Ramblin Man Fair Day 2
Saturday and back to the arena: The weather was threatening again after the showers overnight, and typical to form the heavens opened again in the afternoon, with little reprieve from the rain throughout the day. Not to say that this put a dampener (pun intended – obviously) on the performances onstage. Today was much busier, with several acts that I and my colleague at Click Magazine wanted to catch on at the same time, so we took the decision to split up and compare notes afterwards. It’s an unfortunate issue with scheduling so many acts that would enable the festival organisers to keep their varied audience happy, and to be honest, with each stage being reachable from the others in a matter of minutes, the opportunity was there to flit to and fro and catch as much as you could of everything if that is what you wanted to do.
Heading up the day’s music on the main stage was Jared James Nichols, a 28-year old Wisconsin-born American blues singer whose high-energy performance woke up the audience. It is evident that he genuinely loves his art and lives for making music with his guitar. We managed to catch up with him after his set for a quick chat afterwards which you can see here
Rocker and former world motorcycle champ James Toseland was back for more after his performance at the festival with his band Toseland in 2015. You always wonder about people famous in other fields branching out into music, but it’s clearly more than a vanity project for Toseland, he put on a fantastic show and is certainly one to watch out for in the future.
Also on the main stage were classic 90s band Reef – whose ‘Place Your Hands’ was an anthemic song from my (young!) teenage years, and Glenn Hughes, whose stage presence and distinctive voice were sure to impress.
Over in the indoor Outlaw Country Stage, former X Factor USA season 1 entrant Caitlin Koch brought the sounds of US Country music to Kent, followed hot on her heels by Jessica Lynn, a country star from NY who already has several live TV specials under her belt. The audience in the tent had a great time and I think Jessica is certainly worth looking up if you are keen to find new rising talents in the Country genre. We spoke to her in the afternoon, as the rain came down, and you can hear our interview here.
Off to the Grooverider stage and one act that stood out for me was Icelandic trio The Vintage Caravan. A young band in terms of their ages, this group shows a maturity in their playing and performance style; not surprising really since they have been around since 2006 when lead singer Óskar Logi Ágústsson and the band’s former drummer Guðjón Reynisson were only 12 years old!
Award-winning Rival Sons closed the day’s events on the Grooverider stage, introduced by Kent-based comedian Vic Reeves, who reportedly gets on well with the guys. Although appearing on the main stage at the first Ramblin’ Man, they proved a massive draw for the Grooverider stage this year, and with two top 20 albums in the UK charts, Rival Sons have enjoyed critical and commercial success in the last few years, and after this performance I can only see their fanbase and profile growing.
Another band in the ascendant are Bad Touch, who played the Rising Stage in the afternoon. Although all working in full-time jobs, the band have found time to record two albums and tour the UK. Flamboyantly dressed with a cool moustache, lead singer Stevie Westwood certainly looks the part! Fortunately his vocals are pretty impressive too, and the fact that the band are willing to work hard to fulfil their ambitions should hopefully see them back at the festival soon, maybe on the main stage next time. If you want to hear what the band had to say to us.
The final act for the night, and the headliner for Saturday were Extreme; who are probably best known for their 1991 UK hit More Than Words, an acoustic track that is at odds with the rest of their funk-metal output! They put on an energetic show, and looking across the crowd gathered in front of the stage both the performers and the audience clearly loved it; even though the weather had been pretty miserable!