Standon Calling 2010

It is festival time in the valley again, with the annual three day bash at Standon Lordship. A decade old now, Standon Calling was created by Alex Trenchard as a birthday party for friends and has grown into one of the finest boutique festivals of the British musical summer. Standon Calling always comes with a theme and this year it was ‘Murder on the Standon Express’. Cue multiple costumed Sherlock Holmes’s, CSI operatives clad head to toe in white and Cluedo boards and pieces roaming the Hertfordshire countryside. Aside from fancy dress, music is top of the agenda at Standon, with an emphasis on rising bands that have the ability to stir a crowd – this year’s artists rosta didn’t disappoint.

My Friday favourites were F**ked Up who caused a riot on the Twisted Licks stage. Not for the faint hearted, this was full on, high octane, hard core punk from Canada that stirred the very fibres of your being.
Saturday was a bit special. Hundreds crammed into the large yurt in the Lordship gardens to enjoy the most intimate of sets from The Magic Numbers, the tent roof almost lifting off with the crowd singing along to their 2005 hit Forever Lost. Next stop was British Sea Power at the Twisted Licks where I enjoyed their stunning set in the shadow of the speaker stack, coming away a little deaf but invigorated and happy.
Dropping down to the main stage arena I took in the hypnotic beats of Etienne de Crecy and his giant pulsating cube before heading home to the comfort of a mattress.
After a good night’s rest I left it until the afternoon to return to the festival and arrived in time to enjoy Fools Gold and New York’s Phenomenal Hand Clap Band on the main stage with the sun warming my back as I lazed on the grass. The arrival of a huge coach that wound its way through the revellers announced the arrival of Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club. After what to my ears was a slightly MOR set from Denmark’s Efterklang, the orchestra took to the stage and a couple of hours of their legendary latin rhythms brought another wonderful Standon Calling Festival to a close. A collection of pictures from the event are below.

The Magic Numbers

Camp Alcatraz

British Sea Power

Etienne de Crecy

Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club

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