The second and final day of the first Ramblin' Man Fair had set in and a rather grey sunday morning it was. Surprisingly, little to no spirits were dampened as another superb line-up of artists would take to the Rambln' Man arena within hours.
For me, Sunday was dominated by the grove driven sounds of the Blues, intertwined with the always impressive contrast of The Temperance Movement and Rival Sons. I also found the Prog stage to be very impressive, more so than the previous Saturday line-up, by quite a margin. Though a lot of talent was to be on show, we had to sacrifice a few big and emerging names in order to see and cover a rage of artists that we haven't already come into contact with during 2015... not to mention a few hours in the press tent that went to waste whilst trying to salvage any equipment that met it's untimely passing during the Friday night storms! Oh, the joys!
To kick off the day, a quick stop by the Classic Rock stage was made to see what Solstafir were all about. Though very new to me, these harsh edged, psychedelic Icelandic rockers seemed to have a strong fan base within the crowd and delivered songs with a very original approach. They've become a regular on my playlists and rightfully so. Bizarre, yet refreshing.
Onto the Blues stage, Ian Siegal's husky voice 'rambled' through the crowd, and what a voice it is! A real taste of authentic sounding blues and a treat to all. Three o'clock came and diamond in the rough, Aaron Keylock took to the stage. Sporting flared jeans, a second skin top and now signature wavy locks, Aaron and fellow band mates wow the crowd with all stylings of timeless 70's rockers, despite being just seventeen! 'Medicine Man' sets the stage alight with a catchy riff and fitting lyrics that seem to have come from a mind far beyond a teenagers vision. With songs such as 'Spin The Bottle' and 'Chance To Explain' this band might just be a near perfect example of what the younger generation are capable of? maybe so, but the musical direction that these boys pursue seems to go a little further than that. A set that got the crowd clapping and gazing in awe... undoubtedly.
The Temperance Movement were next up at the Classic Rock stage and an opportunity to see TTM and become a fully fledged 'Mover' should never be passed up. Always exciting frontman, Phil Campbell generates heaps of energy from the audience as he tirelessly bounces back and forth the stage in an odd yet captivating fashion that gets even the soberest of on-lookers smiling like a cheshire cat, despite the drizzle and cold winds, Temperance staples, 'Only Friend' and 'Midnight Black' get all sorts bopping' around and having a blast, and a taste of new material (which sounds as tasty as the self titled album) must have left many a 'Mover' in high spirits, as was I. Following closely behind was the rising force of Rival Sons. Now highly acclaimed for their music that is regarded as a devoter to the Led Zeppelin, Rival Sons draw in a bulky crowd that can sing the majority of tracks from start to finish with leading man Jay Bunchanan. I've got a weird love for this band, though I don't often listen to the music, I can't help but be mesmerised by Jay's voice and the bands general sound. It's quite different in comparison with what most bands seem to be doing at the moment, but it's evident that these guys are influencing a new generation of artist, so early on in their career, and honestly, I can deal with that!
Unfortunately, at these events, stage time clashes are unavoidable and can prove to be a bit of a predicament, especially in the case of Blues guitar goddess, Joanne Shaw Taylor and authentic American dream finder, Seasick Steve. Both artists have more than a magical live experience to offer, so obviously, a bit of both is what we opted for. Joanne is a force to be reckoned with in the Blues Rock world and most definitely, you'd have heard that raspy, glorious voice strike through your speakers by now, if not, where on earth have you been hiding? Telecaster in hands, this lady is the complete package and makes music that is an utter delight to the ears and puts out a performance that is an attack on all the senses. Ferocious and delicate in its make-up, Jo's set is dominated by a crunchy warm tone and is loaded with fantastic crowd reception.
Comedy Fest or Ramblin' Man Fair, Seasick Steve could handle it. Without any sign of give, he works through his set in a laid-back manner, with full control, leading the audience into both appreciation and laughter.