With Kendal Calling fast approaching its fourteenth year, we thought it would be nice to take a look back over our past lineups and see how some of the acts have fared since appearing on our stages.
British Sea Power
Appearing with us in front of 900 people as they closed our first ever festival, British Sea Power are one of Kendal Calling’s more frequent guests. They have since been back in 2008, 2010, 2013 & 2015 and will no doubt visit Lowther Deer Park again in the future. In the time since that first appearance, the Kendal band have released 7 albums and release their crowd-funded 8th, ‘Let The Dancers Inherit The Party’, on March 31st.
Back in 2007 when the band was only two years old and didn’t even have an album to their name, they came to entertain at our second event. In the ten years that have followed, the Oxford five-piece have become one of the UK’s biggest bands – releasing four albums, being nominated twice for a Mercury Music prize, nominated for Best British Band at the Brits, winning a number of awards for their live show plus headlined the likes of Reading & Leeds, Bilbao BBK and Benicassim. Well done boys!
After their set at our second event, we invited this Kendal born band back to our fields in 2010. At the time, they were touring in support of their second album, the brilliant, Mercury Prize nominated, ‘Two Dancers’. Since then, the four-piece have gone on to release three more records, the brilliant ‘Boy King’ being their most recent.
Mystery Jets are one of those acts who, after you see them live, leave you baffled at how they aren’t bigger than they are! We invited the band back in 2013, by which time they had 5 records under their belts. In January of last year they went on to release their 6th, the very good ‘Curve of the Earth’. Give it a listen if you haven’t already!
2009 was the First time that Frank played for us before he returned once more in 2011 and then again in 2014 to headline our event. In that time Turner got to put out a few more records, increased his profile and performed in the opening ceremony of the London Olympics! Currently, after recently hitting the 2000th live show, Frank is, as expected, out on the road again. Here’s to 2000 more!
Kate Tempest is a great example of hard work paying off. Her 2014 Mercury Prize nomination for her debut record, ‘Everybody Down’, helped her to receive the attention that she had been deserving for so long. Kate would return to us in 2015 and the release of her second record has seen her popularity grow further, having recently sold out the likes of the O2 Ritz in Manchester.
Mumford & Sons
We got to welcome Mumford & Sons to our stage in the very early days of the band. At that time, they had only recently purchased instruments for themselves, having recorded their debut album ‘Sigh No More’ – which came out a couple of months after the Kendal appearance – using the equipment in the studio. The release of their second record ‘Babel’ helped propel the band to world fame, which was further established with the release of their third in 2015.
His performance at our 2010 event would be one of his last as the lead vocalist of a band. At the time, Calvin Harris was one of the UK’s biggest acts but now he is arguably the biggest EDM artist in the world. After becoming a DJ full time, Harris rose to prominence in 2011 following a European and Australian tour with Rihanna which led to the duo working on a couple of tracks together, most notably, ‘We Found Love’. His many collaborations and two records since the KC set has led to Harris currently being the highest paid EDM act around. Not too shabby!
4 years after ‘that’ Treadmill video for ‘Here It Goes Again’ (which had 52m views before the band removed it and won them a Grammy) the US act came to visit us. It was a memorable set that featured dancing Smurfs, Stormtroopers and mimes. As for now, they have only released one more album since their performance at Lowther Deer Park, but they are still making music videos that gets everybody talking.
We managed to snag Michael Kiwanuka at a very early stage in his career playing on, what was, our Kaylied Stage (now Calling Out) . He has since gone on to win the BBC Sound of award in 2012 and release two critically acclaimed records.
First Aid Kit
The Swedish sisters headlined our Kaylied Stage on the Friday night in 2010, a few months after the release of their debut record. From then, their stature has grown considerably and they now have three albums to their name. They also very recently teased the fact that they’ve gone into the studio to record album #4.
Since playing at Kendal Calling (before they’d even released an album) Alt-J have gone on to become one of the biggest acts in the UK at the moment. A few months after their slot on our Get it Loud in Libraries stage, the band released their Mercury Winning debut An Awesome Wave. It has been a career that has seen them go from strength to strength and in 2014 they went on to achieve a number 1 album with their second effort This Is All Yours. There has been no word of a third record yet, but we’d expect something to come from them over the next 12 months.
The Cribs were already a hugely established band when they rightfully headlined the festival in 2011. In the years following, the band put out a further two albums and also a greatest hits compilation. In May, they will go out on tour to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their hugely successful record, Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever.
After touring as Nathaniel Rateliff for years, in 2015 he added The Night Sweats as his backing band and ended up taking the world by storm with his track ‘S.O.B.’ and his self-titled debut album. It was a whirlwind 18 months that saw Rateliff go from Manchester’s Deaf Institute to the O2 Apollo via sold out shows at Ruby Lounge and the Ritz.
Tim Peaks Diner
In 2012, when the Tim Peaks brand was being run mainly via a Twitter account, we offered Tim and his brand of coffee a chance for it to become a little more real by giving them their own log cabin on our festival grounds. With a real diner that featured a real jukebox and some real booths, Tim Peaks’ cabin went on to serve over 2000 cups of coffee that weekend (as well as 800 cups of Yorkshire Tea). The place became a hub for the musicians at the event. Kyle from The View did an acoustic set, so did Edwyn Collins, and even Tim Burgess himself did a half hour set of Charlatans hits.
With all that happening in just the first three days of their inception, we couldn’t not ask them back for a second year (and for every year since). Word spread about what had happened that weekend and Tim Peaks has since had invitations from other festivals such as Isle of Wight, Liverpool Sound City and Festival No.6
Since appearing on our Calling Out stage in 2013, The 1975 have been on a rise which can only be described as meteoric. Matthew Healy, the son of Denise Welch (who knew?), has gone on to be one of the most recognisable faces in music currently. As for the group as a whole, the Arena tours and countless inclusions in end of year album lists speak for themselves, don’t they.
The Manchester locals first visited us in 2013 before returning in 2015. Most recently, they released the ace new album Big Balloon, and celebrated with an action-packed weekend which involved a Piccadilly Records in store show, a public session at Low Four studios and they also managed to find the time to race their fans on a go-kart track.
London Grammar took the UK by storm when they released their debut album in September 2013, a couple of months after their epic set at Kendal Calling. The band enjoyed strong sales of the record for months after, going on to sell over 350,000 copies of it. On the 1st of January this year, the Nottingham trio returned with their first new music since If You Wait and then followed that on February 1st with another new track. There’s been no confirmation on a new record of yet, but expect big things this year.
Since Foy Vance played for us in 2013, he has gone on to do things that most musicians could only dream about. He’s toured with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Snow Patrol and Elton John. Has won a number of awards. Has signed to Ed Sheeran’s own label, Gingerbread Man Records and finally (and possibly most importantly) he became friends with Courtney Cox, even writing a song about her daughter.
Catfish and the Bottlemen
Catfish stopped off at Kendal during, what was, a summer of tearing up festivals up and down the country. When the band played at Kendal they had only recently signed to Island Records and been made Best Newcomer at the BBC Music Awards. The Balcony, their debut record, followed their appearance and in 2016 they released their second, The Ride. Following a BRITs win for Best Breakthrough Act in 2016, The Bottlemen returned to us for a main stage appearance.
In 2013, the band jumped to a major label for fourth record Pedestrian Verse and it became quickly apparent that the move had been a shrewd one with the Scottish group notching up their highest chart placing to date. In 2016 Frightened Rabbit released album #5 and went on to achieve further huge success, before Scott Hutchison’s untimely passing in 2018. We remember Scott fondly and miss him every day.
After appearing on our Calling Out stage in 2015, Blossoms returned just twelve months later on our main stage. The band had a brilliant 2016 and show no sign of slowing down going into the New Year either. After having one of the best-selling debut albums of 2016, the Stockport five-piece went on to enjoy a sold out December tour. How are they going to top that? Well how about having NME sponsor their tour with Cabbage before they then headline their own show at Castlefield Bowl in June.
Following years of almost anonymity, in 2009 Elbow found super-stardom that doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. Frontman Guy Garvey even managed to find time to release, and tour, a solo record in between records. The band released their seventh studio album, Little Fictions, in February and once again enjoyed positive ratings from all across the music press.
Rag n Bone Man
Off the back of his first single ‘Human’ dropping the same month as his Kendal debut, Rag n Bone Man’s rise has seen him hit over 100,000 album sales with the fastest selling male solo album of the 00’s. He’s since gone on to scoop countless awards, including the BBC Music prize for Album of the Year, and has collaborated with Gorillaz and more.
Another stage of rising from Calling Out to the stars – Sundara Karma’s first appearance at Kendal preceded the release of their debut LP smashing the top 40, and their biggest single Flame racking up over 20 million plays on Spotify!
The Australian three-piece’s reputation is indie heavyweights has been solidified with the release of their 2018 second album For Now, which hit the UK top 20 and landed them no less than three spots in Triple J’s annual Top 100 poll. They even landed in the soundtrack to Fifa 2017 just a few months after their Kendal debut. We’ll take the credit for that one then…
Headlining Calling Out on the Friday night, Loyle Carner was one of the weekend’s highlights and has since gone on to be one of the UK’s most in-demand songwriters. 2017’s Yesterday’s Gone featured on the Mercury Prize shortlist, and his recent collabs with Jordan Rakei and Kiko Bun to name a few have whet the appetite for his upcoming second album.
Scan the dictionary for the word ‘explosion’ and there’ll be a photo of Gerry Cinnamon. In the last twelve months the man from Glasgow has wracked up *huge* sell-out UK tours with no management, no label and no promotion – just a textbook case of word-of-mouth growing into something huge. We’re thrilled to welcome him back in 2019 after his set at KC18 became one of the weekend’s most talked-about.
The soundtrack to our Saturdays as Sky Football’s intro music of choice, ‘Found What I’ve Been Looking For’ was one of 2018’s biggest singles and led to us following up Tom’s Kendal show in July 2018 with a prime spot at our NYE celebration alongside Everything Everything and The Blinders. His debut album Lighting Matches racked up a top 5 spot in the UK charts too!
Keep your eyes peeled for more emerging talent in the fields, as we book the world’s biggest acts before anyone else!
Ben, Andy & The KC Team x