Eight years ago a few revellers met in the Lake District, surrounded by deer with a bit of live music. This has now grown to the biggest small festival in the UK with a reputation for bringing the best live music to those lucky enough to get tickets. Kendal Calling 2013 has outdone itself this year becoming the best biggest small festival in the UK.
A small festival big on music
Warming up the stage on Friday evening were Public Enemy who, despite severe swearing (for which they memorably apologised) a message of peace and love was conveyed. Perhaps, this was Flavor Flav’s way of appealing to the masses before his court appearance in September?
Headliners this year included The Charlatans and Primal Scream who although certainly gave great performances, this year was all about Basement Jaxx. As the final rays of sunlight cascaded over the Main Stage the crowd roared in anticipation of the mighty Basement Jaxx. With outfits as colourful as their lyrics, the band delivered a top rate performance guaranteed to get the most wooden of spectators shimmying succinctly. Playing classics such as 'Do your Thing', 'Oh My Gosh' and 'Romeo' alongside snippets of their latest singles; the band exceeded all expectations.
Despite all of it's merits- Kendal Calling has yet to control the weather and the rain, rain, rain came down, down, down on Saturday afternoon. Ash’s performance was certainly not wet and the crowd continued to cheer throughout. Forget the main stage, Kendal Calling has ten different stages to explore and enjoy. As rain fell we found shelter in the arms of singer/songwriter Nancy Kent where atmospheric thunder and lightening gave the Woodland Stage a new level of ambiance. Calling Out had the honour of showcasing Sons and Lovers first performance at the festival; look out for their first single 'Ghosts', and if their performance here is anything to go by, the music scene will be seeing a lot more from this band. One of the highlights from the Chai Wallah stage was Dr Syntax & The Mouseoutfit; jaws were scooped up off the floor as the crowd could not believe what they were hearing. Remember the first time you heard Eminem? Hearing Dr Syntax & The Mouseoutfit for the first time rivals that feeling.
Despite the excessive rain throughout Saturday evening, the sun quickly dried out campers, preparing them for, not a day of rest, but a day of surprises. Firstly, the fusion of Sykur who worked the Calling Out stage, the Main Stage was packed out for the winner of NME's 'God Like Genius Award' Johnny Marr, arguably the best guitarist of the last thirty years, Johnny owned the stage. Following the mighty Marr was Seasick Steve, whose feet tapping strumming and amusing anecdotes were the perfect warm up for the Sunday headliners- Primal Scream. Yes, they gave a great performance, yes the crowd went wild and yes, this band made the festival for so many fans.
The party keeps on going...
Kendal Calling continues through to the early hours- The Glow Tent is perfect for those desperate to be lost in music. Not only was this area visually breathtaking but it also houses some of best after hours music (for those who are curfew free) On Sunday the legendary Roni Size and Dynamite MC worked the stage as fans succumbed to the unstoppable bass.
|Friday Night Ambiance|
Okay, okay so the music was unreal, the setting was stunning, the atmosphere was euphoric..if you really need to add anything else to this combination you could try mentioning the fantastic Ladybird area for children, complete with swing (taken down after dark for inebriated grown-up safety), climbing frame, FREE bouncy castle and even separate children's toilets? Or perhaps Tim Peaks Diner which featured bedtime stories with Clint Boon? The fancy dress Superman world record breaker? Pootopia- giving a shi* about the environment and giving you a break from grotesque e portaloos? The movie theme which was rolled out across the site- Wild West and Haunted House to name but a few? The unbelievably smooth organisation and perfectly proportioned security?
Kendal Calling 2013- the bad thing is having to wait a whole year to return. However, with one day down already the clock has already began to tick...