Here we are on day 2, sadly the beginning of the end of this lovely weekend. Sunday has hit some like a ton of bricks, the academy is not quite full of the lust for life today. Thank the lord for the Bank Holiday tomorrow or there could be tears before bedtime and some of these lovely makeup jobs would be ruined.

I kick off the day over at the second stage with Tremendous. Equal parts power pop to glam rock, easing us into a hungover Sunday afternoon. Our singer/guitarist frontman is clearly a great songwriter, hints of Wreckless Eric and even at times a tiny bit of Paul Westerberg. My criticism is he over extends himself, especially with trying to do lead guitar parts. Expand to a quartet, get some backing vocals in the mix and do these fantastic songs justice!
I head to the main stage to see what all the fuss is about with Confess. Without question these guys know what their audience is after, and that’s definitely a wake up call for Saturday night’s escapades. They effortlessly connect with the crowd and make a clear statement that they are ready to be headliners and ascend the bill. As slick as they are, for me they were lacking in charm to win me over completely.

Back over at the second stage if you want to talk about charm, Mercury Riots have it in spades! It’s gotta be five o’clock somewhere and we’re 51 minutes into drinking time here, a party is about to break out and this band is going to become the talk of the weekend. Bringing a good ole boy spirit and a much sought after Southern Rock swagger meets bar room boogie action, these guys know every trick in the book and use them well. Those who caught this hot act today will certainly spread the word and those who missed out will be bowing their heads.

The buzz I have just experienced sadly doesn’t carry over to the main stage. Electric Boys just aren’t igniting any enthusiasm in Sheffield tonight. They have the tunes and play them well. The audience seems to be willing and waiting to connect, but for whatever reason no one seems to be getting out of second gear.

As the evening goes on we hit what many in the crowd are considering to be the true headliner of the day, Pretty Boy Floyd. They treat us to pretty much the entirety of their 1989 debut, Leather Boyz With Electric Toyz. No one in the audience seems to be complaining one bit. The show is effortless, the only gaff being an overzealous member of the audience trying to have off with frontman, Steve ‘sex’ Summers’ bottle of Jack Daniels. Don’t worry he got it back. The lads of PBF spend the rest of the evening at the merch desk, tirelessly talking to fans, taking photos, giving autographs and selling out of their merch too. Good for them. If the line to meet the Floyd boys is anything to go by, HRH should be booking them as a straight up headliner.

As the stage guys start twanging acoustic guitars in preparation for the final act, it serves as a siren for a lot of today’s punters and causes a mass exodus. Without introduction or fanfare Eric Martin abruptly kicks into his set earlier than scheduled. Mr Big’s frontman is definitely making it seem that he feels out of place on this bill. The first part of the set he is primarily diving into songs headfirst, barely an introduction or a passing comment to the crowd. He eventually warms up to the occasion, makes some fond comments about his and the band’s legacy and actually seems to be enjoying himself by stark comparison to earlier on. Eric even makes a touching dedication to Mr Big’s now deceased drummer, Pat Torpey. Overall I think both Eric and the crowd had reservations about this being featured on the bill, and that is on the promoter more than anything. On paper an acoustic set to finish off a Sunday night looks dire and does not inspire. It wasn’t as bad as anticipated thankfully, by the end when the hits were cracked out (‘to be with you’ & ‘dancin’ with my devils’) there is a genuine feeling of nostalgia in the air and everyone is having a good time.

There we have it, HRH Sleaze V is put to bed for another year. Definitely a fun event if you leave your preconceptions at home and embrace the passion and nostalgia surrounding you. With the bill already announced for next year’s 6th installment things already look like they are going to get ‘naughty, naughty’.

Author: Dan Kasm