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Unrivalled festival coverage!

Whitesnake - Ramblin' Man Fair, Maidstone, 23 July 2016
Photo: Paul Clampin

Ramblin’ Man Fair

“The crowd around me were vocalising their disbelief and displeasure in some fairly agricultural language…”

In its second year, our verdict on the classic rock weekend with headliners Whitesnake and Black Stone Cherry

Day 1 (Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy, Europe…)
Day 2 (Black Stone Cherry, Thunder, Airbourne…)

Thunder - STEELHOUSE FESTIVAL - Ebbw Vale, South Wales, 23 July 2016
Photo: Darren Griffiths

Steelhouse

“We have waited a long time to see Thunder on top of the mountain and, boy, did we enjoy the view…”

GRTR!’s Darren Griffiths has been with Steelhouse from the start and watched it grow, read his view on this year’s event.

Day 1 (Thunder, The Answer, Blues Pills…)


Win weekend tickets to the Great British R&B Festival!

In his weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on Sunday 24 July, David Randall previewed some of the acts appearing at this year’s Great British R&B Festival. (10:39)

Willie And The Bandits - GREAT BRITISH ROCK & BLUES FESTIVAL - Skegness 22-24 January 2016

The 27th Great British R&B Festival takes place Bank Holiday weekend (26-29 August) across several venues in and around Colne, Lancashire.

This well established event features an International and British stage along with several other venues hosting a variety of blues music.

The Great British R&B Festival

Amongst the main acts appearing on the International stage are Nine Below Zero, Dave Edmunds, Bernie Marsden, Nikki Hill, Wilko Johnson, Willie & The Bandits (pictured) and Devon Allman whilst the British stage hosts acts such as Rebecca Downes, Connie Lush and Roadhouse.  Six other venues will showcase the best new and established blues talent.

Get Ready to ROCK! is giving away a pair of weekend passes to one lucky winner.  Head over to our competition page!

Festival website
Competition (closes 07.08.16)

Interview links
Red Butler
Devon Allman

Gary Boner (Roadhouse)


More News


In this exclusive interview edit, Graeme Taylor chats to David Randall about Richard Harvey’s departure and the band’s regeneration in advance of the August 2016 gigs. (7:12)

The full version of this interview will be broadcast in an hour special on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sunday 31 July at 18:00 GMT.  See foot of page for information about how to listen in.

Gryphon

In 1973, the folk/rock band Gryphon were described in ‘Melody Maker’ as “The 13th Century Slade”.  Influenced by the burgeoning early music scene, inspired by the late David Munrow, the band melded folk, medieval and rock influences.

Royal College Of Music graduates Richard Harvey and Brian Gulland, together with Graeme Taylor and one-time heavy metal drummer Dave Oberle, were equally at home playing in front of giggling schoolgirls at the V&A in London as they were in massive arenas (they toured in the USA with Yes in 1974/5).

The band’s debut album in 1973 featured a mix of medieval dances and original material.  The follow-up ‘Midnight Mushrumps’ pushed them more in the direction of progressive although retaining the early instrumentation.  By the time of 1974′s ‘Red Queen To Gryphon Three’ this approach was more fully developed.

Gryphon - Dave Oberle, Graeme Taylor and Graham Preskett

After 1975′s ‘Raindance’ Taylor and bassist Malcolm Bennett left and the band soldiered on for one more album, 1977′s ‘Treason’ but they failed to recapture their earlier success.

A reunion had been mooted for some time and, finally, in June 2009 the original band performed at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London followed by a series of dates in spring 2015.

In 2016, ahead of a further set of dates, Richard Harvey announced that he was leaving the band to concentrate on his work, including touring, with film composer Hans Zimmer.

Gryphon - Brian Gulland

Gryphon reconstituted with Rory McFarlane (bass) who also works with Taylor in his other main musical interest, Home Service, and Keith Thompson (ex-City Waites) on woodwinds.  Additional instrumentalist Graham Preskett worked with the band in 2009.

The band play several dates, including Cropredy, in August followed by a gig at Union Chapel, London on 16 September.

On Sunday 31 July at 18:00 GMT, Graeme Taylor chats about the band in a one-hour special on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio.  The station’s David Randall was a big fan back in 1973/4 and confided to Graeme that around that time he and a friend had formed a medieval folk duo and were also not averse to dressing up in doublet and hose.  The music, he hastened to add, wasn’t just an excuse to dress up in the gear!

Says David “I was heavily into the history of the period and inspired by the music and enthusiasm of the late David Munrow who in the early 1970s fronted The Early Music Consort of London.  Gryphon appeared on the scene at just the right time and provided an irresistible and infectious concoction of crumhorns and cornamuse the like of which had scarcely been seen in a rock and roll context.”

AUGUST 2016
THU 11TH CROPREDY, Oxfordshire http://www.fairportconvention.com/
FRI 12TH – GODALMING, Farncombe Live, St Johns Church, St.John’s Street, Farncombe, Godalming, Surrey GU7 3EJ
£20 (adv) £24 (door) Tickets -01483 421520 http://www.eventim.co.uk/ http://www.wegottickets.com/julianlewrymusic
TUES 16TH – BILSTON, Robin 2, 20-28 Mount Pleasant, Bilston WV14 7LJ
£17.50 (adv) £19.50 (door) www.therobin.co.uk
WED 17TH – SOUTHAMPTON, The Talking Heads, 16-22 Polgon, Southampton SO15 2BN 7.30pm
£18 adv http://talkingheads.vticket.co.uk/product.php?xProd=565
SEPTEMBER 2016
Fri. 16th: LONDON, Union Chapel, Compton Terrace N1 2UN
£22.50 (adv) + booking fee 7pm http://store.unionchapel.org.uk/events/16-sep-16-gryphon-union-chapel/

More News

On Sunday 17 July on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio David Randall previewed the Cambridge Rock Festival, with music from Don Airey, Malaya Blue and 4th Labyrinth. (16:07)

Cambridge Rock Festival 2014 - Cloud Atlas

Cambridge Rock Returns, 4-7 August

Celebrating its 16th year, the Cambridge Rock Festival takes place at Haggis Farm Polo Club, Barton, Cambridgeshire 4-7 August with headliners Jim Cregan, Carl Palmer and Focus.  The event gets underway on the additional date, Wednesday 3 August, when Don Airey (Deep Purple) will perform for charity (Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust) with Jack Bruce tribute Fresh Cream in support.

Cambridge Rock Festival

The Festival – across three fully covered stages – is supplemented by over 100 real ales/ciders and wide selection of food.

More information

Also this weekend (5-7 August)  A New Day Festival in Faversham, Kent features Wilko Johnson, Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) and The Stranglers amongst a host of blues/prog and classic rock acts.

More information

The 14th Dream Of Dr.Sardonicus Festival, 5-7 August 2016

For those of a more psychedelic hue, the 14th Dream Of Dr. Sardonicus Festival takes place in Cardigan, West Wales, at the Cellar Bar.  The weekend of 5-7 August will witness live music from bands such as Vibravoid, Soft Hearted Scientists and Sendelica helping to shift quantities of limited edition vinyl from the Fruits de Mer Records label.

More information

And if blues is your bag the North Wales Blues & Soul Festival takes place in Mold, North Wales 5-7 August with Laurence Jones, Aynsley Lister Connie Lush, Rebecca Downes amongst the acts appearing.

More information


Feature video

SINNERGOD Burn

Album review

SARI SCHORR Black Betty

Sari’s new album ‘A Force Of Nature’ is released by Manhaton Records on 2 September.

She plays Colne R&B Festival on 29 August and extensive dates in the UK in September.

PURPLE Mini Van

Texas trio Purple release their second album – ‘Bodacious’ – on 29 July.

CHANTEL McGREGOR Home

Chantel is on tour in the UK, August-September 2016.

Album review


Festivals banner

Here’s a quick round-up of some key 2016 festival events – for more information about tours/festivals see our upcoming section. These are mainly the events we’ve been notified of – if you’re running an event and are not listed please let us know via the contact section.

Great British Rock & Blues Festival, Skegness 22-24 January
Review

Giants Of Rock, Minehead 29-31 January
Review

Hard Rock Hell AOR, Pwllheli, 10-13 March
Review

Hammerfest, Pwllheli, 10-13 March
Review

Hard Rock Hell Prog, Pwllheli, 17-20 March
Review

Bearded Theory Festival, Catton Hall, South Derbyshire 26-29 May
Review

Breaking Bands Festival, Stoke Prior Country Club, 27-29 May
Review

Acoustic Festival of Britain, Uttoxeter Racecourse 3-5 June

THE BLOCKHEADS, KING KING, NELL BRYDEN, MIDGE URE, JUDIE TZUKE and more.

Download, Donington Park, 10-12 June
Review

Stone Free, The O2, London 18-19 June
Day 1 (Alice Cooper, The Darkness, Blackberry Smoke…)
Day 2 (Rick Wakeman, Marillion, Steve Hackett…)

SOS Festival, Prestwich, Manchester 15-17 July
Review

Ramblin’ Man Fair, Mote Park, Maidstone, 23-24 July
Day 1 (Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy, Europe…)
Day 2 (Black Stone Cherry, Thunder, Airbourne…)

Steelhouse Festival, Ebbw Vale, South Wales, 23-24 July
Day 1 (Thunder, The Answer, Blues Pills…)

Cambridge Rock Festival, Haggis Farm Polo Club, Barton, Cambridgeshire, 4-7 August

DON AIREY, JIM CREGAN, CARL PALMER, FOCUS, CURVED AIR and more.

A New Day Festival, Mt Ephraim Gardens, Faversham, Kent, 5-7 August

JETHRO TULL’S IAN ANDERSON, THE STRANGLERS, WILKO JOHNSON, STEELEYE SPAN, FOCUS, CURVED AIR, CARAVAN, MARTIN BARRE BAND and others

North Wales Blues & Soul, Mold, North Wales, 5-7 August

DOUG MACLEOD, AYNSLEY LISTER, LAURENCE JONES and others

Cropredy, Oxfordshire, 11-13 August

FAIRPORT CONVENTION, STEELEYE SPAN, RALPH McTELL, GRYPHON, HAYSEED DIXIE and more to be announced.

Bloodstock Open Air, Catton Hall, South Derbyshire, 11-14 August

MASTODON, TWISTED SISTER, SLAYER, ANTHRAX, BEHEMOTH and more.

Down To The Woods, Hardwick Hall Hotel, County Durham, 13 August

PRIMAL SCREAM, ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN, CATFISH & THE BOTTLEMEN and more.

Watchet Live Festival, Somerset, 26-28 August

LEVELLERS, UB40, THE FEELING, PETER HOOK & THE LIGHT and more

Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival, Colne, Lancs 26-29 August

WILKO JOHNSON, NINE BELOW ZERO, BERNIE MARSDEN and more.


More gig reviews



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