Ramblin Man Fair Day 1
Graham Bonnet first stage on starting of the weekend of rock madness,
Back at its home in Maidstone, the county town of Kent, and a short walk from the town centre and its amenities, the Ramblin’ Man festival again took over Mote Park for a third consecutive year of Rock, Prog, Country and Blues music. This year, an additional date was added to the bill, with the festival running for three days from the evening of Friday 28th to Sunday 30th July.
Fortunately living fairly close to the venue I was able to travel to the festival on a daily basis, however there was the chance to camp onsite, with food and drinks available at the festival (though at festival prices to match) or in the town centre, and there are a number of local hotels and B&Bs for anyone who travelled from further afield and didn’t fancy camping!
With four stages showcasing a wide range of musical styles there was bound to be something for everyone attending; in fact as I walked around the site I realised how varied the audience was – there were a lot of family groups alongside the more obviously dedicated rock fans; which I hope bodes well for the future of live music. It was a friendly crowd; even during the heavy rain we experienced on day two, everyone seemed in a good mood and enjoying the atmosphere! Typical of the Great British Summer ™ the brollies were out followed by shorts and T-shirts on day three as the sun decided to come out and bask us in glorious sunshine for the finale of a great weekend.
This year’s line-up showcased some legends of rock alongside new and upcoming bands; and some returning acts from previous years. I’ll be honest – maybe my rock credentials are a little lacking, but there were a few names that I was unfamiliar with on the line-up; however by the end of the weekend I was keen to find out more about a fair few of the acts!
With just four acts playing on Friday, all on the main stage, the festival kicked off in style on the Planet Rock stage, with the vocal talents of ex-Rainbow frontman Graham Bonnet.
He was swiftly followed by Last In Line, a heavy metal band who were formed from members of the original line-up of Dio in 2012. Not just a covers band, they performed several classic Dio songs, alongside their tracks Devil in Me and Starmaker from their 2016 debut album Heavy Crown.
Y&T were up next, and the American hard-rockers didn’t disappoint. They’re a great live band and one to catch if you ever get the opportunity. Our final band for day one were the legendary Saxon who closed the stage in style; it was great to see such an influential and enduring metal band in action and helped whet our appetite for more brilliant tunes for the next two days.