Another fantastic Jersey Live has come to a close with two days of first class bands and a crowd the island can be proud of.
The second day of the festival kicked off with some fresh, funky blues from one of Jersey’s best blues bands, deNova Blues, who comfortably got the slowly growing crowd into the mood for live music.
The Jersey bands did the island proud, easily showing they deserved to be on the stage with the main bands from across the UK.
The Merge came on second with a couple of new tracks that really show the benefit their Manchester move has had on them.
With the new Merge material, and the way the band are playing together on stage you get a sense of maturity in their music, a readiness to move on to another level.
The Valentines were third on playing a mix of the better known material and a few adapted tracks.
It was everything you’d expect from a Valentines performance, one that moves more into having an experience than just watching a show including Jegard throwing a rose at the crowd.
It was great to see so many people moving to the front for the Jersey bands and enjoying the best of the local scene, in fact there were more people there for Kudu than the On/Offs.
Kudu were the last of the Jersey bands to take to the stage having won the Battle of the Bands to play the festival.
Despite a broken bass strap and a frantic hunt for another, Kudu played a storming, high energy set full of confidence and passion.
Their songs are written to a standard and style well beyond their years and they play as if they own the stage.
Security & Rain
|In the Hot Tub|
Security at the 2006 festival was a lot tighter than in previous years but it didn’t seem to affect anybody’s enjoyment of the festival with thousands of people moving to the front and getting into the spirit of live music.
It did rain but that didn’t seem to bother anyone either, people just found themselves anything they could to cover their head and clothes and got on with the show.
A few took the opportunity to go into the bar tent while it was heavy and enjoy the sounds of the Gambia Beat Band or head for the Dance Arena where one of the best DJ line-ups ever to come to Jersey could be found (I didn’t make there personally but if you did why not send us a review).
The On/Offs probably had one of the hardest jobs of any band playing the festival this year as the least well known of the ‘main’ bands it meant people didn’t know what to expect.
They didn’t disappoint playing a set full of funky rock tunes including the brilliant 54 hours they managed to pull back the crowd that started walking towards the food after Kudu finished.
Not as good as I was expecting but still a great opportunity to see them in the middle of a fantastic festival atmosphere.
The running order was changed last minute because of Get Cape replacing Hope of the States, he was swapped with Forward Russia.
Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly.
This guy was a real highlight for me and a lot of other people at the festival. A late addition to the Saturday bill after Hope of the States split up, easily fit in with the heavier bands surrounding him.
Get Cape was originally booked to play on the Friday as it’s a much lighter, more acoustic style than the other bands playing on the Saturday but it worked really well.
|Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly.|
The songs were strong enough to fit with heavy bands but acoustic enough to provide a bit of light in the shade of heavy rock.
The highlight of the festival for many people, Mercury prize nominated Editors played a stonker of a set, tighter than the security to the band area backstage.
Every song had the fans at the front of the stage arms in air singing the lyrics at the top of their voices and Munich was almost an ‘other world’ experience.
I went backstage for a quick drink between The Editors and Forward Russia and saw guys from The Merge, The Valentines and journalists from at least one national music magazine enjoying the hot tub – full of foam.
Of all the headline bands playing, Forward Russia were the ones I was most looking forward to, the energy and power in their songs while listening on a stereo is enough to get the blood pumping, so to see it performed live was bound to be something to behold.
It was no disappointment, front man Tom moved around the stage like a man possessed. One photographer described it as “like trying to photograph a cockroach”.
The band played like their lives depending on a good performance and the island crowd lapped up every minute of it.
Far from being a “poor mans Arctic Monkeys” as I heard on festival goer describe them on the way in, indie punksters Milburn have the makings of musical legends with poetic lyrics and memorable riffs.
They look slightly static after the Forward Russia performance but it was an altogether different experience. Milburn’s music does all the talking, dancing and leaping about like a frog trying to escape a French chef for them.
With this being their second time in Jersey a large chunk of the crowd already knew what to expect from their music so it made for all the more exciting atmosphere.
After Milburn left the stage there was, what a festival photographer jokingly described to me as “the longest sound check in history”.
However, that lengthy sound check only served to get the crowd more and more excited for one of the biggest pulls of the festival.
The Zutons teased, taunted and played with the Jersey crowd, performing to thousands as if it were to an intimate pub, playing their own brand of funky rock tunes that made you forget it was raining.
In a day of highlights this is one set that really stood out for me and a number of other people, the Zutons seemed to be loving every minute of it and with that, so did everyone else there.
Snow Patrol are… well Snow Patrol really. Not the band I was most looking forward to, in fact probably the band I was least looking forward to but I was pleasantly surprised.
They are a great festival band, they know how to play the audience, how to get them worked up and into the spirit, and their Irish charm came across as they made jokes, dedicated songs and dealt with a number of technical hitched.
Front man Gary Lightbody said “it wouldn’t be a Snow Patrol gig if something didn’t go wrong” but it didn’t matter to anyone in the audience and mattered less to the ones that hung around for their two encore tracks.
Zane Lowe played a short 50 minute set from 11 to 12 and a number of people hung around at the front of the stage to enjoy a great mix of tunes.
Zane told bbc.co.uk/jersey that he loves Jersey from what he’s seen and would love to come back on holiday with his family.
He said he was “honoured to be asked to come out” and that “I have friends in bands who’ve played and talk about how good it is”.
When asked about the rain he told us “I always think that when it rains at a festival you have to commit to rock.” He went on to say “rain can work to the benefit of a festival”.
All in all Jersey Live 2006 was a massive hit, the lights leading out of the festival were a massive help to anyone walking home, coaches were better organised and there was more security and police to make sure things went smoothly.
There were your usual cues for toilets but the wait was no longer than you’d expect from any other festival and the food was fantastic.
The Big Screens were a massive enhancement to the grounds as well, meaning people could stand back from the stage and still enjoy the show, which made for a friendly front of stage than in 2005.
|Jersey music fans|
All credit to the festival organisers for putting on what was easily the best show of 2006 – here’s to Jersey Live 2007.
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