MARK TAYLOR’S BIG CITY NIGHTS
HARD ROCK HELL V
2nd/4th December 2011
(**Many thanks to Mark Taylor for his fantastic review**)
Read the full Hard Rock Hell review here: http://www.metaltalk.net/columns/20101732.php
”Praying Mantis are a band who are going from strength to strength. In fact they are better now than they have ever been in their career. I thought that their brand of harmonic melodic rock might be too much for most sozzled minds on this graveyard shift but Praying Mantis soon captured everyone’s imagination as they gave a very well crafted and polished set.
‘Children Of The Earth’ and ‘Time Slipping Away’ have a renewed freshness about them. Vocalist Mike Freeland has brought an AOR vibe to the band and his creamy voice just melts on ‘Restless Heart’ and ‘Turn The Tide’ from the return to form ‘Sanctuary’ album. An exquisite set from the elders of melodic rock.”
”The Friday is when the majority of Hard Rock Hell punters turn up. There was plenty of young blood playing in the Queen Victoria pub from midday onwards but my head felt like Enola Gay had just dropped a bomb on it. I staggered into the canteen area to fill myself up with an English breakfast and soak up the alcoholic juices from the night before. Perfect for my hangover blues were Praying Mantis who were doing an acoustic set in the canteen.
I was surprised to see them up as they were partying hard themselves the night before into the early hours. The acoustic Mantis were exactly what I needed to start the day although Therapy? were soundchecking in the adjacent hall, so full credit to Mike Freeland who stopped ‘Dream On’ halfway through until the Irish boys had finished. Superb.
The canteen remained full for Bonafide’s acoustic set. More of them later. Whilst in the canteen it was good to chat to artist Rodney Matthews who had a stall here selling his works of art, including album covers of bands here this weekend including Praying Mantis, Tygers Of Pang Tang and Magnum. A real gent.”