PREVIEW: Camper Calling, Ragley Hall, Warwickshire
Feeder will deliver a road-shaking set of anthemic rock when Camper Calling returns to the neatly-clipped grounds of Ragley Hall estate. The seasoned Welsh band are among the headliners at the third instalment of the family-friendly outdoor music festival that unfurls its VW-shaped awning over the August bank holiday.
With a discography stretching back 15 years, chart-eating monsters such as Buck Rogers and Just the Way I’m Feeling will be batted out along with their reinvigorated sound. The indie-rockers’ gig beside a usually sedate Warwickshire lake will come straight off the back of their 2018 ‘Best Of’ tour in their 21st anniversary year.
“I remember sitting in a classroom at school aged 11 drawing pictures of flying V guitars and dreaming of being in a band, a band that could fill arenas and stadiums,” said lead vocalist Grant Nicholas. “The dream came true and here I am 25 years later with Feeder and still riding the rock and roll train.”
Melanie C will continue the Cool Britannia thread as she headlines on the opening Friday night. Protracted speculation over a long-mooted reunion with Baby, Posh and co has not stopped the singer-songwriter continuing to fuse pop, R & B and electro elements into her own blend.
Sporty is promising her repertoire of solo hits – she has seven albums to choose from – plus a few surprises. Quite apart from reprising Wannabe, she is on a mission to redux her sound.
“I wanted to make an album that I would listen to now,” she said of her latest long-player, Versions of Me.
“I love playing my old hits live, but like everyone else, my tastes have moved on. I’m not a leftfield artist, I never will be.
“I write pop songs, but my aim this time was to approach every aspect of them differently, to be more creative with structure and sounds”
The Coral – who also turn 21 this year – are set to have mums, dads and footwell-sized pet dogs dancing when they close the festival on the Sunday.
The bill also includes Scouting for Girls, The South, Bruce Foxton and From The Jam, Neville Staple, Craig Charles and his funk and soul club and a return for Artful Dodger, who got the party started for the younger crowd last time round.
Camper Calling’s third year takes place by the lake and stately home in the rolling grounds of the Ragley estate, with VW vans a popular but not essential mode of arrival. Camping, creative craft workshops, campfire tales, a funfair, lake activities and a children’s circus show are also there for the taking. Street food stalls return and grown-ups can seek refreshment at a craft ale and cider tent.
Events director Shelley Bond said: “We are so excited about this year’s magical main stage line-up. It’s a total honour to announce a former Spice Girls as our Friday night headliner.
“Mel C is the epitome of class. It’s great to have some girl power at the top of our bill.
“It’s also amazing to announce Brit-indie rock favourites Feeder as Saturday headliners and psych-pop legends The Coral as Sunday headliners.
“We’re trying to bring together the nation’s best-loved acts and these headliners offer a nostalgic throw back to the 90s and 00s.
“They are sure to play hit after hit as well as new and exciting tracks.”
Camper Calling takes place between Friday August 24 and Sunday August 26 at Ragley Hall, near Alcester in South Warwickshire.