A Cringeworthy Performance.
Saturday night was drawing to a close for Hard Rock Hell’s third stage when penultimate band Hammerhead took to the stage. Crowd numbers were depleting as stage one was opening imminently; Hammerhead had a huge task ahead of them to keep the remaining bodies interest.
With grey hair and beer bellies a-plenty, Hammerhead’s members looked more like rebellious civil servants than hardcore rockers. As they kicked off my ears felt as if they were about to explode - it was so loud it was impossible to distinguish any hint of a melody and the vocal performance was drowned out by the instrumental noise. As Hammerhead grew in confidence so the guitarists started throwing in some clichéd rock moves - the audience was saluted with the metal horns, the guitars were held upright during sustained notes; it was like watching your dad and his mates on Rock Band. It was a pretty embarrassing performance, particularly as one of the guitarists played with his tongue hanging out. However, the audience did appear to appreciate this novelty performance and there were plenty of head-bangers in front of the stage.
The best part of this set was without a doubt when the band welcomed a young teenage boy onto the stage as a guest guitarist - this kid used no gimmicks, he didn’t try to be anything he wasn’t - he was purely a talented guitarist and as such, put the rest of the band to shame.
All in all a cringeworthy performance - the timing was sloppy, the sound was terrible, the moves were cheesy; it’s hard to take these guys seriously when professional acts such as Saracen, Dead Against The Rest and Voodoo Johnson had previously taken to that very stage. Their only saving grace was that they were amusing because they were so bad - not the kind of entertainment you expect from a professional festival.