STANDON CALLING: It was and we went
I really should have not have been as excited as I was on my way to Standon Calling this year. A Standon virgin myself, I was spending the weekend with a group of dedicated regulars. Pre-warned by the named group that this year’s line-up was blatantly robbed by competitors at Eastern Electrics, I should have been less enthusiastic and more confused as to why I got the short end of the straw and ended up on the train en route to Standon rather than Greenwich.
But guess what – sipping wine and bathing in the warm rays coming through the train window on the freshly refurbished Stansted Express on the way to the hotel (‘cause that’s just how we roll) I had a suspicious feeling life is about serve me a very pleasant surprise. A weekend in the country with great friends, happy people, sunshine and above all, good music was just what one needs to escape the fog, smog and annoying tourists of London.
Standon Calling started off with just a handful of friends having a BBQ around the pool on a hot summer’s day. Next year, the attendees invited some more friends and the following year even more. Some bands were also added to formula and before the organisers knew it, they had one of the most happening festivals of the UK musical landscape on their hands. While Standon Calling’s fame got bigger and bigger, their dedication to supporting new artists has remained as strong as in the early days. They can take credit for helping the likes of Florence and the Machine, Friendly Fires, Mumford and Sons, Anna Calvi and The Noisettes reach the world stage.
And this year’s festival was no different – Standon was as much about supporting the young talent this year as it has ever been. One can most certainly be sure the odd longhaired dude playing guitar in front of the tents at 3am will be the next Ed Macfarlane.
They certainly have that grey are between instrumental and electronic well covered. While the performers of the first take stage most of the day with the likes of (Chk Chk Chk), Beardyman, Willy Mason, Dub Pistols and The Skints rocking on the stage, the DJs of the latter make the crowd jump around until the early hours of the morning. The Meantime Discovery Stage was the destination for house music lovers and when the party finished there, we just moved on to the surreal discotheque in the Cowshed.
Music aside, it was the crowd at Standon that really impressed me. If you take 5000 very nice people, put them together in a field, spice it up with a bit of sunshine and add the best music of tomorrow to the mix, you really do get yourself a recipe for success! Or three days of pure happiness at the very minimum.
Regardless of the planted doubts, this year’s Standon was their biggest and most successful to date. I most certainly had a full blown weekend of fun, sun and great tunes and will be going back next year. For eager ones like me, the organisers have already released the early bird tickets for 2013! And my doubtful crew – something tells me I will be seeing them at Standon rocking on top of the hill again come next year.
(Images: Standon Calling / PG Brunelli)