Reporter Gemma Sherlock goes backstage at this year’s Kendal Calling festival and gets up close and personal with a band that has come a long way from their Lancaster roots.
Now members Jay (lead vocals and guitarist), Pete (bassist), Jess (keyboard) and Maxwell (drums) are excited to be back on a bigger stage, with a bigger audience and a bigger sound.
I really believe if the song is good enough it will do the jobJay Nudd
The band formed in Lancaster two-and-a-half years ago and have captured a large following with their layered soundscapes, chilled out beats and otherworldly vocals.
Last year they bagged themselves a slot on the BBC Introducing Stage at the Bestival festival in the Isle of Wight.
But singer Jay Nudd explains Kendal Calling is the best gig they have ever done: “For me it was the best gig we have ever played in terms of the crowd because we didn’t invite anyone, we just pitched up started playing and because it was near the main stage, it caught a lot of the traffic.”
Maxwell said: “By the time we looked up halfway through the set there was just people everywhere.”
How did you guys meet?
Jay said: “I came to university in Lancaster and met Maxwell in my last year and then at an open mic met these guys.
“We still go back to Lancaster and do a lot of gigs when we can.”
Maxwell said: “I knew them all from More Music.”
You play a variation of instruments, is that how you put your stamp on things and how did you all get into music?
Jay said: “I think as time has gone on we have changed our instruments a bit, they are slightly more set.
Jess said: “I started playing piano when I was seven-years-old and got into music production when I was teenager, it’s easy to learn.”
Maxwell said: “I got into drums when I was 13 from More Music, before learning I was put straight into a band, I learnt with people rather than by myself.”
Pete said: “I was just really bored when I was 16 and my sister’s friend left a bass at my house and I just went on YouTube and then got straight in with playing bands.”
How do you get the crowd pumped up?
Jay said: “I am a very big advocate in letting the songs and the music do the talking. I am a massive Michael Jackson fan and big pop acts are amazing at being show people as well but I really believe if the song is good enough it will do the job.”
Pete said: “We try and link it together by doing interludes, there is never a point when the sound stops.”
Maxwell said: “It is also really important to know who you are, we are more about music, we are not dancers and we don’t pretend to be.”
How do you feel before you go on stage do you still get nervous?
Maxwell said: “Nerves are now replaced by excitement, we are just happy to perform.
Jess said: “It’s the best bit.”
Pete said: “Once you start, for me I am not really thinking about it, I try not to think about anything but the music.”
Jay said: “I think my overall feeling is pride, the fact that there are people here that are listening to something we as a four have made.”
What’s been the highlight of the year?
Jay said: “Kendal Calling is one of my favourite festivals. The Kendal set for me was a big turning point, I’m 24 now and I started playing in front of people when I was 21. I always play guitar but I had big confidence issues and for good things to happen at Kendal was the turning point – that this is actually worthwhile, we are not just doing this for ourselves but other people as well.”
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