Kendal Calling 2014 Review

 “Make sure you pack your sun cream…it’s going to be a scorcher next weekend!”

These words did not end up ringing wholly true. In fact, this was one of the wettest, muddiest festivals I have ever experienced…and I've been to at least 20. If you are going to have your festival in the Lake District, who knows what weather you are going to get, but this was a Northern festival, with proper double-hard Northern people who were ready for anything.

…then this little guy turned up and showed us all how it was done…

Mud monster

We arrived early on Thursday, this being the first year to allow entry the day before the main festival.
After finally getting up our beast of a tent, we caught the first half of Craig Charles’ 
thumping set in the Glow tent, before some Yorkshire Ska in Chai Wallah, courtesy of The Talks.

Friday started out in the real ale tent, and not even for beer (this time!), but instead to avoid the first
heavy downpour of the weekend. Samba bands were a feature across the site, and kept everyone
entertained until the stages started. By the early afternoon the rain had stopped, giving way to sack
races and plenty of activities to keep families busy in the Ladybird Kids area. Teenagers got their dancing shoes dirty early on at the Jägermeister stage and in the House Party tent. The first big crowd
of the day was for The Dub Pistols, a band who just seem to be made for festivals, getting everyone
stomping those wet weather blues away.

There was disappointment for some as the next act Ella Eyre was unable to attend due to illness, but fear not…The Sunshine Underground served up an extremely last minute indie dance set that kept everyone happy while they refuelled in anticipation of De La Soul

Unfortunately, owing to an accident on the M6, their set was cut short, but the enthusiasm they provided more than made up for it. 
“Me, myself and I” put lots of smiles on faces. With as many years of experience as they have they worked the crowd as you would expect.

Just enough time to grab some food. There was plenty on offer, ranging from exotic burgers
(Llama; wild boar and wagyu beef) to delicious momos from the Tibetan Kitchen (my photographer is now completely hooked on these badboys).

Suede headlined Friday night and began with a quiet opener “The Next life” from their first album.
They had won the crowd over by the third song “Trash”, followed by “Animal Nitrate” giving
everyone a chance to sing, and Brett Anderson to strut his stuff like the mid 90’s were here again.
Mid set we were given a new song “Tightrope” which the crowd were not really sure about, and
their set finished with “Beautiful Ones”.They closed the main stage with an encore of
“She’s in Fashion”, and a wonderful rendition of “Stay Together”.


After hours there was plenty to do with particular highlights being the Britpop set in the Tim Peaks Diner and the jazzy breaks of Mr Scruff.


As morning broke on Saturday, the site was turning to a liquid red thanks to the Cumbrian mud and morning rain. That didn’t stop large numbers of aliens, and sci-fi characters emerging from their tents to lighten up the gloom. The Glow Tent hosted a mass moonwalk to the song “Billie Jean”, as hundreds of MJ’s strutted their stuff.

Mid-afternoon, as the sun peeked out, Newton Faulkner played to a background of bubbles drifting across the field, “Teardrop”, and Justin Timberlake’s “Like I love you baby” bringing the crowds in. Athlete continued the summer vibe, and the sunglasses were out by the time Razorlight took to the stage. Sporting a lovely beard (trust me, I know about beards!) Johnny Borrell and the boys played a high energy, hit filled set.

Then, it was ALL about Madchester, with bucket hats and Lennon glasses being the necessary uniform. The Happy Mondays began with Bez informing us of his political intentions, which is either genius, or the most bonkers thing you’ve ever heard. The majority of this crowd would definitely vote for him. Shaun planned to keep it a PG performance, and entertained the crowd by never being quite sure which songs were coming next. Rowetta looked fantastic in her cowboy hat and tassels, and people were literally climbing the trees to get a good view. The sound was great and the whole arena was rocking to party classics from “Loose Fit”, to “24 Hour Party People”.

The Happy Mondays

Frank Turner started his set with a smaller crowd, hampered by the rain, but that crowd grew and got to enjoy a very special headline slot. This being his third time at the festival, he’s
definitely earned his Kendal stripes, and when he announced how honoured he was to play, you really knew he meant it. His band, The Sleeping Souls, threw themselves around the stage and really stepped up the volume, with stomping tunes like “Photosynthesis” getting the crowd all clapping and singing along. He dedicated his new song “Angel Islington” to all the Northerners. Despite a re-tune mid song and a broken string, nothing could faze Frank tonight!

Frank Turner

Sunday, originally predicted to be the best day for weather, was the worst, with frequent showers turning the main arena into a mud bath. Children and adults kept their spirits up by sliding down the hillside, and one of the great moments of the weekend was the chap in neon and a flat cap, cruising round a pool of mud in his electric wheelchair, chasing people. The Lancashire Hotpots played at lunchtime and won the award for most costume changes, and as they said, it was like a Lady Gaga gig! Conga lines, beach balls and songs including “We Love the North”, and “Chippy tea”, were just what was needed to keep everyone from flagging.

Reel Big Fish were the afternoon high point, Masters of styles they gave us the Ska Punk we all expected, but also a touch of Disco, and even a bit of Square-dancing. With choreographed kicks they finished with “Take on Me”, and as the dancing increased, the mud was flying. Tom Odell didn’t go in for quite the same level of onstage action, but instead let his music do the talking. It only took him to point to the girls at the front to get them all screaming, as he hammered away at the piano. A new song “Jealousy” from his upcoming album was particularly well received.

Miles Kane was taking no prisoners with a straight up rock and roll show. Dressed in a psychedelic shirt, his strutted around owing the stage, scissor kicking as he went. By the time he played “Don’t Forget Who You Are”, he had the audience joining in from the front to all the way up the hill.

Miles Kane

The final act on the main stage was Example, the biggest crowd of the weekend, and everyone wanted to be at the front. The sound from the stage was massive, with filthy bass lines shaking the sodden ground. Dressed in black he electrified the entire field, with lasers and a completely awesome neon drum kit. “One more day (Stay with me)” “Changed the way you kiss me” and “Kickstarts” were by far the biggest sing-a-longs of the weekend. As the set finished with air cannons
and ticker tape, the epic firework display was a worthy end to a sometimes challenging but ultimately celebratory weekend.


After the main events, we headed back to Tim Peaks Diner for some energetic table dancing and a storming funk and soul set from Tim Burgess.
Just time to pop back to the real ale tent, this time for a well-deserved pint, we’d all survived!


Words by Reuben Crowther
Photographs by Andy Sawyer

Check out the latest Isle of Wight Festival 2014 lineup addtions

On Saturday 14th June, designer Wayne Hemingway along with his son Jack, present Land of 1,000 Dances. Inspired by Wilson Picket’s classic R&B hit  ‘Land of a Thousand Dances’ Hemingway and Son will transform the Isle of Wight Festival Cabaret Tent into an uplifting party where visitors can learn iconic dances from the late 50s onwards.

From The Pony, to the Mash Potato, The Twist, The Alligator, The Watusi and Jerk, festivalgoers can practice their moves under the guidance of specialist dance teachers, all to the soundtrack of amedley of the UKs top vinyl spinning disc-jocks. The afternoon session begins with unashamed dancing to pop hits that you just shouldn't love; Walk Like An Egyptian, perfect The Birdie Dance and get down on your backside to Gap Band – Oops Upside Your Head. Picking up the pace during the day, with a series of more serious but no less fun dance sessions going through the decades of dance from R & B through NorthernSoul, funk, rare groove, The CabaretTent is the place to be on Saturday 14th June!  With expert tutors on hand to keep the floor moving and teach those new to the genres how to jive or do a northern soul spin, the evening culminates in a fully blown Disco workout as we enter the Jackin’ Zone. That’s not all, as there will be a chance for the lovers to get close as we conclude the night with three slow numbers before lights up at 2am.

Wayne Hemingway said “From Keb Darge to Acid Jazz’s Eddie Piller, we have assembled some of the best vinyl  DJ’s Britain has ever produced and a team of dance teachers that may even get those of us with two left feet off our backsides . Polish yer dancing shoes and yer best togs. After your dance lessons we might allow you an hour or so to rehydrate  then its boogie time ‘til the wee hours to the best dance music from the late 50’s R&B through northern soul, funk, disco, boogie and onto some house.”

What’s more, Tim Burgess of influential British band The Charlatans will be back with Tim Peaks to curate the Friday & Saturday line up in Hey Joe Rock Bar &Shisha Lounge. Expect the best new bands, some of Tim's old friends, damn fine coffee and more amazing cakes and pies than you can shake a stick at. There are also some very special guests, DJ sets from the likes of Clint Boon and the Howling Rhythm DJs, alongside book readings and some brilliant new bands. Plus, John Peel show favourites BOB will be playing their first gig in nearly two decades and topping off the each night will be special DJ set from Tim and fellow Charlatan, Mark Collins.

Tim Burgess said: "Tim Peaks is back again after an amazing debut last year. We've got some of our favourite new bands and some old friends stopping by – last year Suzanne Vega popped in for two unannounced shows so keep your eye on the tweets and head over for a coffee some time".

Hailing from the Isle of Wight, founder and front man of critically acclaimed band The BeesAaron Fletcher will present The Bee's Inspired' in The Bohemian Woods on Friday 13th June. This showcase of talent kicks off with an afrobeat session from the 16-piece Fellowship Of Groove, followed by the raw, heavy rock-n-roll beats of OrganRecords. What’s more, check out local surfer boys Plastic Mermaids, the DJ arm of Heavenly Recordings, The Heavenly Jukebox and Aaron himself, who fills the final hour with Schizodelic Sound dropping stone cold classics and fool proof festival pleasers.

Aaron Fletcher said: “I’m stoked to be able to put this together for The Bohemian Woods.  'The Bee's Inspired' is going to be a really special night; I can’t believe the line up for this. It’s everything for me that I love for a great party in the woods”.

Festival Organiser John Giddings said: “We are excited to be working with the gang at Hemingway Design, to bring you the Land of 1,000 Dances, featuring the best of Northern Soul to the Isle of Wight Festival. Not only are they style icons; they will bring somethingreally different for everyone to enjoy. We welcome the return to Tim Burgesswho will create two bespoke line-ups over the weekend, expect an eclectic mix of music! Plus, Aaron Fletcher from The Bees who will be in The Bohemian Woods curating an extra special line up on Friday 13th June. These are set to be some of the highlights of an unforgettable weekend.”

The Festival bill is already packed full of epic appearances this year and just got even bigger. Just added to the line up is Leeroy Thornhill of The Prodigy who will be taking to the decks on Thursday 12th June for a headline DJ set in the brand newHey Joe, Rock Bar & Shisha Lounge. What’s more, The Hoosiers take the headline slot at Life’s a Beach on Saturday 14th June.

Sam Smith announced for Latitude 2013

Latitude is delighted to announce one of the UK’s current hottest talents Sam Smith will be performing as a special guest on The Lake Stage at this year’s festival, taking place at Henham Park, Suffolk from 18th – 21st July. Smith’s amazing vocals featured on one of 2012’s biggest tracks, Disclosure’s Latch and he’s back at the top of the charts again featuring on hot producer, Naughty Boy’s smash Number One single La La La, currently the fastest selling single of the year. Curated by Huw Stephens, The Lake Stage has played host to countless ‘next big things’ including Alt-J, The xx and Everything Everything and as one of 2013’s most exciting artists at just 21-years-old, Sam Smith is no exception.

Also on The Lake Stage this year will be the master of beautiful folk balladry  Benjamin Francis Leftwich, London indie-pop quartet Veronica Falls and hotly tipped Manchester foursome The 1975. Other must see sets include art-noise masters Bo Ningen, UK folk and grunge blend Wolf Alice, Australian rave revivalists Jagwar Ma and tropical pop reggae artist Hollie Cook.




Bloc Party
The Maccabees
Cat Power
Yo La Tengo
I Am Kloot
Tim Burgess

Kraftwerk (3D Show)
Hot Chip
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Jessie Ware
Steve Mason
Charles Bradley And His Extraordinaires 

Grizzly Bear
James Blake
Local Natives
The Tallest Man On Earth


Modest Mouse
Richard Thompson Electric Trio
Beth Orton
Willy Mason
James Skelly & The Intenders 

Mark Lanegan Band
Everything Everything
White Denim
Duane Eddy 
Matthew E. White

Beach House
Laura Mvula