Rock the Coast Festival
13th,14th 15th June 2019 Fuengirola
Sun, Sea, Beer and an amazing venue overlooking the Med with temperatures hitting 21 plus Celsius the gathered masses were in for a three day treat at this debut festival on the Costa Del Sol with an international line up of Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Death Metal and more this was THE festival to be at while Download in the UK soaked every one through to the skin here in Fuengirola we were basking in the sun and partying into the early hours.
With amazing Metal markets, reasonably priced drinks and appetising food we were all set for a first night which was a Welcome to the festival show staged in the atmospheric and awe inspiring Sohail Castle in the evening with Wardruna playing an impressive spine tingling folk induced mesmerizing performance of Nordic delights that had everyone drinking , singing and buzzing. If this was a sign of things to come well appetites were well and truly whetted by these Vikings of the North.
So, with two main stages and the Castle as a third stage we all knew we were in for a magical two days and man Friday did not disappoint at all.
With Bands playing on the two main stages side by side, and with military precision each show worked from some of the world’s finest and iconic Bands and up and coming Bands gracing the Castle stage this was a full-on Hard rocking Metal Meltdown of massive proportions.
Folk Pagan Metallers Arkona opened events on the Main stage and soon had everyone showing their horns and banging their heads in pure enjoyment for what was to follow.
Next we had Blaze Bayley playing songs from his time in Iron Maiden with the backing of support of UK Metallers Absolva they played one hell of a set that saw the massed crowd singing along and saluting this hero of Metal in no time, with “Man on The Edge” “The Clansman” “Futureal” and more entertaining the Metal congregation it was a superb show.
It was time to walk up to the Castle and watch Broken Horizon who were awesome with their neck snappingly impressive set. Then back down the hill and time to grab some food, sit in the stand catch some rays as we had a Beer and watched Graveyard, Leo Jimenez and Wintersun continue to entertain and have the crowd in its grip. The time came to get into the photo pit and catch the amazing UDO, hell they were
Intense and face meltingly magnificent as they opened with “Tongue reaper” and nearly had me dropping my camera as “24-7” saw us all singing and raising our fists in salute! This was a great set of seven songs by a true Metal legend still giving it all as “Independence Day” and other great songs from his solo career had the throng in his grip signing off with “They want war” there is simply no stopping UDO!
It was a quick move to the next stage as the beautiful Tarja set out her stall and had everyone enthused as she played “500 Letters” “Calling from the wild” and more this was a breath-taking set. Meanwhile up at the castle Absolva were playing their second show of the day having supported Blaze Bayley earlier in the day.
This was my second time catching UFO this year and boy did they entertain setting one of the highlights so far with “Only You Can Rock Me” “Too Hot To Handle” and of course “Doctor Doctor” being personal favourites from these veterans as thy gave 100 % in the Andalusian heat.
Now I really wanted to catch Aborted who were playing the Castle, but.. The Scorpions were due on the Main stage, it was tough choice, having last seen The Scorpions at Knebworth in the eighties, I really couldn’t not be here to watch them and the opportunity of being in the photo pit was to much, playing many fan favourites like “Still in Love with you” "Rock you like a hurricane” I really wasn’t that blown away, with them, I guess the memories of Knebworth will live longer in my memory than their show in Spain.
Now I had seen Europe twice and this my third time they were phenomenal!! By now everyone was full of Beer and merriment , dancing and singing abound as we all became one as these Swedes ran through 15 songs, highlights were “Rock The Night” “Last Look at Eden” “Superstitious” with an amazing snippet of Whitesnake s “Here I go again” giving me goose bumps and “Carrie”. Everybody was having an absolute hell of a time this was a surreal set and left their mark on this festival and of course finishing with the “Final Countdown”.
Extreme Metallers Carcass brought things to a close, they were as ever intense and blood curding ling insane bringing the day to a close with classics such as “This Mortal Coil” “Genital Grinder” and the magnificent “Carneous Cacoffiny”.
Saturday was hotter than the day before and it would have to be something special to top the previous days shenanigans.
Freedom Call opened the main stage while I went back to the castle to watch Spanish Metallers Chaos Before Gea, fuck me they were heavy as hell and immense. Make sure you check out their interview with them here.
Von Hertzen Brothers were next up on the main stage and were very good, then the visually incredible Jinjer made an appearance sadly I missed most of the set and didn’t make it into the photo pit as I was engaged elsewhere..lets just say, When in Spain use factor 50 sun cream!! I did manage to catch “Pisces” ”Perennial” “Sit stay Rollover” to say the beautiful and talented Tatiana Shmailyuk had everyone eating outta her hand is an understatement! Such talent, Vocals and a true goddess!
Spanish old school Metallers Angelus Apatrida were up next on the main stage and had mosh pits exploding and necks strained as “Sharpen the guillotine” “One of us” “Downfall of a nation” and a Cover of Slayers “The Anti-Christ” really ignited everyone and made a hot day even fucking hotter! As set closer “You are next” saw more circle pits and head banging explode. I then went backstage to interview these Spanish Thrash Metal veterans, while Dark Tranquillity laid waste to Spain on the second stage, Hypno5e I hear were outta this world on the castle stage, check out our interview with them here. Having bumped into Magnum backstage I managed to catch their last few songs, still looking good and sounding amazing I particularly enjoyed “Don’t Wake The Lion”.
Hmm Opeth in glorious sunshine, didn’t really work for me, they were of course a treat for their hard-core fans, don’t really float my boat, “Cusp of eternity” “The Drapery Falls” plus “Deliverance” had their following in Progressive Metal ecstasy.
Rainbow were to follow and oh my god it was great but a bit spoiled as I had to go an interview a certain Michael Monroe half way through their set.. But yeah, I was in the pit and got to bounce and sing a long to “Spotlight Kid” “I Surrender” and “Mistreated” as I made my way back stage they played my ultimate Rainbow song “Man on the Silver Mountain” and am sure RJD would have been smiling down as Ronnie Romero did the song justice. To be sat backstage with such an icon as Michael while Rainbow played “Perfect Strangers” “All Night Long” and a few others while we chatted, was totally epic to be talking with Mr. Monroe speaking about these songs as well as doing the interview. I finished the meeting to catch them finishing with “Smoke on the water”, the crowd was in simple ecstasy! I went and grabbed a beer and quickly my way up the hill to catch Twelve Foot Ninja from the land down under. Wow all I can say! They should o been on the main stage while those jokers The Darkness entertained (sic) down the hill.
After those cool Aussies had finished their performance, I was unfortunate enough to catch the last songs of The Darkness. As you can tell am not and never was a fan!! Back to Twelve Foot Ninja we will be catching these guys again and an interview should be forth coming soon! So Michael Monroe was up next this wasn’t easy for me the last time I saw him I was with my soul mate Alison who I sadly lost to Breast Cancer, she loved the guy and would have been made up I interviewed him, anyway the guys still a full on hard rocker who has more energy than a teenager as he ripped through “One man gang” “Nothings Alright” “Dont You Ever Leave Me” “Hammersmith Palais” “Up and Around the Bend” and more it was a pure master class in sleaze, punk, rock and roll with the multi talented changing many a hat and showing his many musical skills including the saxophone his show left many fans wanting more and more as “Dead Jail or Rock n roll” finished proceedings.
Finally, we had Black Metal Band Mayhem finishing this festival with a set of deviousness and satanic verse they were spell blinding, even if you aint into this genre of Metal.
So final verdict on this Debut Festival…. FUCKING AMAZING! Loved every minute of it, the Bands the people, the prices food even the toilets! everything. The UK Festivals can and should learn from our European cousins, this is how to do a Festival. Not to rip off fans with extortanite prices see Download, Bloodstock etc. Here we had clean facilities, decent priced food and drink, beautiful people, what more can you ask for.
LETS DO THIS AGAIN IN 2020
Some Bands I would love to see grace the stages next year:
Whitesnake, Arch Enemy, Testament, The Agonist, Trivium, Delain, Kissin Dynamite, Kreator, Amorphis, Evergrey, Mythra, Kilmara,
Krysthla, Lordi, Malacoda,High Flyer, Eleine, The Crown, Powerwolf, Annisokay, Amon Amarth, Battlebeast, Rotting Christ, Behemoth, Cold Snap, Death Angel, Fireland, Manimal, Manes,Stormzone,
to name but a few…
So finally.. Thanks to Simon for making this all possible.. The Beautiful Spanish Girls, Security, and everyone with Rock The Coast Festival..
Like I said make sure you use factor 50 in Spain!!
This Review is dedicated to my Best friend and Soul mate Alison Sarah Caswell, I know you were with me in spirit and singing along with me while some of our fave Bands were playing…I miss you.. I will see you Again ....I love you SO MUCH and miss you 24/7 R.I.P …FUCK CANCER!