Roll up folks, it’s that time of the year again: Ramblin’ Man Festival in Mote Park, Maidstone. Now in its second year, it’s debut in 2015 proved so popular that this year has sold out, with twenty thousand happy punters lining up to catch the likes of Europe, Uriah Heep and Whitesnake.                        



Uriah Heep


Even after more than forty five years of music, the sounds of Uriah Heep are still as fresh today as they were back at the beginning. They started with the group-defining classic ‘Gypsy’ which immediately got the audience clapping and cheering


…and the set went on hitting highs from that point on. Several new songs followed but it was such masterworks as ‘Lady in Black’ –with massive audience participation in the chorus- and ‘July Morning’ -with a note-holding guitar sound so typical of the ‘70’s rock scene- that made them such a pleasure to listen to.

Mick Dyer


IMG_5438With their usual mix of traditional and the more exotic instrumentation, Hawkwind announced their arrival on stage in front of a large and vocally appreciative audience with a lengthy and well received version of ‘All Hail the Machine’ and then continued with such favourites as ‘The Spirit of the Age’ and ‘Shot Down in the Night’.IMG_5448

The heavy rock beat and bass were evident as well as their hallmark mix of electronics and the ethereal warbling sound of the theremin effortlessly mixing together throughout the set.

They left the stage to the sound of rapturous and continued applause interspersed with shouts for more. They came back and, much to the pleasure of the crowd, finished with the seminal ‘Silver Machine’.

Mick Dyer



Headspace are a five piece band with an eclectic history since the bands formation ten years ago. From being a support act for such rock luminaries as Rick Wakeman, Ossy Osbourne and others certain


aspects of their music inspirations are quite easy to spot. The music is loud, fast, punchy yet still rhythmical with obvious influences from the great keyboard players of the ‘70’s.

Mick Dyer

Blurred Vision

IMG_5154The original Blurred Vision was two Iranian born Canadians from Toronto –Sepp Osley on lead guitar and vocals with his brother Sohl on bass- with a vision and the need to make some kind of political statement through music. The result was a cover of Floyd’s ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ which received both critical acclaim and an endorsement from Roger Waters of Floyd and their career has skyrocketed since then. On the back of that success the two decided they needed a drummer if they wanted to tour and after recruiting Ben Riley the trio moved to England and are now based in London. Their debut album, ‘Organized Insanity’ was well received after its release in 2015.

Mick Dyer


IMG_5205Originally named Blackwolf the five piece band changed it after realising that they were not completely comfortable with their musical direction. So, after a cathartic cleansing and starting with a clean slateIMG_5199 Illustr8ors was born. Ramblin Man 2016 was their first major gig but you would not have thought so to watch and listen to them, they looked like accomplished musicians who had been on the scene for some time. Their current single is ‘Your Animal’ but they are working an EP hopefully to be released soon.

Mick Dyer

Procol Harum

IMG_5547What can you say that hasn’t already been said about Procol Harum? Any superlatives you can think of must have been done to death as one of the original rock bands approaches their fiftieth year in the business. Fortunately, a catalogue of timeless songs and an ongoing touring schedule has kept them in the public eye for so long and of course they will be forever remembered for ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’ which was written in 1967 and has sold over 10,000,000 copies worldwide –no mean feat by any standard!

Mick Dyer


IMG_4369Fronted by Rosalie Cunningham, this four piece band are singlehandedly doing their utmost to revive the psychedelic rock era of the early seventies, which to this reviewer is not a bad thing. Elements of a number of groups from that time are all evident in their music, Renaissance, IMG_4367Jethro Tull and The Doors are a few that immediately spring to mind. To date, they have released two albums, their debut album ‘The Circle And The Blue Door’ was released in 2013 and the follow up ‘Desire’s Magic Theatre’ earlier this year, both of which received both critical and public acclaim.

Mick Dyer

IO Earth

IMG_4241The music is an eclectic mix of a number of differing styles including classic rock coupled with almost ethereal melodies overlaid by the mellifluous vocals from Linda Odinsen all of which blend well together in a way that extremely pleasant on the ear.

So far the band have released four albums including a live one.

Mick Dyer

Colour of Noise

IMG_4545Colour of Noise are a five piece band with a definite plan of musical action. With lead vocals from Matt Mitchell who at one moment sounds like Robert Plant then at the next a slightly less gritty Joe Cocker.IMG_4520

Coupled with the vocals their energetic style of music is obviously set in the genre of ‘70’s very heavy rock with the wailing guitar sound backed up a thumping drum and bass score. It’s a case of what you see is what you get, no lightweight ballads, just heavy rock at its best…continuously.

The debut album, also named ‘Colour of Noise’ was released late last year.

Mick Dyer


Variously described as ‘cowpunk’ ‘country rock’ or ‘garage rock’ it must have been difficult to decide where they could be placed, as their brand of humorous, hilarious lyrics sometimes hide the fact that they are fine musicians.
Eddie Spaghetti has more one-liners than a stand-up comedian and his easy banter had the packed marquee – in text speak “LOL”.
The audience was familiar with every chorus, and needed no encouragement to join in describing one of Eddie’s ex’s as ‘Pretty Fucked Up’.
Drummer, Chris, celebrated his birthday at Ramblin Man, and Eddie suggested that all he wanted as a present was some marijuana…which, of course led the band into the track ‘Non Addictive Marijuana’.
Yes, Supersuckers have developed as late more of a country feel, but this was rock at its purest, four guys playing what they enjoy to fans who want to have a good time.

Massive Wagons

On the Rising Stage the insanely energetic Massive Wagons, who have been touring with Ginger Wildheart on the back of their ‘Welcome To The World’ album roared into action attracting a large crowd around the smallest stage at the smallest stage in the festival.
Bax was a bundle of bouncing moves, as he led the band on a merry dance, courageously opening with tracks off their new release, as Adam and Carl tried to avoid the singer’s wild mic stand.
The catchy ‘Tokyo’ and chunky ‘Nails’ set the tone for their half hour, and despite at least one guitar glitch’ the five-piece were there to prove that they may be on the Rising Stage now, but it won’t be too long until they are playing to larger crowds.

Review of Hayseed Dixie

Down at the Outlaw Country Stage there was a cover band playing… Not any old covers band, it was a blur of fiddles, banjos and good ole boys in the shape of Hayseed Dixie.
Make no mistake about it, despite the laughs and the wild playing of songs such as ‘War Pigs’, Ace of Spades and ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ these are not only talented, but able to manipulate an audience into wild abandon.
And, yes the familiar chant of “Coldplay Sucks” was played out – and for those yet to see the band (they have five UK dates in November) we won’t spoil the twist to that shout-out.
While some see the band’s “rockgrass” as a piss-take on rock and metal they are play each song with genuine affection.
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