LIVE: Blossoms, Milburn, Catfish & The Bottlemen & Cabbage – Kendal Calling 29.07.16

The second day in the fields gets underway, with an significant weather improvement on its predecessor. Thursday saw the standard set by a triumphant Charlatans, but with the first full day of music scheduled there is nothing to suggest it cannot be topped. After a morning of exploring stages (and occasionally bars) that are hidden away behind the field and forestry, an impressive string of bands ensues.

Cabbage – House Party

The house party, quite true to its name, is a small stage surrounded by frivolous bunting-like decorations in a tiny house shaped hut. Cabbage grace this area in mid afternoon, and spread their darker, dingy vibes front to back. In a set reminiscent of a Fat White Family gig they see few leave early on in the set in search of Thomas Turgoose’s DJ set, but those who stay are treated to a mixture of bleak but poetic lyrics and punky guitar riffs. Not quite what you expect at a house party, but a success nonetheless.

Milburn – Main Stage

Not much to say about the Yorkshire indie quartet that hasn’t been said before. You know what you’ll get: straight talking, good tunes, and a very loyal following. They manage to drag many of those sitting on the hill forward for a dance, really kicking the day into life. “We were around eight years ago” lead singer Joe Carnell tells the crowd, “People asked us to come back because they liked the tunes, so here we are”. And aren’t we glad they did.

We Are Scientists – Main Stage

One of the main benefits of smaller festivals like Kendal Calling is that bands that perhaps wouldn’t draw such a large share of the crowd at major festivals can do so here. This is the case with American up-beat indie trio We Are Scientists drawing an almost full field as they rifle through their impressive back catalogue. Even the crowd waiting for Catfish who play next are quickly engaged, with many realising they know more songs than they expected.

Catfish & The Bottlemen – Main Stage

The Vann McCann led Welsh group have shot up past most to become one of the defining bands of indie music today over the past two years. They only furthered this with a set that draws the most lively crowd of the festival so far. This is the first time since the doors opened on Thursday morning that a band have managed to get the Cumbrian field jumping front to back. Predictable, hits like Pacifier and Tyrants take this even further an unleash an infections sense of carefree euphoria over the main stage crowd. If they continue in this fashion, one wonders if their success has any limits.

Blossoms – Calling Out

These Mancunians exploits over the last year have seen them put on the ‘coolest new band’ pedestal. This shows, as they take much of the crowd from headliners Rudimental to play to an overflowing tent. There is already an opinion around the music world that these could be he next huge band to come out of the North-West. They honour this and their heritage with a tribute to Warrington’s Viola Beach, as well as a rendition of Half The World Away. They have been doing the rounds at festivals this year, and you can see from the crowds reaction why organisers are desperate to get them playing.

Saturday will see Madness headline the festival in what is sure to be yet another day of festival fun in the Lake District.

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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