Ten years after gracing the Standon Calling stage, St Albans band Friendly Fires are returning to the Hertfordshire festival.


The music, comedy and arts festival will take over Standon Lordship near Ware from Thursday, July 25 to Sunday, July 28.

Rag’n’Bone Man, Wolf Alice and the legendary Nile Rodgers & CHIC have already been announced as main stage headliners.

Organisers today (Wednesday) confirmed St Albans trio Friendly Fires will be returning to the festival as special guests after last appearing in 2009.

Singer Ed Macfarlane, Jack Savidge and Edd Gibson are known for putting on an incredible live show.


Blending tropical vibes and sizzling party sensibilities, their eponymous debut album was shortlisted for the 2009 Mercury Music Prize.

Friendly Fires were subsequently nominated for two BRIT Awards – Best British Group and British Breakthrough Act.

Debut album Friendly Fires included hit singles Paris, Jump In The Pool and Skeleton Boy.

Kiss of Life was later added to the album’s repackaged edition.

Second album Pala was released in 2011 and reached the UK top 10, with lead single Live Those Days Tonight.

They returned last year with singles Love Like Waves and Heaven Let Me In.

Festival founder Alex Trenchard said: “It was brilliant to see such a great reaction to our first wave of artists, and we’re delighted to add even more special names and performances for Standon Calling 2019.

“Friendly Fires’ 2009 Standon Calling performance remains one of the most all-time memorable Standon Calling moments.

“They’re one of the best bands I’ve ever seen live and this St Albans band’s homecoming special guest show is going to be mind-blowing.”

Other names announced today for the Standon Calling 2019 party include Irish singer Róisín Murphy, Mahalia, Steam Down, The Undateables star Daniel Wakeford with The Daniel Wakeford Experience, and Russia’s Sado Opera.

First emerging as one-half of 1990s Sing It Back favourites Moloko, Róisín has continued to innovate and create with her own take on experimental pop, scooping Mercury Prize nominations and critical acclaim across the board.

Already packed with the best in thriving new music, the hotly tipped Mahalia will head to Hertfordshire this summer with her slick neo-soul meets R&B.

Also added to the bill are Kawala, local songwriter Emma McGrath, fizzing Irish punks Fangclub, the raw and punchy Babeheaven, and folk wordsmith Hattie Whitehead.

Emma McGrath returns after previous appearances on the BBC Introducing Stage.

She said: “Standon Calling is just awesome; from the people to the food to the atmosphere.

“The festival has been very supportive over the years and I’m really looking forward to heading back this summer and playing the main stage for the first time.”

Making a name on the Berlin nightlife scene, Sado Opera’s live shows bring an extravagant and eccentric party to the fore, fusing disco, electronica, funk and more together.

Festival director Alex Trenchard added: “With the likes of Róisín Murphy, Mahalia and Steam Down joining today – and the unmissable Sado Opera – it’s undeniably our greatest Standon Calling line-up to date, and one that has me counting down the days to July already.”

Standon Calling’s Cowshed will once again be rocking with the very best drum‘n’bass beats as Hospitality bring a stunning line-up of mixing greats.

The legendary Danny Byrd will be rolling with the classics as he soundtracks an unstoppable night, with the likes of Metrik, Fred V, Makoto, Hugh Hardie and Lens bringing the hits alongside MC Carasel and Ruthless MC.

On his return, Danny Byrd said: “I can’t wait to come back to Standon Calling. That Cowshed sound-system is absolutely rinsing!”

The latest additions will join the likes of Echo and the Bunnymen, IDLES, Lewis Capaldi, Kate Nash, Band Of Skulls, The Joy Formidable, Sea Girls and The Go! Team in the Hertfordshire countryside at Standon Lordship this summer.

Family entertainment will come from the likes of Dick & Dom and Mr Bloom & His Band, while the comedy bill includes Russell Kane, Angela Barnes and Abandoman.

Tier 4 tickets for Standon Calling 2019 are now on sale.

• For further details, head to www.standon-calling.com/tickets