Ramblin' Man Fair did what Ramblin' Man Fair does and long may it continue

Ramblin' Man 2019 Sunday review

published: Tue 23rd Jul 2019

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Friday 19th to Sunday 21st July 2019
Mote Park, Mote Avenue, Maidstone, Kent, ME15 7SU, England MAP
adult weekend plus Friday £176, camping £49
daily capacity: 15000
last updated: Fri 14th Jun 2019

It’s the last day of Ramblin’ Man Fair 2019 already and as the fans enter the arena they are greeted by another beautiful day. Greeting fans over at the ‘Rising’ stage nice and early are Salvation Jayne who attract a decent crowd for the time of day on day three of a festival. They proceed to put in a very good performance that helps shake off any feelings of lethargy.

Ramblin’ Man Fair we know does very well in catering specifically for its target audience, which in general tends to be a little older. I do notice this year however an increase in the amount of children being brought in by their parents. Although the atmosphere is certainly delightful enough that I’d have no concerns bringing children in, it must be said that there is very little on site for children to do.

Handy then that just outside the festival entrance is Mote Park’s children’s play area, which has seen a huge upgrade since last year. With plenty on offer for children of all ages this is very handy for parents looking to take their children to the festival. With no restrictions on coming and going, the park easily offers enough for festival goers to continually pop out between bands to let the kids blow off steam.

Back to the music and the opening two bands on the main stage are at opposite ends of the career spectrum. Firstly Austin Gold who are just getting started put in an already highly polished showing that belies their young age. Then it’s the legendary Living Colour who make the most of their all too short set with ‘Cult Of Personality’ predictably getting the biggest reaction.

Living Colour

A great thing about Ramblin’ Man Fair is that the site is actually quite compact meaning that it’s quick and easy to get between stages. The festival in general makes great use of the area available however which gives the illusion of space. Five years in now and Ramblin’ Man has their layout pretty much perfect. The only minor gripe I’d mention is a lack of urinals, which has been a bit of a theme at festivals this year.

Next we head into the tent for the first time this weekend for Crobot. Crobot made a big impression a few years back with their debut album and I for one tipped them for bigger things. As sometimes happens though other things got in the way, line-up changes happened and momentum stopped. They are back however with a new album on the way and today they show just why there was so much hype to begin with. It’s a sensational performance from a band that once again I hope can push on further.

As Chris Robinson Brotherhood take to the main stage I’m intrigued to see what the Black Crowes man has to offer. Sadly intrigue quickly turns to boredom which is perhaps the fact it’s Sunday evening, perhaps the heat, but perhaps the fact that despite the obvious talent, the output is boring. So we head to the ‘Rising’ stage where The Fallen State are anything but boring. The band put in a fast-paced glorious performance which acts as the injection of adrenaline that was required at this time.

Did I mention adrenaline? Well there is plenty of that on offer next as Aussie favourites Airbourne hit the main stage. Airbourne attract a big crowd as they return ready to release their next album, which we get a taste of early on with ‘Boneshaker’. Standard Airbourne affair, which they admit to during the show, but as they allude; if it’s not broke then why fix it?

Airbourne

Girls In Black’ sees frontman Joel O’Keeffe riding a roadie through the crowd, there is plenty of beer and whiskey and non-stop rock n’ roll. A typical Airbourne show really, and how do you end an Airbourne show? ‘Runnin’ Wild’ of course! Given the reception the band receives today I wouldn’t be surprised to see their name topping the bill at Ramblin’ Man Fair in the very near future.

All that’s left of Ramblin’ Man Fair 2019 is our Sunday night headline act and it’s a big one with Foreigner bringing the hits. ‘Double Vision’, ‘Head Games’ and ‘Cold As Ice’ start the show off, before ‘Waiting For A Girl Like You’ gets the crowd singing every word. From here the set slows down considerably, with founding member Mick Jones arriving on stage.

Foreigner

From this point on we get extended solos, prolonged band introductions and a speech from singer Kelly Hansen that may well still be going on for all I know. Something to do with ‘the groove’, apparently we need to let it under our skin? No, me neither. Thankfully though when not stalling the band still has plenty of hits left, with ‘I Want To Know What Love Is’ and ‘Hot Blooded’ bringing the ninety minute set to a close at a mere ten songs.

When they were playing music though, Foreigner were the perfect way to close this lovely festival. In 2019 Ramblin’ Man Fair did what Ramblin’ Man Fair does and long may it continue.


review by: Paul Barnes

photos by: Denis Gorbatov

Friday 19th to Sunday 21st July 2019
Mote Park, Mote Avenue, Maidstone, Kent, ME15 7SU, England MAP
adult weekend plus Friday £176, camping £49
daily capacity: 15000
last updated: Fri 14th Jun 2019


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