Maid Of Stone Festival – Maiden stage preview


You know the main acts, and they’re the ones that attract the attention, but one of the joy of a festival is taking the time to discover some new bands that you might not have otherwise come across. Maid Of Stone’s Maiden Stage showcases 6 such bands on the Saturday and Sunday which are bound to have something impress everyone.

The fact that he has been name checked by artists as varied a Zakk Wylde, Mark Knopfler & Rod Stewart should be enough to make you pay attention to Chilean born guitarist Miguel Montalban. His latest album (with the Southern Vultures), the double ‘Live in Birmingham’, showcases almost two hours of mostly original material.

The covers of ‘Tobacco Road’ and ‘Hey Joe’ should give a good enough indication of his musical leanings but you could lose quite a few hours exploring his prolific YouTube channel.

Formed in Cambridge in 2015, Sweet Crisis have a had a few years to hone their style which guitarist Piers Mortimer describes simply as guitar driven rock ‘n’ roll. That may be a little simplistic description, but 2021’s Tricks On My Mind turned a few heads on its release which was a remarkably well accomplished debut that mixed a whole lot of soul and funk in with that guitar driven rock. It also had a fabulous sleeve to finish off the whole package.

Moving to the Saturday stage is a name most gig goers should be familiar with. Troy Redfern is one of the hardest working musicians on the live circuit whether performing solo or in his trio line up Troy has supported a great number of bands (most recently with The Commoners and Dare) in addition to numerous fesitval appearances and his own headline shows. A master exponent of slide dobro he has an instantly recognisable sound playing hard edged blues, but can effortlessly mix that style with elements of boogie folk and celtic rock.

Maid Of Stone Festival will be home turf for Gallows Circus. The traditional hard blues rockers have been making waves since their self-titled debut EP in 2017. Their video for ‘Faith To Believe’ shows them off at their riffing best with a considerable groove to their sound.

Changes are afoot with the band recently announcing that drummer Steve Kitchener and bassist Richard Tunbridge are due to leave with this festival date being your last chance to see the current line up.

Hunted By Elephants have been cranking out their classic rock inspired anthems since 2018. While Rise Of The Elephant had a distinctive NWOBHM vibe to it, the follow up in 2021 of Carry On saw an improved production with heavy 70’s leanings that had a diverse collection of songs with influences as varied as Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy and Uriah Heep all on display. Their latest offering ‘Hazy’ moves along like a freight train which promises that the best is yet to come.

Skinny Knowledge mix hard rock with pop sensibilities. Songs with big infectious hooks will be the order of the day delivered with a sense of fun they’ll be sure to make an impression and get the Maiden stage off to an explosive start.