There is something so special about a festival in the sun but who would have thought that Maidstone, Kent would have been the place to be this weekend? The Ramblin Man Fair came to the wonderful Mote Park to showcase some of the finest bands in the rock/classic rock genre all whilst providing the fans some great food and drink in the process.
It only felt right that the Saturday kick starts the festival with a bang and some crazy weather reaching a scorching 30 degrees at one point. What were pasty white bodies entering the festival soon became a magnificent lobster pink as the day ran on and the sun continued to beat down relentlessly. But who cares right? We have beer, we have bourbon tasting, we have some awesome food in the form of BBQ, Argentinian mean grills, Mexican and Pies and most importantly, we have bands! Lots and lots of bands! The only downside to this though is that most of the time as we were witnessing one band do its thing on stage, we definitely felt like we were missing something else just as good on another stage. And of course if you were those taking shelter under a tree from the sun for a moment, you were missing all the bands at that point in time.
For those willing to getting sun burnt, UK lads Inglorious were the ones to kick things off on the main stage on Saturday with their confidently executed hard rock. It’s the point in the day where you have just got your first or second beer and watching a band that does a great job at feeling like you’re watching the soundtrack to your summer. Could life get any better?
The answer to the aforementioned question is, yes. Life can continue to feel like its getting better and it will do as the day goes on, as more of the festivals fine ale selection is consumed and as more of these fine bands continue to do their thing. Next up, The Dead Daises who have some serious momentum going on
in the UK at the moment which is backed up by what appears to be the biggest crowd of the day who participate in massive sing-a-longs and with waving hands in unison, its easy to see just how much the fans are enjoying the set by the Aussies who are probably coping quite well in this weather.
At this point in the day, its clear that the majority of people are in the festival area now and there is a great atmosphere. It really does feel like one of the most chilled out and relaxed festivals we have been too. And now its time to go back in time and enjoy Bradford’s very own Terrorvision who kicks things off with ‘Alice What’s The Matter’ and boy can you tell there are some Terrorvision fans around because those intro lyrics are being sung loudly! From start to finish, it’s a high energy performance that does well to keep the interest of everyone especially with frontman Tony Wright rocking out on stage as if his life depended on it. That in itself is great to watch.
Being a band that has to follow Terrorvision on stage would be a daunting task for anyone and pulling the short straw here is Ginger Wildheart. They may not be the most energetic band on stage we have seen today especially considering Terrorvision’s effort, but as they say, music speaks louder than words specially with the huge crowds singing a long to Gingers anthem tunes which you can see with the big smile on his face he is loving every second of it. Great music and an even better performance by someone with a rich history in the world of rock and roll.
Its cooling down now which is a good thing. The bad thing however is that we have reached a point in the day where we are seeing the final few bands hit the stage thus concluding the first day of the festival. As they say, time flies when you are having fun and what fun it has been! It almost feels like an entirely different festival as the sun gets lower and the masses fill the arena area ready for Europe to take to the stage. Make no mistake, when they do hit the stage, there are definitely some die hards in the masses mouthing every single word to songs we casual fans didn’t even know existed and whilst its clear by those diehards that Europe are putting on one hell of a show for them, everyone else explodes into a frenzy as usual when THAT song is played. You know the one. Don’t make us name it…Oh go on then. The Final Countdown really does a ridiculously good job and feeding the crowd. Regardless of what type of fan you are, Europe did a marvellous job at keeping the momentum going as Day 1 starts to draw to a close and everyone is hitting that tiring point of the day.
Thin Lizzy are the ones to keep the party going and what a party it turns into. Cheers of “Lizzy” fill the air as they are introduced to the stage to try and re-create the classic ‘Live & Dangerous” by kicking off the set with the classic ‘Jailbreak’. Its an amazing display of fan power as the thousands fill the field with dancing, singing and the supping of their beverages of choice. Of course the fan favourites are out in full force including the obvious ‘Whisky in Jar’ and ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’. The atmosphere on an off the stage is just simply amazing and Lizzy are almost the show stealers of the whole day.
We did make an effort to run to the country stage half way through the Thin Lizzy set to catch the man, the myth, the legend Jake Smith aka The White Buffalo Who has attracted the attention of fans old and new as well as the obvious fans of the hit TV Series Sons of Anarchy who will be particularly happy this evening as ‘Come Join The Murder’ is played live and in full. Having just played an amazing warm up show at the Electric Ballroom, London, The White Buffalo continues to wow UK fans and this set is no different. Amazing stuff.
Whitesnake are obviously the main eventers of the day as dusk sets in and a coolness fills the air and provides much relief to the arms, legs and foreheads of those who have been in the sun all day. As the band wind down to calling it a day, tonight, the fans are in for a treat with a full on greatest hits set list. There is a sea of Whitesnake shirts as Coverdale and company take to the stage and nail every song. You name
it, they are all there, ‘Slide It In’, ‘fool For Your loving’, ‘Is This Love’ and ‘Here I Go Again’ all provoking the biggest reactions of the night. It’s a damn shame things have to get old and go away, but if there is one thing we saw tonight, its that Whitesnake are not going away quietly and are here to leave one final mark on the world.
This really is the greatest part of any festival, even more so at Ramblin Man Fair which offers many places to sit back and enjoy the headliner. The moment dusk turns into darkness and the warm embrace of Whitesnakes stage lighting takes hold of you and transports you back to one of the greatest musical era. Classic rock is strong tonight and every single person in attendance on this first
day knows it.
Stay tuned for more coverage Ramblin Man Fair 2016 with out Day 2 report comming shorlty!