Set in the glorious surroundings of Maidstone’s Mote Park with its rolling Kent green land and huge oaks, this festival is set against a beautiful backdrop with 2 days of lovely sunshine without a raindrop forecast, what could be better!!
Kicking off Day One!
GUN were the first band on the list to check out and this enduring band from Glasgow, although still releasing consistent albums, knew that it was the classics that the people wanted to hear, so with an allocated time slot of 45 minutes they pushed on with ‘Don’t Say its all Over’, ‘Better days’, ‘Word up’ and a thunderous version of ‘Steal your fire’. The band certainly have earnt the right over the years to grace the main stage at any festival.
Next up on the main stage were Nashville’s finest export in many a year THE CADILLAC THREE blending the picking of Country to the monstrous riffs of rock. Vocalist / Guitarist – Jaren Johnstone is every inch the master of ceremonies, taking centre stage and churning out the likes of ‘Bury Me in my Boots’, ‘I’m Southern’ to the heartfelt ballad of ‘White Lightening’, and to end proceedings a huge version of ‘The South’ . This group will make the upcoming ‘Black Stone Cherry’ tour even more appetising due to the fact they have been announced as support on all UK shows.
STEEL PANTHER again on Main Stage certainly got tongues a wagging on the build up to show time due to it being a family orientated festival, but the attitude by the vast majority of people was ‘ if you don’t like it and are offended, go to the other stages on site’ !” and boy oh boy they didn’t disappoint and it is a reviewers worst nightmare!! I could fill an entire A4 pad regarding what took place in the one hour. They offended everyone from DEF LEPPARD’s one armed drummer Rick Allen, to an insane version of ‘Crazy Train’ with vocalist Michael Starr impersonating Ozzy – an absolute treat !!. Songs such as ‘Goin in the Backdoor’, ‘Gloryhole’ and ‘Community Property’ could have been enough for the nice residents of Maidstone to cause a riot, but thankfully no harm done and in a world of doom and gloom the sight of so many people laughing as one to the sight of ‘Lexxi Foxx’ on bass with his mirror and hairspray was a highlight in the humour ratings.
MOTT THE HOOPLE were the Saturday night headliners and rightly deserving it was too. The last time MOTT played an outdoor UK festival was Buxton 1974!! So this was long overdue to say the least. Opening up with ‘Golden Age of Rock n Roll’ they peppered the set with classic after classic. ‘Rollaway the Stone’, ‘Rose’, ‘Walking with a Mountain’ and, catchiest song all day, the timeless ‘All the Way from Memphis’ with Ian Hunter getting stuck into the chorus like his life depended on it. The group then decided to throw a couple of medleys into the mix, no doubt due to the huge stockpile of material they have recorded and released over the years. One of the hotly anticipated tracks was ‘All the Young Dudes’ and was met with a roar of approval. A great end to day one and a perfect start to proceedings with the weather behaving itself for a change.
Review by Steve Bruty