Wednesday, June 05, 2024

Rock The Mote, A Tribute To The Greatest Bands In The World...

Rock The Mote, simply the best tribute festival in the South East, came marching back for its fifth year. After the great Maidstone floods of 2023, there were concerns in the air, with some rainfall Friday evening. By Saturday there wasn't a droplet in sight.

The great thing about the three day camping festival is the eclectic line up, with something to please every palate. The festival is a celebration of music past and present, bringing Rock and Pop, with a dash of Metal and Soul. It is without doubt the perfect place to cut your teeth or start off your mini-moshers festival journey.

With growth, comes a greater risk of problems and festivals are not exempt from issues. Friday evening saw some technical difficulties resulting in a long delay and then the inevitable loss of a big act, Foo Fighters GB unfortunately not being able to perform. The early Saturday news was more misfortune, with the Dolly Parton tribute act pulling out. The organisers managed to rescue the moment with Michael Appleton stepping in as the Canadian crooner, Michael BublĂ©.

Machine Head UK were one of the early acts leaping onto the Heavy Rock Stage. Thrashing out impressive covers, turning the tide of the unfortunate beginnings of the weekend and setting the crowd up for the delivery of a phenomenal afternoon and delectable weekend.

Kelly Clarkson (AKA Tesni Jones) hit up the pop stage delivering those familiar tunes, and a really fun rendition of 'What's Up?' (4 Non Blondes). Ghost (Popestars) were next to arrive. To the delight of the heavy rockers in attendance, Popestars had face paint and masks to set the scene. The congregation were happy and the day rolled on.

Gracing the main stage, Fleetwood Unchained really sparked the crowd to life, being one of the highlights of the weekend for many and producing a very big and captivated audience. A true homage to the sound and the band Fleetwood Mac. 'Go Your Own Way', was one of the biggest anthems of the day, with full crowd participation, which really cranked up the party atmosphere.

There's not much of a better way to capitulate to the party vibe than following such a set with some MadnessUltimate Madnezz had old and young skanking in no time, belting out classics, with the crowd not slowing one bit.

Charging back across the festival grounds to the heavy corner, a personal favourite and crown jewel of the entire weekend, we were treated to Chop Suey and their truly brilliant representation of the legendary System Of A Down. Chop Suey themselves being a bit of a superband, made up of members who have graced acts such as; Anti-Nowhere League, DragonForce and Breed 77. They blast through with ease, cover after cover, the crowd roaring and lapping it up. You could see strangers coming together embracing, singing, fist bumping. It's exactly what live music and festivals are about. It's almost tribal. Chop Suey should really be proud of the energy they sent out. Mentions should go out to tributes for, Oasis, and Elton John as I picked up snipets, while floundering around in search of food. A decent choice was on offer and several cuisines were sampled.

As the Saturday was slowly drawing to a climax Michael Mathers presented his version of Eminem bringing the pop stage to a close. This Eminem was brilliant and could have easily been on the main stage. Eminem was joined for several songs by local talent Louisa H, singer, with a fab and powerful voice. The crowd were lapping it up with the set definitely being worthy of closing a stage.

Saturday night and The Prodigy closed out the day. Jilted Generation - The Prodigy - Tribute Band, did everything you could ask for, ending the night and they honour Keith Flint well putting on an epic show. The entire crowd left the arena with joy, smiles all around, having been treated to a smorgasbord of music - the day going from strength to strength.

All of this and there was still another stacked day to go, with tributes to the likes of Green DayGuns N' RosesIron Maiden, Avril Lavigne and ABBA.

Rock The Mote, has really cemented itself as the go to tribute show. It is the perfect mix of music, people, ages. It really is a place for music fans. Earlier in the calendar than previous years, Rock the Mote has well and truly kicked off festival season.


Rhys Tagg


 Image: Rhys Tagg

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