Festival season 2010 is drawing to a close , so time for the annual trek across the channel to what has become my probable favourite festival of the year Jerseylive , this year being no exception so midnight Thursday, having picked up Charlie we head off to Weymouth in plenty of time for the early morning ferry crossing arriving in Jersey to glorious sunshine with a day to chill and prepare, this year we are staying at my friend, Steve Lamb’s fantastic place overlooking the picturesque Rozel Bay , and we both are pretty much relaxed. A trip to the airport in the evening to pick up fellow journo’s is followed by fish and chips down by the sea before returning to our pad and an early night.
After breakfast down in the bay we head off to the festival and straight to work early acts include the winners of the local Battle of the Bands , Bones not a bad inde sound . We have Band the London based electro pop band who won an opening slot on Glastonbury’s pyramid stage , tight group happy sounds . I am shooting from the pit and onstage then also backstage to get some candids , all exhausting and leaves me pretty much unable to walk
Saturday’s 1st big eye-opener is American pop sensations Darwin Deez whose electro pop sound and crazy dance routines are zany but works so well onstage, the Jersey younger fans enjoy the set shouting there love for Darwin and Co. watch out for these guys and catch them on their upcoming European tour
I manage to catch one song by Fenech Solar before entering the backstage area for photo’s and interviews with Darwin Deez, The View and We have Band all who seem relaxed and happy to be on Jersey for this festival, and want to come back next year.
Back to the pit for Professor Green in front of a youthful crowd with a rabble rousing set which included hits Just be good to Green and Before I die. raising the excitement to even higher levels , After his set we caught a few words and pics backstage before returning to the stage for The View who , at the last minute, included their biggest hit “same jeans” in the setlist (originally it was to be excluded ,having seen the youngish crowd it was added). The usual mayhem, fun and frolicks ensues bottles fly overhead ,even a mosh pit appears these Scottish rockers know how to put on a show and have fun .
The award for the most elaborate drum kit of the weekend must go to next up Chase and Status . Having apparently all but graduated from the underground (thanks to what many critics view as an increasingly commercial sound), the duo have left the 4am raves to bring their new pendulum-esque live set up to a change of scenery; for a gig predominantly filled with under-18s. Whoever booked the bands this year has excelled so far if their had been a roof I am pretty sure it would have been blasted off by now.
Another trip backstage and photoshoot with Chase and Status, Biffy Clyro, Mani and the giant that is the 6 foot 8 bass player with Groove Aramada Andy Cato who all seem pretty chilled , maybe like me they had found the 40 pint containers of real ale and cider mmmm nice .
Eye-opener number 2 next Biffy Clyro who having invested heavily in peroxide take to the mainstage and blasts Jersey even nearer to mainland France with their Celtic rock riffs . Never having heard them play before, I am pretty much instantaneously converted to life long fan. They play a can’t-take-your-eyes-off set from start to finish. Ten years of touring and grafting hard has moulded Biffy into one of the most explosive and ferocious live acts on the scene. Energetic front man Simon Neil doesn’t stand still for one second and the band tears up the venue. these guys should have headlined the Saturday night Main stage
Groove Armarda are the headliners and although they do a fantastic job the crowd seem less enthralled , maybe 1 electro band too far ? maybe Biffy Clyro showed the way not sure maybe as reported elsewhere they did steal the show maybe I’m getting old?
A stagger to the car followed by a quick (not) detour round the amazing st Hellier one way system looking for the Hotel de France before returning to the tranquility of Rozel for a quick cider and sleep.
Sunday morning starts with a trip to neighbouring bay and Mad Mary’s for a traditional fry-up breakie before returning to our new residency for the night the swanky Hotel de France (cheers Mike Tait) where after drinks on the terrace I give Charlie my car and with the View and others head off to the marina and the luxury yacht that has been chartered for the next few hours for interviews , photo’s and fun , Kate |Nash was due to have joined us but has been delayed so the scottish rockers tuck into the complimentary champers finishing off the 8 bottles provided . The trip is spent laughing and joking , all the band taking in turns diving onto the sea and riding on the jet ski that has joined us out in the bay , a great way to spend a few hours and such great guys who are obviously looking forward to their new album and getting out on the road ,
We return to the festival in time for the Magic Numbers who play their usual set and are well received although I discover that they do not like photographers on stage with them and dont want to hang around for interviews afterwards hey ho no big loss As Plan B has decided to turn his back on his fans and concentrate more on acting he is replaced by the rising star Tinie Tempah who is up next and the crowd are soon buzzing in anticipation . The wait is short and Tinie takes to the stage for another blinding arm waving sing along performance , Dizzie watch out your crown is slipping ……..
Back stage its time for the nerves to set in , we have been granted an audience with the Demi God of Mods himself Paul Weller who is in a really good mood as we are introduced ,what a gent … this is followed by a quick session with the now finished Tinie Tempah before heading back to the pit for the ever smiley cockney songbird Kate Nash who starts her set sat behind her keyboards before taking to the guitar (cheers Kate helps with pics) and a blistering set full of well known songs and newer material all well received by an eager crowd .As ever the set finishes with Kate sottod on her keyboards bashing out “chords” whilst the crowd goes mental ,another blinder….
We let Kate chill out before tracking her down for some quick questions and pics ,I discover she has just got into twittering and is very keen to see more female singer/songwriters .
Back to the pit for the highlight of the weekend the Modfather himself struts onto the stage and puts on the show of the weekend bashing out old and new material to an audience which seems to have aged rapidly, moving round the stage like a teenager playing his guitar effortlessly the crowd going mental.
Fish supper is taken back to the hotel where we are joined on the terrace by Kate Nash and band and Darwin Deez and his band all who are in high spirits (at only £3.30 a pint of Stella so am I ) how ever my body cannot keep up with my party mood and Charley and I retire to our rooms and prepare for our arduous trip home .
To sum up Jerseylive , easy the best , where else would you get such a wonderful line-up for under £100 ? this and the other bonuses (petrol under£1.00 a litre, friendly people,cheap booze, fantastic food decent facilities and of course the super weather) this festival has it all, I just wish this festival would last a week at least.
My thanks for looking after us sooooo well has to go to
Steve Lamb and wife for putting us up and filling us in with all the info
The Warrens for inviting us over
Jayne Houghton for looking after all the press
Mike Tait Jersey tourism for the wonderful hotel
The Artists for being so friendly
The Hungry Man and Mad Mary’s for the excellent food
All the Jersey folk who made us feel we were at home
ROLL ON 2011
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