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REVIEW: Andy Veale remembers his A Level years as he enjoys some rock covers and a spot of James at this year's Camper Calling




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ELVIS has left the building… and is heading to a music festival to sing a few Nirvana hits.

Sounds strange? It was. But in a really good way.

The wonderful thing about music festivals is their ability to surprise as well as entertain.

Camper Calling at Ragley Hall. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58968944)
Camper Calling at Ragley Hall. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58968944)

Camper Calling did just that at the weekend, living up to its family festival tag with a mixture of bands us parents loved during our younger days, tribute acts and a smattering of newer musicians, along with plenty of entertainment for the little ’uns – from funfair rides, crafts and circus skills, to rock climbing, noisy toys and slushies on offer in every possible colour.

Camper Calling at Ragley Hall. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58969507)
Camper Calling at Ragley Hall. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58969507)

Top of the bill, headlining the main Lakeside stage at the Ragley Hall venue, for the closing slot on Sunday night was James.

This is a band that has been going for about 40 years, providing student nights and stadiums with singalong tunes that seem to get passed down the generations.

And they’re still producing new music – Zero, from last year’s album All the Colours of You, opened the set, albeit in a slightly downbeat tone (We’re all gonna die… That’s the truth).

Camper Calling at Ragley Hall. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58969484)
Camper Calling at Ragley Hall. Photo: Mark Williamson. (58969484)

But James have a large repertoire of well-loved hits and a frontman, Tim Booth, who knows how to work a crowd. The 62-year-old was in fine form, looking like he enjoyed every second on stage as he sang and danced his way through tracks such as Laid, Sit Down, She’s a Star, Seven and Sound.

It was a worthy headline performance and left all the parents and children shouting in unison for a few extra songs from James’ extensive back catalogue.



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