After 12 months of waiting excitedly the date had come round again, Kendal Calling was back. After making my maiden journey to the beautiful Lowther Park in 2012, it was time to return and see what this years festival had to offer!
With a line up boasting some real diamonds, and Britain in the grip of the best summer for many a year, it was all lining up to be a belter of a weekend. After queuing for roughly an hour from the motorway, we parked up and were ready to take on the weekend.
The year we were camping in the Emperors Fields, and even at 5pm on the Friday there was still plenty of space to throw up 2 tents. With Kendal being a nice compact size, wherever you camp you will never be more than 5 minutes walk form the arena entrance.
After setting up camp for the weekend we made our way into the arena. The festivals has a no alcohol to be carried into the arena policy, and after a long drive from Wales, the first thing I headed for was a beer and a bite to eat. I was very impressed with the range of real ales on offer, with CAMRA running a beer festival at Kendal Calling, there was a plentiful selection. There was much food options too and I opted for an amazing 3 style chicken meat kebab wrap garnished in fine salad and a minty yogurt sauce. I was then ready for an evening dancing.
We headed to the main stage for an afternoon sitting in the scorching sun, the first band to hit the stage were Clean Bandit. A perfect start to the weekend with their string infused electro sound providing a gorgeous rich sound to fill the summers air, and 2 beautiful front ladies to compliment. They were a visual and audible treat, with an infusion of classical music over some well arranged house beats. Next up a total change of direction with Willy Moon, and more than a pinch of Jack White with a shake of classic rock and roll Elvis about him. This New Zealander certainly has a star quality, with a huge leg up from Apple using his track 'Yeah Yeah' in their advertising.
Following Moon was what I saw as Kendal's coup of the weekend Public Enemy, this was a huge moment with Chuck D and Flavor Flav ripping Kendal to pieces! Delivering a blistering set full of angst and energy they more than brought the noise, dropping all the classics, and with there famed political edge, capped with a rousing speech about the Zimmerman situation in America by Flavor Flav. They were easily one of the acts of the weekend. On a brief wonder to the toilet and to grab another drink we wondered past the Calling out stage, where the Lightning Seeds had drawn a huge crowd. Perfectly placed as I was, next to the bar, I had a listen for the 5 minutes I was queuing up for a pint. They certainly had the crowd singing. With huge shoes to stand in following Public Enemy's set which raised the bar high, the evening's headliners Basement Jaxx were up for a challenge and they accepted, with a breath taking light show. Throwing in plenty of antics on stage to occupy the shortest of concentrations spans, Kendal bounced almost non stop to a plethora of hits, culminating in a huge rendition of 'Where’s Your Head At'.
Instead of heading off to find more music, we decided to check out the cinema tent, being held after hours in the Calling Out stage, we arrived to find rows of makeshift benches made of pallets in place, and much to my delight the first film of the evening was to be 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom'. With staff walking round offering popcorn and ice cream for sale, and all at a reasonable price, it was a perfect way to round off the night before retiring for the night.
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