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Guernsey Festival 2012: Day 2 Roundup

By on Friday, 6th July 2012 at 2:00 pm

Words by Hannah Saul

I woke up on the second day of Guernsey Festival to the soul-destroying sound of rain. My heart sank at the thought of spending my Sunday standing in a muddy, cold field. Nonetheless, I battled on in the thought of seeing the Kaiser Chiefs later on in the day.

I arrived at an empty festival site. It looked as though everyone had the same thought as I had. Forward and onward, I decided. How bad could it be? Everyone else couldn’t have been more wrong. Sunday’s acts had some of the best performances that I had seen the whole weekend.

My day began by watching Remedysounds whilst waiting for local heroes Courage Have Courage to come on the Main Stage. Remedy Sounds drew up a crowd of around 30 or so. So okay, maybe not the largest audience ever, but they were in for a treat. He played a mix of originals and covers, including a medley of different songs from artists such as Jamie T and Ed Sheeran. Using a guitar and a loop for his beat boxing, he managed to create distinctive copies of songs. By the time his set had finished he had successfully managed to draw up an acceptably large crowd.

Courage Have Courage came on with gusto, but sadly, the sound wasn’t up to scratch. I couldn’t help sorry for them as the sound of feedback nearly ruined it for them. But they pulled it back for themselves. Their poppy tunes they began to bring out the sun. ‘Lioness’ is their newest single and was also their finale. The guitar and keyboard complemented each other nicely and paired up with beautiful harmonies; the song seemed to make up for the awkward start.

As soon as they had finished, quickly I made it over to the Centre Circle Stage to go and see Mt. Wolf from London. The dream folk band played songs such as ‘Life Size Ghosts’. Their truly mesmerizing performance took hold of the audience, bringing the summer feel to the festival. Stevie McMinn (guitarist) and Kate Sproule (vocals) are from Guernsey, and the other members are also from seaside towns, and this meant that the ‘beachy’ vibe was definitely there.

The sun was finally shining; all I wanted to do was dance. All I needed now was music. It came in the form of Wrongtom Meets Deemas J, the ultra-cool reggae trio. Freestyling, their frontman greeted the audience by getting off the stage to dance with them. Their enthusiastic performance rang out across the field. Looking around I could not see a single person without a smile on their face or tapping their toes. It was the perfect opportunity to sit on the muddy ground and soak up the rays.

After an incredibly unfortunate drink spillage, I rushed home to change and back in time for Kassidy. The bluesy rock band, comprising of four singers, each of them playing guitar, was electric. Their presence was out of this world. I nearly had a heart attack when they began throwing their guitars to the roadies mid-performance. There was definitely a buzz in the air, and the crowd looked as if they couldn’t hold in their enjoyment. Playing some of their older songs such as ‘Stray Cat’ and their newer tracks such as ‘Waking up Sideways’, I would unquestionably say that Kassidy is a definite band to look out for. Energy and tunes, exactly what any festival needs.

Sadly, for a few hours after Kassidy had finished, it seemed as though the festival had been hit by a male apocalypse, as all of the menfolk seemed to have left their girlfriends, wives, daughters and friends to go and watch the football. The Fusion Dance Tent played host to many of these refugees; there were two projectors for the beer-soaked footy lads. It was lovely to see the very large amount of topless and painted me joining in harmony to watch the game originally rumoured not to be shown anywhere on the grounds.

Despite England’s loss, spirits were not dampened. There was quite literally a stampede to the Main Stage to witness the Kaiser Chiefs’ excellent performance. The Main Stage Tent was the most packed I had seen it all weekend and Ricky Wilson gave them what they wanted, putting his all into his performance. With a mix of old and new, everyone sang along to their favourites. All their greatest hits – ‘Ruby’, ‘I Predict A Riot’ and ‘Oh My God’ – were played, including songs off their new album ‘Souvenir’.

Overall, Guernsey Festival weekend is a great day out or festival break for families, couples and groups of friends. There is loads to do and see, and what better place to do it in warm Guernsey. I have a feeling that we will be hearing more and more about Guernsey Festival in the future. Hopefully this will also mean that it will be back again next year. A few tickets go on sale early every year, so make sure you get yours.


Bands to Watch #226: Courage Have Courage (at Leeds 2011)

By on Friday, 16th September 2011 at 12:00 pm

These boys are close to my hearts, not just because they all hail from the tiny little island of Guernsey as I do, but because three of their members were part of the Mid Carson Coalition, the first band I ever moshed too. Yes, I know, what a memory, one I will always have those three boys to thank for.

Courage Have Courage were formed last summer when the group of friends who had known each other, lived with one another and at one point or another played music together decided to record some tracks. The writing and recording took them a few months, and it was in March that Courage Have Courage finally stepped out of the studios and began to play live. Frontman Luke Vidamour said to me, “you only really become a band when you play your first gig.” Indeed.

This is a band who already have shared a stage with acts including Primal Scream, Example, Frank Turner and the Gaslight Anthem. At Leeds, they were on the BBC Introducing stage, where they were hoping to stamp their authority on the UK audience arrayed in front of them.

The boys describe themselves as “a British brand of pop/rock, which is fun, energetic and summery”, and after seeing them, it wasn’t difficult to see where they got that view from. The entire crowd all wore beaming grins towards this group who most of them probably wouldn’t have heard of before then.

But has the success gone to their heads already? No, not these humble Guernsey boys. They travel to gigs in what they call their ‘tour bus’ but they ended up admitting to me that it was a ‘Red Renault Scenic’. They also admitted that the reception has been surprising on their first stint touring: “there’s been someone at every gig we have played and sometimes a few people have gone, so it was just such a good experience to see how people react.” Vidamour continued, “it was nice to see how the songs went down, because until you play them live you just don’t know how people are going to react.”

‘Courage Have Courage’ are obviously then, a group of grounded lads who just enjoy playing their music and hope others will enjoy them too. With magazines like Kerrang! featuring them as well, it’s only a matter of time before acts like Frank Turner will be saying that he shared a stage with Courage Have Courage and what an experience it was.


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