First up opening the rising stage we were pleasantly introduced to KillIT; a rock band influenced by the greats such as Slash and Davey Rimmer. From start to finish they force fed the audience their high energy performance of which the audience loved. Their engagement with the crowd were incredible for opening a festival which gave the performance a spot in the days highlights from us at PM. They did an incredible cover of ‘Don’t Look Back’ which had the audience providing a fantastic echo of words as the performance was to a very high standard.
Next up on the main stage we were treated to Stone Broken; a hard rock band from Walsall UK. From the moment this band stepped out onto the main stage I was heavily reminded of Black Stone Cherry’s monster performance the previous year at Ramblin Man festival. They came out kicking and they put on an incredible show with filthy guitar riffs throughout which had the crowd going wild. The drummer, Robyn Haycock, is definitely one to watch out for in the music scene with her animal style drum beats she will have you banging your head in no time at all.
Back to main stage to be shaken up by the incredible Snake Charmer; a british hard rock supergroup formed of Micky Moody, Neil Murray, Laurie Wisefield, Harry James, Adam Wakeman and Chris Ousey who managed to keep the ever growing crowd very entertained. Chris Ousey’s vocals echoed tones of the legend Paul Stanley which was definitely appealing to the audience.
Up next it felt like we went back to the 60s when the blue pills took to the stage armed up and in full gear to provide yet another outstanding performance. The crowd didn’t stop dancing from start to finish, especially when they did an incredible cover of ‘don’t you want somebody to love’.
Roll in the Monster Truck who personally stole the show for me with their outstanding high impact and well polished set. The bar started pretty high with their first song, it only kept rising throughout the set, it was truly outstanding. Unfortunately Steve couldn’t be there to provide the heart beat of the drums as he was at home preparing to welcome his own little heart beat into the world (best of luck from us Steve) however Slash’s drummer was very kind and stepped in for the performance at Ramblin Man.
Next up on main stage we were taken to the deep south with the awesome Supersonic Blues Machine who managed to keep the atmosphere on a high after the guys of Monster Truck had finished. The bass tones of SBM were body bouncing, again they had the crowd participating throughout their set.
The rising stage produced us with the incredible Blackwater Conspiracy which provided the heavy rock vibe we needed. As the crowd grew in numbers the bands performance gained more and more energy which was partnered perfectly with the polished overall sound the band had. They are most certainly ones to look out for on the horizon as Phil has the vocals of a God!!
Over to the Prog Stage just in time for what can only be described as a set cast by the legend himself Devin Townsend! The audience began filling out the pit for Devin about an hour before his set, so to ensure we had a very good spot we decided to join the numbers heading over to the stage. During the wait for DTP to enter the stage we were delightfully introduced to the crowds dedication as they began singing ‘Higher’ from the ‘Transcendence’ album. The time finally approached 7pm as we began catching glimpses of Devin during sound check (deliberately playing guitar out of tune as Ryan was checking the floor tom). From the moment the set began the guys had the crowd laughing and singing throughout, especially when Devin clocked a giant blow up Indian chief hat wearing penis in the crowd and asked for it to make its way to the stage. The overall performance was just mind blowing, vocally and musically there is no one else as tight in performance as the Devin Townsend Project. They were the highlight of the festival for us.
Closing up the festival were the legendary trio of blues-rockers ZZ Top; there was a lot of buzz about the festival goers looking forward to finally seeing ZZ Top as well as some old school fans seeing them for the umpteenth time. With the sun setting over the Ramblin Man Stage and the crowd numbers being at what felt like their highest to date for the festival; a few songs into the set we were treated to ‘Gimme All Your Lovin’ which had everyone singing along. ZZ Top played an impressive 20 track set including some classics and some covers such as; the Jimi Hendrix Experience cover ‘Foxy Lady’ and finishing the set with their rendition of ‘Jail House Rock’ by the one and only Elvis Presley. Overall a really well polished set from the guys, both musically and performance wise they were incredibly tight.