After the lovely hot weather of Saturday at Ramblin’ Man, Sunday was not so nice – rain for most of the day with it being heavy for much of the afternoon. An effect of this was clear on the main stage – instead of bands playing at the front of the stage near the crowd, they were set up near the back to avoid the equipment getting wet as the front half of the stage was covered in water.
Blues Pills kicked off proceedings on the main stage. They’re a band that is doing very well at the moment having played London 5 times in the last year and always to a good crowd. Their 70s sound is popular right now, but what really makes them stand out is their live performances which are always excellent. The guys all put in solid performances but it’s singer Elin Larsson who really lifts their performance as she struts around the stage barefoot throwing her hair about and playing tambourine as well as singing. A great start to the day.
Over on the Prog stage, Anna Phoebe was putting on a great violin based show. It’s one of the great things with Prog – the willingness to embrace more unusual sounds and instruments into a rock or metal environment. Despite the pouring rain she has a good crowd who clearly enjoy the set.
Then it was back to main stage with some laid back atmospheric rock from Icelandic band Solstafir. It’s great music but not really for a festival – it’s too laid back which I felt didn’t work to a small crowd in the pouring rain at a festival – it would have been far better at an indoor gig.
The Quireboys soon got things livened up on the main stage with their feel-good brand of alcohol fuelled rock and roll and they did a great job of getting some enthusiasm from the crowd.
Over on the Blues stage, guitar prodigy Aaron Keylock was putting in a stunningly good performance. If you’ve never seen him play then go and see him – he’s a very young but amazingly talented blues guitarist, and the fact he’s played Ramblin’ Man and Download this year and Bloodstock last year is testament to his talent and appeal.
On the main stage, both The Temperance Movement and Rival Sons put in very good performances but the torrential rain did dampen the mood and there really wasn’t the atmosphere I’d expected for two great bands, but that’s always the risk with an outdoor festival – bad weather can really spoil people’s enjoyment.
The Blues stage had a really strong lineup with Danny Bryant, Joanne Shaw Taylor and Bernie Marsden following in quick succession, with all three delivering their usual top quality performances. Those three performances alone justify a ticket for the day in my opinion – one would have been good, two great, but all three make it a superb day, and that’s without any of the other acts on the bill.
By the time Seasick Steve came on the weather had improved slightly which helped lift spirits as he played some fantastic music on quite ridiculously basic instruments – how he can play a song on a guitar that has just one string and still make it sound good I’ll never know. He’s such a great musician – very down to earth and coming across as an average guy, but able to write and play some fantastic songs. I’ve seen him perform before and he never fails to impress – definitely my highlight of the day.
Finally it was time for Gregg Allman, and to be frank he’d failed before he walked out on stage – the crowd voted with their feet and there was a pretty small audience for his set. For those that stayed though, he did actually put in a very good performance, it just lacked in excitement, and really just failed to end the day on a high note, so I was slightly disappointed.[flickrapi user=”planet mosh” get=”photoset” id=”72157656784264035″ size=”z” count=”100″]