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Jersey Live 2012 (Part 1)

By on Thursday, 13th September 2012 at 2:00 pm

Jersey Live has carved a niche for itself in the echelons of the summer festival circuit, managing to showcase enormous talent from the mainland like The Prodigy, Kasabian and Noel Gallagher. Yet it still keeps its quaintness. Nestled in the North of the small Channel Island, it’s one of the festival circuit’s hidden gems.

Saturday saw the festival kick off at around midday, and revellers could not have asked for better conditions as the Royal Jersey fairground was bathed in glorious sunshine. Today was the turn of the youngsters, with Jersey’s under 18 population out in force around the site. It was expected though, with chart regulars Rizzle Kicks, Professor Green, Devlin, Maverick Sabre and drum and bass titans Chase and Status topping the bill.

First up of note on the Main Stage was Devlin, who has been thrust back into the mainstream eye after his collaboration with ginger haired songsmith Ed Sheeran on ‘Watchtower’ and leading up to the release of his new album ‘A Moving Picture’.

His set was an unsurprisingly aggressive set full of grimy beats and lyrical spitting. The crowd of youngsters received him well, but whether that was due to the vodka they’d slipped in via a hip flask was the mystery. (5/10)

Following the rather disappointing Devlin was always going to make the next act look marginally better than normal, and that was the case for Maverick Sabre (pictured at top).

The hits were out in full show as he flew through a virtual best of his back catalogue. Youngsters and the classic festival dads joined forces in showing their admiration for Sabre. He’s definitely made an impact on the festival circuit now, but whether he can keep it up is going to be the real challenge of character for the youngster. (7/10)

The most riotous reception of the daylight hours though was reserved for Brighton-based-duo Rizzle Kicks, who invited the audience to, yes, “do the hump”. What the hump is, that is difficult to describe, but from what I gathered, it involved 16-year old girls on shoulders crying at their heroes, heroes with an obvious shelf life I might add, as their live performance was lacking heavily.

The tunes were there and the crowd were obviously enjoying the two young MCs as they bounced around the stage, but the delivery was poor all over and wasn’t helped by the overly loud backing music. Maybe I’m showing my age here? God I’m only 20. (6/10)

The night built to a crescendo as rap-pop superstar Professor Green stepped up to the plate.

Unlike the previous acts, Green delivered a spectacular set, interacting with the crowd brilliantly and marauding around the stage with a huge presence. Fan favourite ‘Read All About It’ went down brilliantly as the entire Jersey Live crowd screamed the lyrics back at the rapper.

While older tracks ‘Just Be Good to Green’ (even with its Lily Allen backing track) and ‘I Need You Tonight’ provoked a riotous reaction from the amassed Jersey Live crowd, who at this point had abandoned all other stages to converge on the Main Stage for the day’s finale.

Stay turned for part 2 of John’s Jersey Live review, to post tomorrow.


Maverick Sabre / September and October 2012 UK Tour

By on Friday, 10th August 2012 at 5:00 pm

Maverick Sabre will be on tour in the UK in September and October. Tickets are available now at £16 each, except in London, where they are £18.50.

Friday 21st September 2012 – Newcastle O2 Academy
Saturday 22nd September 2012 – Leeds O2 Academy
Monday 24th September 2012 – Liverpool O2 Academy
Tuesday 25th September 2012 – Manchester Academy
Thursday 27th September 2012 – Leicester O2 Academy
Friday 28th September 2012 – Norwich UEA
Saturday 29th September 2012 – Birmingham O2 Academy
Monday 1st October 2012 – Leamington Spa Assembly
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 – Nottingham Rock City
Thursday 4th October 2012 – Bournemouth O2 Academy
Friday 5th October 2012 – Bristol O2 Academy
Saturday 6th October 2012 – London Brixton O2 Academy


Guernsey Festival 2012: Day 1 Roundup

By on Thursday, 5th July 2012 at 2:00 pm

Words by Hannah Saul

The island of Guernsey is generally a very quiet, historical place, but for one weekend every summer, the tranquil island says goodbye to the monotony of island life and welcomes families and music lovers alike to grab their wellies and head over to the Rabbit Warren, the location of Guernsey Festival. The festival is in its second year and has already played host to bands heavyweights Primal Scream, Frank Turner and The Gaslight Anthem.

While islanders jumped at the chance to have the festival experience on their doorstep and flocked in their hundreds to go and see the acts without having to spend extra money on flights, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t any interest from the mainland. Days before the festival kicks off, local ferry company Condor becomes frantically busy trying to fit all the serious festival-goers onboard and bring them to the sunny island. Whether they appreciate the mud-soaked, beer-swilling return passengers is, well, another matter entirely.

Despite being a native islander, this was my first year going, and I went with high expectations. I was stoked to see great acts like Hadouken, that hairy, hairy King Charles, Macy Gray, Kassidy, The Charlatans and The Kaiser Chiefs. The weekend was looking to be pretty spectacular, and that is exactly what it was.

I started the Saturday by going to see the young talent of local band and also my very good friends China Aster, who played on the stage known as The Other Stage or the Center Circle Stage. China Aster kicked off the festival nicely, singing songs off their newly released, self-titled EP. Although it was still quite early in the morning, they managed to grab quite a lot of interest. Josh Moore’s voice floated in to the (slightly too strong) breeze, allowing the melodic guitars to build that proper boutique festival vibe.

Next, it was time to see I Am Tich. After doing the rounds at Glastonbury, T in the Park, Oxegen and V Festival last year, she was asked to play Guernsey Festival’s Main Stage, performing a mix of covers and original songs. Unfortunately, I missed the beginning of her set but arrived to hear her sing a cover of fun.’s ‘We Are Young’. Her powerful voice made up for the fact that she looked diminutive standing on the stage by herself, and her bubbly character put a smile on everyone’s faces. However, I felt that the constant promotion of herself knocked the performance down a little, but that could just be me.

Next on my festival agenda was to check out Jersey singer Kevin Pallot. He has managed to bring together some of Jersey’s best session artists to create his backing band The Pinnacles and together they played a selection of rich folk music including song ‘The Waving Fields’. Pallot’s deep voice melted into the music, creating a warm sound, which mirrored the already improving weather perfectly.

I felt that after Pallot’s performance, I had a great opportunity to go and check out the VIP tent before King Charles was expected on the Main Stage. I had images of champagne, nice comfy chairs and lovely clean loos. Oh boy, how wrong was I. I pushed through crowds of people trying to spot if there was anyone famous inside the tent, and once inside, my face dropped. The VIP tent looked like something out of a wedding celebration:r bight lights, loud music and loads of very drunk people dancing around. Not only this, but the so-called luxury loos had no running water and there was no sanitizer on offer, unlike the main toilets. My verdict: the VIP tent is not worth nearly £90 extra for a ticket.

Although I had heard of King Charles (pictured at top), I wasn’t too familiar with his work. But my brother and sister had recommended that I go to see him, and I did. Stepping into the audience, I was hit by a mix of furious guitar solos and upbeat keyboard not too dissimilar to that of Vampire Weekend. There was something quite tropical about it, and the audience certainly agreed. As His Majesty played songs of his new album, ‘Love Blood’, he certainly got me grooving.

After a quick chat with Hadouken!, I rushed to the Main Stage to catch them playing. Performing a mix of new and old tracks, the younger audience members found it was their time to shine and came out of their shells (with the help of some illicitly smuggled in booze) and danced to their set. It was loud, it was powerful, let’s face it…it was a festival. It was great and exactly what the day needed to kick it up a gear.

Next it was on to the dance tent. There was a great mix of DJs; Brandon Block was spinning when I went along. I have to say, however, he seems to attract a very young group of teenagers who wanted their first taste of the nightclub experience, so I didn’t hang around for long. Besides, I wanted to drag my boyfriend along to Macy Gray.

The one thing that bothered me about Macy Gray’s performance was why she didn’t headline. Walking up to the Main Stage I could hear her cover of Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ and my mouth went dry. She sounded amazing. Her soulful voice matched her Tina Turner-inspired glittery bright pink dress. So looked fantastic! You could also tell that she put a lot of personal input into her performance; it was raw, rich and really, really brilliant. Everyone was singing along and having a wonderful time.

Although next act Maverick Sabre got a good response from the large audience, I just couldn’t get into his performance. It might have been because my feet were hurting from my wellies, which were 3 sizes too small, or the fact that Macy Gray effectively blew Mr. Sabre out of the water. I think the latter reason was more why. He did, however, grab my full attention with his song ‘Let Me Go’. I have to admit that he does have a pretty unique voice, but he just didn’t really interact with the audience. It was a bit of a shame. But in ‘Let Me Go,’ he has a crowd pleaser to end all crowd pleasers.

After a pretty successful day, I began my 15-minute walk home along the seafront. That’s the beauty about the festival: you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere inside the compound, but as soon as you leave you are in the middle of a busy seaside town. Bliss!


Beach Break Live 2012: Day 1 Roundup

By on Friday, 22nd June 2012 at 3:00 pm

Beach Break Live is in Wales, so I’m a fool to expect sun. But blissful optimism sometimes prevails in situations like this. However, THIS is not one of them. Day 1 at Beach Break Live 2012 started as it meant to go on. With some serious rain. Macs were donned and waterproof trousers put on in their thousands, before we ventured to the arena to see what the many stages and tents Pembrey had to offer.

First act of the day is an act that I became familiar with way back in 2006 at Guernsey’s very own Vale Earth Festival. Joe Driscoll is his name and catchy mix of beat driven, guitar rap is his game. However, since 2006, he has diversified and now tours with a man named Sekou Kouyate who has been quoted as saying of their collaboration: “He doesn’t speak any French, and I speak no English… but through music, we understand.” Their set is the perfect way to start of the day, with their signature track ‘New York’; stream it below. the crowd is eating out of the palm of their hands. Drinks are already flowing and what’s that? Young boys (possibly under the influence of LSD) are skanking at the front of the crowd. We have a winner here and it’s only 12:00 midday.

Clement Marfo and the Frontline are on the main stage next, so it’s a mad rush over to catch them and if any words to describe them were more apt, it’s ‘Mad Rush’. They storm the stage with a short set that has the crowd moving; with the rain falling and it being so early, such a great performance was a surprise to see.

Later on the main stage we have Delilah, who tried to warm the crowd up with some of her slow-burners. The crowd, though, were having none of it! They wanted something to move to, to jump around too. Sadly this wasn’t to come until the end of set with ‘Go’. But her set wasn’t exactly one of the biggest to look forward to, as there were some serious heavyweights on afterwards.

These first came in the shape of the fantastic Maverick Sabre, whose truly unique voice had the crowd being really receptive. The draw of the England vs. Sweden match wasn’t enough for some people as he amassed a serious crowd at the Dell main Stage. Hit ‘Let Me Go’ was saved until last and was performed with the energy you come to expect from a young performer in the prime of his career.

To finish up on the Main Stage were drum ‘n’ bass heavyweights Chase and Status (pictured at top). Or as I see them that band who started off a bit like Pendulum then became better and wrote better songs. What the crowd wanted wasn’t a set promoting a new album or a new direction. No they wanted a set jam packed with the big hitters and that is exactly what they got. From ‘Let Me Go’, to ‘Pieces’ every single charted track Chase and Status had was played.

It wasn’t your signature drum and bass set though, with a DJ and a hype man. Chase regularly donned a guitar and played like the rock stars they are starting to become. Special appearances from Delilah only added a bit of sheen to the already impressive set. By then, the crowd had already swelled to the largest of the day. And for good reason: Chase and Status well and truly smashed it.

But at Beach Break, the fun doesn’t start when the Main Stage closes. Nero were in the Merlin’s Forest tent, with a stage show to rival contemporaries like Daft Punk. The set did feel very like it could have been the French duo’s, with two DJs acting almost like robots. But they pumped the hits out with some ferocity and worked the crowd up to a serious frenzy.

As an end to the day though, there was nothing better.


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