Rock Ridge Rumble
What's the word thunderbird. Well the word is, that the top annual Rock n Roll Festival in the North East of England continues to grow in stature and popularity. Why's that you may wonder. Read on and get a feel for why people travel from near and far to soak up this unique atmosphere that's created at the event.
Situated at Burdon Plain, between Stanley and Sunniside, the central marquee stands proud in the field, around which campers in various types of accommodation can stay. Whether it's an RV home on wheels, caravan, Winnebago, large tent or diminutive dome shaped bivouac, there's a place for you. Just drive onto the field and pitch up with everyone else. Some even stay the week, having enjoyed the country event, Rock Ridge Round Up, the week before, the facilities on site are conducive to camping. In the immediate area around the main marquee, you'll find stalls selling most things edible, from a classic cheese, onion and ketchup smothered burger, to a delicate slice of lemon drizzle cake, or an ice cream. Anything to refuel, dive in.
The main action is under canvas, as the weekender begins. If you like Rock n Roll, Rockabilly, Jumping Rhythm and Blues, Western Swing, Hillbilly Bop and most points in between, you'll love this. Cos the Rumble's got it all peeps.
The stage is set, and what a stage it is, benefiting from expert lighting and a sound system. It's set at just the right volume that wherever you are in the marquee, you can hear as well as anyone else. Let's take the bar area for example, to be sure that's where most need to know the sound can reach. And while you're listening, you won't get fleeced as the well stocked and well staffed bar, has plenty to serve you.
The bands and DJs simply rock. In the front of the stage, there's an ample dance floor, stretching the width of the marquee, which given the variety of music played from the decks and on stage, is populated regularly. The DJs hit the decks around midday, spinning the tin or the wax, and fill in the gaps between the band shows. There's always a top selection of jive, bop and stroll, to keep that floor moving. If there's a track that you like, there's also an on site record vendor or two, who could well sell you a copy of it.
Down the side of the marquee, is a variety of clothing stalls, whether you prefer vintage or retro, rubbing shoulders with photographers and tattooists, so you can take as permanent a reminder of the weekender as you want to.
On stage, the bands. Usually a couple in the afternoon and three in the evening. It's so good to hear the diversity of sounds performed, the pounding upright bass of a Rockabilly trio, the honking sax in a Rock n Roll group, steely slide guitar of a Stetson wearing Western Swing band, or the bouncing beat of an R&B combo. They're all there, some local favourites, some brought in from distance, others up and coming.
If you're a toe tapper, foot stomper, thigh slapper, seated watcher, standing admirer, stroller, jiver or bopper, or you just love the rocking sounds of the 1950s, the Rumble's the place to be at the beginning of August. Cracking line up of bands, hand picked selection of DJs and an event for the whole family.
The Polecats * The Sureshots * Scottish Frantic Friday
Tex Speed Combo * Jack & The Real Deals * Sister Suzie
Rusty And The Riots * Tennessee Hotshots * The Skip Rats
Emma & The Ragmen * Bernie & The Bluenotes
Beefy La Slap * Saint Dom and The Sinful
DJ's - Tojo * Lord Fat Kat, Bad Boy
Stu Cambell * Rob's Rockin Jukebox