The Zutons, The Paddingtons, ¡Forward Russia!, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, Editors, Erol Alkan, Milburn, and The On OffsEdit this event
- Snow Patrol »
- The Zutons »
- The Paddingtons »
- ¡Forward Russia! »
- Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly »
- Editors »
- Erol Alkan »
- Milburn »
- The On Offs »
Before I began to gather my freshly-washed (and in some cases still mildly damp) t-shirts in preparation for my trip to Jersey, I'd been thinking how living in London affects my ability to judge events outside of the capital, let alone on a comparably remote island 170 miles south of my Islington flat. It's with this thought that I leave for Gatwick, attempting to build some form of context in my head for what I'm about to experience.
Upon arriving at the largest of the Channel islands, an immediate sense of serenity brushes through me. A mixture of the convenience of being a UK province and yet maintaining its own sense of identity and escapism, Jersey is special. The idea of flying somewhere for a music festival on an island half the size of the Isle of Wight is better still and merely adds to the enjoyment ahead.
Twenty-four hours spent exploring, boating, feasting and flirting and it's time to hit the Royal Jersey Showground - aptly salubrious surroundings for the festival. Two stages are erected in the 7,500 capacity arena; a large white dance tent sits at the back of the 'main' field that plays host to DiS for a large portion of the day.
We arrive just as rising star Sam Duckworth and his Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly squad take the stage. Oft-dismissed as a pretender to an emo crown or simply blocked with an air of coffee table dullardry, there is a belly of songwriting intensity and downright pop catchiness here that moves him to a slightly higher echelon than many would have you believe. You'll find new single 'Chronicles of a Bohemian Teenager (Part One)' most satisfying, particularly with its showing today, and once he finds himself he'll also find the world at his feet.
Following Get Cape is Editors, who play earlier than usual today before they jet off to Istanbul for their last remaining tour date on this LP - and it's probably about time. Whilst today's competent set is loaded with energy and a shockingly jubilant Tom Smith, songs from the band's debut album The Back Room are beginning to sound tired and repetitive. There is solace in new material, but their break is well-earned for both audience and band members alike.
|**Tom Woodhead, ¡Forward, Russia!: Hairy**|
On the flip-side, I am of the opinion that ¡Forward, Russia! should never have a break - let's face it, Whiskas (read: king of DIY) is stretched wider than a spider and the band's endless worldwide touring schedule is enough to make the most virile of men weep. Yet it doesn't seem to matter. The Leeds four-piece are more vital than ever this afternoon and refuse to show signs of tiredness or decay. A crowd enthralled, a band rising to the top of their game and a set most energetic. If you haven't seen ¡Forward, Russia! yet, now is most certainly the time.
Milburn are the Tesco Value equivalent to the Harrods Food Hall magnificence of the Arctic Monkeys. The Sheffield four-piece feel hackneyed in every way and, despite their 'nice guy' status, have little-to-nothing redeeming to give a potential audience.
Which brings us to the pair of headlining behemoths. Ulster's Snow Patrol pip The Zutons to the top slot, but lose out in terms of performance and crowd reaction.
What Gary Lightbody_ et al _may possess in terms of anthemic lighter-wavers, The Zutons piss all over them as far as headlining a festival goes. Cursedly catchy melodies and with a stage presence way beyond the 'Patrol's, if The Zutons can deliver sales and tunes on their third album in the way they have for this, theirs is a career well-sealed.
As faces leave, satisfied and happy, the context of the event returns. Statistically, just shy of ten per cent of Jersey's population make up the attendees here, and it's essentially the biggest (only?) youth-orientated event on the island. So to attend an event so well-executed, clean and picturesque makes a snobby Londoner like me think twice about what really constiutes a great festival.
When it feels as good as this, the line-up almost becomes elementary.
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