It rained overnight. And in the morning. And during mid-morning. But at 11am an ironic cheer spread like ebola across the campsite as the sun finally broke through. The final day of Kendal Calling 2014 was upon us.
Absolutely blasting out the half-filled Calling Out at 12pm are the fantastic Life. Immensely enjoyable Strokes-esque garage punk but with more snarl and a lot less soporific. Singles 'Money' and 'Crawling' are obvious standouts.
In the main arena, the Kendal Calling tradition that is The Lancashire Hotpots entertain a respectably large crowd, considering the early start. It's impossible not to like their provincial take on the important issues of the day; namely the price of sweets at the cinema and how best to inveigle yourself in the affections of the girl next door with the gift of cakes.
Jake Isaac thrashes into his opening number before settling into breezy, soulful rock. It's not groundbreaking but his enthusiasm is catchy and his drummer is possibly the most animated of the weekend.
Simon and Oscar (Ocean Colour Scene) bring a respectability to the proceedings which strangely suits Sunday afternoon. They're a little drowned in the space of the main stage but they provide a sweet diversion and those of us old enough will remember how loved OCS were back in the day. An unexpected philosophical result of their performance led to me pondering the quick passage of time. The last time I saw Ocean Colour Scene was in a packed Middlesbrough Arena in 1994. Simon and Oscar look like seasoned pub rockers now.
London's Breton attack Calling Out with their dance-infused indie with just the right amount of bleeps, wubs and beeps to make a point. Interesting and loaded with potential.
Through the trees on the Woodland Stage, punk aggression from the tight three-piece Colt 45 had drawn in a relatively large crowd. Worth the short trudge through the mud for sure.
Reel Big Fish, for the uninitiated, are an American ska-punk combo who don't seem to have done anything different since about 1998. They wear wacky Hawaiian shirts, they have a brass section and they probably haven't ever had to consider their own mortality after watching Simon & Oscar. Peter Pans of punk, if you want to get alliterative about it.
'Beer', 'I Want Your Girlfriend to Be My Girlfriend' , 'Sellout' and 'She Has A Girlfriend Now' seem odd being performed by a bunch of middle-aged guys but nothing sounds better than ska when the sun is out; despite the subject matter.
5pm and my time at the festival is nearly up. My final band of the day is the inimitable Norwegian prog-pop of Team Me. Up front, vocals are provided by an elfin girl, a gnarly looking dude in a vest and a happy sailor on leave; playing keys, percussion and guitar respectively. It's difficult to describe them. If you imagine Sigur Ros playing three times quicker, throwing in pop hooks over ethereal backing tracks and demanding that you dance, you'll be somewhere near. They're joyful and wonderful and three of them attempt to crowdsurf at the end of their allotted time. What's not to like?
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