Ramblin' Man Fair 2017 - Sunday
Freshly dried out and with the car park and arena in a much better state than we'd thought it would be it was into the Mote Park cafe for a chaotic cuppa and a bacon sandwich to enjoy in the queue to get in.
After yesterday's wandering around, we decided to mostly stay in front of the main stage today , so we rambled to the front to watch the brilliant Stone Broken in (SPOILER ALERT) probably the most enjoyable set I saw all day. Last year these guys were on the Rising Stage, this year opening on the Main Stage..
I love this band; the music is great, the attitude is fab and Robyn their drummer is either in full on Muppet mode or she has the biggest smile you'll ever witness. Rich appeared very emotional after the crowd joined in with "Wait For You"... they'll be back and headlining this place in due course...
Next up was a late addition to the bill - Snakecharmer with Neil Murray's second appearance of the weekend (well 3rd if you count bumping into him outside the coffee stall ( more Grown-up Rock 'n' Roll)). They went down well with a nice collection of Bad Company style blues rock for the crowd to enjoy in the sun ( Yes..sun!)
Blues Pills stepped into the sunlight on the main stage and gave an accomplished performance, with singer Elin Larsson effectively doing a work out whilst singing and not even getting out of breath. For me, the highlight of their set was their cover of Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody to Love"
The 'other half' got bored of Blues Pills and went walkabout and stumbled across Fallen State on the Rising Stage.. "They were good". (ED: This is why you write the reviews and she takes the photos)
In the perennial "semi naked foreign guitar player" slot (usually filled by Airbourne) we have Monster Truck. These guys do rock music the way it's meant to be done on a festival afternoon.. heads down, amps up, proper guitar rock n roll.. excellent stuff.
The main reason for staying near the main stage today was because I really wanted to see the final 3 bands, the first of which was Supersonic Blues Machine. Their album is very good but has a host of guests on it (including ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons) so it was going to be interesting to see how it transferred to the live stage without them. A small crowd (they clashed with festival favourites Magnum) at the start grew as their set went on.. and it worked well.. having Eric Gales turn up for a few songs didn't hurt either, but Billy never showed up for the best track they do : "Running Whiskey"
A quick dash off for an Ostrich Burger ( G-URnR again) and saw Blackwater Conspiracy on the Rising Stage.. like a cross between AC/DC and the Black Crowes.. really liked them and will be tracking down their CD (they had sold out!).
UFO hit the main stage whilst Prog Stage had Devin Townsend who replaced Kansas (who were allegedly advised it was too dangerous to travel to the UK). It looked like the crowd was split 50/50 between the two stages, but I settled for a slice of UFO. As the introduction said, they've been around forever and they will be around forever with classics such as "Love to Love", "Rock Bottom" and of course "Doctor Doctor". They went down a storm.
Now,. ZZ Top...
.. I have always liked the Little Ol' Band from Texas, particularly their early bluesier stuff .. and Billy Gibbons is a fantastic guitarist...
..and the place was thoroughly enjoying it...
..and I was singing along like the rest but it all seemed a bit sterile.. just going through the motions. The passion that was evident from some of the bands in the tents and on the Rising Stage just wasn't there on the main stage.
So, we decided to to go and see the end of Joanne Shaw Taylor in the Blues Tent and was glad that we did as she was rocking it! Understandably most people chose to watch ZZ Top but they missed a belter as that passion was clear for all to see from Miss Taylor.
So that was it for another year, we missed a few bands due to clashes but saw some new stuff and a few really great shows... tickets already booked for next year!
NR (Photos (C) Sandy Wilkins - used with permission)