Monday, 17 September 2012

Review: Kendal Calling 2012


With awful queuing systems and minor public tantrums aside, upon arrival at Kendal Calling, campe was set up, cider was cracked open and we lazed in the sun before catching Trophy Wife on the Calling Out stage. The Oxford three-piece have impeccable taste in t-shirts and funky disco tunes to match. They played a short set packed with Foals-esque pop songs, such as Microlite and Canopy Shade, the early stage time meant that people were less willing to bump ‘n grind but Trophy Wife were fun, funky and an interesting opener to Kendal Calling for me!

We went for a wander after and once again, Kendal had proved itself to not just be about the music. I jumped on the ferris wheel with a pal, had a wander around the 100s of food and clothes stalls and headed off to Tim Peaks diner.The Tim Peaks diner was definitely a highlight of the weekend. The diner was a cosy wood cabin with Twin Peaks-esque d├ęcor, a snazzy jukebox, amazing Totes Amazeballs cereal, hilarious poets and special guest appearances throughout the festival.


Little Comets were a highlight of the Friday and of the entire festival. Having seen them a few years back I was expecting infectious pop songs, instruments strung across the stage and a lot of Little Comets fanboys and girls. And that is exactly what I got! Dancing wildly to Dancing Song and joining in with the mass sing-alongs was just brilliant. Later on I caught Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip in the sweaty, smoky Glow Dance tent. I was excited to witness them as I had somehow never got round to it and missed Scroobius Pip’s solo set on the Main Stage but I wasn’t that impressed. Several songs had to be started again, and again…and again but the hits got everyone moving.

Saturday was fancy dress day with the theme of Fairy Tales and Comic Books and I was Enid Coleslaw, naturally. I dragged all my friends to the Main Stage in the afternoon to catch reggae legend Little Roy under the premise that it was going to be the weirdest yet most entertaining event of the weekend. Little Roy and his backing singers danced through a set full of Nirvana covers and his reggae tracks and put the biggest smile on everyone’s face. And even when he forgot the words to Heart Shaped Box about 5 times everyone shouted the words back to help him out.

On Saturday evening, Islet played on the adorable Woodlands stage, a tiny stage tucked away in the trees that was decked out in fake flowers and moss, and were their usual wild and reckless selves. They also gave away free copies of their zine, The Isness at the end of the gig, how sweet is that?

 Dizzee Rascal
was another highlight of the weekend with a predictable yet brilliant performance. Bonkers, Holiday, You Got the Dirtee Luv and dropping Smells Like Teen Spirit and N***sIn Paris mid set caused the crowd to go absolutely insane, I even got on someone’s shoulders, whilst lasers, fireworks and tickertape topped the ultimate party set off.
I spent the rest of Saturday night and the early hours of Sunday morning dancing on tables and sofas in the House Party Tent. DJs The Beat Club put on an excellent set of classic Motown, 70s disco and highlights from the Superbad soundtrack.


On Sunday, after a quick interview with We Are Scientists, some Tim Peaks cherry pie and Hip Hop Karaoke by the Kopparberg Kube (I rapped to Best I Ever Had by Drake), we caught We Are Scientists’ wonderful set. They played songs from all three albums and punctuated them with their hilarious mid-set banter. I’d wanted to catch them live for years and I wasn’t disappointed.
We ended Sunday night by watching the brilliant Vintage Trouble at the Calling Out Stage. I had no idea what to expect but was pleasantly surprised. The fourpiece from California played sexy, sulty soul songs that got everyone bumping ‘n grinding. knickers were even thrown onstage it was that sexy.
I missed out on Craig Charles’ legendary DJ set that always closes the festival as I was tucked up in my tent but my 4th Kendal Calling experience was full of fun, great bands, amazing food, ferris wheels and fancy dress. I’m can’t wait to return to the fields and party in 2013!

Eden Young

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