ROCKINGHAM PRESS RELEASE / WE’RE ALL WORKING FOR THIS WEEKEND…
Are you ready, I mean, are you really ready? Well here we go for Rockingham three, so get strapped in as this rollercoaster promises to be a thrill a minute ride. Three days, eighteen bands and more melodic rock than you'll find in one place all year as Rockingham returns to, Trent University, the scene of last year’s crime.
You want big hitters, well step forward Vince Neil, Loverboy, Dave Bickler and Kix, a quartet of bands and artists that would grace any stage. With a supporting cast that includes the likes of Honeymoon Suite, Harem Scarem and Great White how can you go wrong? Throw in some hot new talent along the lines of Cruzh, Maverick and the Amorettes and all the bases are being covered.
With a welcome return from Fortune, one of the best bands from last year’s festival and a first time appearance from Blanc Faces, you can guarantee that the pure AOR fans will be more than happy. .
With English AOR ably represented by the likes Vega, Bailey, Dare, Moritz and Airrace, this is shaping up to be one of the best Festivals of the year.
It’s all set to take place over the weekend of the 2Oth to 22nd of October, at Nottingham’s Trent University.
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If you’re the kind of person that’s been wandering around with a “Dude! Where’s my Crue?” look upon your face since the demise of the legendary L.A rockers, then fear not as the good folks at Rockingham have it covered. The mighty Vince Neil is about to hit the UK with a solo extravaganza that is sure to dazzle and delight in equal measure. We can only add, Vince, you’re hired!
Whoa, take it easy, Kix are in town and its woman hunting season. This is one band that will bring the party to Rockingham. Their back catalogue just spells fun, with a capital F.U.N! From Layin’ Rubber, Lie Like A Rug and Atomic Bomb through to Yeah, Yeah, Yeah and Hot Wire, Kix are indeed, for kids. We may just break out a case of cold Heineken and a bottle of Jack Daniels, not a small one, a bloody great big one.
For Loverboy this will be their first time back on UK soil since the late eighties when they supported Def Leppard on the second leg of their UK Hysteria tour. I caught them in Birmingham back then and they didn't disappoint, giving a masterclass of songs and stage craft. Their debut is still one of the best in Canadian hard rock history and in my eyes they are up there with the likes of Nightranger and Autograph as one of the finest bands that this genre has ever given us. Their performance will be a bucket list moment for a lot of people, so expect them to bring the house down. You'll love every minute of it!
Great White will need no introduction to the average rock punter. Having toured the U.K with Whitesnake in the early eighties, plus a slew of shows since, they’ve won the hearts of the UK public. This might be the version without Jack Russell, but original member Mark Kendall and Terry Ilous (XYZ) will make sure that this performance will still pack a bite.
With Nigel Bailey as his master of ceremonies, David Bickler is in safe hands and is sure to rise up and delight all in attendance. As the man at the front of Survivor for many a year, Bickler is no stranger to the big occasion. With a set that is sure to bring all of Survivors best loved songs into one fun packed set, this could be Nigel Baileys biggest task to date.
Maple leaf mayhem, with a soft rocking sheen is what you'll be given from the good ship H.M.S. With a back catalogue to die for, a band tighter than my wallet and a reputation of some repute, the Honeymooners will be welcome back on these shores like long lost heroes. If their past performances in this country are anything to go by, then this could be a must see moment.
Harem Scarem has been around for nearly thirty years, yes, thirty years! Whilst the rest of us have aged, the only thing that has changed with Harry Hess is the hair; everything else still looks the same. The same can be said about their music, from their AORtastic debut, through to the more modern leanings of their recent output, Harem Scarem have always delivered.
With Harry Hess in their corner and one of the finest albums of last year under their belts, Vega will take Rockingham by the scruff of the neck and not let go until it's been thoroughly entertained. With four albums to choose from their only problem will be what songs to leave out of a set that will lift the roof off.
The last time I witnessed these boys at HRH AOR they were one of the bands of that weekend, with Peter Scallan proving why he is regarded as one of the UKs finest vocalists. Sans Greg Hart, the Moritz blitz will be on a roll thanks to a wonderful new album, which should be released imminently, so expect a show stealing festival performance from one of the UKs finest acts.
Robbie LeBlanc is a vocalist of some renown, as his brace of Blanc Faces CDswill testify. With a recently reissued CD of his first band Fury in the racks, plus the promise of new material, Robbie will be like watching Michael Bolton in his early days as his perfect AOR vocals deliver the kind of music that is guaranteed to please any aficionado of the genre.
At last year’s Rockingham Fortune gave a masterclass in perfect AOR, Larry Greene was majestic and the whole performance was in the top three of the weekend. They showed that old AORsters might fade away, but they never lose their ability to impress and that's what Fortune did, in spades. So you don't want to miss what will be one of the sure-fire best sets of the whole weekend.
And talking of fine UK acts, the wonderful Airrace make a return to U.K. Stages with a revised line up, but minus none of the class associated with their name. With Adam Payne (Serpentine) replacing Keith Murrell, Laurie Mansworth and company will endeavour to make this anything but a brief encounter, more a lasting impression.
Nigel Bailey is fast becoming the go-to guy for long lost AORsters like Stan Bush and Kevin Chalfant, so It'll be good to finally see him front his own band. You can expect a healthy dose of songs from his debut album, with a smattering of Three Lions and Hardline songs thrown in for good measure. With the promise of more double denim on show than there is in Vinny Burns' wardrobe, Nigel Bailey will get the just rewards he deserves.
With Vinny Burns firmly ensconced back into the Dare fold and their recent album heralding a return to their soft rocking best, the potential for a performance of some magnitude is stacking up nicely. Expect a set of flowing, white shirt toting anthemic AOR from one of the UKs best loved AOR outfits.
Northern Ireland's answer to Motley Crue, well, the Crue on a budget if I'm honest, will be a hard hitting surprise for many. Two albums into their career, their sophomore release is currently garnering them plenty of support and this live appearance is certain to be incendiary.
Girls with guitars and plenty of attitude, so what's not to like? They've recently tore it up with the likes of The Treatment and the Black Star Riders, coming out the other side with nothing but praise on their side. They’ll be like Girlschool on steroids and will drink you under the table, get ready to party.
Swedish newcomers, Cruzh, will be a soft- rock sensation as they bathe you with their lightweight sounds. They will be the aural equivalent of a pampering spa day, luxurious and stress free. Their debut is one of the best in recent years, they have the ability to impress and this performance will be one not to miss.
The Nightwish connection aside, Brother Firetribe is best known for their uncanny ability to pen bombastic AOR tunes. Returning to Rockingham for the second time, Emppu Vuorinen and company will be a welcome addition to this bill as they promote their fabulous new album, “Sunbound”.
I think you’ll all agree that Rockingham Festivals AOR credentials have been fully endorsed by having such an array of talent on show. Fans and ticket buyers would also be wise to watch out for announcements of official pre and after shows in the coming months via the festivals Facebook page.