The 2019 edition of Ramblin Man kicked off on Friday afternoon with Australian rockers The Lazys. I’d seen them a couple of months ago in a small venue and been impressed, so was looking forward to seeing them again. On the big Ramblin Man main stage they seemed just as at home as they were in the small club, and got things off to a fantastic start. It’s high energy set and they’ve got that distinctive Aussie rock sound – a bit of ACDC or Rose Tattoo influence maybe but best described as “music to get drunk and party to”. It really is a great start to the weekend and the rain coming down during the set doesnt deter the fans from staying at the front to enjoy the music.
Next up was The Kris Barras Band. He’s grown in popularity significantly in the last few years and has gone from playing the rising stage in 2017 to the Blues stage last year and now the main stage. It’s a great set and one which shows why he’s becoming so popular, and with a new album due out later in the year his career looks set to keep growing.
British melodic rock band FM came next. They’ve been around so long they make it look easy and no matter how many times I see them they always put in a flawless performance. Songs such as “That girl” go down very well with the crowd. Another great set.
The Wildhearts came next and it was clear from the start that they had plenty of fans in the crowd. The band were in great form and went all out to win over anyone who wasn’t already a fan. The band has certainly had it’s ups and downs over the years but with a new album released earlier this year they seem to be firing on all cylinders at the moment and tonight they really do put in a fantastic set.
The Darkness were tonight’s headliner and they went all out to impress, not just with their performance but with the stage show – lots of flames and some fireworks. Justin Hawkins may divide opinions with his falsetto vocals but whatever your view on his voice, there’s no arguing about the fact he’s a real showman and a great frontman. Understandably the hits such as “One way ticket” and set closer “I believe in a thing called love” go down best but I preferred some of their other songs. It’s a great set to end the night although they did milk the encore a bit too much as though they were going to finish the set in less time than the contract said so were padding it out to fill the time. Other than that it was a top performance.
The first day at Ramblin Man was a superb start to the weekend – all the bands were fantastic and kept the fans entertained despite the rain.