The seventh annual rock n roll weekender, PLANET ROCKSTOCK, returned to Trecco Bay, Porthcawl, South Wales over the weekend December 6th-8th 2019, bringing together Planet Rock, live music & the ever growing Planet Rock Family for one hell of a great weekend.
WORDS – MARK WARBURTON, PICTURES – PIPPA MAUNDER-WARBURTON
So with a short drive up the coast from home we arrived at a beautiful, if slighly wet and windy Porthcawl, to witness Wyatt end his mammoth 2000 mile roadtrip by bike, rasing near £100,000 for the mental heath charity Mind, which was an absolute magnificent effort.
We headed into the Main Stage arena, and without further ado the first band up, all female london based rockers JOANOVARC kicked off proceedings in style. The band reminded me of early an JOAN JETT, mixed with 70s legends THE RUNAWAYS, and rip through their short but very entertaining set with opener ‘Live Rock N Roll’ that showcases great guitar work from Shelley Walker. The catchy ‘Say Sayonara’ with vocals from bassist Keira Kenworthy sounds like a female type RAMONES tune, whilst the great cover of the DEEP PURPLE classic ‘ Highway Star’ goes down a storm. The bands latest single ‘ Jane’ is well received and features quality vocals from Laura Ozholl, before the up beat set closer ‘Girls Wanna Rock’ with powerhouse drumming from Ellie Daymond brings the set to a close.
Up next is the LAURENCE JONES BAND who i have championed since the release of their latest blues infused release ‘The Truth’ back in September this year. The band now featuring outstanding backing singer Abbie Adigan, Phil Wilson on Drums, together with Bennett Holland on Keys and new boy Jack Alexander Timmis on bass rip through a quality blues rock set. Its evident from the off that the band have gelled together and deliver a great set of new and older material that the ever growing PLANET ROCKSTOCK crowd lap up.
Songs such as the excellent ‘ Mistreated’ offering quality vocals and guitars from Jones, and the beatiful ballad ‘Quite Like You’ which Laurence dedicated to his Mum, before the best cover song of the weekend is delivered, a majestic version of JIMI HENDRIX’s ‘All Along The Watchtower’ featuring some stellar guitar work.
My Favorite tune by the LAURENCE JONES BAND ‘Live It Up’ brings this throughly enjoyable set to a raptuous close, making this set one of the hightlights of my weekend
Swedish Melodic Rockers H.E.A.T. were on the bill next but due to illness had to cancel at the last minute, and we ably replaced by welsh Rockers, and band of the moment THOSE DAMN CROWS, who we had last seen live a very wet STEELHOUSE FESTIVAL.
Tonight the CROWS were on fire and for me blew the roof off Trecco Bay, with vocalist Shane Greenhall proving he is a cracking frotman and has a great set of pipes too. ‘Who Did It’ from the bands latest album ‘Point Of No Return’ gets the packed crowd absolutely rocking, with a cracking ‘Blink Of An Eye’ and ‘Dont Give a Damn’ which are driven through by the great rhythm section of drummer Ronnie Huxford and bassist Lloyd Wood. David Winchurch and Shiner on Guitars smash through ‘Behind These Walls’ and the majestic ‘Set In Stone’ before ‘Rock n Roll’ aint Dead’ winds this energetic and brilliant set up.
THE QUIREBOYS are a band who i have witnessed many times over the past 30 years or so and just never seem to grow old, with band leader Spike dressing the same as he did back in the day with trademark bandana, and always seeming a tad drunk wheneve he is on stage. This all add’s to the charm of this band who always deliver the goods as it always feels like its party time.
The band deliver a great set featuring songs such as ‘I Love This Dirty Town’ and ‘Seven Deadly Sins ‘ from the bands latest album, together with classics such as MTV hit ‘There She Goes Again’ that gets the crowd singing and dancing. The excellent ‘Mona Lisa Smiled’ showcases great guitar work from band stallwart ‘ Paul Guerin’ and wonderful piano from Keith Weir.
My personal favourite ‘Hey You’ brings back some great memories from my youth, before the bands biggest hit ‘ 7 O’Clock’ sends PLANET ROCKSTOCK wild, before The truly wonderful swaggering ballad ‘I Dont Love You Anymore’ and the rawkous ‘Sex Party’ finishes this throughly enjoyable set.
I have fond memories of watching SKID ROW live back on their first tour with Seb Bach and an unforgettable performance at MILTON KEYNES BOWL back in 1989. When Bach left the band i always thought they were never the same, and although replacement Jonny Solinger was solid he didnt have the pipes and stage presence of the current vocalist Z P Theart.
The band still featuring 3 original members kick off their greatest hits set with three belters from their debut album, ‘Makin A Mess’ with its trademark bass sound from Rachal Bolan, stadium rocker ‘Big Guns’ featuring great guitars from Dave ‘Snake ‘ Sabo and Scotti Hill and the brilliant Piece Of Me get the rammed crowd bouncing.
Unforgetable ballads and MTV favourites ’18 and Life’ and ‘I Remember You’ are smashed by Theart, and for me he has in part replaced the legacy left by Seb Bach. The wonderful anthem ‘ Monkey Business’ get the crowd singing along before my favorite SKID ROW tune, the crushing ‘Slave To The Grind’ rips Trecco Bay a new one. The bands anthem, rock dancefloor favorite, and most well known tune ‘Youth Gone Wild’ brings Day 1 of this great festival to a close.