Ramblin’ Man Fair went for the bona fide jukebox anthems on day one as a succession of huge rock hits swept across Maidstone’s Mote Park. HRH Mag wraps up the Friday action.

 

Classic Rock Classics On Shuffle

Friday nights used to be so simple. Pub, pool, pork scratchings and a soundtrack of seven inch singles blasting out of the vintage Wurlitzer. Thanks to Graham Bonnett, Last In Line, Y&T and Saxon, a damp but far from dispirited Ramblin’ Man crowd was fired back to the future with hit after hit from a bygone era. Since You Been Gone, Holy Diver, Mean Streak and Wheels Of Steel were just the tip of the iceberg as some of the most recognisable and enduring anthems in rock and roll history had the main stage crowd bouncing. Biff Byford insisted ‘it’s about the music not the age’. He was only half right. This was a golden age.

 

Pink Linen Is The New Black Leather

Graham Bonnet has never been afraid of striking out in the fashion stakes but those punters filing into the main arena shortly after 4.30pm must have believed they’d walked straight into a Spandau Ballet photo shoot. That the former Rainbow frontman chose a bright pink jacket to complement the trademark shades was brave bordering on the foolhardy but one of classic rock’s most colourful characters somehow pulled it off. No, really. And when he did he revealed a surprisingly modest shirt paired with the slate grey skies of Kent. When it comes to throwing a fashion curveball you’ve got to take your hat off to Bonnet.

 

So Big He’s Got His Own On-Site Caravan

Big Boy Bloater pitched up early ahead of his Sunday set on the Blues Stage and ended up parking his shiny silver caravan slap bang in the middle of the main arena within a stone’s throw of all four stages. Even ZZ Top don’t get that kind of treatment. But you don’t argue with the Bloater. What you do do – if you’re really brave – is knock on his window (he’s in between the motorbike tent and the cash machine) and ask for a cup of tea, a fresh towel or a comfy seat out of the rain. Dare you.

 

Wetting The Appetite Ahead Of Saturday Storm

So we were spoilt last summer as Ramblin’ Man basked in the midsummer sun. Twelve months on and it’s business as usual for the hardy British festival goer. Steady rain throughout Graham Bonnet’s set provided the crowd with a dry (or not) run ahead of Saturday’s predicted downpours but it didn’t last All Night Long. Ponchos, brollies and sturdy boots did the job but the three blokes dressed up in full chain mail were in danger of rusting on the spot as Saxon belted out Crusader against a backdrop of heavy showers.

Image By Pete Key