HRH Prog 4 Live Review - Hafan-y-Môr, Pwllheli
Venue: Hafan-y-Môr Holiday Park, Pwllheli
Ian Anderson and co let their hair down at Camp HRH!
THURSDAY: The fourth annual HRH Prog festival sees a respectable crowd gather for the recently re-formed Hammerhead to kick off proceedings with their Hammond-infused classic hard rock.
The renamed Oktopus (originally Progoctopus) are now down to a trio and peddle likeable, Rush-like technical fare, complete with fretless bass, while Third Quadrant are archetypal English neo-proggers with lengthy songs, two keyboardists and a homemade double-necked bass.
But the first night belongs to the flamboyant Arthur Brown, whose young and talented band all impress without ever upstaging their rich-voiced, 73-year-old leader. The singalong to the inevitable Fire ends a varied set and sends revellers away happy.
The self-professed ‘least prog band here’, The Fierce And The Dead play their three-minute instrumentals with gusto and a dry wit that lightens their angry, discordant material. Greece’s September Code are impressive but lack a bit of spark, their well-played prog metal hinting at something truly exciting that never really happens.
Glasgow’s re-formed Abel Ganz have the musicianship and the songs, but equipment gremlins threaten to ruin their classy and tuneful anthems, their annoyance spilling over at times. Playing solo on acoustic guitar, respectful silence is observed during Edgar Broughton’s melancholy set, his unique vocals and humorous introductions creating a good-natured, low-key atmosphere.