To say there was a gap in the market for FOLKLORE Festival would be entirely true. How many other island events offer Madchester, indie heroes, dub, folk and spoken word at a venue backing on to a reservoir with the Atlantic on its doorstep? None, that’s how many. Until now that is.
We’re all aware there’s no shortage of top class festivals in Jersey for 2015, all specially crafted, and unique in their own right. However next month’s Folklore is set to reintroduce the kind of festival Jersey has been missing for the last few years, with it’s musical focus leaning towards a more organic, rootsy and at times nostalgic offering. And of course it’s happening at Val de la Mar this year, the only festival to take place in the west of the island, an area often interpreted as alternative and connected to nature.
Of course the FOLKLORE production is thanks to the organisers of the Channel Island’s biggest festival Jersey Live, first held back in 2012. You might say that the history for this type of event goes back before that though, when the Grasstroots festival was thriving, at the time famed for its more longhaired, laidback and you could say natural approach to partying (and which also took place at Val de la Mar). Sadly Grassroots folded after financial difficulties, and so appeared a big fat alternative festival-shaped hole in the island’s event calendar, a line of creativity that Jersey seems to so much enjoy.
Folklore 2015 (as in 2012) stands as a celebration of rock, folk, reggae and dub artists, as well as alternative music, comedy and poetry. With a capacity of just 4,000, 2012 saw unforgettable performances from the legendary Van Morrison, Ray Davies, Lee Scratch Perry and Joan Armatrading. In 2013 Jersey Live presented the Folklore Stage with performances from the likes of John Cooper Clarke, Dry The River and The Specials’ Neville Staple, and this year’s line up features a richly diverse musical offering once again.
So what can you expect performance wise? Folklore will be held over three stages on Sunday 14th June 2015, at Val de la Mar in St Peter with the line up split into three separate stages; The Main Stage, The Island Stage and the Agapanthus Stage, the latter of which is in partnership with Jersey Arts Trust, bringing an array of comedians, musicians and spoken word artists, mostly still to be announced.
Headlining the main stage are ‘Sit Down’ legends James. Discovered by Tony Wilson back in 1982 at the Hacienda the Manchester darlings of the Madchester scene went on to be signed by Rough Trade where their true talent and public appeal soon became apparent with their third album Gold Mother reaching number two in the UK album charts at the time. Hot on the heels of their 2014 album, which was hailed as one of the “Best Albums of 2014”, and which enjoyed solid support from The Guardian and 6 Music alike James will bring a welcome indie nostalgia, alongside lauded fresh material to the ears of Jersey fans.
Joining James on the bill is one of Jersey’s brightest musical stars, Ivor Novello nominated singer-songwriter Nerina Pallot. Pallot has released four albums, and written for other artists including Kylie Minogue and Diana Vickers. A Jersey girl through and through, (a JCG gal no less), Nerina has an unbelievable stage presence with a solid talent that enables her to figuratively take your hand and guide you through her work in a way few musicians manage quite so intimately. She has a string of sold out shows on home turf under her belt, such is the consistency of her playing, vocals and musical magic.
Also appearing on the main stage is Reef, who (get this) haven’t released an album that hasn’t peaked within the top 15 in the Official Album Charts, and have nine Top four Singles to their name. Their anthemic 90s single ‘Place Your Hands’ can still be heard belted out up and down the British Isles and sounds as great today as it ever did. We then have Leeds-based nine-piece outfit Gentleman’s Dub Club, whose cacophony of trumpet, trombones, sax and guitars has made them one of the best-loved bands on the festival circuit. In addition to their ska and dub offerings, another festival favourite Dreadzone will bring their roots reggae to the island for a second time, having gone down a storm at Jersey Live last September.
Add The Doors Alive (the world’s most respected Doors cover band), along with the uber talented folksters Lloyd Yates and Tadhg Daly, and a truly friendly, soulful and heart-warming Jersey day out looms.
So there we have it. FOLKLORE is back with a very certain bang, and organiser & director Warren le Sueur couldn’t be happier “We’re delighted to be re-launching FOLKLORE, particularly with just as strong a line up and also set in its brand new home. The time feels right to bring back FOLKLORE and
we are all extremely excited. As well as the international artists, we are offering a great variety of artists from across the Channel Islands who will perform on the Agapanthus Stage sponsored by Jersey Arts Trust, and by introducing the new ‘Islands Stage’. We are completely focused on incorporating as much local diverse talent to this event as possible. There is a huge amount of good will from islanders, therefore we want to make sure we give back a great day (in the bay) to remember”.
For tickets, line up additions and general Folklore information head to www.folklore.org.uk