HRH Doom Vs Stoner II Sunday Review

Any hopes we had of breaking ourselves gently into HRH Doom Vs Stoner’s second day were soon blown away by the subsonic strains of Bast. How early is too early for bowel shaking bass we wondered? The wall of noise is deafening and we’ve not yet had the required bucketload of coffee that will see us through the day, so while Bast shook the foundations TeamCB headed over the road to a quiet corner of Starbucks for coffee.

We head back into the venue where the not-at-all-gentle Sunday morning is continuing. Unsurprisingly, Serpent Venom play us DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMM! and lots of it.

We were slightly  confused when, after a typically less than sprightly start, we’re told “Gonna slow things down now”. I mean, how is that even slightly possible. After a day and a half it’s all getting a bit, well, repetitive and we could be doing with something a bit different. The stalwarts are right back into the swing of things now, though and the crowd nod their heads attentively.

We do like a bit of Serpent Venom but it’s not quite hitting the sweet spot today.

Well if nothing else Doom is great for blowing away the cobwebs but, well, can we have something a bit more cheerful please ?

Nah, probably not.

 “We are Slabdragger. Hope you like riffs. Cos we’ve got some”. The crowd roar their approval as the Londoners get set to unleash their promised riffs. Gentle? Easy does it? Nope.

The last time we’d met Slabdragger, it was a drunken walk home at Hammerfest after their awesome display of power on the second stage there. They wanted a party, we we wanted tea and toast. Great to see they’re still as ear pounding as ever and, yep, even the lighting situation is a tad better today.

Up high on the balcony/up in the posh seats we watch the arena fill up. Slabdragger do heavy extremely well, pouring passion and angst into the mix and as they’re a three piece you get more bang for your buck. One of the heaviest so far today, and mighty good with it.

“Having a good time. Don’t know about you I’m pretty fucking drunk”. Good to know. Crowd cheers.  Another slow one. Oh, go on then…. wonder what this would sound like, sped up. The thing about doom, is it genuinely lifts your spirits. Cos once you leave a gig, everything else seems rosey. It’s weird. At the time, one sits and contemplates the meaning of life and the likes.

Can’t take young Sam serious without his locks though. Mesmerised, the crowd begin doing the mass head nodding thing. Not quite a headbang but definite synchronised movement. Safe to say, Slabdragger have grabbed us by the short and curlies and, little did we know at the time, heralded an end for the massive DOOOOOOOOM at HRH DvS II.

And now for something completely different.  Team CB are reunited in the second stage where Mr. CB proclaimed “We have found band of the weekend”. It’s a bit hot and sweaty which probably explains why Witch Tripper are all half naked, but musically it’s definitely more our cuppa tea. Bluesy, bare chested and fucking superb!  The band are suffering a bit, “Every time we do this… We get mangled the night before” Rock n Roll lads, thats the stuff!!.

It’s difficult not to like Witch Tripper, the rapport with the crowd is perfect, and they don’t seem to take themselves too seriously. “And now the only song we have a music video for. Even if you don’t like us, turn the volume down. There’s scantily clad women and all” before the band rattle through ‘Chills To The Bone’. Must admit, we lost track of time and never yawned once. Result!! No matter who was on the main stage we weren’t going anywhere.

“We’re not even stoner or doom… Don’t know how we managed it? “… probably because you are fucking ace.

Next up, English doom stoners, Black Moth.

We’ve been pretty blessed on the Black Moth front this year. We’ve already seen them live a couple of times. We saw them up in Leeds supporting Monster Magnet and then again recently at the mighty Bloodstock Festival too. We still want more though… and up here at Doom vs Stoner, they’ve got a good long set to get their teeth into. With a new album in the pipeline, maybe we’ll get a taste of what is to come?

There’s a familiar sight of shiny leather/plastic pants and ripped jeans onstage as Harriet and Federica stick to their trademark stage clobber. We’re a bit disappointed that Jim has opted for a shirt that is a bit less flowery than usual though. The lighting rig is well and truly rid of the red light that we’ve been enjoying so much all weekend too! We’re really getting into the swing of things, but the bloody festivals nearly over…

Coming straight out of the Witch Tripper gig upstairs and into Black Moth is just about the best combo we’ve experienced all weekend, and that includes the fully loaded nachos with jalepenos and hot sauce (ouch). Whilst Witch Tripper had us boogieing away in a pool of our own sweat, the main stage downstairs is just right for kicking back and letting some slightly more restrained doom flow over us whilst we sip on a well-earned beer.

Or two…

‘Looner’ ’Tumbleweave’ ‘Undead King…’; the list of our favourites is being ticked off one by one here as Black Moth reel out the hits. We do however get some of those new tracks that we’re thirsty for too. Consider our appetite for album number three well and truly wetted. Everything sounded like we’re going to approve of the new material. No surprises there then…

Harriet puts out a brief few words for the late great tub thumper Leki towards the end of the set before going into a suitably heavy intro. And we take a little moment to wonder just how good it would have been to have Wet Nuns on this stage. This festival would have been bread and butter for those bluespunkers!

Anyway as it goes, Black Moth fit in perfectly here at Doom vs Stoner and with a new album on the way, we’re hoping we’ll get to see them a few more times in the near future. They really are a bit good.

“Ta very much. This is our new single, Moonbow, we’re having a massive party in Leeds and London. Lots of red wine and coke.” We do hope she means the drink. And with their last song, we are told “This has been fucking great”. One of few bands Team CB caught all of because we wanted to and not because we couldn’t be arsed moving..

Skip we gayly on we go (or maybe not) to the second stage where we’re greeted by the sound of King Goat……oooooooohhhh.. Cloaked and hooded figures, incense burners, feathers and all importantly decipherable lyrics. Wasn’t expecting that. King Goat have a ritualistic quality to their performance with a perfect balance of mystery and despair, both image- and sound-wise. That’s the third band keeping the bandwagon rolling, and again they were playing to a packed out audience!

Nearly done.. it’s time to head through to main stage for The Picture Books. Now, got to be completely honest here. We weren’t familiar at all with these guys so we researched them the day before, just to get a feel for them, and from that extensive research we had a gut feeling that they would be right up our street.

Yup. We can confirm, they were dynamite.

A two piece band that generated enough sound to fill the arena and almost bring the roof down. They have an anthemic quality to them. I could picture them in a massive stadium as easily as going down a treat in the corner of your local pub. Straight up rock’n’roll delivered with sweaty passion.. No Fucks Given. This is a band that is really hard not to like. Hell Philip the percussion monster even played one of those sticks with bottle tops nailed to it things.. I remember those from school, when they were the last resort of the most, erm, rhythmically challenged kids. Never knew the it was a hard rock implement par f’kin excellence.

They are a German two piece (don’t believe the accent), in perfect sync with each other. This is a two piece that have so much power and drive and they had our feet tapping all night! Another vote for Band of the weekend and most definitely a new fave band to look out for again!

Gurt are another band who grace the second stage that could well have been on the Mina Stage. Spot the pink t-shirt! A bit of a rarity at a doomfest! Hell this band are eye-catching enough without the need to come out in high viz.

Gareth prowls the slightly smaller stage than we saw him circling at Bloodstock earlier in the year and if anything, the show becomes more intense for the up close and sweaty nature of the secong stage.

Last stop for Team CB is sadly the Truckfighters as we’ve got a long trip back before work at… eek… 7 o’clock in the morning.

The Swedes are always a highlight at HRH shindigs and although the sound starts of a little to fuzzy, even for a fuzz-fest like this; we soon get on track for some stoner classics.

And then we hit the road…

Overall, Day one left us feeling a bit flat (Steak and ‘Goblin aside). But day 2 was simply superb in our humble opinion. And so HRH Doom Vs Stoner is over for another year and we’re just left to say a massive thank you to all the lovelies behind the scenes for having us. We had a blast!

Chapter 3, the countdown is on.