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Ramblin' Man Fair live review - Maidstone

Live Review

Venue: Mote Park, Maidstone

Ramblin' Man returns for a second year at Mote Park


Despite disconcerting levels of noise seeping through the trees from the Main Stage, IO Earth make a decent fist of kicking things off for the prog faithful. Vocalist Linda Odinsen occasionally struggles to cut through her bandmates’ slick yet soulful wall of sound, but it’s an enjoyable set.

Frost* offer a similarly absorbing range of noises and emotions, and the band’s sheer exuberance shakes the crowd out of their lazy, sun-kissed reverie. It also helps that Jem Godfrey’s crew are clearly having an obscene amount of fun – albeit while wearing some of the most heroically puke-inducing stage outfits Prog has witnessed in a long while.

Purson’s idiosyncratic mastery of the psychedelic pop formula makes them one of the most thrilling and uplifting live bands around. Rosalie Cunningham is a natural-born rock’n’roll star by any sane reckoning, and her songs – from the bolshy Electric Landlady to the wickedly creepy Spiderwood Farm – are the equal of the late-60s nuggets she’s so lovingly appropriated.

Revelling in their status as one of modern prog’s most cerebral pleasures, Lifesigns are a blur of lightly expressed complexity; a touch of much-needed spice, perhaps, to go with the meat and potatoes that’s on offer elsewhere.

The resurrected Zombies formed too early to be a prog band, but in terms of their contribution to making late-60s pop a fascinating sonic realm, Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone deserve all the adulation they receive. Time Of The Season remains their greatest song, but every moment twinkles with timeless magic and class.


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