LIVE: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Spring King & The Sherlocks – Kendal Calling 31.07.16

A final day of music, and as the sense of fear of leaving to return to the real world on Monday is pushed to the back of our mind, we prepare for perhaps the biggest acts yet. Oasis architect Noel Gallagher was undoubtedly generating the most excitement, but before that there was a opportunity for some other Northern bands to make their mark on the weekend.

The Sherlocks – Main Stage

Sheffield’s latest indie quartet has been turning heads in the music world for a while now since Live For The Moment was released back in 2014. This set shows exactly why. They play to a half-full field as they open the main stage. With the exception of a few dozen fans it is fair to say these youngsters are a new name to most onlookers, but that doesn’t harm their performance, managing to encourage fans onto shoulders as they play their second single Escapade. Lead singer Kieran Crook takes time out to thank those who have come down for the early starting set, but they don’t waste too much time talking as they introduce the crowd to as many tunes as possible in their slot. The reception as they finish is one of pleasant surprise from those who did not know this band before. Another successful festival performance, these boys have a bright future ahead.

I spoke to The Sherlocks after their set. You will be able to find that interview on Gigslutz in due course.

The Space Monkeys – House Party

The mid-nineties Mancunian acid house performers play surrounded by the fittingly brightly decorated interior of the House Party Stage. They play to a decent crowd who gather, mainly reminiscing thirty-somethings, but the atmosphere is nevertheless rousing. In true nineties style the tent fills with fans dancing arch backed, arms swinging and firing the lyrics straight back at the band in the same droney Manc’ accent. The stewards don’t seem impressed though, cutting the power to the stage to prevent them going into another song after already overrunning their slot.

Spring King – Calling Out

Continuing a day where Manchester seems to have moved to Cumbria, Spring King play the Calling Out tent. Their set is well structured, building up a growing crowd as the rain comes down outside. Demons and They’re Coming After You are the best received but despite their impressive showing they lose most of the crowd as the rain halts and Noel is soon to be playing the main stage. Certainly one to look out for, but perhaps better suited to a slot where one of the biggest songwriters of all time isn’t playing elsewhere at the festival.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

What more can be said that doesn’t sound clichéd when talking about the older of the Gallagher brothers? He is undeniably one of the most successful and most loved songwriter of all time. He has in the past claimed he doesn’t give 100% in his festival performances. Well if this is not his best effort it’s scary how unwaveringly flawless his set is. Nobody does mammoth hits nowadays quite like Noel. He runs through a mixture of solo and Oasis in what seems like a never ending stream of classics. Newly introduced to his setlist for his most recent tour is Wonderwall, which predictably is greeted with the most ecstatic reaction of the weekend. Noel also gives an outing to some of his dry wit that he has become famed for, reading a band flyer thrown onto stage claiming ‘If I’d never wrote this song you wouldn’t be at school, because you’d be uneducated’. By the end of the set, having already reeled of Talk Tonight, Wonderwall, Half The World Away and solo hit If I Had a gun to name but a few, he has one final move. Half the crowd may be losing their voices after a string of sing-along anthems, but they can belt Don’t Look Back in Anger out back at Noel. Saturday ended with a feeling of euphoria after Madness’ upbeat set. Sunday ends with astronomical power as he belts out the final “… I heard you say”. One of the greatest music icons this country has ever produced brings the curtain down on what has been an unequivocal success of a festival.

How will they ever better that? We shall see. Until next year, Kendal Calling.

Sam Wright

Sam Wright

Music Journalist, formally at MOJO Magazine. Black Country born, now mainly covering Birmingham and North-West England
Sam Wright

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