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At the end of August Decibel Geek website editor Rich “The Meister” Dillon will once again be on the move. The intrepid Canadian, who seems to attend every worldwide festival is this time off to the UK. Along with making appearances at not one, but two rock festivals our hero will also be “stalking” one of his favorite bands. While The Meister calls it going on tour with the band…it’s really nothing more than stalking them through the UK on their first time on the continent of Europe. Being the co-host of the Decibel Geek inspired newly launched CGCM Podcast (Canadian Geeks Chatting Metal), The Meister and co-host Wallygator even dedicated a whole episode to the Hair Metal Heaven Festival. CGCM Podcast EP#9-Hair Metal Heaven
The adventure begins with what promises to be an absolute highlight and the initial reason for the trek overseas. The Hair Metal Heaven Festival in Hull, UK. The Hair Metal Heaven Festival, in its first year, boasts an incredible roster of bands embodying that “Hair Metal” sound. Many bands and even fans of the genre dislike the term “Hair Metal”. But it is a common and recognizable description of that 80s era.
As the festival came together with each new roster poster showing the latest band addition, The Meister knew that he’d made the right call to buy his three day VIP ticket early on. All it took to incite the purchase was seeing Diemonds‘ name appear in the poster. The Toronto, Ontario, Canada band is a top fave for The Meister. Seeing them in their first ever appearance in the UK could not be missed. And besides, he’d already set precedent by flying to Tokyo, Japan for a total of three and a half days to see them (Meister and Diemonds in Japan).
HAIR METAL HEAVEN FESTIVAL
Hair Metal Heaven, presented by Rocket Ride Entertainment, will feature bands like, TNT, Hardline, Danger Danger, and Treat. While some of the larger names are fantastic, for The Meister it’s often the smaller or lower tier bands that draw him the most. Partly being as he’s already seen Hardline three times, TNT three times (with both Mills and Harnell), Danger Danger (more times than countable with a variety of lineups including the complete original) and Treat (once only for these awesome rockers). Bands like Crazy Lixx, Shiraz Lane, Eclipse, NiteRain, Reckless Love, Wildside, D-A-D, and Shark Island are more “Meister style”.
Of course, as is bound to happen here and there during the planning of an event of this scale there have been a couple of roster casualties. While not a big deal for The Meister, the bands Circus of Power and Smashed Gladys no longer appear for whatever the reasons. This is always something that can happen to a festival. As disappointing as it may be to fans of those outfits, there’s still more than enough great hard rockin’ hair metal on this bill. Check out a few of The Meister‘s top targets for the event below.
Nearing a sell-out, you should grab your tickets now through this link: TICKETS
After Hair Metal Heaven, it’s full on Diemonds stalking for The Meister. Hey, he’s a true fan, not just a weird creeper! He owns many Diemonds shirts. All their CDs and some on vinyl, including a test press of Never Wanna Die. He has a Diemonds back patch on his jean jacket. He even has a Diemonds tattoo which displays the band logo in his full sleeve depicting a guitar case “stickered” with the logos of some of his favorite bands! And let’s not forget that he followed them to Tokyo, Japan for three and a half days to support them in their first appearance there. I expect there will be many more “Die-Hards” after their shows.
If you’re nearby any of these shows make a point to get out and support this young Canadian band. And hey…look for The Meister (he should be easy to spot). Buy him a beer and even if you’re feeling generous, give him a place to stay. That’s right folks, as we get down to about 20 days before flying out, the fool has not yet set up any accommodations!
The Meister will be at all of the UK shows. August 29 in Birmingham at Subside Bar. Then, August 30 in Glasgow at Bar Bloc. August 31 in Perth at The Green Room. September 1 in Edinburgh at Bannerman’s Bar. And September 2 in London at Underworld. After that, it’s off to Sheffield UK to catch the last day of the Hard Rock Hell Sleaze Festival before heading back home to Toronto.
DIEMONDS (Toronto, Canada)
Diemonds formed in Toronto in 2006 and have seen a few changes in membership over the years. Remaining constant throughout have been founders C.C. Diemond (guitars) and Priya Panda (vocals). Along on this European tour are long time member Daniel Dekay (guitars) and fairly recent addition, Tyrone Buccione (bass). Behind the kit is the newest player, Kyle, filling in for long time drummer Aiden Tranquada who has a major back injury. The band has issued three recordings: In The Rough (EP 2008), Bad Pack (2012), and Never Wanna Die (2015). The band has supported Steel Panther on their recent Canadian tour. Appeared on the KISS Kruise. And played Rocklahoma Festival as well as shows in Shillong, India and Tokyo, Japan.
PRINCESS PANG (New York, USA/Sweden)
Featuring a mixture of American and Swedish band members, Princess Pang got together in 1985. They issued their one and only album via Metal Blade Records in 1989. The album went largely unnoticed save for some attention garnered by the MTV video for “Trouble In Paradise”. Touring with the likes of Mr. Big and Ace Frehley saw Princess Pang playing to larger audiences but they disbanded in 1990. The Princess Pang membership roster reads: Jeni Foster (vocals), Ronnie Roze Johansson (bass), Andy Tjernon (guitar), Brian Keats (drums), and Jay Lewis (guitar). Wonder if it will be all original members at Hair Metal Heaven?
HOUSE OF LORDS (Connecticut, USA)
Giuffria, formed by Greg Giuffria came to the attention of Gene Simmons in 1987. Simmons wanted the name changed from Giuffria to House of Lords and the vocalist replaced by James Christian. With varying lineups, House of Lords has issued eleven studio albums. The self-titled debut came in 1988 and 1990’s Sahara followed with Shark Island‘s Michael Guy as the new guitarist. 1992’s Demons Down saw only Giuffria and Christian remaining from the original release. A 2000’s reformation saw The Power and the Myth in 2004. 2005 ushered in a ten year long stable lineup featuring Christian, Jimi Bell (guitar), BJ Zampa (drums) and Chris McCarvill (bass). This incarnation spawned World Upside Down (2006), Come To My Kingdom (2008), Cartesian Dreams (2009), Big Money (2011), Precious Metal (2014) and Indestructible (2015). 2017 brought Saint of the Lost Souls featuring Chris Tristram in place of McCarvill.
SHARK ISLAND (Los Angeles, USA)
Beginning life as Sharks in 1979, the moniker change to Shark Island came in 1985. They issued a couple of independent albums, one under each name. The band’s live performances earned them a reputation as one of the hottest bands around the L.A. scene. They were the house band at the world famous Gazzari’s on the Sunset Strip. Yet they struggled to get a record deal. Their only official album, Law Of The Order, surfaced in 1989 and they had two songs on the Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure film soundtrack. A revolving door of membership saw founders Richard Black (vocals) and Spencer Sercombe (guitars) joined by Chris Heilmann (bass) and Greg Ellis (drums) for Law Of The Order. 2005 saw a reuniting of Black, Sercombe, and Heilmann for the Gathering Of The Faithful album in 2006/7. Drums on this release were handled by Glen Sobel.
CRAZY LIXX (Malmö, Sweden)
Influenced by a whole host of 80s era bands, Crazy Lixx started up in 2002. The band has delivered five albums to date, Loud Minority (2007), New Religion (2010), Riot Avenue (2012), Crazy Lixx (2014) and Ruff Justice (2017). In 2015 Crazy Lixx suffered a near band ending blow. Both guitarists, Edd Liam and Andy Zäta, the latter of which was the main songwriter departed Crazy Lixx. Founders Danny Rexon (vocals) and Joél Cirera (drums) along with long time bassist Jens Sjöholm opened up the positions allowing anyone to apply. Guitarists Chrisse Olsson and Jens Lundgren were awarded the positions and introduced via the music video for “All Looks, No Hooks”.
Please join The Meister for these and many more awesome bands at the inaugural Hair Metal Heaven Festival in Hull UK. You can always stalk him stalking Diemonds too if that’s your thing!