The very first Ramblin’ Man Fair will take place at Mote Park in Maidstone, Kent on July 25 and 26. The two-day festival, brought to you by some of the people behind High Voltage, sees Teutonic metal legends the Scorpions play their first full UK show in eight years as Saturday night headliners, while southern rock icon Gregg Allman tops the bill on Sunday. As Classic Rock went to press, Camel and Marillion were also confirmed to appear, with more bands to be announced. For the Scorpions, the show forms part of their 50th-anniversary celebrations “At such an important time in our history it really means a lot for us to come back to play again for our UK fans,” vocalist Klaus Meine (left) tells us.
Why has it taken so long to make it back to the UK?
Klaus Meine: There was strong talk of us being at Download, but we couldn’t make it because we were on tour in America. We saw all the comments on Facebook saying: “Don’t forget the UK.” And now, finally, we’re coming back.
The band have a long tradition of playing at British festivals, not least your appearance at the very first Monsters Of Rock, in 1980.
KM: Absolutely. And we loved playing at Reading in 1979. We have great memories of those concerts, so when Rod MacSween [booking agent] asked about Ramblin’ Man Fair all of the thumbs went up right away. This is a completely new festival, which makes it even more exciting.
Can we expect a ‘greatest hits’ set, or might you play one of the band’s classic albums in its entirety?
KM: Right now we’re in the studio finishing a new album which will be out in February, and there’s also a documentary film about our career. So, of course we’ll play some new songs. The Scorpions are not exclusively about nostalgia. And no, I don’t think that we’d play a full album. There are just too many songs that we are expected to play.
So, five years on from the band’s ‘retirement’ the end for Scorpions isn’t quite there yet…
KM: Between the announcement of the farewell tour in 2010 and 2012 we played almost two hundred concerts. We’ve got all of this crazy energy and we can still put our sting into the live show! We realised that we still hadn’t played all of the places that we wanted to, including the UK, Spain and some sections of Asia, like Japan. The feedback from the fans was that they wanted more shows.
**Not too long ago, Scorpions guitarist Rudolf Schenker told Classic Rock that the band were looking at reviving their old stage trick of forming a human pyramid because “so many people have asked for it”. **
KM: [Laughs] I don’t really think so. It’s kind of an old gimmick. But there’s still plenty of gas in the tank, we’re alive and, for the time being, we intend to go for it.