A Beautiful Saturday And A Summer Sunday At The 2019 Ramblin' Man Fair

The weather forecast for Saturday at Ramblin Man Fair was certainly going to be an improvement over a wet Friday but there was still a little rain around early on. The rain, however, had fizzled out before the doors opened and it was surprisingly dry underfoot. It was a beautiful day!

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I felt that the line up this year was a big improvement over last year but obviously with four stages on the go, albeit only a five minute stroll away from each other ,the clashfinder.com was a lifesaver.

RavenEye perform at Ramblin, Man Fair - Saturday 20 July 2019 (Phil Honley / gigsnapz


RavenEye proved to be a good choice to open Saturday’s proceedings on the Planet Rock Stage. Oli Brown, still only thirty years old, has been around for at least twelve years. Originally opting for serious blues, he transgressed into serious rock with RavenEye in 2014.

Having supported Slash, Deep Purple and Aerosmith this band was ready to spark this festival into life. A great powerful short set featuring numbers from 2016 debut album Nova with Oli showing great character when seeking audience participation during his final number when he referred to the crowd’s first effort as “limped dicked” and encouraging them further with the promise that “the sooner they stepped up the singing the sooner the band would be off”.

Wille And The Bandits perform at Ramblin' Man Fair - Saturday 20 July 2019 (Phil Honley / gigsnapz

Wille And The Bandits

Wille And The Bandits, originally surfers from the Cornish South West coast, were well into their set on the Outlaw Country Stage by the time I got there but they already had the audience’s full attention, with Wille Edwards starring on acoustic guitar, Weissenborn on lap steel, with Matthew Brooks and Andrew Naumann on bass and drums respectively.

This band has its own unique sound but a dreamy "Floyd" vibe made all the more special with the sun making an early appearance to help set the scene. Very impressive set including Four Million Days from recent release Paths was a highlight and currently receiving good airplay on Planet Rock.

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The Rising Stars Stage has always been a nice touch at Ramblin’ Man and has given many bands the chance to extend their fan base. Stone Broken impressed on this stage in 2016 and were levitated to the main stage the following year as was Kris Barras this year having introduced himself on the Rising Stars stage in 2017.

Shrewsbury’s finest Rainbreakers have become good friends of mine over the years and they were thrilled to be playing this years festival. Early sound problems and Sam Edwards’ drum kit falling apart and an embarrassingly small audience did not hinder them and they gave a great set. I believe the small attendance was down to logistics and punters not being able to find the stage, after all it was on the side of a truck!

The Plott Hounds perform at Ramblin' Man Fair - 20 July 2019 (Phil Honley / gigsnapz)

The Plott Hounds

The Plott Hounds on the Outlaw stage impressed with a nice country sound with a definite hint of southern rock, whilst Wayward Sons were taking advantage, and being thoroughly entertaining, of steadily increasing crowd on the Planet Rock Main Stage.

Otis perform at Ramblin' Man Fair - 20 July 2019 (Phil Honley / gigsnapz)


I had heard great things about Otis but boy nothing prepared me for their explosive set on the Outlaw Stage. The four piece from Kentucky, endorsed by Billy F. Gibbons, were brilliant with an addictive blues rock set including a Led Zeppelin cover of Your Time Is Gonna Come. They showcased their latest release Eyes Of The Sun and I can feel a shopping spree is just around the corner!

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Ugly Kid Joe

Ugly Kid Joe, did exactly what it said on the tin, a full rock performance and from the comments being made around me, one of the highlights of Saturday. Whitfield Crane on vocals confessing that “when I looked at the weather I thought we were f*cked, but hey the sun is out"... and a drummer wearing nothing but lime green underpants...what more can one wish for?

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I just had time to see Kent band Collateral (formally Angelo Tristan Band) close out their set to a rammed Rising Stars Stage audience. These guys are certainly destined for greater things and they have a true showman in Angelo.

A short visit to the Prog In The Park tent in passing to catch a glimpse of Vola giving an impressive up tempo set but to be honest the somewhat claustrophobic oven of the tent was not going to entice me there too often.

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Cellar Door Moon Crow

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A great selection of real ale was there for our enjoyment

I was always going to miss something of note and it happened to be one of the stand out performances on the day; Robert Jon & The Wreck. I got the impression that I wasn't the only one missing out.

Jimmy Barnes performs at Ramblin' Man Fair - 20 July 2019
Jimmy Barnes performs at Ramblin' Man Fair - 20 Jult 2019 (Phil Honley / gigsnapz)

Jimmy Barnes

Jimmy Barnes, former Cold Chisel front man, at 63 still pushes his brilliant vocals to the limit and with more top selling albums in his homeland than any other Aussie, he is a true rock legend. These days he resists drinking on stage unlike the two bottles of vodka he allegedly drank during his Cold Chisel days.

A great band with a few of Jimmy’s offspring playing alongside him, Jimmy’s son Jackie impressing on drums . No communication though with his audience and  no band introductions just a full-on set including Flame Trees from his Cold Chisel days together with his own signature song Working Class Man.

Ryders Creed at 2019 Ramblin' Man Fair 20/07/19

Ryders Creed

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Dust Bowl Jokies

Staffordshire rockers and all round nice guys Ryders Creed are already on the rise and took full advantage of their 35 minute Rising Stars slot. Don’t be surprised if they are the next ones to be invited up onto the main stage next year,

The Temperance Movement perform at Ramblin' Man Fair - 20 July 2019 (Phil Honley /. gigsnapz)

The Temperance Movement

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Cheap Trick

The Temperance Movement are always good value, especially for a festival environment. It did seem a little ironic that I was enjoying their performance with a beer in hand in view of the social movement ........They get the audience on side immediately and vocalist Phil Campbell is always outrageously over dressed.

Allman Betts Band at 2019 Ramblin' Man Fair 20/07/19
Allman Betts Band at 2019 Ramblin' Man Fair 20/07/19

The Allman Betts Band

The Allman Betts Band did not miss the opportunity to allude to the Allman Brothers Band great Ramblin’ Man (oh how they should have played it) but opting to play Blue Sky instead.  Devon Allman, Duane Betts and Berry Duane Oakley are all now entrenched in the band which was previously known as the Devon Allman Project and all are sons of the original Allman Brothers Band founders.

Highlights included I Got My Eyes On You with excellent vocal from Mr Oakley, John Lee Hooker’s Dimples with a guest performance from Black Stone Cherry’s Ben Wells on guitar. Purple Rain was a surprise selection before they closed with their own Long Gone.

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Kenny Wayne Shepherd at 2019 Ramblin' Man Fair 20/07/19

Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band

I believe the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band had the longest slot over the weekend and they used the two hours well. Commenced with four numbers from his new album The Traveler which went down a treat especially Neil Young’s Mr Soul.

I first saw Kenny Wayne Shepherd when he came to London in the mid 90s and he has always been a star attraction whenever he returns to the UK. Be sure to catch him later this year when he returns. He had great applause for the classic Blue On Black (recently covered by Five Finger Death Punch) and signing off with another classic from a different era, Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

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Black Stone Cherry at 2019 Ramblin' Man Fair 20/07/19

Black Stone Cherry

Making their third appearance at RMF and their second headline slot, Black Stone Cherry was the perfect choice to headline this year’s Saturday night after what in most people’s opinion was a poor choice last year.

A 90 minute set in which they pushed all of the buttons. First number was tempting fate Rain Wizard but he never showed, the weather was perfect all afternoon and evening. Me And Mary Jane, Cheaper To Drink Alone, Blame It On The Boom Boom, White Trash Millionaire and closing out with Family Tree. It seemed to end with no serious demand for an encore but we were treated to Peace Is Free.

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Black Stone Cherry

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Sunday was always forecast as being the best day of the weekend weather-wise but I feel the line-up was slightly weaker than Saturday. Looking at some of the punters, they were perhaps a little weaker today also following Saturday’s partying. No complaints mind, as another new band for me Sweet Crisis kicked things off on the Blues Stage. Songs such as Treading In Deep Water and a brilliant cover of Rival SonsPressure And Time acted as a magnet drawing people in, possibly believing the guys from L.A. had dropped in.

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Sweet Crisis

Austin Gold opened the main stage - a no thrills rock band they were very competent and inoffensive. There was nothing to dislike but if I'm honest, nothing particularly dynamic. Planet Rock’s own Paul Anthony nearly fell off the stage whilst introducing them and not wishing him ill will, it was amusing.

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Austin Gold

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Salvation Jayne

Elles Bailey, whom I personally rate as one of the UKs most promising songwriters, with Joe Wilkins her faithful servant on guitar and Stevie Watts guesting on keyboards, entertained a very appreciative audience. Elles played a fine selection from her two well received albums Wildfire and A Road I Call Home together with a teaser from her forthcoming third offering Woman Like Me.

The first number she dedicated to all those suffering from the Pledge Music fiasco. She deserves heaps of praise by sorting the fall out from this collapse single handedly and honouring all pledges. Other artists haven’t been so forthcoming but why should they as they are seriously out of pocket? Elles just went beyond the call of duty.

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Elles Bailey

Living Colour on the Planet Rock stage were a photographer’s dream, a kaleidoscope of colour. The band is Vernon Reid on guitar, Corey Glover's excellent vocals, Will Calhoun on drums and Doug Wimbish (so good the Rolling Stones saw fit to replace Bill Wyman with him) on bass. A great set of funk-metal that went down a treat.

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Living Colour

I braved the heat within the Grooverider tent to sample stoner rockers Steak - great heavy, foot down on the pedal rock. It was well worth the effort, especially when they covered Roadhouse Blues.

King Creature at 2019 Ramblin' Man Fair 21/07/19

King Creature

Gin Annie are a Wolverhampton band I'd not heard before, and you have to be amazed just how much talent there is out there. A great performance on the Rising Stage from a band clearly really enjoying itself.

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Gin Annie

Ritchie Kotzen is a class act. Whether performing under his own name or with Winery Dogs he never fails to deliver. Today, however, he seemed to take it to a different level. He has a wonderful vocal range, not unlike the much missed Chris Cornell, and boy can he stretch those six strings on his Telecaster. He had the wonderful Dylan Wilson on bass.

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Ritchie Kotzen

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Best band for me on the Grooverider Stage were the hard rock / funk rockers Crobot - they are always brilliant. The animated Brandon Yeagley delighted with throw away remarks like: "I deliberately didn’t wear deodorant today to make it more funky for you". He had piercing eyes that looked right through you and even gave it some body surfing on the surface of the stage.

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Crobot perform at Ramblin' Man Fair - 21 July 2019 (Phil Honley / gigsnapz)


I am a big Black Crowes fan but the Chris Robinson Brotherhood failed to light my fire. If you want a Black Crowes fix then check out Magpie Salute, his brother Rich Robinson still delivers.

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Chris Robinson Brotherhood perform at Ramblin' Man Fair - 21 July 2019 (Phil Honley / gigsnapz)

Chris Robinson Brotherhood

Everlast is not strictly blues so I was really surprised he was the penultimate act on the Blues stage.

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The Fallen State

Airbourne, top rockers from Australia could have warranted the headline spot on Sunday. If there is anyone out there who cannot appreciate these guys.....well turn it in now. Frontman Joel O’Keeffe captioned it in his own words: "As long as we are here as long as you are here rock and roll will live". There was no climbing scaffold but he did smash the can of lager on his head and he even launched himself and a few beers from Lemmy’s Bar into the audience.

Airbourne at 2019 Ramblin' Man Fair 21/07/19
Airbourne at 2019 Ramblin' Man Fair 21/07/19


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I just had to catch the end of Beth Hart’s set. What a voice - full of emotion, she really gives you her soul. She is equally at home behind the keys, prowling seductively around the stage or casually relaxing on a stool. She has some amazing songs reflecting the struggles and joys of her life, the most impressive of which in my opinion is Tell Her You Belong To Me.

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Beth Hart at 2019 Ramblin' Man Fair 21/07/19
Beth Hart at 2019 Ramblin' Man Fair 21/07/19

Beth Hart

Orange Goblin headlined the Grooverider stage and drew quite a crowd, though I feel there were better bands before them more worthy of the headline slot. I've already nailed my Crobot colours to the mast.

Airbourne perform at Ramblin' Man Fair - 21 July 2019 (Phil Honley / gigsnapz)

I didn’t catch more than 20 minutes of Foreigner’s set as I really consider them these days to be a tribute act. I was lucky enough to catch Double Vision, Head Games, Cold As Ice, Waiting For A Girl Like You and Dirty White Boy. From what I heard I was impressed, reviving happy memories of a band I fell in love with in 1976. It was always going to be a greatest hits set and Kelly Hansen was brilliant on vocals...... ably filling the shoes of Lou Gramm.

To conclude, this was a fabulous weekend. The line up was probably the best so far and we're already looking forward to next year, Ramble on.........

Live review and photography by Phil Honley. This review was originally published by RockShot Magazine and photography was also provided by Simon Reed. Simon has his own website so check it out at www.musicalpictures.co.uk

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