An action-packed final day of programming was the order of the day as we bid farewell to Mote Park for another year.

The Definitive Ramblin Man Artist

Genre-defying British singer/songwriter Elles Bailey recently returned with arguably her best material to date in the shape of her new album Road I Call Home.

Not wanting to be pigeonholed into one particular musical style or genre, Elles Bailey walks the fine line between soulful blues, country and rock. Subsequently, this melting pot of musical sounds and styles makes Bailey the perfect act to play Ramblin Man Fair. As a result of her broad yet genre-defying sound the West Country native could have literally performed on any stage at this festival.

Bailey delivered a set that represented the many different facets of her artistry whilst simultaneously being the perfect pre-cursor to Beth Hart who performed later in the evening.

Like No Other

The beauty of the blues stage at Ramblin Man Fair is that it truly showcases the many different styles of this beloved genre. Even with a difficult clash alongside Living Colour Bradford based blues-rocker Chantel McGregor still managed to draw a huge crowd on Sunday afternoon.

McGregor’s sound could be described as blues-rock, whilst also incorporating elements of prog. The versatile and incredibly talented performer lit up the stage with the likes of the fast and furious Lose Control, the beautiful Caught Out and the fiery Burn Your Anger.

Chantel is getting ready to release a new live album and as such took the opportunity to showcase one of her newest compositions titled April. This epic instrumental prog-rock masterpiece was one of the many highlights of the set. Whereas the dark and sinister Walk On Land from Chantel’s last album closed out her incredible mid-afternoon set to great effect.

The Chris Robinson Brotherhood Takes Flight

The Chris Robinson Brotherhood very rarely perform on UK soil and so their Sunday afternoon set at Ramblin Man Fair, was indeed a treat.

To say that the Chris Robinson Brotherhood are a creative bunch is an understatement. As a band that was born on the road, the Brotherhood’s latest record has been crafted with the concert environment in mind.

The CRB’s latest record Servants of the Sun has been cultivated and catalyzed by the band’s live performances at some of the world’s most celebrated venues and festivals. And many of these tracks got their UK live debut at one of our premier classic rock festivals – Ramblin Man Fair.

For roughly an hour the CRB perfectly transported the Maidstone crowd to their universe through their eclectic kaleidoscope of sound, musical experimentation and unrivalled creativity, and it was certainly a joy to behold.

Ones To Watch

The Fallen State has a reputation as being one of the most exciting British hard rock outfits on the touring circuit. And on the strength of their Ramblin Man set it’s easy to understand why.

Whilst the onus on the Rising Stage may well have been the NWOCR movement, The Fallen State have a future-facing outlook whereby they are putting forward a sound that is relevant in the present day and beyond.

The Fallen State delivered an emotionally charged set that was enough to bring a tear to the eye of even the most hardened fan. The group sank their heart and soul into their set whilst also paying tribute to guitarist Dan Oke, who has been undergoing treatment for lung cancer. Sophie Burrell has stepped into the group temporarily as the second guitarist and did a great job of holding things together in these difficult circumstances.

Being the final act of a two-day programme on the Rising Stage, the band brought the proceedings to a close in style.

Hart Attack

US-based chanteuse Beth Hart has been flying the blues flag high on the international stage. From her sell-out show at the Royal Albert Hall to headlining the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam – Hart has proven that blues music is much more than a genre enjoyed in local social clubs.

With a new album in the pipeline in the shape of War In My Mind, the Californian Queen of the Blues made a rare UK festival appearance topping the bill at the Ramblin Man Fair.

Sat behind her piano Hart elevated the audience with the beautiful Love Gangster, her take on Melody Gardot’s Your Heart Is As Black As The Night, and the passionate Love Is A Lie.

Beth Hart’s unrivalled talent, honest and open persona and versatile musical palette give her the building blocks to construct a show like no other. Hart regularly speaks openly about her life – songs such as the emotive Sister Heroine being a testament to this.

Beth Hart took the Maidstone crowd to church on a Sunday afternoon.

Jukebox Heroes

It goes without saying that Foreigner’s reach and influence are unquestionable. The group are presently celebrating their landmark 40th anniversary.

The classic rock legend’s headline appearance at Ramblin Man Fair featured very much a retrospective look back on that time, whilst delving deeper into the band’s greatest hits. And whilst founding member Mick Jones may have only featured in the second half of the set – the band’s current lineup fronted by charismatic lead vocalist Kelly Hansen certainly represented the songs in the best possible way.

No stone was left unturned as the band wheeled out back to back crowd-pleasers such as Double Vision, the unmistakable Cold As Ice, the beautiful Waiting For A Girl Like You, and the anthemic Juke Box Hero. Each of these tracks being enough to transport the Maidstone crowd to classic rock heaven.

Foreigner was the perfect finale to the best Ramblin Man Fair to date.

Ramblin’ Man Fair
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Event Date: 21-July-2019

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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