Kendal Calling 2018: As we so often say, not unlike a broken record, festivals for us, more often than not are more about the artists lower down the bill than the actual headliners, and this year’s Kendal Calling is no exception. So without further ado here are 6 must-see acts below the headliners appearing at this year’s festival which again takes place in the Lake district in the beautiful surroundings of Lowther Deer Park ( see last years photo review here)
After releasing a consistently brilliant body of work Brighton’s Black Honey are finally about to release their long-awaited debut album. It really should see them break through to the next level and if you haven’t yet seen them live yet, catch them now to find out just what the fuss is all about. They are undoubtedly one of the best live bands in the UK and are certainly of the cusp of a major breakthrough after writing and gigging relentlessly whilst building up a fan base the old-fashioned way by word of mouth and buzz based on actual fact not hyperbolic PR. Black Honey are all about substance, not arrant hype
This trio fronted by the charismatic songwriter/poet Jack Jones are a force of nature live. They have taken the indie guitar template and given it a kicking to produce songs of depth and beauty, indeed Jack Jones is the sort of songwriter who can find glitter in the gutter, find hope amongst the shit and detritus that litters the streets and see stars shining in the reflection of the rain-soaked paving stones.
Another astute signing from Tim Burgess’s Ogenesis label, Average Sex craft uplifting songs about misery. The London based five-piece combine rousing melodies with caustic wit tempered with an undertone of melancholia. ‘Ugly Strangers’ for example is one of the most euphoric sounding songs you’re likely to hear, yet thematically is essentially is all about life being sh*t’ and using drinking as a means of escape. Their latest release ‘Ne M’Oublie Pas’ sees frontwoman Laetitia singing in her native tongue – she explained ‘Ne M’Oublie Pas’ is yet another love song but our first song using French. The first part of the chorus is a quote from The Outsider by Albert Camus but more references to books can be found throughout the song.”
London based, Limerick raised whenyoung produce soaring indie pop that despite being bathed in a glorious jangling guitar shimmer still retains a raw edge. Singer Aoife Power has a voice that resides somewhere between a snarling Molly Rankin and a vodka-soaked Harriet Wheeler, and she combines hope and regret perfectly on ‘Pretty Pure’. It’s a tune that provides ample proof that whenyoung look like they have all the attributes to make a huge splash in 2018
Marmozets produce a blitzkrieg of fist clenching adrenaline fuelled passion, attitude and crucially, melody. Whatsmore they’ve always been able to astutely mix subtly with power, and rage with tenderness and in singer Becca MacIntyre they have one of the most compelling voices in rock. It’s a voice that can seduce and then switch in a heartbeat to smash you in the face as her vocal transforms into a feral impassioned roar. They’ve built up a hugely loyal fan base and are massively impressive as a live unit
Another Brighton based band Yonaka are undoubtedly a band who can shift through musical genres at the flick of a switch bridging the gap between hook-laden alt-pop to heavier rock effortlessly. At the forefront resides Theresa Jarvis’ searing vocal which can be strident, soulful, imperious, angry, seductive and always compelling as it soars and sweeps over a backdrop of muscular guitar riffs and tumultuous percussion. And to quote a well-known butter huckster “anger is an energy” as Theresa explained in a recent interview – “I think anger is an important part of what we do. People are sick of all this shit posh pop music, and I think that anger is a great thing.”