Kendal Calling review

Kendal Calling festival 2015.
Kendal Calling festival 2015.

My first experience of Kendal Calling certainly didn’t disappoint.

Despite the wet weather and a bumpy start to the journey (after sitting in traffic for nearly five hours) the festival lived up to its name, giving Glastonbury a run for its money.

The Vaccines, Kendal Calling. Picture by Jessie West.

The Vaccines, Kendal Calling. Picture by Jessie West.

On a more serious note I was sad to hear a minority of festival-goers got caught up in the drug scene over the course of the four days and my heart goes out to the family who have lost their loved one.

Purely from a music lover’s point of view the first night could not have gone any better for me.

Headliners James brought back nostalgic memories when my dad would often sing along to “Sit Down” as he cleaned the kitchen to the faint hum of Tim Booth’s voice.

The rock band seemed overwhelmed by their Thursday night response, no one seemed to mind when Tim got lost for much of the set as he crowd surfed his way to victory.

International street drummers Spark! Kendal Calling.

International street drummers Spark! Kendal Calling.

Their infectious “Sit Down” carried on with fans until I was tuckered up in my sleeping bag – I didn’t care, this was Kendal Calling and it was great.

I’ve been to my fair share of festivals so I’m used to the dry-shampooing, wet wiping and uncomfortable sleeping for a few days.

For me if you are not prepared to put up with these small inconveniences then don’t bother.

To pay £30 for a wristband to use “luxury toilets and showers” seems a waste – go out and enjoy yourself, spend that on good food, just enjoy the spectacle, the stage presence and the charisma of hundreds of artists.

The Vaccines had all of these things.

I may be slightly biased as they are one of my favourite bands but they added the cherry on the cake to Friday night. Red confetti filled the air as “If You Wanna” belted out to the thousands of welly-stompers.

Lancaster’s very own Lake Komo, Molly Warburton and The Woodsmen all delivered a cracking performance on the Woodlands stage.

Their classic “we are all about the music” responses made me proud to call myself a newly Lancastrian.

Kendal Calling sets the bar apart from your Leeds, your Download and your V – why? Stages. So many intimate yet popular stages.

Riot Jazz, Chai Wallah and Lost Eden were among my favourites.

Following international street drummers Spark! through the woods at midnight, lighting and interacting as they went was another highlight. Rocking it out to Riot Jazz (who ran over their set because of popularity) was again another highlight – their raw trumpets, sax and jazz added more quirks and magical moments.

Wilf Stone who sang acoustic sets and long forgotten sonnets brought tears to my eyes and his natural voice gave me goosebumps.

Elbow. Need I say more?

They delivered a perfect performance as Guy Garvey led the way with their rock ballads.

I savoured my energy of course until Grounds for Divorce roared through the rain, the bass shuddering through my wellies was a perfect end to my weekend.

It’s getting bigger every year, with bigger acts so its no wonder around 25,000 people attended.