Maid Of Stone – Sunday. Like Glenn Hughes the night before, Airbourne were, on paper, limited to an hour set, though, unlike Glenn, they were clearly less concerned as they overran. After all, it’s only rock ‘n’ roll now, isn’t it? And that’s the point with Airbourne. Everything is rock ‘n’ roll.
This is a band who live, breathe, eat and especially drink rock ‘n’ roll. They may not care about the cliché. They do what they love, which is to rock out, and everyone on site was quite happy to join in and do the same.
Airbourne are a band that knows exactly what their audience wants. They don’t hold back, and their adrenaline-fuelled blitzkrieg was just what Mote Park needed. On a day that had seen fabulous sets after even more fantastic sets, it was going to take Airbourne on their top game to win this one over. But of course, this is Airbourne, and there is no such thing as anything but their top game.
With screaming guitars, they leapt onto the stage to Ready To Rock, with singer and guitarist Joel O’Keeffe racing around like a demented Duracell bunny. Where Airbourne are concerned, there is no middle ground. They came, they saw, and they conquered Mote Park.
Albeit, there wasn’t a lot of conquering to do as Airbourne already had the audience won over from the moment they hit the stage.
Despite the negative comments that they are AC/DC wannabees that have followed the band around since the start, and yes, they do play that similar vein of Aussie rock, this is a band that has been around for over 20 years now and has more than stamped their own personal imprint onto the music industry.
If you can’t have a good time watching Airbourne, then you can’t have a good time anywhere.
All the usual antics you get at an Airbourne gig were on show. Four songs in, and Joel is up on a roadie’s shoulders, cracking beer cans open on his head whilst weaving through the crowd, the chords of Burnout The Nitro blasting out.
From a setlist perspective, this was what everyone wanted, pure heads-down rock ‘n’ roll. The good times just kept coming. Breaking Outta Hell was followed up by It’s All For Rock ‘N’ Roll before crashing into Stand Up For Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Next up came the second world war air raid siren, which wailed across the Kent countryside as a precursor to Live it Up. By now, we had hit the hour and the end of the show, but that was not the case, and the band were back with Runnin’ Wild, a title that was fully apt in view of tonight’s show.
Quite simply the perfect end to a very good weekend. So, time now to crack a beer, sit back and wait for the second outing next year.
Maid Of Stone Festival 2023 was held over the weekend of 21-23 July 2023. MetalTalk’s Adrian Stonley, Paul Monkhouse and Robert Sutton were reporting from Mote Park.
All Photography: Robert Sutton
Early Bird tickets are available for next year’s festival held over 19-21 July 2024. Tickets are available from here.
All MetalTalk Maid Of Stone 2023 coverage is at https://www.metaltalk.net/tag/maid-of-stone-festival-2023