The Über Rockin’ Guide To… HRH Sleaze Print
Written by Mark Ashby   
Sunday, 27 August 2017 05:00

The latest addition to the growing roster of Hard Rock Hell indoor/residential festival weekends, HRH Sleaze does exactly what it says on the poster, drawing together a collection of legendary proponents of the dirtier end of the rock ‘n’ roll spectrum, as well as some of the finest young talents endeavouring to follow in their footsteps and become the next big (hair) sensation…


HRH Sleaze poster


Taking place at the Sheffield Academy over the first weekend in September – hang on a fuckin’ rock ‘n’ rollin’ second, that’s NEXT weekend - this year’s inaugural event features a truly mouth-watering menu of acts, and is bound to ensure that hairspray sales in the steel town will go through the ceiling. So, what can we expect, musically that is? Well, settle back and start your preening, ‘cos here is our guide to the bands we’re most looking forward to seeing/hearing (as well as where we’re gonna be bringin’ the party when the music has stopped):


Bai Bang


One of the “new generation” of Noughties Scandinavian sleaze bands who took what was largely a dying genre, grabbed it by the balls and dragged it, not necessarily kicking and screaming, into the 21st century. While Bai Bang may not have the profile of contemporaries such as Eclipse, H.E.A.T, Crazy Lixx or even Reckless Love, they nevertheless have a deserved reputation for getting down ‘n’ dirty with their high energy live shows, and will surely be one of those sets that you miss at your peril…


Crazy Lixx


Like their fellow Swedes BB, Crazy Lixx have been very much at the forefront of the Scandinavian glunk/sleaze revival, bring the wild-eyed spirit of the likes of Hanoi Rocks to a new generation of rock fans, while also winning over many of those old enough to be part of the scene first time around. They’ve always added a more power pop/punky edge to their sound, slathering plenty of dirt on the sheen of squeaky clean veneer that often makes too many bands in this genre sound overly polished. Add in a collection of irresistibly catchy songs, and, if you haven’t seen the Lixx live before, you’re gonna be hooked from the first second to the last, I guarantee.




Devilfire are the band who “didn’t play” HRH AOR this past March: despite delivering one of the sets of the weekend, their name didn’t appear on any posters or T-shirts – as they were forced to change their name at short notice (check out our interview explaining why). However, now the Tarja-approved Birmingham quintet have their right name right there in nice big letters, and, with a wonderful (believe us, we’ve heard it) new album, ‘Dark Intentions’, due in October, are ready to ignite proceedings with the focussed talents of frontman Alex Cooper and their brand of feisty metal-tinged hard rock.


Faster Pussycat


If there’s one band that epitomizes the spirit of the LA glam/sleaze metal of the late Eighties as much as anybody else, it is Faster Pussycat, the band that wrote their ‘phone numbers on a million bathroom walls and then wrote a song about it – and one the chorus of which still sticks in your brain almost 30 years later. Despite the inevitable post-grunge hiatus, and a temporary diversion into a more industrial-sounding cul-de-sac, Taime Downe is still walking the walk – or should that be strutting the strut – and talking the talk… after all, at the end of the night, it’s all about ‘Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll’, isn’t it?


New Generation Superstars


New Generation Superstars may sound like the latest clichéd figment of fervid imaginations of the writers over at the WWE, but they are in fact – as many long-time Über Rock readers will know – a bunch of rock ‘n’ brawlers who have been kicking up dust for the past decade or so… a time during which they have slowly clawed and kicked their way to the top of the pile of contenders to be crowned the kings of punk ‘n’ roll. Back in March, I raved about their new album, ‘King Of The World’, declaring that it would “see them consolidate their position as one of the most exciting bands on the Über circuit at the moment”: their performance next weekend should go a long way towards re-affirming that assertion.




Another band who have played a massive part in the Scandi-sleaze revival, Sister are much heavier than the majority of their contemporaries – so much so that their debut EP ‘Deadboys Making Noise’, attracted the attention of none other than Alan ‘Nemtheanga’ Averill from Irish black metallers Primordial, who immediately signed them to Metal Blade Records. The result is a sound that is heavy enough for them to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with a good many metal bands (and they have done over the years), but retaining enough dirt under its painted fingernails to suggest they slept in the gutter last night… and the night before… and…


Spread Eagle


It’s a shame, but Spread Eagle are perhaps not quite as famous as their founder and bassist Rob De Luca: after all, he is well known as the guy who played in both Sebastian Bach’s band and Helmet when the two bands supported Guns N’ Roses on their 2006 North American tour. He’s also, of course, a member of the current incarnation of Brit rock legends UFO… As for Spread Eagle themselves? Well, the self-style NYC “street metallers” issued two notorious albums at the turn of the 1990s, and although they’ve not released anything since (apart from a remastered version of their self-titled debut), De Luca occasionally dusts the project down and takes it out of the cupboard for festivals and short tour runs, such as this.


The Cruel Intentions


Very much one of the “new kids on the bill”, TCI came together when Lizzy DeVine was looking for a new project after the demise of his previous band, Vains Of Jenna. He teamed up with fellow Swede Mats Wernerson (bass), and the pair travelled over the border to Norway to recruit guitarist Nygaard Solhaug and drummer Eiliv Sagrutsen. They bring a slightly gothic touch to the take on Scandi-sleaze, but retain plenty of meat on the bones of a collection of songs that will get you instantly tapping your feet and dancing in your underpants. They’re currenly in pre-production for a new album, so that will give converted fans something to look forward to after the last note has echoed into oblivion….


The Dove And Rainbow


No, not an unknown supergroup making a surprise appearance but a rock bar that is within staggering distance of the venue and which provides the perfect place to relax, discuss the day’s proceedings – and enjoy a fucking good beer (as opposed to the over-priced watered-down piss in the Academy) to boot! It ain’t fancy, but it doesn’t need to be, but the staff are extremely friendly and the craic is ninety. For those who don’t know where it is, turn right when you come out of the venue… or, better still, just follow us! Oh, and you’re paying for the first round…


Tyla’s Dogs D’Amour


As our man Dom Daley will attest elsewhere today, it doesn’t really matter who Tyla J Pallas has in his band, or what the fuck he decides to call it at that particular incarnation of the band at any moment in time, but it has to be admitted that the Dogs have one of THE best back catalogues of sleaze-grinding glunk ‘n’ roll songs in the history of British music – and Tyla still delivers them with the panache and style of a true rock ‘n’f’n’ roll star, right down to the worn down heels of his knackered cowboy boots. So, grab yerself a tipple and prepare to get sweaty with one of the true masters of his craft, mofos.




Just even think about the name Davy Vain anywhere within 100 yards of Mrs A and you have to reach for the smelling salts and a mop – I kid you not! Another of the bands that epitomize the “golden years” of the LA glam/sleaze scene, unlike many of their contemporaries, Vain have continued recording – in fact, their most recent album, ‘Rolling With The Punches’ came out earlier this year and was hailed by our man Ben Hughes as a “magnificent return to form” – and not relied on living on the past glories of a long out-dated back catalogue. With four-fifths of the band’s original line-up still together, this is as close to the real Sunset Strip deal as yer gonna get, so bask in it.


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