Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Festival Chic | Kendal Calling

Last weekend I went to Kendal Calling, a music festival situated in a deer park. This was the second time I have been and I was fully prepared with cans of deodorant and dry shampoo. Every year is themed and this year's was a significant improvement compared to last years movie theme. Lets just say that last year the queues for the toilet were a ridiculous length due to the amount of people, both male and female, who had come dressed as the bride from Kill Bill. We're talking yellow and black leather catsuit, worn by either Uma Thurman's doppelgänger or people who were too stupid to realise that festivals usually mean drinking, drinking leads to toilet, and leather catsuit + portaloo = very, very bad idea.
This year the theme was Space which lead to an array of tinfoil hats, golden leggings and Darth Vader costumes, there were even two Tardises and a roller disco on site which was #funkingawesome.
Playsuit - Hollister, kimono - boohoo.com, wellies - Hunter, sunglasses - Topshop, flower crown - bought at a Kendal Calling stall last year, necklaces - from a market in Spain.
On the second day I went dressed as Princess Leia, well what I imagine Princess Leia would look like had she gone through a hippie phase in her rebellious teenage years.
As I emerged from my tent with 34 grips, 2 feathers and a flower crown in my hair, I made a beeline for the main stage which was where Newton Falkner was playing.
He was absolutely incredible but I couldn't get very close due to the masses of people who had turned up to see him. Later in the evening, I was walking through the fields and walked straight past him, but I didn't realise until Dan turned to me and said "Wasn't that the ginger dreadlock guy who was on before?" As I turned around I saw him retreating into the backstage area, and away from me forever. Okay, so it wasn't as dramatic as that, but I was kicking myself afterwards for not being more observant.
Walking into the Calling Out tent, I caught the last 25 minutes of The Fued's set, they played really well and I bought their CD when they came off stage. I even got to chat with the lead singer and guitarist afterward, he was so lovely and although he was the only member of the band who came out to talk with people, he assured me that the other members were just as nice as he was.
This was the only photo I managed to get from the first day because after this point the weather took a turn for the worse and my phone started playing up. This was taken during a performance by Norma Jean Martine, an American singer/songwriter with an amazing voice, not dissimilar to Adele's. After this I went to check the Woodland stage out to find Alex Hulme just beginning his set. As he was on last year, I thought I knew what to expect from him, but it turns out I forgot how good he was and he immediately went on my mental 'must download' list. I caught up with him in the fields, we had a natter and this resulted with a cheeky follow from him on Twitter. 
On day two, after returning from the Calling Out stage, I found that people, who may or may not have had a bit too much to drink, had decided to start a mud slide. It was quite entertaining to see people dressed as garden gnomes, cyber men and astronauts cover themselves in mud to provide half an hour of amusement as Athlete's roadies set up on stage.
Afterwards, I somehow managed to wiggle my way near the front to watch Razorlight. It was a great experience, despite almost getting crushed in the moshpit I found myself in the centre of and having a man who thought I was his daughter pick me up and put me onto his shoulders, which was interesting to say the least.
Whilst waiting for The Happy Mondays to come on, the weather kept acting out (heavy rainfall was considered the norm that weekend) however, because of it I ended up having a lovely conversation with a guy who kindly offered to share his coat with me as a means of shelter. It was a kind gesture, even if everyone ignored the rain as soon as The Happy Mondays came on in order to get their Bez on (Bez being the guy in the white shirt whose sole purpose in the band is to 'dad dance' around stage with maracas).
As soon as The Happy Mondays finished my newfound friend and I sprinted over to the Calling Out tent where Rae Morris was about to go on stage. Anyone who knows me will know about my infatuation with her. Her voice is beautiful, her lyrics are heartfelt and her hair is amazing. I also feel a deep set connection with her as we are both from the North West, I play piano and she went to the college I'm going to; infact I originally found out about her through the college prospectus. All in all she was incredible, I sang along to every song and she even smiled at me a couple of times, we even got a little wave from the drummer which was a fun little extra.
After Rae had finished her set, we headed over to the Woodland Stage where Seattle Yatch Club were on. I initially went to see them because they had followed me on twitter the week before and I thought it'd only be polite to, common courtesy and all ;) despite seeing them being a quick decision, it was possibly the best I made during whole festival, their music is so upbeat and enjoyable, they almost made it seem like it wasn't raining (even though parts of the grounds had started to flood), so they also went on my must download list.
During their set I had three people come up to me: one teenager who asked if I was old enough to buy him and his friends beer (quite funny considering the fact that I'm a year younger than the youngest person in the group, so I couldn't have possibly bought alcohol even if I wanted to), a man dressed as a chicken who was attempting to dance with everyone and a girl who cried when she saw me because  she'd had a little too much to drink and thought I was Princess Leia and according to her friend "she just loves Star Wars so much!"
Upon our return to the Main Stage, Frank Turner had just come on stage. Despite starting quite far back, the sheer amount of people behind us had pushed us forward and by the time Frank started crowd surfing, we were close enough to the front for me to touch his bum as he passed over us (another highlight of the festival).
Waking up kinda late on Sunday panicked me a little because I had a dream that I missed Tom Odell and for a moment I thought I really had. At 11:45 I was running into the grounds half dressed, pulling my wellies on over my muddy feet. 
I caught the end of The Lancashire Hotpots (who were hilarious and started an audience long conga) and went for afternoon tea in a vintage clothing stall where I bought a really cute floral raincoat after having a chat with the lovely lady who ran it.
When I came back to the Main Stage, Simon and Oscar from Ocean Colour Scene were on and they were brilliant. Once they finished their set I shuffled my way forwards in order to secure a front spot for Tom Odell, even thought it was 3pm and he was due to play at 7pm.
This meant I was at the front for Reel Big Fish and Clean Bandit who were both fantastic, they interacted with the crowd and their music was so catchy and had everyone dancing. I even had the bass guitarist and saxophone player from RBF and Clean Bandit's drummer wave at me and Reel Big Fish followed me on twitter after I tweeted about how good they were.
After waiting at the front for 4 hours, the moment I'd been waiting all weekend for had finally arrived. The beautiful Tom Odell walked on stage and looked directly at me before beginning his set. He was brilliant, gorgeous (as always) and completely exceeded my expectations of him. There was one particular moment where my ovaries may have exploded: before playing 'Grow Old With Me' he said "I usually dedicate this song to all the lovers in the audience, but tonight I'm dedicating it to all the people without lovers... Like me" to which I involuntarily shouted "I volunteer as tribute" and he obviously heard me because he turned to wink at me and mouthed "thank you"! I think I died that day and then came back to life to see Miles Kane.
Miles was fabulous and his guitarist was quite attractive (ooh cheeky),and even thought he came on stage 5 minutes late, he more than made up for it with his fast paced, high energy performance. The only bother during this act was caused by a highly irritating woman who tried to barge her way to the front half way through, and then tried to start a fight with my friend when she wouldn't let her through to the barrier, but she soon disappeared (probably trying to get to the front somewhere else).
After Miles there was an hour long wait for Example, which brought to my attention the fact that I had been stood at the front watching acts for 7 and a half hours by the time he came on. However, this was soon forgotten when he started his set and immediately got the crowd dancing and singing along. I wasn't particularly bothered by the fact that I was being squashed by the masses of people behind me, even though I usually freak out in small, tight spaces, because I had quite a lot of space to move my arms as they were hanging over the barrier. Also Example kept standing at the front and interacting with the crowd, he even pointed at me during 'Kickstarts' and blew my friends and I a kiss during 'Playing in the Shadows'. After his hour and 45 minute long set, we headed straight for the food trucks because we suddenly realised that we hadn't eaten for the amount of time we were stood there, which was about 9 hours.
Dress - Misguided.com, Vest (originally a jacket) - Gap, odd bracelets I found lying around, everything else as before with the exception of the Kendal Calling stage timings around my neck.
This was my post-fullyloadednachos and pre-letsgopartysomemore face and I'm really suprised that my dress came home as clean as it did considering we were knee deep in mud most of the time (kindly displayed by my wellies).
So off we went to Chai Wallah, the more laid back and hippie stage, where we partied until there were no more acts to dance to and ate nachos covered in rice, fake meat and quacamole (because the vegetarian Mexican food truck had nothing else left, which was understandable considering it was midnight in the last day of the festival) before heading back to our tents for a good nights sleep.

If anyone is considering going to Kendal Calling, I would highly recommend it, it is such a great experience and I always have a great time. If you are planning to go next year then come and say hello!

See you in the fields!

Charlotte x