22 July 2019

Ramblin’ Man 2019 – MMH Review

Ramblin’ Man 2019 – MMH Radio Review

 Mote Park – Maidenhead

 

Friday 19th July

The weather was trying to be a problem , a few sharp showers in the early afternoon was not a good start , but as the rain started to fade onto the stage came The Lazys , a 5 piece from Australia and they started as they meant to go on , just  to rock the joint. And that they did . Half an hour of no nonsense rock’n’roll … exactly the right way to start a party (Skid)

[The Lazys]          [Photo – Skid]

Kris Barras Band , a four piece plus two singers did a sound job and pleased the crowd with his well played hits , a polished performance , if not slightly poor mixed vocals, the finale was the cream of the crop . (Skid)

    [Kris Barras] [Photo Adrian Hextall – MindHex Media]

FM are veterans , formed in the mid 80’s they have released 11 albums and they know how to play , singer Steve Overland , in his white shirt knew what was needed and the band did a job well done (Skid)

[FM][Photo Adrian Hextall – MindHex Media]

There is no doubting the quality of  The Wildhearts CV , and Ginger knows how to play to an audience , they were frenetic , frenzied and at times chaotic , but always excellent . The crowd sang along , jumped along and cheered along . There is something very special about this band from the North East , they are close to being a national treasure . (Skid)

[The Wildhearts] [Photo Adrian Hextall – MindHex Media]

Justin Hawkins is a close to a rock’n’roll pantomime dame as you can get. He doesn’t take himself seriously , he camps up when he can , but this is a disguise because he is a great front man and  The Darkness are a good rock band , a really good band . Although the focus is on Justin, his younger brother Dan , often in the shadows keeps the band tight. The set consisted of everything one expected , splattering’s of new songs , favourites from across their catalogue and a large number of course from their debut , one of the best albums of the 2000’s , Permission to land . The Darkness outdoors mean fireworks and it all went off in a wondrous fashion, just as Justin I am sure would have wanted. (Skid)

 

[The Darkness]Photo Adrian Hextall – MindHex Media]

Day one was over , the rain kept away for most of it and it was a great start to a great festival of rock music

Saturday 20th

It started off a wet morning , a few sore heads woke up to a very dreary sky and unfortunately  more than a spot of rain , but hopes were high for the middle day of Ramblin Man.

Friday was limited to the main stage so coverage of the acts was relatively easy, however , Saturday was the start of the challenge . 2 interviews/reviewers covering 27 artists over four stages , throw in a few VIP acoustic sessions and a splattering of interviews , the ball was going to be dropped somewhere but we were going to do our best.

Bad Touch started the day off nicely with a gentle acoustic set in the VIP area . A band that has tour extensively with the likes of The Quireboys , Tyketto , The Electric Boys and they won the prestigious Marshall Ultimate band contest in 2014. The band are 3 long players into their career and all looks like all they (bad) Touch may turn into gold. I interviewed guitarist Rob Glendinning from the band later on during the day. (Skid)

[Bad Touch] .       [Photo – Skid]

See link below for interview

https://mmhradio.co.uk/bad-touch-rob-glendinning-interview-ramblin-man-2019/

RavenEye were the mainstage openers and at 12:30 the 3 piece walked on and for 30 minutes & set RM alight . Their shear confidence , individual ability to play and enjoyment of the moment was an outrage. The band took the subdued crowd , devoured them and spat them out. It is not supposed to be this way , the rules are simple , the lower down the pecking order the less dominate and exciting the bands  are supposed to be. Oli Brown even at 30 is a veteran of the blues club circuits and it showed , but he and Raveneye don’t see it that way. It was a blitzkrieg , a show stunner. The audacity to have the lead guitarist sit on the shoulders of the bass player who then strutted around, both of which playing their respective guitars , and all before 1pm.

Who wants to follow that? This was RM folklore in the making. Astonishing .

A few hours later they did an intimate slot on the VIP stage , which in part was just as explosive .(Skid)

                [RavenEye – acoustic set]  [Photo – Skid]                                        [RavenEye – main stage      [Photo – Skid]

Rainbreakers  were on the rising stage , a quality 4 piece which blends rock and soul entwined round the core essence of blues. The Edwards brothers (Sam on drums , Ben on guitar) gel well with Ash Milburn on bass and the very impressive Charlie Richards on guitar. The four took their allotted time and used it wisely. I interviewed the band later on during the day and it was obvious that these young men were  not rock musicians in the bish-bash-bosh vain, this was subtle well-crafted music for the more connoisseur listener , more fine dining than fast food.

The set ended with a splendid nothing going on which nodded its head toward Stevie Ray Vaughn . There is audience out there for the Rainbreakers , I hope their soon to be released LP reaches this target. (Skid)

 

[Rainbreakers] .      [Photo – Skid]

Follow the link below for the interview

https://mmhradio.co.uk/rainbreakers-interview-ramblin-man-2019/

On Friday , by pure chance I ended having a pint and joke with a really pleasant fellow by the name of Ben , and when we parted , a member of our group told me he was the drummer of Collateral and they were on the up and well worth a watch.

I knew my colleague Caz Parker was interviewing the band on Saturday ,so off I popped to the Rising Stage which being MC’d by another acquittance.

Ben was indeed the drummer and if he was hungover , he didn’t look it . The band are releasing their debut album later on in the year and consist of said Ben on drums , Angelo out front , Jack on bass and guitarist Todd making the four. Angelo has no fear and an ego to match, he wants to be a rock star . He is a rock star and he dressed and groomed to match. He would not be amiss in a  80’s rock band video shot in a sun-drenched country , Angelo driving a convertible sportscar filled with buxom bleached blonde babes.  Looks apart , musically Collateral have been compared to Slippery when wet era Bon Jovi and other hair metal  bands including Poison and Cinderella   . The comparisons are fair … to a point ; however , what Collateral have done is to fuse the above with a modern twist . The 80’s MTV audience has grown up , but their kids may well need a radio friendly stadium rock band for their generation and this band may, just may ,be in the right place at the right time. If that happens , Angelo may have an open top car in LA full of super models and Ben , can I have that £50 back I lent you? (Skid)

                                                                 [Collateral] [Photo Adrian Hextall – MindHex Media]

Caz Parker interviewed Collateral on the Saturday – follow link

https://mmhradio.co.uk/collateral-interview-ramblin-man-2019/

It’s great to see Jimmy Barnes back in the UK again, having been a long time fan since the nineties Desmond Child release ‘Freight Train Heart’. I hot footed it over to the main stage to catch his set, having to explain to everyone I encountered just who Jimmy Barnes is… “you know him, he did ‘Good Times’ with Inxs from the Lost Boys soundtrack”. I was lucky enough to witness Jimmy about 20 or so years ago in a living room sized venue and anyone that has ever been that close to him will know the sheer power of his voice is like standing in the path of a ferocious twister, hold on to anything nearby, it will blow you away! I’m not sure that power quite carried today in the great outdoors but we all had a nice cold tinnie in the sunshine to the likes of ‘I’d Die To Be With You Tonight’, ‘Talk About Love’ and ‘Working Class Man’. (Tina Culbertson)

[Jimmy Barnes] [Photo – Skid]

The Rising Stage at Ramblin Man is by far my favourite stage of any festival, because here is where you find your new favourite bands, the cream of the up and coming crop. The hunger, energy and joy radiating from this stage is infectious. Travelling down from the Midlands to go to RM has an added attraction when we see our local lads Ryder’s Creed on the bill and they whip through anthems ‘Ride on Ryder’, ‘On The Road’ and my fave ‘Raise The Hoof’ for which a good sized crowd has amassed and they’ve sold out of their CD’s, new fans earned, nice job well done! (Tina Culbertson)

For Caz Parkers interview with Ryders Creed follow the link below

https://mmhradio.co.uk/ryders-creed-interview-at-ramblin-man-2019/

The last time I saw Black Stone Cherry was headlining Ramblin Man Fair a few years ago and here we are again tonight for another masterclass in how it should be done. The lyrics, storytelling and delivery of Chris Robertson are first class and they are festival headliners all day long, just ask the goosebumps on my arms! I could watch guitarist Ben Wells perform for a week without looking away, he’s a real livewire on stage! The songs are pure class one after the other too, ‘Rain Wizard’, ‘White Trash Millionaire’, ‘Like I Roll’, the newer Burnin’ and ‘Cheaper To Drink Alone’, the monster dance floor fillers ‘Blame It On The Boom Boom’ and ‘Me and Mary Jane’ there’s just no let up, I even managed to catch a couple of tracks side stage and witness the pure professionalism of these performers whilst being pummelled in the chest by the closeness of John Fred Young’s drumming, what an experience! Truly emotional, the mark of a good, no, GREAT band! Closing with ‘Peace is free’ was a nice touch. I love this festival and I love this band. The perfect end to a perfect day of music, friends, hot sunshine and cold beers. (Tina Culbertson)

[Black Stone Cherry]        [Photo Adrian Hextall – MindHex Media]

 

Sunday 21st

The sun was trying to give the finale day the rays it deserved. It was going to be a hot busy one.

Piston , the 5 piece , no nonsense rock and rollers have been on the up for a while and are getting serious attention from the industries big players. The band make their RM debut and were 2nd on the Rising Stage after winning the Planet Rock Radio public vote ….and they did so in blistering style. Rob Angelico fronts a very confident band who’s style is rooted in classic British rock & their well delivered set brought the appropriate response from the crowd. If they were 40 years ago this band would fall into the old vanguard of NWoBHM , maybe , it is time for a resurgence , a New Generation of British Heavy Metal (NGoBHM) ?   Check out their debut release, you won’t be disappointed (Skid)

[Piston][Photo – Skid]

I interviewed the band later on during the day , follow the below link.

https://mmhradio.co.uk/piston-interview-ramblin-man-2019/

Elles Bailey is a sweetheart , before we met up for an unusual chat I caught her and her band on the Blues Stage . She is a lady who knows how to write and perform quality blues with soul and passion, but she has also done the clever part and surrounded herself with likewise quality players. Her 2017 debut LP Wildfire was received with critical acclaim and she has just released her 2nd album, a concept entitled Road I call home. Her song writing in places reminded me of that of Steve Winwood , which in my book is only a good thing. There is a tidal swell of  talented British women playing the blues and Elles Bailey is riding that wave. Catch her touring with Kris Barras for a few dates then her own tour. (Skid)

[Elles Bailey][Photo- Skid]

I interviewed Elles using that well tried and tested method of doing so whilst dancing . When I say dancing , more of Elles moving in a sophisticated manner and me dad stompin’.

Follow the link below for the interview

https://mmhradio.co.uk/elles-bailey-interview-ramblin-man-2019/

 

Inglorious have something to prove , a few line up changes in the past had faulted the momentum that they had gained following the eponymous debut LP and its follow up Inglorius 2 . It was a no holds barred , balls to the wall attack from the start and lioned haired Nathan James and the gang , now including Brazilian bass killer Vinnie Colla delivered . A polished , yet in places brutal set which was lapped up by the faithful.

[Inglorious][Photo Adrian Hextall – MindHex Media]

I also interviewed Inglorious , follow the link below

https://mmhradio.co.uk/inglorious-interview-ramblin-man-2019/

One of the joys of wandering around a multi stage festival is people watching , and I noticed the disproportionate amount of Motorhead /Lemmy Tshirts being worn. Some legends never die.

I was very impressed with the BBQ DJ which always had a crowd and played some splendid music, sometimes accompanied by a hairy half naked man wearing only a kilt and playing a shovel. Such is the festival season.There is also that unknown discovery , a band you don’t know but hear their music from afar and like a magnetic ray it pulls you in. Such was for me with Blind River in the Grooverider stage. A five piece with the most muscled drummer i have ever seen and a singer whose voice reminded me of Chris Cornell singing Jesus Christ pose. A gem of a band who I will need to see live again soon.

Gin Annie’s set on the Rising Stage fell nicely for them, there were no other bands playing when they came on , and they took full advantage.  The bands debut 2019 LP 100% Proof has been noticed by people of influence and things are looking good for the GA boys . The day previous they supported Ugly Kid Joe and there is a fan base building , evidenced by the amount TShirts adorning the band’s name.  The set was  very catchy , riffy and singalongable  , Gin Annie may be going onto bigger and better things . (Skid)

[Gin Annie] [Photo – Skid]

Follow the link for Caz Parkers interview with Gin Annie.

https://mmhradio.co.uk/gin-annie-interview-at-ramblin-man-2019/

I’ve been waiting to see Matt Mitchell perform live with his new project Matt Mitchell & The Coldhearts since I heard the first release off his new album. Matt has handpicked some superb musicians to work with including Bruce Dickinson from Little Angels. The songs are beautifully diverse, ranging from melodic, catchy and groovy, to deep, soulful and bluesy – Matt Mitchell & the Coldhearts are perfect for Ramblin Man Fair. Despite this being his project, they are a band, and they pulled off an outstanding performance on the Rising Stage to an enthusiast and highly engaged crowd. A 35 minute set to delivered the best of Matt’s self titled new album, with highlights for me being the melodic second single ‘Home’ and the aforementioned first single ‘Black Diamonds’ with its infectious groove and kick ass riffs. I have a feeling we’ll see these guys at RM again… I certainly hope so (Caz Parker)

 

[Matt Mitchell] [Photo – Caz Parker]

Caz Parkers interview with Matt Mitchell is via the link below

https://mmhradio.co.uk/matt-mitchell-and-the-cold-hearts-interview-at-ramblin-man-2019/

The sun is shining and praise the lord my musical hero’s set only overlaps my other halfs set by 5 minutes who happens to be playing on the next stage, crisis averted! So I leg it across the field to the blues stage to catch up with main man Richie Kotzen, just in time for second song and one of my favourites ‘Warpaint’. I still manage to sing and dance myself into the front row despite the growing crowds he’s pulling these days thanks to the popularity of The Winery Dogs, at least I no longer have to explain to everyone just who he is and just how bloody good he is! You never really know what set to expect from Richie, because he has like forty million songs of varying styles and moods, today is a nice mix of the laid back coupled with the blistering solos and extended jams, seeing him rip through ‘Your Entertainer’ and ‘Help Me’ is a pure pleasure! It’s plain to see why this line up of Richie’s solo band has stuck for so long and here they are on the last song of the last date of their current European tour, just enough time for Richie to pull out his red Strat and have some fun with closer and new single ‘Venom’. (Tina Culbertson)

[Ritchie Kotzen] [Photo – Caz Parker]

Living Colour were on at 14:30 and 2nd on the bill on the Main stage . No disrespect to either Inglorious , Chris Robinson or Airbourne , but in this reviewer’s mind the stature and sheer brilliance of living Colour should have given them the penultimate slot behind Foreigner or even possibly as a co-headliner.

With 40 minutes to use the band veered off the path of obvious and started with a Robert Johnson cover Preacher Blues . Vernon Reid in a Ramones t-shirt made funny faces and giggled , which distracted some to this genius guitar playing.  Bassist Doug Wimbish is compelling to watch and he matches Reid’s playing ability , drummer Will Calhoun is no slouch either. Corey Glover is an extravert , his dress sense is no doubt a statement of the man, but my word what a singer and what a front man. With snippets of Elvis’s Hound dog and James Brown Sex machine sandwiching Cult of personality near the end of the set was weird , but LC are not normal , but they without doubt exceptional crowd pleasers.

Living Colour even on a bad day with a 5 minute slot will blow most bands out of the water , at RM on a Sunday afternoon they just showed how good all four musicians are individually , but collectively proved , if proof was needed that they are world class. This was 40 minutes of a masterclass which would not be equalled on the Main stage . It is just a shame they weren’t given a full 90 minute slot which they ultimately deserved.

Living Colour are touring Vivid shortly, miss them at your peril. (Skid)

[Living Colour] [Photo – Skid]

Wino Weinrich is an American metal icon , very much in the Lemmy mold , but for reasons unknown , he has never been given the status of Kilminster in his home land. He is one of the pioneers of stoner/doom rock and his influence is heard everywhere. His band , The Obsessed played the Grooverider tent and when they started the tent was sparse. People piled in but many missed the full set which was far too short. The 3 piece grinded their way through their songs to the pleasure of those of us that were luckily enough to witness it.

[The Obsessed] [Photo – Skid]

Wino is far too precious to Metal music to be missed , check out the latest Obsessed album Sacred , in fact grab , steal or borrow the 1994 release The Church Within and all will become clear. (Skid)

Due to illness Monster Magnet pulled out of the festive with short notice, although a shame there are silver linings and all that . Monster Magnet’s woes were Orange Goblin’s opportunity. Billed behind MM , OG stepped up & helped out by playing a full set. Ben Ward is colossal , not just in size but presence. He is the epitome of what a heavy metal frontman should be. He prowls , he points , he grabs the mike stretching it over the monitors always barking out his lyrics . This was no holds barred and Orange Goblin were here to rock the tent. Joe Hoare is a guitar wizard and criminally underrated .His riffs should be compared to those of Iommi and Tatler.  Homage to Lemmy via a cover of No Class  just added to the fever that was building with those massive tunes being thumped out. Time travelling blues was as magnificent as it was frenetic .OG are 20 years plus and 9 LPs into their career, the big time for reasons unknown as thus far eluded them, but with the demise of Motorhead , there is a void that needs to be filled and this London quartet are ready to jump in .Their performance closing the Grooverider tent at RM 2019 was nothing short of spectacular , the baton of British heavy metal has been passed . It was said cometh the hour, cometh the man ……… the time is now and Ben and the boys are the future.

Orange F**king Goblin Baby! (Skid)

[Orange Goblin] [Photo – Skid]

The last act of the weekend should be a class act that will win the hearts and minds of all of the Ramblin Man crowd, and send them home on a high. Whether you are there for the Classic Rock, Blues, Prog or Country vibe… and as live performances go, Foreigner could never disappoint.

The vocals and musicianship of this band are as always second to none, but they also pulled out all the stops to make this a superb visual production, even including water drenched tom toms!!

You cannot argue with a set list that contains ALL the hits from ‘Cold As Ice’, ‘Hot Blooded’, ‘Feels like The First Time’, ‘Urgent’, ‘Waiting For A Girl Like You’ – I don’t think they missed anyone’s personal favourite including mine which is the epic ‘Juke Box Hero’. You’d spend a long time trying to find someone who wasn’t singing and swaying along to ‘I Wanna Know What Love Is’.

It’s fair to say that Ramblin Man pulled off another spectacular weekend of high class music, superb organisation, and always one of the friendliest most relaxed vibes of any festival. See you next year. (Caz Parker)

[Foreigner] [Photo Adrian Hextall – MindHex Media]

We didn’t get to see every band , but we tried our best , sorry if we missed you out , it was not by design . Hopefully MMH will catch up with shortly to make up for it.

Reviewers – Skid , Caz Parker and Tina Culbertson

Interviewers – Skid and Caz Parker

Extraordinary helper  – Ruth Cope

All photos marked [Photo Adrian Hextall – MindHex Media] are the copy right of MindHex Media

All photos marked [Photo – Skid] are copy right of Simon Kidd