To celebrate its tenth birthday, this year's (30 July - 2 August) Kendal Calling festival is going to a big one – not only in terms of line-up, but there's an extra day too. To guide us through expanded version, founder and director Andy Smith has made us a Playlist of his personal picks from the Cumbrian event's 2015 line-up. "The festival enters its tenth year this year, something that both amazes and terrifies," he notes. "Doesn’t time fly? Since its humble beginnings as an teensy-eensy one and a half stage festival held in the grounds of a town centre art gallery back in 2006 to its current home spread across the stunning 300 acre Lowther Deer Park, home to our 12 stages (and more to come), it’s been an incredible journey. Programming a festival isn’t easy work - the phrase 'you can’t please all the people, all the time' certainly springs to mind, but if the loyalty of the audience is any yardstick, we must be doing something right. I think it’s fair to say this years lineup is going to take some beating though with an expanded festival seeing five headliners over four days and an eclectic spread across all stages, but the real beauty is in the atmosphere of the audience and that's what it's really about at Kendal." Here are his selections.
Elbow – One Day Like This "Has there ever been a better song written to be played at a festivals? Not that I’ve seen or heard it played at one myself – my only opportunity to date was at their Jodrell Bank concert back in 2012 yet I missed the last half of the show as I got drafted to push cars out of the muddy car park. Let’s be doing none of that this year, please."
James – Sometimes "One of the most requested bands year after year… ask and you shall receive! Let’s hope the only precipitation over the weekend is confined to these lyrics. A part of me wishes to choose Sit Down – after all, it was the first bit of music I ever bought – but I guess tastes change over 20 years."
Kate Tempest – The Beigeness "Not many artists can boast a Mercury Prize nomination and a Ted Hughes poetry award. I love that Kate has been around long enough to know exactly what she’s doing, but that she also seems to be just at the start of an incredible musical journey and career. I was lucky enough to see her play recently and I haven’t been so surprised and delighted by a live performance for a little while."
Bipolar Sunshine – Where Did The Love Go "Our offices are Manchester-based, and we are lucky to boast one of the best local music scenes in the country on our doorstep. As a big fan of sadly departed Manchester natives Kid British – who we were fortunate enough to invite to Kendal a few times previously – we’re incredibly excited to see former frontman Adio Marchant take to our Calling Out stage as Bipolar Sunshine this year."
British Sea Power – Oh Larsen B "Also celebrating a ten year anniversary is British Sea Power’s Open Season album. The Kendal group – now decamped to Brighton – headlined the first ever Kendal Calling and we’re so proud to welcome them back to the festival. One of my favourite live bands too - if you haven’t seen them yet, what’s took you so long?"
Snoop Dogg – Young, Wild & Free "Snoop Dogg in Cumbria? I’m still in shock myself. This is going to be beyond big."
Kaiser Chiefs – Never Miss A Beat "Another northern headliner - someone’s going to be accusing us of bias soon! Great party anthem."
The Vaccines – If You Wanna "I love a good indie anthem as much as the next person, and The Vaccines really tick that box for me. They never disappoint… and you can’t help but sing along when this tune is on the setlist."
Billy Bragg – Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards "We’ve been hoping to get Billy Bragg on the Kendal stage for years and this year to our delight the feeling was mutual. A British institution, an impeccable song-writer, and a thoroughly nice chap to boot. I can’t wait to see him bring his particular brand of political punk to the main stage."
Emmy The Great – Paper Forest - In The Afterglow of Rapture "One of my personal all time favourite artists, it’s a genuine delight to welcome Emmy The Great back to Kendal Calling this year."
For more, including the line-up and latest ticket news head to Kendalcalling.co.uk.