Thunder, Michael Monroe, Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown, King King, Son of Man, Bad Touch, Mollie Marriott and more make it a final day to remember.
Departed © Saskia Dugon
On the back of their prestigious slots supporting Michael Schenker, Devon quartet Departed get Stage 2 off to a thunderous start. The band were on fine form blasting out tunes like ‘Pretty Little Thing’ and singer Mark Pascall even found time for a nice bit of tongue-in-cheek self-deprecation saying - “Who has seen us before? Are we improving? No?! We may as well go home!”. Ending with a “come on, come on” singalong, it was a perfect opening set.
deVience © Darren Griffiths
London based rock n’ rollers deVience brought an incredible amount of energy to the stage. Frontman Giovanni Spano – who resembles a beefed-up eighties Axl Rose – is an all-consuming presence, thrusting around the stage in his ‘Rock and Roll Made Me Do It’ vest as the band power through songs like ‘Living The Dream’ and a decidedly ‘My Sharona’-esque banger.
Kane'd © Darren Griffiths
Fronted by sisters Steph, Stacey and Chez Kane, Welsh septet Kane’d played a scorching set with the siblings sharing vocal duties. Taking any naysayers head on, they told the audience before launching into the abrasive ‘F*** You’: “Write a good review, write a bad review, we don’t care, so long as we’re up here we’re enjoying ourselves!” Similarly uncompromising, the spiky ‘I Won’t Bite’ also packed a punch.
Piston © Saskia Dugon
Piston played an impassioned set of bluesy, southern flavoured rock that boasted meaty riffs and gritty, almost young Joe Cocker-esque vocals from Rob Angelico. Pointing at his ‘peace sign’ t-shirt, Rob told the crowd “I’m promoting peace today”, to which an audience member responded: “I’m promoting beer!” The band then played a ‘Proud Mary’ cover (the second of the weekend) and the emphatic closer ‘Misery’.
Mason Hill © Saskia Dugon
Fresh-faced Glasgow boys Mason Hill were nothing short of a triumph. Completely packing out the room, they served up a rock and roll storm from the offset with anthems like ‘Now You See Me’ before showing off another side of their art with powerful closer ‘Where I Belong’ that delved into rock ballad territory. In fact, the Planet Rockstock faithful were so won over we’ve been inundated with requests for Mason Hill to be bumped up the bill in 2018.
Mollie Marriott © Saskia Dugon
Bringing the second stage to a close for 2017 (Xander and the Peace Pirates sadly had to pull out due to illness) was the sublime Mollie Marriott. Having recently wrapped up her Planet Rock Live tour with Bad Touch, Mollie wowed with her incredibly soulful dulcet tones on songs like ‘King of Hearts’ and ‘Control’. The standout moment came when Mollie performed a cover of ‘I Should Have Known It’ in tribute to the late-great Tom Petty.
Bad Touch © Darren Griffiths
Opening the Main Stage with an energetic and exuberant performance were Norfolk’s prodigal sons Bad Touch. Belting out gems like ‘Good On Me (Jeans Song)’, the band are a potent live force with big haired and handle-bar-moustached singer Stevie Westwood a fine frontman. Humbled by the experience, Stevie told the crowd at one point: “We’re just five boys from Norfolk, it’s amazing to stand here in front of you. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.” The set peaked with a brilliant rendition of 99% (with its Deep Purple ‘Smoke on the Water’ teased intro) and their outstanding cover of Ike and Tina Turner’s ‘Baby Get It On’ with touring buddie Mollie Marriott.
Son of Man © Darren Griffiths
Next up on the eclectic bill were intergenerational Welsh rockers Son of Man. Featuring two former members of pioneering Welsh progressive rock band Man – guitarist George Jones (son of co-founding Man member Micky Jones) and drummer Bob Richards - the room duly erupted into cheers when George said “We are derived from the Welsh band Man featuring my dad and the late-great Deke Leonard.” The band delivered a solid set of classic rock that dipped into material from Son of Man’s self-titled debut album like the excellent ‘A Glimpse of You’ and a spattering of Man originals.
Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown © Saskia Dugon
Having opened up for AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, Aersosmith and ZZ Top over the past 18 months, Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown categorically proved what all the fuss was about with a stonking set of high-octane blues rock. Leaping 10ft from the drum kit in his cuban heeled boots, inspiring “woah-oh-oh” singalongs and lighting up the room with his infectious smile, Tyler is a true showman, however his band mates are also a commanding presence; especially Caleb Crosby who smashed his drum Animal-style at the front of the stage during a gloriously funky 'Lipstick Wonder Woman’.
King King © Darren Griffiths
“I’m suffering from a terrible cold let me tell you. I need my mammy,” jokes a kilted Alan Nimmo shortly after King King take to the stage. Despite his ailment, the Scottish quartet played an accomplished set of top-notch blues rock peppered with towering tunes like ‘Long Time Running’, ‘More Than I Can Take’ and ‘A Long History of Love’. Devoid of gimmicks, King King are instead a band that ooze class and musical proficiency and couldn’t be more different from the next act…
Michael Monroe © Saskia Dugon
After a Metallica-esque intro of Western movie music, the wide-eyed Michael Monroe was a thunderbolt of energy from the moment he literally jumped onto stage; lassoing his microphone around, climbing and faux falling asleep on speaker stacks, standing on the crowd barrier, throwing water into the audience and prowling every last inch of the boards. Also suffering a cold that left him struggling to hit some notes, like the consummate pro he is, Michael battled on and blitzed through punk-glam stompers like ‘Got Blood?’, ‘78’, ‘Old King’s Road’ and an inspired interpretation of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s ‘Up Around The Bend’ that was met with a voluminous singalong.
Thunder © Saskia Dugon
Ensuring that Planet Rockstock 2017 went out on a high were a band that need very little introduction; the mighty Thunder. Boldly entering to the sounds of AC/DC’s ‘Thunderstruck’ reverberating out of the speakers, the London rock icons kicked off with an emphatic rendition of ‘Wonder Days’ before dispatching anthems ‘River of Pain’, ‘Resurrection Day’ and ‘Higher Ground.’
Just when we thought they couldn’t up the ante, our very own Danny Bowes told the audience; “Up until now it’s just been a rehearsal, your challenge is to make sure this is the finest Planet Rockstock send-off there’s ever been!” True masters of fan interaction, Thunder essentially recruited the Planet Rockstock faithful as their sixth band member who joined them for euphoric sing-alongs to tracks like ‘Serpentine’ (to which Danny asked the crowd “put your hands up if you like sex”), ‘Love Walked In’ and the closing ‘Dirty Love’.
A thrilling end to an incredible weekend, really Planet Rockstock 2018 can’t come soon enough!