The Kendal Gathering August 26th 1973

The Kendal Gathering August 26th 1973
Authored By John Nicholson

If you’re going to hold an outdoor festival in England, the Lake District is certainly a lovely place to do it. But there’s one problem, it is the wettest region of England. But that didn’t stop it from happening for three years from 1971-73.

As you can see the stage looks like a glorified shed and in 1973, it was at least dry, unlike previous iterations which were held in the pouring rain. 

The bands that played were The Groundhogs, Greenslade, Gallagher and Lyle, Steamhammer, Solution, Bitch, Brewers Droop, Hackensack, Stars, England, Necromandus, Cosy Mole (!) , Aqua Vibra, Lol Coxhill. 

Reviews of the music were not especially enthusiastic with Cosy Mole coming for especial criticism and not just for their terrible name. Bitch - an all female band did go down well though and closed the festival after The Groundhogs had played.  A local band called England are mentioned as having John Waite on bass, I suspect that is The Babys/Bad English, John Waite as he was from nearby Lancaster. 

Naturally some Hells Angels were around, some from Darlington, some from South Yorkshire. But these were not the Sonny Barger types really. They destroyed a few free tents, rode their bikes around and presumably went back to their day job on Monday morning. 

This all sounds typical of UK festivals of the era, very much a pale imitation of the USA’s festivals, and almost entirely without the counterculture vibe. I wonder whatever happened to Cosy Mole?

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