Pick Your Rock and Metal

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Ramblin Man 2017 Day Two: Mud, metal, rock and four packed stages

AFTER the wind and showers of Day One the dawning of the second day came with cloud and a little sun - but it wasn't long before more rain swept across Kent, dumping water on the Ramblers at Mote Park, Maidstone.

But as with the previous day those attending Ramblin Man 2017 were not to be deterred - and with four stages to chose from the day and night reverberated with guitar driven music and a lot of people with hastily donned ponchos and raincoats...

With 30 bands it was impossible for reviewers, photographers and fans to see every band - but to be spoilt for choice is no real problem when a plethora of acts are pounding out at the top of their proverbial game.

For those who are unfamiliar with Ramblin Man the stages are all within a few minutes walk, from the main stage, to the Grooverider Stage, to the Outlaw Country stage or to the Rising Stage. [NB the Grooverider stage transforms to Prog in the Park on Sunday and the Country stage transmogrifies to Blues on Sunday].

But when it all comes down to it the smorgasbord of acts had people scurrying around, simply enjoying themselves - as the arena opened to the strains of blues rockers The Nile Deltas laid back blues power.

Being biased we have to highlight the fact that Trucker Diablo and Screaming Eagles drew good crowds to the Rising Stage - engaging all with their high tempo entertainment with fists in the air and horns being thrown.

However, the main stage opened with guitar virtuoso Jared James Nichols showca
sing his talent on his trusty single pick-up Les Paul.

While Toseland were making a return to the park as their set came to a conclusion there was a noticeable buzz as people gathered to see British Lion - yes that British Lion with one Mr Steve Harris. Even in the remoteness of the Press Area there was a noticeable roar as the band mounted the stage.

While Reef had everyone's hands in the air - you know the song - on the Grooverider stage one half of Tenacious D brought joy. Yes, The Kyle Gas Band had a unique take on rock, with added dashes of fun and ridiculousness delivered to a backdrop of tight musicianship.

Despite trying to keep their composure the crowd were quickly into their second wind when Glenn Hughes mounted the main stage for a consummate performance, that of course ended with an extended version of 'Burn'.

Splitting time between a humourous and fun set by Dan Baird and the Homemade Sin and Dokken invoking the 80s abandon provided the media plenty of execise. A quick few songs were caught from the excellent Rival Sons' before the Black Star Riders stormed the main stage.

And, they really did storm it. Hit after hit, choruses belted out by band and audience. Ricky Warwick holding thousands in the palm of his hand.

With three albums to pick from the band's identity is becoming ever more solid -they truly have a live 'Killer Instinct'.

Headliners Extreme arrived with much expectation, as they were re-visiting their hit album Pornograffiti.

Of course, songs such as 'Get The Funk Out' and 'More Than Words' are lodged in the collective memory of rock fans - memes before memes took on their internet definition.

Nuno laid down some terrific solos, proving - if it ever needed proving that he is a true maestro of six-strong histrionics.

However, at times the set lacked a certain something, perhaps a band a little too confident, but the amount of people streaming out of the arena to hotels and the camp site was evidence that not everyone was overjoyed by Extreme's show.

Indeed it was the subject of much debate the next day....

Review by Jonathan Traynor
Pictures by Darren McVeigh and Lizzie Torbitt [as marked]

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