With the promise of headline sets from Basement Jaxx and The Kooks, as well as some of music’s brightest emerging talent, it was no surprise to see swarms of young festival goers at this year’s Jersey Live. Now in its sixth year, the Channel Island’s annual weekender has blossomed into one of the summer festival season’s premiere spectacles – a place where audience participation is all but inscribed on the ticket stub’s lengthy terms and conditions.
Golden Silvers' glorious, bass heavy electro proved the perfect compliment for the clear blue skies that blanketed fans watching the main stage on Saturday. Despite initially appearing intimidated by their surroundings, the London three-piece grew in confidence as their set built up to its eventual closer ‘True No.9 Blues (True Romance)’. While no one can question Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos’s sang-froid, the singer’s oddly high-pitched voice was cause for concern throughout the American band’s rickety performance, which, in contrast to Golden Silvers, seemed to dissolve as it progressed
She may be old enough to be the grandmother to most of Jersey Live’s patrons, but that didn’t stop Radio 1 DJ Annie Nightingale from delivering a triumphant breaks set – the highlight of which was a remix of the late Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ – in the dance arena. Of course, much of Nightingale’s large crowd was made up of those who had arrived early to find a good position for Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip. The duo didn’t disappoint either, mixing fan favourites such as ‘Thou Shalt Always Kill’ and ‘A Letter From God To Man’ with a host of new material.
While the history books for the opening day of this year’s festival will forever list Basement Jaxx as headliners, the near capacity crowd who watched Dizzee Rascal precede them on the main stage would probably disagree. Recent chart blockbusters ‘Holiday’ and ‘Dance Wiv Me’, as well as a well-groomed stage presence, have turned the one-time grime artist into arguably Britain’s brightest male pop star. And in Jersey breathing space was hard to come by as Rascal relentlessly took festival goers from the depths of his grime roots (‘Fix Up’, ‘Wot U On’) all the way to the dizzy heights of top of the charts (‘Bonkers’).
For the first time, this year’s Jersey Live also featured a smaller new bands tent. The Les Inrockuptibles stage, hosted by the weekly French music magazine of the same, proved to be a welcome addition to the Trinity site, with a line up that included Kap Bambino, French band Gable and the enticing folk outfit The Antlers. But it was Chew Lips’ contagious dance-pop – carried, at times, solely by the captivating vocals of frontwoman Tigs – that proved to be one of the highlights of the weekend.
In contrast, Jack Penate was a disappointment on the main stage, Perhaps it was the task of following dynamic sets from The Temper Trap and Boxer Rebellion, but dressed all in black, songs from the London troubadour’s stunning second album ‘Everything Is New’ fell surprisingly flat. It was only when Penate took sporadic steps into his jangly past (‘Second, Minute or Hour’, ‘Spit At Stars’) that he made a genuine connection with the crowd.
Technical difficulties meant Doves had to cut down their main stage set by three songs, but no such problems occurred for The Kooks. Despite the relative failure of second album ‘Konk’, the Brighton band’s closing set still proved to be the big draw for festival goers, who could be heard joyously singing the chorus to ‘She Moves In Her Own Way’ as they made their way home along Jersey’s winding country lanes.
Jersey Live 2009 in pictures
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