Maid Of Stone / Gin Annie bring great attitude, The Hunna challenged

Maid Of Stone – Saturday. Having to follow the Tygers on the Phoenix Stage was one of the new kids on the block, Gin Annie, and they certainly had a hard act to follow. Yet, quite simply, they more than succeeded and managed to drive the adrenaline and enjoyment levels up a further notch.

Gin Annie

Gin Annie - Maid Of Stone Festival 2023
Gin Annie – Maid Of Stone Festival 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

This was a band intent on making a statement for the new and up-and-coming bands, and they were taking no prisoners. They may have a traditional approach to rock ‘n’ roll, but they’re doing it with the intent to make it more than valid in the current world. This is a band more than capable of transcending the ages.

Gin Annie - Maid Of Stone Festival 2023
Gin Annie – Maid Of Stone Festival 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Younger fans were as excited about them, and the older, more mature audience was embracing a new band doing something that they loved. It would have been easy for fans to drift away, particularly with Kris Barras on the main stage, but there were plenty who had got the message (e-mail in this day and age) about catching these guys.

Gin Annie - Maid Of Stone Festival 2023
Gin Annie – Maid Of Stone Festival 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Gin Annie are a hard-driving five-piece with bucketloads of enthusiasm, drive and energy, and the whole caboodle was unleashed on what was becoming a wetter environment. Despite the now steady drizzle, the audience was not going to be beaten by the elements, though perhaps a few more did watch from the slightly drier calling of the beer tent, but it didn’t take long to bring them back into the open for another new potential discovery.

Gin Annie - Maid Of Stone Festival 2023
Gin Annie – Maid Of Stone Festival 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Gin Annie has a full-steam-ahead approach to playing their style of heavy bluesy rock ‘n’ roll, and this set could not be faulted. With an impressive album and E.P. under the belts, they already have the material to win over a festival crowd, and certainly, they took an approach that, despite the weather, did not dampen the spirits but warmed the crowd up with their good time rock ‘n’ roll offerings.

Gin Annie - Maid Of Stone Festival 2023
Gin Annie – Maid Of Stone Festival 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

With songs like Rain (most appropriate, if not a little ironic on this occasion), Fallin’, and set closer Devil In Me, these boys have the attitude, they have the hooks, but most importantly, they more than have the songs and the stagecraft.

Gin Annie - Maid Of Stone Festival 2023
Gin Annie – Maid Of Stone Festival 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

With a foot-stompin’ set closed and a big cheesy grin on my face, I trudged back to the main stage to see what another young and up-and-coming band, The Hunna, would provide.

The Hunna

The Hunna - Maid Of Stone Festival 2023
The Hunna – Maid Of Stone Festival 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Whether it was the increasing levels of wind and rain that were now lashing the site, this was a battle for the band. Following the larger crowds attending the Phoenix stage, it must have been disappointing that the attendance dropped for their set. Was it the weather or their ‘tea-time’ slot, and everyone was loading up on burgers and fries? But their cause was almost lost from the off.

The Hunna - Maid Of Stone Festival 2023
The Hunna – Maid Of Stone Festival 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Despite a hard core of younger, mostly female fans screaming for their favourites, they seemed to struggle through their set, despite their main frontman, singer and guitarist Ryan (Tino) Potter’s attempts at working the crowd. “If you’re feeling sexy, Maidstone?” Answer? Well, not really. I’ve never felt less sexy and wet, actually. But perhaps then I’m just a grumpy old man. They seemed to lose the day.

The Hunna - Maid Of Stone Festival 2023
The Hunna – Maid Of Stone Festival 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Perhaps they may have been the wrong type of band for this festival. With their more indie layered guitar sound, they were the only band on this weekend that fell into this category, and perhaps their lighter-weighted Nirvana meets Foals-tinged approach was not what was required by many.

The Hunna - Maid Of Stone Festival 2023
The Hunna – Maid Of Stone Festival 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Despite songs like Circles, I Don’t Like You.. OK, a song about being stabbed in the back by a good friend, and the energetic and bouncy Other Side, they were fighting a losing battle. With the increasing wind strength dragging the sound away and more people streaming for cover, the arrival of side artists on stilts dressed as Kiss saw more moving away for photos and an excuse to head back to the Phoenix Stage.

The Hunna - Maid Of Stone Festival 2023
The Hunna – Maid Of Stone Festival 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Even an impromptu singalong of happy birthday to Jack Metcalf couldn’t raise the spirits.

The Hunna - Maid Of Stone Festival 2023
The Hunna – Maid Of Stone Festival 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

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

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