Kendal Calling - Day 3

posted 28 Aug 2009, 13:37 by Harry Cooke   [ updated 6 Sep 2009, 04:06 ]
Saturday 1st August
Lowther Deer Park

The final day of Kendal calling arrived, and I must say we were quite excited as the Sunday was packed with bands we were eager to see. Being from York it was nice to see local band The Yards on the main stage, which by now had become quite a mud-pit, but this didn't dampen the spirits. The site isn't huge so we had little else to explore on the final day but the art installations around the site were constantly evolving, like the graffiti wall, updated each day to reveal the finished piece on the Sunday.

A band I never thought I would see, Cornershop, appeared next on the bill and, as expected, the crowd loved "Brimful of Asha", however they then abandoned the main stage after dancing their way through Cornershop's signature tune. It's a shame, because the britpop / Indian fusion was a lovely change in sound with the sitar drifting through the trees.

Rumble Strips shook up the mix again with their soulful, trumpet/sax laden set. Lead singer Charlie Waller certainly has the voice to propel Rumble Strips to the top, and possesses the right look for a front man, but he can become too overpowering and intense with such a talent that you can start to get too much of a good thing. Songs like "Time" do well in building over the length of the song without powering straight in, and this worked wonderfully well.

Chris Helm was now in the Kaylied tent on his own for his second session of the day after fronting The Yards earlier. He admitted that he'd forgotten he was playing twice so had already sampled a few of the local ales on offer. Live, Chris helm is a seasoned performer and played a crowd-pleasing mix of old (Seahorses) songs mixed with new solo stuff, mixed in with real face-to-face banter with the audience (and the sound man).

Noah and the Whale then showed that they have grown up and have more to offer than last summers hit "Five Years Time". They still have the same folky sound but have a much darker overtone to their sound with the new materiel. 

There was slight disapointment as Mumford & Sons arrived with only 3 members, their Banjo Player wasn't available to play, so we had a stripped-back version of the London band's songs which pulled their sound more in line with mainstream folk acts like Fleet Foxes. They still sounded great, but it did show that the banjo is as an integral part of their act as Marcus' voice, and surprisingly the key to what makes them special.

We closed the night with some excellent stand-up from Dan Nightingale, but not before Ash powered their way through a best of set that showed off the band's extremely successful back catalogue. All the hits were there with "Girl From Mars", "Shining Light" and "Oh Yeah". There was also news of an Ash tour, taking in 26 locations around the UK, one for each letter of the alphabet, unfortunately for us Yeovil beat York to the Y leg of the tour.

Kendal Calling provided the most relaxed and enjoyable festival experience we have had in a long time. The size of the festival enabled you to walk between stages in under a minute, rather than the expeditions undertaken at the larger sites. With great acts and a friendly atmosphere why wouldn't you want to come next year?

Harry Cooke 
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