KENDAL CALLING! FESTIVAL 2019 // LOWTHER DEER PARK, PENRITH
Kendal Calling goes Jurassic.
Even Sarah Blizzard couldn’t have predicted the weather Kendal Calling was set for after a week of record heatwaves and torrential rain battered the UK. But nothing can stop the north from having fun, and punters arrived in high spirits on Friday morning despite overnight heavy showers.
Fridays main stage kicked off with boisterous 4 piece The Big Moon, who were a welcome addition amongst few female faces on the bill this year. They weren’t to disappoint with their playful yet rip roaring set setting the tone for the rest of the day. The afternoon felt like a throwback to the golden age of indie - The Pigeon Detectives, Reverend and the Makers and Miles Kane playing hit after hit with the audience gripped throughout.
Spirits were high by the time Nile Rogers & Chic entered the fray, and as ever Nile Rogers charmed the crowd with his timeless party classics. Unbeknown to some of the crowd, Nile wrote a number of classic songs for other highly successful acts which he added into his set list. David Bowie’s ‘Modern Love’ and Diana Ross’ ‘Upside Down’ were two of the standout features from the set, the crowd left glowing following the funkadelic show and the standards were already set tremendously high for the rest of weekend.
The bipolar sunshine had gone for good on Saturday to be replace with a bombardment of torrential rain all day long. The atmosphere didn’t take a beating though and fans flocked to the arena to catch another day of talent.
The Calling Out stage became an escape from the elements which worked wonders for the earlier bands featured drawing in these huge crowds.
Easy Life and Zuzu charmed their way through their 30 minute performances leaving fans yearning for more. Cassia followed with their chilled out tropic sound, which should be paired with a Pina Colada. Their set once again a mere 30 minutes reconfirmed that they’re a band that are going places and will soon be headlining this tent.
Not a blade of green grass was visible by the mid way point of Saturday, and walking around the site seemingly felt like a scene from 1993 Jurassic Park. This didn’t stop the majority of fans who had come solely to catch Gerry Cinnamon, and he definitely attracted the largest audience of the weekend.
The overall atmosphere took a huge boost and spirits were raised once again when Manic Street Preachers swiftly followed, kicking off their set with ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’ drawing back downtrodden fans leaving the arena. A set which featured a cover of Guns N Roses ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ was topped off with the song fans were most waiting for ‘A Design For Life’.
The newest attraction to Kendal Calling by the end of Saturday was the ever growing muddy lake which had appeared in the main arena, fans flocking to have their photograph stood in the mid-shin deep waters. By the time headliners Doves came to the stage fans had already set sail for their tents and some even opting to go home after failing to overcome the elements. The band were playing to a small handful of loyal fans who’d braved the torrential rain, clothes were that wet they’d become an additional layer of skin. The band didn’t disappoint though after their 9 year hiatus, playing all the hits from Lost Souls, Kingdom of Rust and The Last Broadcast.
Credit where it’s due, the deluge of rain didn’t stop the fans and the acts all weekend, and fans will be flocking back once again next year after another successful weekend in the Lake District.