The atmosphere in camp was mixed; a plethora of youngsters unable to handle alcohol and inevitably, their bladders meant that the “family” camp-site was a god send to those who brought children as they were spared the ungodly image of teenagers and adults alike losing bodily fluids in inappropriate places due to the 6 or 7 minute queue that never diminished in size for the underestimated amount of porta-loos.
From a music point of view, Kendal Calling seems to have the play list almost right but it’s hard to distinguish who was hired as they are “en vogue” and who was there as they were cheap.
The Streets hit the headline stage very much on the coat-tails of preceding act Goldie Looking Chain. The energy and vibrancy of the Welsh rap collective was hard to emulate and Skinner and gang didn’t quite pull it off. Let’s hope they do better at V. But to be fair, GLC out-number them, seemed stacked up on E-numbers and don’t take them too seriously which is part of their charm. I loved them.
The Zutons met a similar fate on the second day of the festival having to follow Manchester band Twisted Wheel, whose loyal fan-base, including wankers throwing beer, seemed to have followed them up the M6 to the site at Hackthorpe.
The Zutons did as expected. The crowd, freshly inebriated following the Saturday morning hangover, were in a state of familiarity as the band belted out their best known tracks; perfect for the festival karaoke that ensued. The Zutons proved one thing; they are nicely graduating toward becoming stadium fillers and their popularity on this year’s festival circuit is proving that.
Veterans Ash, headlining the final night of the festival were always going to be a major coup for the organisers. Cleverly scheduling them for the Sunday and introducing day tickets for that day definitely added to the coffers.
The average age of Kendal Calling increased on that day as they paid a very reasonable £30 for full day access to the site and the hardcore Ash fans had no problem paying it. Ash was on stage and music had arrived.
Highlights of the secondary stages were not one, but two Howard Marks appearances, Lloyd from Coronation Street Dj-ing with Lister from Red Dwarf (oh the wit).
Carlisle scenesters Birds Vs Planes somehow managed, to me, the performance of the festival, despite numerous apologies from Jen regarding diminished voice resulting from a hedonistic night before. Consensus was that if she sounds like that after a heavy night it would be hard to imagine it any better when she brings her A-game. Why they are not signed yet will be one of the enigmas of the music industry. It’s the flip side to the “how did Samanda get signed” quandary.
I’ll not delve too much into KASMS being escorted off the festival grounds for damaging a hired drum kit. Bit of an over-reaction by someone that should be insured anyway. Go buy another.
By the way. Pie and chips was £7. Small pie, not alot of chips. Tossers. At least the ketchup was free though.
On the plus side, I met some nice photographers there. Which is a rarity. All but one was quite social but the one seemed to have led a sheltered existence.
Soon to be dad, Gideon from Manchester: top bloke, can't fault him. Oh except he looks offensively good in hats. Of which he appears to have a nice collection. My squat face looked at him with envy.. here's a link to his site..: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fromtheg
Jon, also from Manchester another top banana. Although his impressive beard left me with pangs of envy - having tried to grow one myself, I know how hard it is to get b=past the "scratching" stage. http://www.tdmphotography.co.uk/ will show his photography off.. the git is better than me too! :P
Andrew was a dude! Really nice bloke from Scotland shooting for Rex Features and what he doesn't know about photography isn't really worth knowing. http://www.highlandcow.com/welcome.html for more of his work.
Will pop up some pics at some other point.. not edited them all yet