Great bands, new talents, plenty of rain and lots of mud – Standon Calling provided all the elements of a great British festival. I saw some of my favourite bands as well as discovering some new artists.
On Friday, I caught all of punk band Slaves’ set. In front of a raucous crowd, the Kent duo played hits such as ‘Sockets’, ‘Lies’ and ‘Where’s Your Car Debbie?’ to wild adulation from the crowd. I was also lucky enough to bump into drummer and lead vocalist Isaac Holman before the performance. They delivered a fast-paced gig that had the moshpit going crazy.
Rapper Akala also performed at the festival. Not your typical rapper, his songs touch on meaningful and important aspects of life as well as being politically charged. He was able to excite the crowd inside the packed new tent, ‘Cindy’s Motel’, with only a backing track and a drummer alongside him on stage. He ran through twelve years of material dating back to 2005 in an hour-long set.
My personal highlight of the festival was Cabbage, a post-punk band hailing from Mossley, near Manchester. Having recently supported bands including Blossoms and Kasabian, they performed on the smaller Laundry Meadows stage, giving the performance a more intimate feeling. The set included tunes such as ‘Terrorist Synthesizer’, ‘Kevin’ and ‘Necroflat in the Palace’.
I also managed to catch parts of a number of other artists’ sets. Four piece Yonaka are clearly destined for big things, and London band Tangerines evoke comparisons to Fat White Family. Other performers at the three-day festival included Grace Jones, Clean Bandit, Orbital, Editors and even actor and DJ Idris Elba.
The festival was a really great experience, even if by Sunday the mud had caused the site to become little more than a swamp. It was a diverse event, with genres ranging from pop and indie to grime and drum and bass being represented. These combined to form an exciting and memorable event for everyone who attended.