Kendal Calling 2015

This year was the first time I’ve ever been to a music festival – yes, at the age of 45. Down in the Lake District near Penrith – Kendal Calling held usually at the end of July. It’s really only a little festival (25,000 or so) and it did have quite a nice ‘feel’ to it with lots of little events and stages out in the outlying wooded areas:

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look out for those damn dragons

The lineup for 2015 was pretty good (full list here) – with Saturday being Elbow and Sunday…The Kaiser Chiefs (what a surprise!). Kaisers on Sunday were pretty awesome but the highlight for me was actually Elbow:

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Elbow

The weather wasn’t all that bad – although a fair bit of rain on the Sunday, Jennifer and I spent a very pleasant Saturday afternoon on the viewing deck listening to new discoveries for us: Nick Mulvey being one great standout.

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Nick Mulvey

Kodaline were suppose to play on Saturday but had to pull out due to illness and were replaced at the last minute by The Super Furry Animals who were just brilliant…nuts but brilliant:

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Super Furry Animals – pure nuts

We went with some good friends of ours (leaving the wee ones at Nanas) and it was good to catch up and have some beers and listen to some great bands:

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Why have one beer when you can have two?

With Jennifer being on chemo and music festivals being fairly rainy, muddy and grubby places we had to take certain precautions to mitigate against infection risks and also have access to a place to rest as she was fairly tired a lot of the time due to the treatment. That aside it was a pretty awesome time as we timed it to be there between her medication cycles.

We also hired one of these to ‘camp’ in:

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The only way to camp at a festival

For resting we had access to the viewing area where Jennifer (and I as her carer) could go and rest when she got exhausted:

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Sunshine and music

What a great weekend it was.

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The Kaiser Chiefs

Dec 8th 2015 / Guy Garvey / O2 ABC Glasgow

When Jenn and I went to Kendal Calling in July this year the headliners for the Saturday night were Elbow. Not something that we were really all that fussed about….until we saw them. Holy Crap! How have I missed the British National Treasure that is Guy Garvey? Looking like your cuddly, friendly uncle, his voice is amazing and his songs are just brilliant.

So this year Guy Garvey produced a great solo album – Courting the Squall – and followed it up with short tour. We caught him in Glasgow and it was pretty much the gig of the year for us.

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The O2 ABC is a reasonably intimate venue and Guy has the amazing ability to make you as an audience member feel like you’re along to see one of your good mates play a few songs and have a wee sing-a-long. The man is pure genius, his banter is relaxed and anecdotes witty (also we were fairly close to the front as you can see and I’m pretty sure he was giving me wife the ‘glad eye’ – can’t blame him really)

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Dec 10th / Kaiser Chiefs / O2 Academy Leeds

Took two days off work to travel down to Leeds – about a 4 1/2 hour drive down the A1/M1 from up here in Edinburgh (roadworks not withstanding) to see one of me and Jenn’s favourite bands – The Kaiser Chiefs!

They of course were immense…as always.

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It was a charity gig for Leeds Children’s Charity and CLIC Sargent that was announced only about a month ago and Jenn was quick off the credit card to book the tickets and an overnight stay at the Leeds Hilton.

The concert also had a great christmas feel with big inflatabe snowmen and we sang christmas carols with a gospel choir who also came out again later to help out with a few ‘Chief’s songs.

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Monkey Ricky

This picture below is from a tweet of one of the Kaisers and you can see me and Jenn (circled)

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Who are that good looking couple there?
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lots of cameras…good being the tallest.

 

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all hail the mighty inflatable snowmen

set list found here

Nov 11th 2015 / MegaDeth / Braehead Arena Glasgow

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Dave

I jumped on board the ‘Megadeth Bandwagon’ with the release of Countdown to Extinction (1992) – which still to date is their best album closely followed by Rust In Peace IMHO. I’ve since bought a lot of Megadeth Albums and they’re my goto band when I want some metal. I love them. So I was quick to snap up these tickets to see them in Glasgow in November. The latest interation of their line up is Dave M and David E (of course) and guitarist Kiko Loureiro and Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler.

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The Hairy One

Kiko – what an amazing guitarist! He makes playing those intricate licks look like a cakewalk and as for Chris Adler as a drummer – oh my god! Lamb of God were the support band for Megadeth at this gig so Adler just played back to back with astounding energy!

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Kiko

I’ve now pre-ordered the new album Dystopia due out in January 2016.

 

Nov 3rd 2015 / Joe Satriani / Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Ever since I heard ‘Surfing with the Alien’ (1987) Joe Satriani has been one of my guitar heroes and I got the chance to finally see him in concert this year over in Glasgow. A friend of mine here in Edinburgh (also a guitar nut) bought us tickets WAY back in February this year and to gear up for Joe I bought all 15 of his studio albums including his latest release ‘Shockwave Supernova’ and listened to them over the proceeding months.

Joe-Satch

Joe of course was nothing short of superb; ripping of all his greats with ease ‘Surfing with the Alien’, ‘Flying in a Blue Dream’ and even a encore of ‘Big Bad Moon’ – pretty much the only song of his with vocals!

What was a very cool thing though was his accompanying guitarist – Mike Keneally:

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Man that old dude can play – sometimes guitar and keyboard AT THE SAME TIME! It gives an aging old fogie like me hope!

 

FEB 3rd 2015 / Kaiser Chiefs / Usher Hall – Edinburgh

Jennifer and I don’t have a whole LOT of music taste common ground but the sonic venn diagram DMZ does have some pretty good bands residing in it, one of them being the Kaiser Chiefs. We first saw The Kaisers in Sydney in December 2005 supporting the Foo Fighers. They were relatively unknown then and had just released their first album ( Employment ) – in our opinion they blew the Foo’s away that night and I became a fan.

This year (2015) we’ve seen them twice – the first was February and then at Kendall Calling (subject of a future post!)

Kaiser Chiefs / Edinburgh / Feb 2015
Kaiser Chiefs / Edinburgh / Feb 2015

This was a gig packed with great songs and great energy as the Kaiser’s tend to deliver. It was an awesome night. Ricky Wilson is such a wee ball of energy the whole time bouncing about and spent most of the gig wearing someone’s hat that was thrown out from the audience. He even spent a few songs hanging off the second floor balcony.

This was the setlist.