As you may have picked out from the previous Kendal Calling post, I was going to a music festival without really knowing any of the music! A festival (and any event / restaurant / show) for me is mainly about atmosphere and experience. This is where this second update from the Kendal Calling weekend lies. Any music or band review wouldn’t be from vast experience or result in much more than “yeah, they were good”. For our friends (The Walkers) who we went with on the other hand they were really into the bands and music. SO we did see lots of them and… yeah, they were good!
Bands / Music / Tents
Kendal calling is spread out over a huge area, much bigger than we had expected. I easily clocked up 18,000 steps over a day at the festival.
The Main Stage
Here were the main stream bands and popular line ups, including the previously mentioned Milburn. The bands that for me that stood out here were Madness, Kelis, Maximo Park, Lightening Seeds and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.
Now, When Noel’s HFB came on as the final act of the weekend, the crowd was buzzing. They sung some of their own songs, but intermingled it with Oasis classics. As the Last Album I bought was about 16 years ago, I actually recognised the songs. The crowd also seemed to appreciate the Oasis tracks more than the HFB songs as they joined in waving and singing. The Finale was “Don’t Look back in Anger”, complete with fireworks off the roof of the stage. It was beautiful, much more than I expected.
Madness headlined the previous night and it was like a fun Dad party. Moshing, Jumping, Giant Balloons in the audience and a couple of confetti cannons.
Friday’s headliner was Rudimental… pass. I’m sure they are really good, but we were wandering around the festival and I don’t know their stuff.
The Glow Tent
The Glow Tent was a huge tent that seemed to resemble the kinds of night clubs I never went to. It was described to me as a place to go and get extremely sweaty in a short space of time and feel old! The majority of the festival goers we saw as we were leaving at night were heading there. There was only one DJ that I had heard of and this again was a little miss guided TV spin. Craig David was on Saturday at 11:30pm, but sadly he never brought Kez with him. He did play his classics of…
Calling Out was for me the mini Main Stage in a tent Peter Docherty and Blossoms. The bands that we saw were bands that played instruments, and full of energy and seemed to fill up the tent.
Sadly, for me the highlight of this text was Saturday from 11:00pm Baggy Monday’s DJ’d an Indie Disco. All the Classic tunes I remember from going to Bulletproof. James, Wonderstuff, Placebo, Nirvarna, Muse and a splash of S Club 7 for good measure.
The Woodlands Stage had a mix of sounds including World Music.
Olivia was desperate to see Ibibio Sound Machine (Which we saw), who played a Brazilian sound. It was funky and fun and yeah, they were good! Another artist on this Stage was Donovan, who seemed to play a more chilled out set list.
Near the Woodlands stage was another small stage that always seemed to have a chilled out home spun / artsy feel. It had spoken word, poetry and music. We happened to be walking past during Barry Hyde.
This was a classic moment of an artist feeling snubbed. Barry Hyde, was the lead singer of the Futureheads. To which there was no mention of this associated to his name. There were a very small crowd watching him to which he said “Out of 50,000 people hear at Kendal Calling only 25 of you have bothered to show up!”. His music style was classical piano with a bavarian umpah band, which had your feet tapping and were fun when they got going. As he finished his final song, a man next to me shouted “MORE!”. Barry pulled up to his mic and said “NO!”
This tent was located on the main run into the arena. The walkers had said how amazing the tent was and they serve the best hot chocolates in the world. The build up to our venturing in had gone on for 3 days. Cat asked for a plain hot chocolate, as she’s not keen on hot boozy beverages. The drink was watery and she had to swap it for a much better coffee. While this was happening a reggae style band was playing the Doctor Who Theme song, followed by Stairway to Heaven.
Long gone are the days of Burger vans and Hot Dog Barrows. Festival and street food has gone up in the rankings. It wants to have too, as most meals cost £7.50 on average. Pie and Mash £7.50, Hotdog £7.50, Vegetarian Burrito £7.50 I’m sure you get the idea. Although I did feel forced to buy overpriced food, I did enjoy it and felt it was excellent quality on the whole.
Not the best photo of a burger, but it was very tasty!
Finally, the subject that is notorious with festivals, the toilets. The one thing that stands out in my mind from V festival was the stinky toilets. And with 50,000 people (as Barry Hyde said) at the festival, that is one ton of stuff that needs moving.
But I have to say that Serious Waste Removal were serious about moving waste and did a very good job.
The toilets were in good working order and I never felt the need to hurl when opening the door. There were a couple that were fuller than others, but that’s when you have to choose your location carefully.
Kendal Calling Overall
I loved the experience and I believe we are looking at booking up for next year. There were kids there, but we don’t feel they would enjoy it or the parents enjoy it as much. Hopefully next year I will know 6 out of the 100+ acts that get scheduled in.