For all of the big names at last years Kendal Calling Festival - the likes of The Streets, Ash, The Zutons - perhaps 2009 will be remembered as the year that the festival showcased the then little known band Mumford and Sons in the tiny Kaylied tent which wouldnt be much bigger than your living room. Since then Mumford and Sons have gone on to massive sell out UK tours and Mercury Music Prize nomintaion so I guess the big question is who will be this years Mumford and Sons? Kirsty Almeida seems the obvious choice with major backing from Decca Records and some classic festival appearances already under her belt at Hungry Pigeon in Manchester

So alongside the headliners of Calvin Harris, Doves and The Coral who are Designer Magazine looking forward to seeing this year. Here's the lowdown of our Top 3 bands for each day



Stereo MC's have been mixing up hip hop, funk and dance influences for longer than we care to remember and still in the UK few can claim to do it better. Spanning a wide fanbase the Brixton boys have blown away artists as varied as Madness and Happy Mondays on support slots and its highly likely they'll be doing the same to Calvin Harris when they launch in to "Connected", "Step It Up" and "Lost In Music". With a recent album out expect material from across their whole career

Not particularly seen as cool by the indie elite, but who gives a flying f**k what they think when they make tunes as good as "Rebel Get By", "Ever So Shy" and "We Are The Foolish". Admittedly they've made some shocking decisions such as going on tour with wank such as Snow Patrol which we shouldnt really forgive them for, but recently they've been pushing a harder edged sound on tours with Kids In GlassHouses. Expect some new songs at Kendal Calling as they roadtest album number 2

Admittedly we didnt get into the dance tent last year which was a mistake as we saw the tent overflowing for Beardy Man who played an early evening set to a bigger crowd than the headlines on the main stage. Justin Robertson is a bit of a Manchester legend and having never seen one of his sets before its about time


They make some classic vids as you know through the millions of plays on Youtube. They also make some classic tunes and the recent single "White Knuckles" is possibly their best yet taking on a new white funk direction that's better than anything Prince has released in recent years. There's going to be a few "oh they do that one as well" moments during this set so make sure you get down to see them before Wild Beasts and Doves

Designer Magazine have supported them since the early days as Seaside Riot and cant get enough of their Smithsonian pop tuneage. Quiff's, jangley pop and camper than a row of tents - its like sneaking up on Morrissey having a wank

The Morrissey connection continues for Doll & The Kicks who The Heartbreaks supported last year and also happen to feature one of Mozzer's cousins. They make huge indie pop choruses and are one of our favourite female fronted bands since Echobelly which is a massive recommendation.


Out of all the bands on this years festival its The Subways we're looking forward to most. "Young For Eternity"was just one of those classic debut albums - an album in our opinion alongside "Definately Maybe" or "Is This It" and while the follow up didnt make an impact the recent acoustic covers they've been giving away on twitter while they record their 3rd album have gained our interest again. The band must be all of about 21 at the moment and they've already made some classic songs

Kid British have never raised the dizzy heights that initial interest seemed to suggest and the early songs such as "Sunny Days" and "OUr House Is Dadless" were a bit too close to novelty pop in their production. But the recent World Cup song "Winner" was not only the only decent World Cup song released this year, but also a great songs in its own right and the best song the band have released to date. Mature without being boring if the new album on the Modern English label carries on the Stax Soul sound they could be laughing all the way to the bank

With sell out gigs during In The City and Hungry Pigeon, Kirsty Almeida is the next big artist coming out of Manchester. Admittedly not for all with a very mainstream sound, Kirsty's big challenge will be to find her niche alongside recent female talent such as Eliza Doolittle and Paloma Faith. See her while she's playing tents this small though.


Kendal Calling takes place between July 30th-August 1st
Kendal Calling is now officially sold out, but sign up on the website for competitions and last minute giveawaysetc

Designer Magazine unless otherwise stated.

All Interviews by Alex McCann unless otherwise stated
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