It has to count as one of Cumbria’s craziest gigs of the year.
Regulars dropping in at the Shap Chippy for their Friday night fish supper were treated to a performance from top Cumbrian band Hardwicke Circus.
And of course, the Carlisle rockers had to open their acoustic set with a version of ‘There’s A Guy Works Down the Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis.’
Also performing were mylittlebrother who are another of the headliners at Kendal Calling’s Yam Riot stage this year which will be a showcase of Cumbrian talent during the three-day festival in July.
Shap Chippy owners Matt and Ashley Phillips were thrilled to be hosting the bands.
“The festival is our busiest weekend of the year by far. Last year we put on a hangover cure breakfast on the Monday and had people queuing out of the door.
“It’s great for Shap with the hotels fully booked so it’s nice to help them launch the line-up of local bands,” said Ashley.
Regular customer Yvonne Garner had stopped by for her tea on the way home to Kendal and was surprised to find herself at an impromptu gig. “It looks like I picked a good night to come.”
Gail Bashall, who runs the Adlib boutique in Penrith, had come along after hearing about the gig online.
“Local people love Kendal Calling. It’s good to see them supporting local bands still and I like the way that it gives kids in area a chance to go to something like that when they’ve never been to a festival before,” she said.
But the happiest customers of all were Nicola Steadman and Kay Lord from Kirkby Stephen who won themselves free tickets to this year’s Kendal Calling in a raffle for the Shap Chippy customers.
Solicitor Nicola said: “We just came along for a meal to celebrate a friend’s birthday. I’ve been to the festival before and I’ll be looking forward to see Nile Rodgers and the Manic Street Preachers this year.”
But Hardwicke Circus frontman Jonny Foster claimed that the chip shop wasn’t the most unusual place they’d performed. “We’ve done some prisons including Haverigg, but this has been great. Kendal Calling is our home festival and we’ve been going for years as mates so it’s fantastic to be headlining on the Yam Riot stage this year.”
Emma St. Croix, of Kendal Calling, was delighted to be celebrating the festival’s support for local bands in Shap.
“It’s one of those crazy ideas that seems to have worked. It is the second year that we’ve done the Yam Riot stage to showcase local talent and what better way to celebrate that than showing off our Cumbrian roots and supporting a local business,” she said.