From the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson to the Bohemian Rhapsody performed by oompah band - here's the most fun to the most frustrating
For 2017, Kendal Calling headed off 'into the wild', bringing jungle and Serengeti vibes to the beautifully bucolic fields of Lowther Deer Park for their biggest festival to date.
At times over the weekend it appeared that occassional monsoons had arrived to fit in with this year’s festival theme, but in the surrounds of the Lake District - only last month awarded Unesco World Heritage status – the sun did eventually break through the clouds, like the morning light penetrating the jungle canopy, warming all that was sullen and sodden beneath.
Confidential was down there in the muck with the best of them, slopping between stages, spilling beer down our wellies and rocking out to the Lancashire Hotpots, so that we may bring you the very best (and worst) of Kendall Calling 2017.
Manic Street Preachers - Any one of the headline acts could feature here but the Manic’s pipped the ‘Phonics for the top spot in our eyes. Both produced a back catalogue of hits that any band would chop their guitar hands off for, with crowds turning out en masse for both. Featuring everything from Kevin Carter to Motorcycle Emptiness, frontman James Dean Bradfield navigated the crowd through their twenty year career building and building towards the perfect send off with Design for Life.
Diversity - No not the reality TV dance troupe, but the Sunday line-up on the Main Stage which ticked all the boxes. All tastes, sights and sounds were catered for - you almost didn’t need to move. From Kendal Calling folky fan favourites The Lancashire Hotpots kicking things off, to hip-hop star Lethal Bizzle and punk band Salves bringing the energy (and mosh pits). Then it was over to the blues from festival regular Seasick Steve, finishing off with pop chart stomping Tinie Tempah, who finished the festival off in style under the fireworks.
Brian Wilson - Though the strength of his voice may be waning, there's still no denying the strength of the Pet Sounds album and the fondness in which he and his fellow Beach Boys are held. Sitting centre stage on his keyboard, this wasn’t the most energetic set, but with one of the biggest backing bands and strongest sets, it didn't really matter. This was pure festival sing-a-long fun.
‘Worst’ is a harsh word, but not as harsh as the mum who had naively taken her two young sons along to watch Lethal Bizzle. The shock on her face as she turned round to see her boys follow Bizzle's command to raise their middle fingers to all other festivals. The boys found it hilarious, the mum didn't. Naughty Bizzle.
Little-known band The Snuts played to a favourable crowd on Sunday. Dusting off three days of festival indulgence, fans and the uninitiated bopped along to the West Lothian four piece, with first single Glasgow going down a storm during their tight set. One we hadn’t heard of before but one we'll be tapping into Spotify soon.
Another surprise, seeing reality TV A-lister and talking backside Kim Kardashian at the festival - though we don't think much to her rain coat...
The Most Fun:
For anyone who witnessed it, there can be no denying that seeing the Bohemian Rhapsody performed by an oompah band was a highlight of the festival. With little space to move, the Jaegerhaus band produced one of the loudest and most random acts of the weekend.
The Most Frustrating:
The most frustrating thing wasn’t losing a welly to the Cumbrian mud, or not being able to squeeze into Tim Peaks' diner for one of many secret sets, but trying to be in more than one place at a time. Sunday night’s finale saw The Coral pitted against Tinie Tempah against the London African Gospel Choir performing Paul Simons Graceland in the woods. Something for everyone then, but what if you want to see all three?
The secret is out. Actually, it's been out for years. Kendal Calling - with its big name acts, welcoming atmosphere and picturesque setting - is fast becoming one of the country's most talked- about festivals. Leaving on a high beneath the fireworks, Confidential is already looking forward to returning in 2018. If you missed out, or are ready to do it again, tickets for next year's instalment are already on sale at kendalcalling.co.uk/2018-tickets.