ZZ Top brought down the curtain on Ramblin’ Man Fair 2017 with 90 minutes of Texan cool but there was more to a sun-baked final day than the big hitting headliners. HRH Mag wraps up the highlights.


Rising Stage Is A Massive Success

Aussie upstarts Massive were the perfect band to close the 2017 Rising Stage but Brad and the boys were simply the tip of the iceberg where red hot new talent was concerned. Ireland’s Blackwater Conspiracy were another Day Three highlight and 80s throwback Knock Out Kaine knocked out anthem after anthem with a compelling early afternoon set. Wayward Sons and Screaming Eagles stood toe to toe with the big boys 24 hours earlier and Ramblin’ Man’s decision to give new bands a platform deserves serious praise. This is the future – and the future is bright.


Blues Pills The Cure For A Sunday Hangover

It’s been incredible to witness the total transformation of Elin Larsson from tentative singer to visceral vocalist but in the two years since Blues Pills’ last Ramblin’ Man set the supremely talented Swede has added a unique sense of stagecraft to her vocal prowess. The emboldened energy at the heart of a main stage highlight captivated the sun-baked masses and proved this is simply the end of the beginning where one of the most exciting ‘new’ bands on the planet is concerned. Flanked by the sublime Dorian Sorriaux, Larsson loved every minute of her Mote Park return and screamed future headliner. Here’s hoping.


Quireblues Is The New Rock And Roll

It was a gamble on a par with Harry Styles going all indie but The Quireboys love a challenge. And after agreeing to deliver a covers-only blues set as a Ramblin’ Man exclusive, the prolific rock and rollers pulled the (Cross Eyed) cat out of the bag. It took Spike a couple of looseners to truly hit his stride but a packed tent was bowled over by the time the wily veterans wrapped up a remarkable show. With UFO on the main stage and Massive ripping up the Rising Stage, the pressure was on and the competition intense. But a brilliant sET – underpinned by guest harmonica player Lee Vurnon and the irrepressible Keith Weir – confounded the critics and carved out a brand new niche. Watch this space.


Gayles’ Force Is A Breath Of Fresh Air

Eric Gayles is a blues legend. But his love affair with the UK is only just beginning. And a main stage stint with the Supersonic Blues Machine, coupled with an impromptu acoustic turn in the VIP tent, provided further proof that the best is yet to come from the Memphis native. Finally clean and sober after so many years battling a reliance on drink and drugs, the singer songwriter is reborn as a blues rock tour de force. And as for those gold teeth…