REVIEW: Kendal Calling Festival, Lowther Deer Park, near Penrith

The Feud at Kendal Calling
The Feud at Kendal Calling

Okay so this review is at least a week late, but although the sun tan is fading, the memories of this year’s Kendal Calling Festival certainly haven’t.

First of all, let me get this out in the open. Our group of seven young (ahem!), and for the most part seasoned festival goers went home early.

The rain poured down all Saturday night and the lads couldn’t hack it.

For the record, I protested, but as a passenger, I had little say in the matter.

As a result I missed Sunday night headliners Primal Scream and the big voice and romanticism of Seasick Steve.

However two nights preceded this, and these were filled with mirth, merriness and a fair amount of madness.

As ever, getting onto the site on Friday was easy. Parking was well ordered, staff were welcoming, and the blazing sunshine prompted lots of smiles and excitement for what lay ahead.

Once we’d claimed our space on the campsite and “got settled” we headed down into the arena to absorb some sights and sounds.

Public Enemy were as upbeat as expected, although for me didn’t have as much energy as House of Pain, who played the same slot last year.

The Basement Jaxx also got a well oiled crowd jumping.

Other things happened that night, but I’d struggle to recall what they were; the real ale tent was particularly effective.

For me the highlight acts of the weekend were The Feud and Slamboree, closely followed by the Dub Pistols.

Clashing with The Charlatans on Saturday night, The Feud pulled a good crowd into The Woodlands area, and proceeded to tear it up.

The trio have seriously honed their sound, and it was clear they were loving every minute of it.

Slamboree did the same in the Chai Wallah’s tent later on.

Why both of these bands weren’t in a prime time slot on the main stage is a mystery to me.

Other hightlights included The Tea Street Band, Mickey P Kerr, The Gramotones and The Mouse Outfit, and of course Beans on Toast.

I have resolved never again to leave a festival early.

There was more life, celebration and creativity packed into that one weekend than an entire year’s worth of television viewing.

As the country limps on through its self deprecating woes, Kendal Calling continues to keep the home fires burning.