Part one – Hard Rock Hell – Prestatyn
Imagine the pressure and the pain . . . Our plucky high-rollin’ heroes are up in North Wales, Prestatyn to be exact, for the Hard Rock Hell III – for the gig of their lives. They arrive early morning to find that the official 4WD T-shirt is proudly displayed in the Merch shop alongside shirts for New York Dolls, Monster Magnet & W.A.S.P. and their concrete barrack-style ‘chalet’ is laden with gallons of booze . . . it is rock n’ roll time and they are here to play a vast crowd on an immense stage at the biggest winterfest in the known universe. They are chosen ones and this is their moment.
On the official running order for the event the boys are shown on LAST on the Total Rock Radio big stage at 01:45am after ten more bands (on that stage) and after a heavy metal party that started the PREVIOUS AFTERNOON at 5pm. So the stakes are high and the slots are tight….
During the day the boys wait patiently, gently floating on a sea of anticipation, excitement and nervous anticipation …. They don’t dare drink any of the moonshine in their Spartan chalet – or get involved in any fist fights or other harmful shenanigans because they need to preserve every inch of their energetic verve and spirit for their big moment yet to come.
Around Midnight the Staines’s favourite live band start to prepare religiously for their big show. They even miss seeing Monster Magnet and Sonata Arctica whilst they get ‘into the zone.’
Meanwhile the Total Rock Radio stage is being prepared for West Country southern-rock lads Tribal Law. Soon enough these fun loving lads are bringing the burgeoning crowd to an effervescent climax with their zingy, zippy mix of twanging guitars and growling bass lines. It is all going so well that the Tribal Law lead guitarist (the Apache Koe Naiche) suggests to the lead vocalist and front-man Danny Adams that they do one more song. The crowd is by now in a state of frenzy and is hollering for more. Danny doesn’t think so. “Stay around for the next band” he yells to the over excited crowd of rock fans “The next band is Four Wheel Drive and they are gonna blow your mind”. The crowd erupts in cheers and applause.
Back stage the 4WD team are making their final adjustments to hair and instruments. A whole day of patient preparation and grooming is about to pay dividends. The Tribal Law lead guitar kisses his turquoise feathers and says to the crowd and his band-mates “Just one more….” Danny agrees, but with some reluctance. They start their final number, a blistering, searing bluesy finale. The crowd is going berserk.
On the final note, of the final chord, of that very final song I watch in horror as Danny, the Tribal Law lead singer suddenly and without any warning, keels over backwards onto the drum stage. He is a big lad and he goes down hard onto the cruel stage-floor. The crowd gasp. The band chingles to a halt and band-mates Koe, Frazor Clubb and Jaymz Perry stare at the scene in disbelief. A stage manager runs over to Danny who is now laying stationary on the stage floor his head at a nasty angle against the fierce metal edge of the drum stage. I hear several members of the crowd saying “Oh God.”
“Get a medic, dial 999” shouts the stage manager to the security. Danny is out cold and we fear the worse. He must have suffered severe concussion at a minimum – worse probably – possible life threatening injuries. Paramedics are called but they won’t take the risk of moving him… possible neck or spinal injuries. For a few agonising moments we think we have lost him.
He requires CPR and fast. This is becoming a nightmare.
The consequences of all this are that, by now, our West London Heroes 4WD are now on stage attempting to do a sound check whilst the paramedics are working on Danny. It looks grim. Then the security decides to empty the arena. Punters are moved slowly out. And they are in a solemn mood. Now all signs of fun and joy have been dashed. We wait in the big corridors outside the venue for about twenty minutes. By now Four Wheel Drive should be playing their hearts out to this big crowd. Instead we are all waiting here in an eery silence. Another few minutes pass and a supervisor comes out to tell us the news. The evening is over. The party is a no-no. Four Wheel Drive are cancelled. The venue is closed. We are all told to go home. “How is the boy who fell over?” Someone asks. “I dunno”. Says the supervisor as he scurries off. Shhhh…..iiiitt!
Visit here SOON for PART TWO of this story ….
If you cannot wait for Part 2 and you wanna read the review of Four Wheel Drive’s senstational show at Sticky Fungus Staines in the meantime, click here >>>