Frightened Rabbit, Stereophonics and Manic Street Preachers among acts announced for 2017 Kendal Calling festival

Borders band Frightened Rabbit are among the acts announced for this year's Kendal Calling festival south of the border in Cumbria.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 26th January 2017, 6:00 pm
Updated Monday, 30th January 2017, 10:10 am
Frightened Rabbit are returning to Kendal Calling in the summer.

Scottish music fans disgruntled by the cancellation of the annual T in the Park festival this summer will be able to take some comfort in the opportunity to see one of the country’s leading acts in alfresco action just a two-hour drive away from their home town of Selkirk.

The Borderers are among the first names to be announced for 2017’s Kendal Calling, to be headlined by a double whammy of Welsh alternative rock bands in the form of Stereophonics and Manic Street Preachers, plus fellow Scots Franz Ferdinand, Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson, rapper Tinie Tempah and indie rocker Frank Turner and his backing band, the Sleeping Souls.

Frightened Rabbit, formed in Selkirk in 2003 but based in Glasgow since the year after, have only appeared at Kendal Calling once before, in 2014, and the indie rockers are relishing the chance to return.

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Sterephonics frontman Kelly Jones playing at 2013's T in the Park festival.

A spokesman for the five-piece band, also seen at last year’s T in the Park festival at Strathallan Castle in Perthshire, said: “We are really pleased to be returning to Kendal Calling this year.

“Last time was easily the muddiest yet one of the best festivals we’ve had the privilege of playing.”

Frightened Rabbit – consisting of frontman Scott Hutchison, his brother Grant on drums, Billy Kennedy on bass, Andy Monaghan on keyboards and Simon Liddell on guitar – are also on the bill, closer to home, at this year’s Electric Fields festival at Drumlanrig Castle, north of Dumfries, a 70-mile drive from Selkirk, headlining alongside the Jesus and Mary Chain.

2017’s Electric Fields, the fourth, is taking place on Friday and Saturday, September 1 and 2, five weeks after Kendal Calling, being held from Thursday, July 27, to Sunday, July 30.

Manic Street Preachers are among the headliners at this year's Kendal Calling.

Tickets for the Scottish event, costing £95, are on sale now, and tickets for its Cumbrian counterpart, priced at £135, go on sale tomorrow, January 27, at 10am.

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This year’s Kendal Calling festival will be the 12th altogether and the ninth to be held at Lowther Deer Park, near Penrith.

Stereophonics, formed in 1992 and with six No 1 albums to their name, including their latest, 2015’s Keep the Village Alive, are making their Kendal Calling debut this summer, and they can’t wait, according to bassist Richard Jones.

Sterephonics frontman Kelly Jones playing at 2013's T in the Park festival.

“We’ve been fortunate to headline and play at some amazing festivals over the years, and it’s an honour to play at Kendal Calling this summer, a first for us, in the Lake District,” said the 42-year-old.

Fellow Welshmen Manic Street Preachers, formed in 1986 and with one chart-topping LP under their belts, 1998’s This is My Truth, Tell Me Yours, plus four No 2s, including their most recent, 2014’s Futurology, are also newcomers to Kendal Calling, and they too are looking forward to checking it out.

“We are genuinely thrilled to be headlining Kendal Calling, a festival we have always wanted to play, in a truly inspiring setting,” said a spokesman for the trio.

Londoner Tempah, 28, alias Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu, and Californian Wilson, 74, are both newcomers to Lowther Deer Park too, but Turner, 35, born in Bahrain but brought up in Hampshire, isn’t, having played there previously in 2009, 2011 and 2014.

Manic Street Preachers are among the headliners at this year's Kendal Calling.

Other acts on the bill for Kendal Calling, named best medium-sized event once again at last year’s UK Festival Awards, include Jake Bugg, Seasick Steve, Editors, Slaves, Circa Waves, Nothing But Thieves, Lethal Bizzle, Kate Nash, the Hunna, Loyle Carner, Reverend and the Makers, the Coral, Example, Field Music, Honeyblood, Little Comets and Mexrissey.

Kendal Calling founder Andy Smith said: “Drastic times cause for drastic measures, and to that end, we’ve gone the whole nine yards.

“We’re excited to be welcoming no less than six headliners to the fields this year, including Brian Wilson’s last appearance on these shores as he performs Pet Sounds in full.”