Kendal Calling - Day 2

posted 19 Aug 2009, 10:04 by Harry Cooke   [ updated 6 Sep 2009, 04:08 ]
Saturday 1st August
Lowther Deer Park

The Saturday at Kendal Calling was a day for exploring. At the entrance to the arena was a full size inflatable church where you could get 'married', apparently Jake Shears had married himself some time before. We also went over to the 'SnoZone' Where 50 tonnes of snow had been shipped in to form a toboggan run, and a rather muddy / icy off piste bar. We also found the extremely enjoyable Kids Zone, where kids (and grown up kids) can go and bash the drums and make lots of noise while having fun. I've always enjoyed the family feel of the smaller festivals, and Kendal is extremely child friendly.

One of our party arrived on Saturday, so we missed the first couple of acts waiting for him, but for such a long day of music we let him off. Red Light Company were taking to the main stage when we entered the arena and although I had expected them to be good, I hadn't expected them to put on as brilliant a show as they did.

Manchester band May 68 then provided the pop-disco, lead from the front by their female singer, Jude. I just wished the band had danced as much as the crowd, because their fantastic tunes were let down by a static feeling on stage. The singer from the next band on Dutch Uncles (also from Manchester) then joined them on stage for a fun duet, where there was finally a bit of dancing on stage, but the crowd definitely showed them up.

After a spot of comedy and Toung Foo Poetry it was over to the main stage for another Manchester band, Twisted Wheel. This time however we were back to the mainstay of Manchester music - simple, energetic rock. "We Are Us" was the most memorable song of the set, but Twisted Wheel didn't keep me captivated enough to miss Beardyman.

Appearances on Radio 1, YouTube and countless festivals have propelled Beardyman into the limelight with his incredible beatbox show. If you haven't seen him in action, I thoroughly recommend it.

A highlight of a great day was The Zutons, who closed off the action on the main stage. Mark Ronson may have made "Valerie" more famous with Amy Winehouse, but The Zutons remind everyone how good their song is, and how good their sound is with every note. The Zutons always chat to the crowd which with some bands can get annoying, but the Scouse banter is infectious and captures a spirit of having fun that runs through all of The Zutons tunes. 

Although the Main Stage had shut up shop there was plenty more to follow as the excellent Frank Turner was just walking onto the Kaylied stage. This tiny, hand built tent was a perfect, intimate little venue for an artist that is about to explode onto the scene with his track "The Road". Unfortunately there were technical issues at the beginning of the set, however Frank got through it by singing a Chris TT song a capella to entertain the crowd while the guitar was sorted.

The wonderfully interesting and funny Howard Marks was over in the Comedy Tent giving what I expected to be a talk, but turned out to be a sort of Q&A session about his "career". If I'd been able to get in I would have loved to sit and listen to him, but we were in the mood for a dance, so Stanton Warriors provided the beats, and the also the tent to shelter from the only massive downpour of the weekend.

The night wasn't over yet, as after witnessing Casiokids create a fantastic atmosphere with only 15 people watching in The Faversham in Leeds we partied out the evening with the Norwegian electro-pop group.

For such a small festival I really couldn't believe how much quality was packed into the three days.

Day 3

Harry Cooke 
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