1 August 2013

Review - Kendal Calling Festival 2013

Review - Kendal Calling Festival 2013

This weekend saw our annual pilgrimidge to Kendal Calling for a weekend of fun and frolics in the beautiful surrounding of the Lake District. The sun was beating down on a dusty site when we arrived (unfortunately late on missing Public Enemy!) But we did manage to catch the headline set by Basement Jaxx.

With a strong latino feel to the set the group waste no time in getting the party started with a head-dress wearing native American dancing around soon joined by trumpets and a glorious latin guitar player strumming out the tunes whilst powerful vocals emminated from the 2 female singers.

Going through their gauntlet of hits including the crowd jumping Where's your head at?, Rendezvous and Red Alert and a glorious acapella version of Romeo they sure got Kendal Calling off to a flying start.

With the welcome introduction of the Cinema tent to Kendal Calling we decided to rest our weary head watching some "Temple of Doom" whilst ushers wandered the tent selling ice creams and popcorn. A surreal incident, but one that works well with the festival and was long over-due

Saturday brought us a wholly indie feel to the main stage kicking off, first thing with The Tea Street Band fresh from a mini tour of Australia, the band took to the stage and waking the sleeping masses from their pits to the glorious sounds of Push the feeling on (an album that was possible due to pledge music) and Disco Lights this was a glorious debut on the main stage. Also on the Saturday so the attempt for the world record of most Supermen in one place. The record was 566 previously but Kendal smashed it with a whopping 867 super people in one place at one time!

Ash took to the stage just as the heavens started to open. This (at this point) didn't waver the crowd who sang along to classics such as Girl from Mars and walking barefoot. They did have a little dig at the crowd though saying that they had played T in the Park in the past and that they were "a little more livlier than you"

Ending gloriously on Burn Baby Burn.

The rain didnt stop the crowds coming out for I am Kloot and headliners The Charlatans though and much dancing and mud kicking was in effect during both sets.

After 14 hours of non stop rain, it looked like Sunday was going to be as grey and wet as Saturday ended for us this year at Kendal Calling, but that didn't seem to damper too many peoples spirits and once they had wrung out their tents and in some cases everything inside it, popped  their wellies back on, the sun was eventually peeping through the breaking up clouds and gave us a few rays of hope that the final day of Kendal Calling was going to be a sunny one. Taking a wander into the site and up to the Tim Peaks Diner for a much needed coffee we were summoned to the main stage by what can only be described as a rapture of drums and screeching guitar. This was the sound of Drenge, two brothers from Derbyshire who, between the two of them make enough noise to awaken the dead. Loud,intense,brash and dark is their style and they warranted the crowd that had gathered to witness this.

Taking a wander over to Chai Wallah's to rest my ears after Drenge, The Intermission project had gathered quite a crowd. With their smooth guitar playing and vocals from Jim Rubaduka and their laid back style this was the much needed cure for all the rain and mud and madness the weekend had thrown at us.

So the sun was out in all it's glory and and shining down on all of us, so where better to chill out on our last day but the Woodlands stage where Cry Baby Aeroplanes, a young four piece band were about to blast the cobwebs of us with a rock set full of guitar riffs and angst ridden lyrics . With a sound reminiscent of early Rage Against The Machine, especially "Machine" a riotous  raw little number, which could have sealed the deal for supporting Twisted Wheel this year and "The New Sound" a more subtle rock number that shows a more mature sound from these young, extremely talented lads. I definitely want to catch these guys again asap.

We decided to have a wander around and let the sounds coming from the different stages guide us instead of relying on the programs.....I always love doing this as I've always found you find little gems of music on your way...Cry Baby Aeroplanes being a prime example of this, as was a very happy, very bouncy Prince Fatty in the Haunted House Party....I think the spooks and spectres had been sent on vacation for the weekend, and there wasnt even a skeleton in a closet, although it did have the worlds funkiest six year old giving it his best dance moves!!

Anyway back to Prince Fatty, who brought a bit of reggae and dub session and unfortunately the obligatory i pad to record it all. With a great rapport with the crowd, he had them bouncing along quite happily to his sunny set and you could feel the warm glow of happiness radiate from the within.

 Next up for us was the very quiet Riot Jazz stage where yet another little gem was hidden away. Flame haired, bi lingual Netherlands born Flavia, a solo artist and her first time playing in the UK. Flavia changes her vocals from sultry old style 20's jazz to folk fuelled bierkeller sing a long style and loves to sing about love, death and vegetables, especially green veg!!! With crystal clear vocals and the quirkiest sense of humour when it comes to lyrics, especially about spinach in your teeth and the problems with a newly grown moustache you hate on you partner,  throw in kazoo playing and accordion playing sing a longs were you could have a Steiner in one hand while swaying as one and who could forget "Children's Menu", a very very witty take on kids and their little "expectations" and fraught parents having to deal with this.

Pretty soon, we were at the end of Kendal Calling 2013 and after watching a stonking blues/rock set by Sea Sick Steve, on the main stage and even serenaded a young lady from the crowd and managed to keep the heavens closed while on stage, unfortunately Sunday nights headliners Primal Scream, were not so lucky but didnt let the rain deter their energy and enthusiasm for being here. With new songs from new album, "More Light" including "the aptly called "2013" and old classics like "Rocks" and  "Moving On Up" they did justice to the closing of Kendal Calling for 2013 and proved why Bobby Gillespie and co have such staying power even in lots and lots of rain!!

So once again, its time to say goodbye to yet another successful year at what has to be my favourite festival and all thats left to say is "SEE YOU IN THE FIELDS IN 2014"

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