Review by Mick Dyer photos Glen Parkes
For a company that usually deals with, more mainstream events and festivals an such like, their first foray into a completely different beast that is the rock festival was an unqualified success. On the inaugural first complete day of the Maid in Stone Festival in Mote Park, Maidstone, Kent there were the inevitable niggles by the self-styled keyboard warriors…but these were most decidedly in the minority. Everybody I spoke to as I meandered through the crowds said they were enjoying themselves despite the persistent rain, the rock festival veterans had their camping chairs, poncho and brollies all out and were singing or nodding along to the tunes.
Now to the music. Starting at eleven o’clock in the morning and running almost non-stop until half-past ten that night there was a total of eighteen bands performing across the three stages -the Maiden, the Phoenix and the Jeff Beck Memorial.
Opening the day on the Maiden stage was Skinny Knowledge who brought their unique sound and energy to the stage, captivating the audience and turning the rain-soaked atmosphere into one of excitement and joy.
Moving on to the Phoenix stage the first act was Trident Waters, a talented and versatile band known for their unique blend of rock, blues, and soulful melodies that have captivated audiences. Powerful vocals and expert musicianship combined to excite the crowd.
The opening act on the Jeff Beck Memorial Stage at around lunchtime was Collateral. Collateral is a local Kent-based band and is a rising star in the world of rock music after winning the prestigious Cambden Rocks festival beating 20,000 other bands. Their sound is a fusion of classic rock with a modern edge, creating a unique and unforgettable experience for everyone in attendance. Their songs are filled with catchy hooks and anthemic choruses, making it impossible not to get caught up in the excitement. As the last note echoes through the air, the crowd erupts into thunderous applause.
Next up on to the main stage was the fantastic Kira Mac, a lady singer/songwriter known for her soulful voice blending elements of folk, pop, and indie into her captivating performances and drawing the audience into her world. Throughout her set, Kira Mac’s music takes the audience on a journey of emotions, from tender moments that tug at the heartstrings to empowering anthems that leave you feeling uplifted. Her songs are relatable and resonate with people from all walks of life. As the final notes of her set fill the air, the crowd erupts into thunderous applause, With her magnetic stage presence and undeniable talent, Kira Mac leaves an indelible impression on everyone lucky enough to witness her performance. Her passion for music shines through, and her artistry leaves a lasting impact on the hearts of her audience. As Kira Mac bids farewell to the main stage, the crowd is left in awe, eagerly anticipating the next time they can experience her incredible talent.
Following Kira Mac was the Kris Barras Band. Hailing from Devon this four-piece band has only gone one way since its inception in 2015. Kris Barras Band is a powerhouse fusion of rock and blues combined with some soulful melodies, and their high-energy performances are renowned for leaving audiences breathless. Kris Barras’ vocals are equally compelling, delivering soulful and gritty performances that perfectly complement the music. His lyrics tell stories of life, love, and everything in between, connecting with the audience on a profound level. As the set progresses, the crowd becomes immersed in the raw energy and passion pouring from the stage. They have undoubtedly left an unforgettable mark on this Saturday’s main stage.
On the Phoenix Stage, the Tygers of Pan Tang brought their own form of rock heritage to the festival. Originally formed in 1978, they disbanded in ‘87 but reformed in ‘99 and have continued playing and recording ever since and are now an integral part of the British heavy rock revival.
Over on the Maiden Stage Gallows Circus, a high-octane rock band known for their powerful sound and intense live shows. As the lights dim and the stage comes alive, the crowd senses the energy building up in anticipation of what’s to come. The band members take their positions, and the lead singer commands the stage with a magnetic presence. Their music is a fusion of classic rock and modern elements, creating a dynamic and unique sound that sets them apart. Gallows Circus wastes no time in getting the crowd engaged. Their infectious energy and stage presence draw everyone in, and the audience can’t help but be swept up in the excitement. Throughout their set, Gallows Circus keeps the energy level at its peak,
Now over to the Phoenix stage to experience the high-octane rock ‘n’ roll of Gin Annie, is a powerhouse band known for their infectious energy and hard-hitting rock sound. Gin Annie’s music is a fusion of classic rock and modern elements, and their songs are filled with catchy hooks and memorable melodies. Plus, with their dynamic presence and undeniable talent, Gin Annie has undoubtedly left their mark on this rock festival.
Following Gin Annie on the Phoenix Stage is Bad Touch, another powerhouse rock five-piece band who have never looked back since their early days of doing rock covers, onto winning the Marshall Ultimate Band Competition in ‘13 and playing at Download the following year. Nowadays, they are in great demand and rightly so, their veteran rock brought forward and given their own slant on the music is a great crowd pleaser.
Back to the main stage where Orange Goblin, a heavy rock band with a history that started in ‘95 and is only getting better with age. Orange Goblin’s music is heavy and raw, filled with a sense of rebellion and a drive to let loose and have a good time.
The final band on the Phoenix Stage was an American rock band from Indiana, The Cold Stares. With a style that encapsulates rock and blues, the band went down really well with the audience.
The Saturday headliner, the legend that is Glenn Hughes took to the Jeff Beck stage to rapturous applause from the expectant crowd. With his rock pedigree coming to the fore his set kept the audience mesmerised for the whole time he was on and left the crowd crying out for more.
All I can say about day two is it was wet and at times windy but the music was fantastic the guys running the first Maid of Stone festival have done a fantastic job if day three is near as good as this we wre in for a treat.