re loud muthafuckers! I want all the cows and sheep around here to hear yas!”
The bulk of the second half of the set is dedicated to the Motorhead catalogue with the blitzkrieg ‘R.A.M.O.N.E.S.’ and ‘Stay Clean’ coupled together in a metalliferous juggernaut of a freight-train pairing.
No PC&TBS show would be complete without the obligatory “Fuck you Tyla Campbell” Peters implores the Love Rocks horde to “Raise your middle finger at this village idiot” as he points at the red and yellow bucket hatted Tyla. Duties duly obliged and the familiar rumbling bassline of ‘Ace Of Spades’ bounces around St. Leonards Farm. Believe it now Phil ‘Fucking’ Campbell is playing Love Rocks”!
A perfect triumvirate of Motorhead classics – namely ‘Bomber,’ ‘Just ‘Cos You Got The Power’ and the incomparable ‘Overkill’ – form the resounding encore. It’s been blistering from start to finish; an unrelenting force of metal that has burnt rubber right along this evening’s musical freeway. And thus Love Rocks 2022 has ended on an orbital high. How on earth do you follow that? Stick the dates 1st, 2nd and 3rd of June 2023 in the calendar to find out. We’ll see you there!
Photography by Kelly Spiller for MPM