Jersey Live Festival – Headliner Announced!
aaamusic | On 25, Feb 2011
Following last summer’s sell-out Jersey Live Festival with Jersey Telecom the line up for this year’s event is taking shape and the festival organisers are pleased to announce the news of its Main Stage headliners. After the bar-raising performances in recent years by the likes of Paul Weller, Dizzee Rascal, Biffy Clyro, Tinie Tempah and The Prodigy, Jersey Live once again has two huge names to fill the top slots at the Channel Islands’ biggest live music event, taking place on 3rd and 4th September.
On Saturday 3rd September British ska legends and icons of the ‘2 Tone’ movement, Madness, will headline the Main Stage, making their first ever appearance in Jersey. Led by frontman Graham ‘Suggs’ McPherson, the band are responsible for some of the most recognisable hits of the 70s and 80s including ‘One Step Beyond’, ‘Driving in my Car’, ‘Baggy Trousers’ and ‘House of Fun.’
After signing to Jerry Dammers’ (The Specials) iconic label, 2 Tone Records, the six-piece shot to fame, releasing 9 albums and 16 Top Ten singles throughout their career. They also amassed a raft of awards, including the Ivor Novello Award for Best Song in 1983, for ‘Our House’. In 2005 they were inducted into MOJO magazine’s Hall of Fame and last year were bestowed with the ‘Idol Award’ at the Q Magazine Awards. The NME also placed 1985 album Mad Not Mad at number 55 in their All Time 100 Albums list. Having appeared at festivals all over the world including Glastonbury, Rock on Seine, Bestival and Reading. They are one of the best-known and most fondly-regarded bands in British history, and the Jersey Live organisers are delighted to have secured them.
Sunday night’s headliner is one that will be familiar to the island’s music fans; recent Brit Award winner (Best Male Artist) Plan B, who last year was forced to cancel his scheduled Jersey Live appearance due to filming commitments, will finally make his Jersey debut this September.
Plan B, aka Ben Drew, has enjoyed huge success since the release of his debut LP Who Needs Actions When You Got Words in 2006, and is in many ways a beneficiary of the trail blazed by The Streets in the years previous to his own emergence. Starting out as a rapper, with a heavy focus on gritty social commentary (an early recording ‘Kidz’, is about the murder of Damilola Taylor), his big commercial breakthrough came in 2010 with the release of his more soulful work, concept album The Defamation of Strickland Banks. After reaching number one in the album charts and scoring two back-to-back Top 10 singles, with ‘Stay Too Long’ and ‘She Said’, he has gone from strength-to-strength, supporting Noel Gallagher at the Royal Festival Hall and duetting with Elton John at the BBC Electric Proms. Drew’s film career has taken off as well; after starring opposite Michael Caine in the thriller Harry Brown, he recently completed work on his directorial debut Ill Manors, set for release later this year. He will also release his follow up album, The Ballad of Belmarsh – a return to his rap roots – later this year.
Supporting Madness on the Main Stage on Saturday night is one of the most influential contemporary acts in British music, Mike Skinner, aka The Streets. The Birmingham rapper, producer and musician has been one of Britain’s biggest stars since the 2001 release of his debut album Original Pirate Material. With his roots in the UK garage scene that was prominent in the early 2000s, he has been hailed as an influence on the dubstep and grime scenes, laying a path for artists such as Dizzee Rascal and Magnetic Man. Known for his lyrical dexterity and wry social observations, he has become synonymous with 21st century British culture – not to mention a truly unforgettable live act. After a decade spent at the top of his game – a decade which has brought hits such as ‘Has it Come to This’, ‘Dry Your Eyes’ and ‘Fit But You Know It’ – it has recently been reported that Skinner will be retiring from life as The Streets to concentrate on other projects, meaning that his Jersey Live appearance may very well be his last ever public performance.
Jersey Live are also able to announce a number of other acts performing over the weekend; opening the Main Stage on Sunday afternoon are another group of ska legends, The Beat. As part of the 70s 2-Tone movement, they are best known for hits such as ‘Mirror in the Bathroom’ and ‘Tears of a Clown’ and have toured the world with such acts as David Bowie, REM, The Clash, The Police and Talking Heads. As one of the UK’s best-loved acts, they are expected to kick things off with a bang on the Main Stage. Another Main Stage act is grime MC Wretch 32, who was listed in 2011’s influential BBC Sound of… list alongside The Vaccines, James Blake and eventual winner Jessie J. The Dance Arena also features some exciting names, including dubstep’s rising stars Nero. Also on the Dance Arena line up are drum & bass/old skool rave producer Danny Byrd (who recently scored his first Top 40 single with ‘Ill Behaviour’) & Dynamite MC and British drum & bass act Breakage. The last of the initial line up announcements comes in the shape of Dance Arena act Toddla T, best known for his Fabric residency and for remixing the likes of Tricky and Hot Chip, and for collaborations with Tynchy Stryder and the Arctic Monkeys’ Matt Helders. Many more acts have been confirmed and will be announced very soon.