Kendal Calling 2012
- By Craig Jones -
- Aug 02, 2012
The seventh Kendal Calling festival proved to be a memorable weekend boasting a fantastic musical line-up, combining with quaint English charm and quirky thrills. Placed in the beautifully scenic Lowther Deer Park, the Lake District fields were flowing with masterful music and rural fun during the fabulously frenetic three day event.
Friday kicked off in delightfully rambunctious fashion with Maximo Park bringing the masses to the green fields, near Penrith, as they took the crowd through their four albums on the main stage. The hat wearing Geordie Paul Smith, dressed all in black, had a great rapport with the fans sending them into hyper drive as the northern alternative rockers played favourites ‘Apply Some Pressure’, ‘Girls Who Play Guitars’ and ‘By the Monument’.
The first night of the festival came to an end with one of the event’s highlights, a DJ set at Kendal Calling’s iconic Houseparty by the Hacienda legend Dave Haslam, who got the revelers jumping around on chairs, sofas and whatever else could be found. He clearly enjoyed the up close and personal nature of the set, with a receptively passionate crowd, as he played some nostalgic classics and fresh tracks.
On Saturday the picturesque fields were taken over by comic book heroes and fairytale favourites. By the comedy tent there were an abundance of Superman costumes, while Spiderman slid down the twists and turns of the helter shelter and the courageous SuperTed chilled out with his comrade Spotty down at the main stage watching Mancunian folk troupe The Travelling Band.
The Kendal Callers were completely taken by the confident nu-folk band with the crisp vocals of Adam Gorman and Jo Dudderidge echoing around the deer park as the group played their memorable ‘Battlescars’ and ‘Sundial’. Later in the day, Kyle Falconer bellowed out the typical fashion habits of all good festival goers with a performance of The View's indie favourite ‘Same Jeans’ a highlight of the main stage set by the singer and his Dundee band. The Scottish rockers were followed on by Shed Seven who played hits from their back catalogue.
The evening’s undoubted footnote was a performance by the UK’s prince of rap Dizzee Rascal, who came fresh from Olympic duty at Friday’s opening ceremony, wowing the callers who took up the greenery of the site for as far as the eye could see. The east Londoner gave a flawless performance on the main stage as he got the crowd grooving with hits ‘Dance Wiv Me’, ‘Holiday’, ‘Dirtee Disco’ and his stand out anthem ‘Bonkers’. The latter of which inspired Lake District madness long into the night, with Jack Beats carrying on the party over at the dance tent through to the early hours.
The following day changed pace dramatically, moving from the suitably soothing to a frantic frenzy as alternative legends Feeder bounced onto the main stage playing tracks from their back catalogue. Meanwhile icons James gave a thrilling conclusion to Kendal Calling’s main stage music with a marathon set from Tim Booth and his reformed band. The Manchester group, led by the tantalising vocals of Booth, sounding as good as ever. After a set which rampaged through the band’s early years they gave the hugely enthusiastic crowd valiant reward playing favourites ‘Laid’ and the anthem ‘Sit Down’ during the encore.
Although just because the bands had put their guitars to bed didn’t mean the campers would follow suit. Merrymakers resiliently carried on partying long and hard over at the Houseparty, the Woodlands stage and over at the Chai Wallahs tent which concluded with a great chilled out smooth funk DJ set from Red Dwarf star Craig Charles providing a fitting end to an out of this world festival.
Kendal Calling, an event which has deservedly scooped the accolade of Best Small Festival of 2010 and 2011 at the Live UK Festival Awards, really was a rural hoot allowing revelers to be at one with the scenic Lake District countryside while also enjoying some great music and vibrant attractions. The hills, the fields and the crowd were all alive with the sound of music during the fabulous festival - most were more than a little teary when it all had to come to an end.
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