A nice easy way to ease into a Sunday is by seeing Hi-On Maiden take us through the Iron Maiden’s setlist. What hangover? The only tribute band who have got Iron Maiden’s approval are once again a huge hit at Leg-ends with Steve Harris’s nephew, Joe Lazarus, on drums and my mate John Oakley as Eddie. Scream for me Great Yarmouth!
Legends Of Rock 2023, Great Yarmouth
Words: Sara Harding
Photography: Sally Newhouse
Pearl Handled Revolver are next on the line-up. Think The Doors, early Led Zep and Deep Purple with phenomenal keyboards and a drummer’s chest rug that is unrivalled. This band are a tour de force of deep, heavy psychedelic rock. The setlist is an aural journey with epic 12-bar middles into mega jam riffs into total crescendos.
Nearly everyone in the crowd is wearing the T-shirt, which thrills singer Lee Vernon who says how proud he is to see their merch out there. He then swaggers and sways into their latest song, Guilding The Lily.
Vernon continues, “we are enjoying ourselves so much. Shall we lock ourselves in and play all night?” But all good things must come to an end and that was one seriously deep musical trip.
Legends veteran and the man who plays in so many of the bands at this festival takes to the stage with his originals band, Matt Pearce & The Mutiny. With up to seven members on stage, Matt et al. deliver a full blues rock experience to a packed V Lounge.
Playing a stellar set list from their No. 1 album Gotta Get Home, and the more recent The Soul Food Store, this is the perfect Sunday Church of Chicken comfort music.
Keeping the crowds entertained were some more of the Great British tribute acts courtesy of Ian Dury, CCR and the Sex Pistols.
As a lover of all things Metal and grunge, we were excited to see former Voodoo Six new incarnation, Bloody Grungers. One of our absolute highlights as they let rip into all the greatest Metal anthems from Bodies to Man In The Box to Duality. Who doesn’t love a bit of Slipknot on a Sunday afternoon? The dance floor was absolutely packed for this act, and I bloody hope they are on again next year as we need to celebrate an incredible yet sometimes overlooked music era.
Two rock legends, John Verity (Argent) and Del Bromham (Stray), join together to play us the music they love as well as their own compositions. Verity started out in the late ’60s supporting huge names like Jimi Hendrix, Canned Heat and Janis Joplin, then joined Argent in the ’70s. Del formed Stray, recording and performing constantly.
Broham’s guitar chops are off the hook, and as Verity breaks into Cocaine, we all laugh as the furthest thing from our minds is a class A drugs as we all get out our Vicks inhalers and snort them.
Steve Winwood’s Find My Way Home showcases Bromham’s sublime vocals, followed by God Gave Rock And Roll To You. Then it’s time for a bit of Whitesnake ‘Anal Love In The Heart Of The City’ – well, that’s what we sing anyway!
Then out comes the Vocoder from Rocky Mountain Way. Verity actually played at Woodstock and treated us to the Hendrix Star Spangled Banner straight into the British national anthem. Boy, this legend can shred.
It’s with great excitement and a huge roar of the crowd as rock legend Spike, the founder and frontman of the Quireboys, steps onto the stage as part of this stellar Sunday line-up, playing with special guest star Chris Heilmann.
Spike is a natural raconteur and took us through some incredible Quireboys back catalogue mixed with some of the funniest and most rock ‘n’ roll anecdotes. It’s that time of the evening when the drinks flow, and we all sit back and enjoy the gravel tones of this party-loving legend.
Once again, two huge tribute acts, Aerosmith Rocks and Bon Giovi, are the penultimate bands to deliver absolute-class performances. Danny Deane gives us the best snake-hipped, huge-lipped Steven Tyler.
Even though I’m a huge fan of Jon Bon Jovi’s teeth, I’ve never been a big fan of the Jovi, but we all really enjoyed this group as well. All danced and sang along at the top of our voices. Absolute class, and it’s just so amazing to hear all these absolute epic rock anthems being played live and often better than the originals.
Legend of AOR Jimi Anderson, as always, finishes Sunday’s late-night jam, and despite four days of band watching, drinking and partying, it’s with tears of joy we all sing along to the Leg-ends anthem “I get by with a little help from my friends”.
A fitting tribute to those we have lost this year. And so to next year – we’ve already booked our super lodge and are detoxing our livers for next year, which I’m sure will sell out once again.
It was amazing to see so many new friends come to the event for the first time, and they now all ask, “why didn’t we come before?”
Get your tickets now at www.classicrocktours.com for next year’s Legends, which kicks off on 29 February 2024.
This review is dedicated to Legends of Rock friends who sadly passed away this year – Richard Storer, Carmel Walsh and Sinclair Friedland.
A huge MetalTalk thank you to The Bastards.
Keep up to date with our Legends Of Rock 2023 coverage by using this link: https://www.metaltalk.net/tag/legends-of-rock-2023.
You can find a nice selection of film from the event by PunkRockSal on YouTube.