As soon as I saw the line up for this years Rammy Fest I just had to be involved, I had to go and see what it was all about. Anyone who can put on a line up like that needed as many people as possible to shout about it.
I had never been to Ramsbottom or even Bury before until this weekend and I am now so glad to have visited both places.Bury is a wonderful town, with a busy market attracting millions each year and has a new and modern shopping centre with all the shops you could wish for, well my better half could wish for!
We arrive in Bury late afternoon and grab a quick pint in the pub opposite the Interchange, The Art Picture House which is beautiful inside, an old picture house which has been lovingly restored by Wetherspoons.
We arrive at Ramsbottom around 6 pm, the bus dropped us off right outside the Cricket Club where the festival is held and we make our way into the ground. Whats noticeable immediately is that its a great place for a festival, very secluded and yet a great open space.
There are two bars both easy to get served at, one called the Ramsbottom Festival bar serving lagers, ciders etc. and the other is the IRWELL WORKS REAL ALE TENT where we sampled some award winning ales from Ramsbottom’s own local brewery. There is even a Ramsbottom Festival Ale on sale, which I have to say is excellent!
On arrival we hear a group talking about who they want to see and I hear them say a name I hadn’t heard before (sorry but now I’ve heard it I wont forget it!!!) the name I heard was DANNY MAHON. I check the programme and find that he is playing at the LADYBIRD STAGE (which is the up and coming artists stage and also the home of the silent disco!)
Danny takes to the stage and its quite obvious to see he has a following! A posse of lads and lasses surround the front of the stage and sing every word straight back to him! He reminded me at first of Liam from The Courteeners when he sings acoustic songs but after a while I realise he is more than that. He rhymes Miles Platting with this and that in which makes me smile but underneath his tough looking exterior are songs of true beauty and passion. I dont know any song titles but make note of some of the lines he sings “Just another tale of council estate love”
“Just like every now and then there’s beauty in a Salford Skyline”
When he sings a song with the line “We can do what we want forever” his loyal army join him on stage singing every word to the crowds below. When the song finishes they climb down and Danny cracks a gag that at his next gig your not allowed on stage unless your under 5ft 2!!
I am entralled from start to finish and before I came to the festival I swore to myself that I would find something or someone new to shout about, here he is MR DANNY MAHON one of my festival highlights.
We grab a pint and head over to the main stage and watch THE JANICE GRAHAM BAND who I believe are back again after a successful show at the festival last year. Like a lot of the acts here at RAMMY FEST they are local which to me is what festivals should be about, showcasing what we have got thats on our door steps.
They do not disappoint, they are young but boy can they play reminding me and my wife of THE CLASH, they announce towards the end of their set that they are playing Manchester Ritz on the 1st December, so get a ticket now!
We and the crowd are now trully warmed up and ready for the main event!! THE INSPIRAL CARPETS headlining the opening night. We grab a pint and make our way to the main stage and the count down begins. On stage is a giant screen counting down the seconds and minutes till showtime. And bang on zero they are launcing into JOE, we all sing back every word and it feels like 1990 all over again!! They play hit after hit (set list below) and are trully wonderful. I reviewed them back in March on this very site and have to say as I did back then that when bands reform they often sound past their sell by date. The Inspiral’s dont fall into this category, they still sound as good as they did back then. And as said to Stephen Holt at their Sheffield Leadmill show they haven’t aged badly either!!
Set list below for all your completists! If I have got anything wrong let me know
She comes in the fall
You’re so Good for me
This is how it feels
Find out Why
I want you (total surprise they played this, for me anyway!!!)
Dragging me Down
STOP PRESS!! As I write my review the Inspirals have just announced a tour for next March where they will play their debut album LIFE for the first time in its entirety. Tickets go on sale this Friday 21st September.Link below:-
We quickly make a sharp exit to grab the bus back to Bury, smiling all the way as we think about tonight and what day 2 will bring.
Day 2 arrives my wife drags me into Bury with my hangover in tow and we spend some money in the modern city centre shops.
We get the bus and are Ramsbottom bound just after lunch time. A couple of ciders on arrival and my hangover is going, a couple more into the afternoon and its well and trully gone and I’m ready for RODDY WOOMBLE.
The crowd gather at the main stage, its a beautiful way to spend a Saturday afternoon, sat on the short cricket pitch grass listening to Roddy’s voice equally matched in beauty by the female vocalist who plays live with him.
Roddy makes comment that it seems like a lovely festival, no mud and very short grass, the ideal combination at a festival. They play My Secret is my Silence, Live like you can and more from his 2 solo lps and encore with the IDLEWILD classic You held the world in your arms. A fantastic end to a brilliant set.
We grab something to eat in the canteen area and watch the youngest band I think I have ever seen play live on the A&L STAGE, ELEKTRIK. They are wonderful, a breath of fresh air and its great to see young musicians having a go. They have a great girl vocalist and play a set with songs for everyone, Smoke on the water (loved the drummer and his great drumming!) Song 2 by Blur (even had me singing) and many more.KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!
We head over to the Ladybird stage and catch local band DARKTOWN JUBILEE who have me singing “Somethings got to give” over and over all afternoon. Good band, great songs!
We make our way to the main stage and watch MILES HUNT AND ERICA NOCKALLS who play the hits of THE WONDERSTUFF on acoustic guitar and violin. Circlesquare, Never loved Elvis and more! MILES announces that in the 25 years he’s been in music today is his debut in Ramsbottom!
We wander into Ramsbottom and grab a pint in the newly refurbished THE RAILWAY, fantastic decor and great THATCHERS cider!!!
We then head back to watch CELTIC BREW as we are under strict instructions from their front man who we met earlier on not to miss them on the A&L stage. They got my feet tapping and head nodding, so job done there!!
They are a great party atmosphere band playing Irish jig style music (I’m sure thats not the technical term!!)
Next up we head over to the main stage and watch the fantastic THE LEISURE SOCIETY who get us ready for todays highlight the superb ADMIRAL FALLOW. Now these guys and gal should be massive! Their debut album was a NORTHERNLINE high point last year and we caught them last summer at the DEER SHED festival in a small tent. The have certainly earnt the right to any main stage and whilst watching them I drift into a day dream singing along to Boots met my Face. Absolutley superb!! Go see them as soon as you can!!
They are touring in December and tickets are available for a venue near you now at:-
Darkness descends and we watch the superb I AM KLOOT close day 2 of another brillant day. They are the icing on the cake and play everyone’s favourites from the Mecury nominated album Sky at night. The crowd sing back to frontman John Bramwell’s every word.
We leave the festival and catch the bus back to our Bury hotel and I wish that we were staying for the last day but sadly we can’t (thats the problem when you have work on Monday and no holidays left!!)
To sum up great food, great beer and most important great bands and all for a price everyone can afford!
ROLL ON RAMSBOTTOM 2013 WE CANNOT WAIT!!
Our follow them both on twitter @rammyfestival and @themet for updates and photo’s from this year and news for next years RAMMY FEST!!
By Andy on September 18, 2012
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