Day Two of Ramblin’ Man Fair was another red hot mix of rock, metal, prog and blues. HRH Mag wraps up the very best of the action.

 

Jack’s The Lad

Jack J Hutchinson first appeared on the HRH radar when he stepped in at short notice to play an acoustic set at HRH Blues in 2017. Fast forward 15 months and he was unplugged again – this time stepping out for a bunch of expectant VIPs before anyone else had played a note on Day Two of Ramblin’ Man Fair. But it’s never too early where JJH is concerned and current single Hip Slickin’ set the tone for a short but seriously sweet set. With a string of UK dates lined up for later this year and a seemingly endless flow of new tunes there’s simply no stopping the Hutch. Digging deep, he plucked out Get It Back from the back catalogue. Ramblin’ Man – get HIM back. And soon.

 

In The Nik Of Time

Ramblin’ Man might boast a stellar line up of rock greats on the stage but you’re just as likely to bump into a familiar face or too off it. Inglorious frontman Nathan James, former Bad Company six stringer Dave ‘Bucket’ Colwell and Wayward Sons stixman Phil Martini were all on site to cast a critical eye over their peers and pals but celeb spot of the day centred on a former Popstars and Pop Idol judge. These days you’re more likely to find Nikki Chapman wandering along beaches in Australia hosting Wanted Down Under or fleeing to rural climes in Escape To The Country. This weekend she was channelling her inner rock chick and tapping her sparkly shoes along to The Cult’s classic back catalogue. Escape To The Cultry?

 

Barraskicking

Kris Barras caused quite a stir at Ramblin’ Man 2017 – first playing alongside country star Caitlin Koch before joining his own band for a stint on the Rising Stage. Those shows bagged him a major label deal with Mascot and the chance to play his blues rock belters to a wider audience at home and abroad. Sunday saw Barras back in Kent on a Blues Stage headlined by label mates Gov’t Mule and the former cage fighter packed a riff-laden punch. Looking like an extra out of cult History Channel show Vikings and sounding like a seasoned bluesman three times his age, his powerful presence pulled in a bumper mid-afternoon crowd. A blown generator had delayed the start of Sunday’s Blues Stage proceedings but the brilliant Barras was well worth the wait. Krismas came early for the Ramblers.

 

All Hale Queen Lzzy

Delivering one of the heaviest and most passionate sets of the weekend, Halestorm evidenced just why this autumn’s headline UK tour has sold out months in advance. Frontwoman Lzzy Hale – due to play with former Runaway and lookalike Joan Jett later this summer – was unrelenting in her determination to whip the Mote Park massive into a sun-soaked frenzy. And at times her sheer energy was frightening. Latest album Vicious drops later this month and new tunes Black Vultures and Uncomfortable hint at the band’s most compelling long player to date. Credit to The Cult for attempting to maintain the momentum but no band – no matter how big – would have fancied following Halestorm on this form.

*Images courtesy of Pete Key