Kendal Calling Festival Previewed, Part 2

Though T in the Park and Glastonbury may be disappearing over the horizon for another year, qmunicate is not quite prepared to hang up its wellies just yet.

Next week we’re heading off to the bucolic and beautiful Kendal Calling Festival in north-west England, so what better time to introduce you to some of our favourite acts making their way around the festival circuit this year than in our two-part guide to who to look out for?

Our last article dealt with the big guns, but there is far more to festival life than just checking out the established stars. Some of the most exciting sets of the weekend can be found in tents barely big enough to squeeze the band in and Kendal Calling has a great reputation for offering acts like Mumford & Sons, Alt-J and this year’s headliner Frank Turner a leg up.

So without further ado here’s eight lesser known acts playing this year’s Kendal Calling that you should look out for in the year ahead.

1. Findlay

Fronted by the charismatic Natalie Findlay, this gang of riotous Mancunian rockers rapidly became qmunicate faves after seeing them effortlessly upstage grouchy faux-Dylan poster boy of post-Oasis rock Jake Bugg in a sweaty King Tuts. With sexy singles like ‘Greasy Love’ and ‘Your Sister’ their retro-rock sounds like Amy Winehouse fronting the Black Keys at a party at Marc Bolan’s house but live it’s all about the energetic performance as their frontwoman swaggers across the stage or beats herself over the head with a microphone.

2. Jess Glynne

Best known thus far for her stunning vocal on Clean Bandit’s ‘Rather Be’, Jess Glynne is now striking out on her own with her debut single ‘Right Here’. Bridging the gap between Kiesza’s house-pop and Rudimental’s brass-assisted breakdowns, it’s likely to see her bothering her former employers at the top of the chart.

3. Saint Raymond

Like Ben Howard crooning over the shuffling drums of Bombay Bicycle Club, Sam Burrows aka Saint Raymond is a young singer-songwriter from Nottingham. His self-penned, independently released EP Ghosts was a minor hit on iTunes, leading to attention from the likes of Zane Lowe and with an upcoming slot supporting Ed Sheeran this autumn his ascent to stardom is practically assured. Catch him here while you can.

4. Father Funk

With a moniker reminiscent of Sly Stone and a bio suggesting he was raised by “disco llamas”, Cumbria’s own Will Williamson has found himself in high demand on the festival circuit. After his successful remix of Cedar Seniors ‘Funk, I’m Kickin’ the young gentleman brings big bass, big beats and plenty of, you guessed it, funkiness to any party. Catch his soulful remixes at two shows this festival weekend.

5. The Ramona Flowers

With their comic-book based band name bringing to mind winsome late eighties indie it’s a bit of a surprise that Bristol quintet actually make bombastic electro-rock, like M83 blasting out over the Grand Canyon. Single ‘Brighter’s refrain of “We’re in this together” brings to mind U2 at their most grandiose. They clearly think they’re too good for tents, check ‘em out and see if they’re right.

6. Yumi & the Weather

Their signature element is surf-y guitar reminiscent of Surfer Blood or Best Coast at their jangliest but Yumi & the Weather are a darker prospect. Their single ‘Must I Wait’ suggests there are big waves in the harbour. Claiming their homeland as Brighton/Yumislavia, they sound like a young group with worlds to explore.

7. The EME

Lead by the charismatic J-Felix, this self-described “school of sax whales” beached in Brighton and now head north bringing their curious blurring of jazzy rhythms and old-school hip-hop with them. Part jazz orchestra, part idiosyncratic ensemble, they’re fresh from touring with acclaimed soul singer Alice Russell and seem set on forging new paths for British jazz and soul.

8. The Feud

With the demise of underrated Leeds rockers The Music and the continued struggle for relevance of once-great nu-rave figureheads Klaxons it might seem an odd time to trumpet a new set of electro-rockers but for their live show alone Lake District-via-Manchester gang The Feud deserve to be given a shot. Highly energetic and possessing the kind of big, brash riffs that Twin Atlantic or The Subways would kill for, they’ve played shows as far afield as the Czech Republic and shared festival stages with heavyweights like Muse and The Prodigy.

See you in the fields!

[Max Sefton]

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