The Channel Islands' Longest Running Music Festival

24th & 25th August 2019

Noon - Midnight

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News

Line Up complete

News story posted on: Tue, 16th Jul 2019
king blues

The Channel Islands longest running festival returns at the end of August, with former Specials front man Neville Staple headlining with his excellent backing band. It is the 40th anniversary of 2 Tone Records, and we can expect plenty of classic tunes from The Specials back catalogue originally released on the 2 Tone label. We're also very pleased to add The King Blues (see above) to the line-up too - warming up for Neville Staple.

This year’s Vale Earth Fair is also dedicated to founding member Errol Groves who passed away earlier this year, and the Collective feel they have pulled together a line-up of which he would be proud.

Neville Staple is the legendary front man of The Specials, Fun Boy Three and Special Beat, also known as the Original Rude Boy. He is credited with changing the face of pop music not only once but twice. His celebrates a super 40-year career in the music business from the early days with The Coventry Automatics and his Jah Baddis Sound System, before taking to the stage with The Specials during the famous ‘Clash’ tour.

Neville states, “I remember the massive reactions to the hit songs like Ghost Town, Too Much Too Young and Gangsters and fans still write to me about the impact of those songs. The way we brought ska to the mainstream was by mixing Jamaican music with the English style, which at the time was punk. A lot of young bands are now putting their own spin on ska. It’s all good - the music just makes you want to dance. Even when singing about tough times, every-day things or bad things, the beat and the rhythm makes you want to move. I turn all our live shows into a massive party. The crowd love to sing along to all the tracks!”

The 2 Tone movement helped to transcend and defuse racial tensions in Thatcher-era Britain. The black and white chequered imagery of 2-Tone has become almost as famous as the music itself. It’s influence is so massive there is now a 2-Tone Village in Coventry, where it all began, with a museum dedicated to the movement.

Neville Staple continues to write and produce music and along with his wife and manager, Christine ‘Sugary’ Staple. He works with schools, charities, university and youth groups providing talks, performance tips, music lesson guest-tuition and fund-raising activities. In his hometown of Coventry he is celebrated as a Living Legend, working with the Lord Mayor to support Coventry in winning the ‘City of Culture 2021’. Neville and his wife continue to work with inner-city children on various creative projects.

Neville’s work is regularly screened on mainstream TV, and he has been in the news again recently with the single ‘Put Away Your Knives’ - a tribute to his grandson who was stabbed to death in September last year. The song is a remake of “A Message To You Rudy” in collaboration with Dandy Livingstone, who wrote the original which The Specials famously covered.

Neville Staple continues to be a forerunner of the ska movement and continues to thrill audiences with his own excellent band at venues and festivals worldwide.

For more information go to: http://www.originalrudeboy.co.uk/

Neville Staple Band 

The Neville Staple Band

Warming up for the Original Rude Boy will be The King Blues, fronted by punk poet Jonny ‘Itch’ Fox who describes the band's sound as 'rebel street music’.

The King Blues are a British punk rock band from London, England, credited for fusing punk and hip hop together with influences from ska and spoken word. Tariq Ali described them as 'rough, radical music that should unsettle the rulers of Britain. A new generation of musicians who are challenging war-monger politicians and their courtiers' – right up Errol’s street! Influences include Public Enemy, The Clash and of course The Specials.

The King Blues began as a solo project and the first The King Blues EP All Fall Down was recorded solo in 2002 by Itch. From these humble beginnings a full band evolved, releasing their debut album ‘Under the Fog’ in 2006. Recorded in the band's flat in Hackney in 5 days, the record became an underground phenomenon. In November of the same year the single "Mr Music Man" was released with a video chronicling the band's attempt to play more gigs in a 24-hour period than Status Quo's record-breaking four gigs in one day - The King Blues managed seven, and "Mr Music Man" was voted Best Punk Song of 2006 by BBC Radio 1.

In May 2008, the single "Let's Hang the Landlord", an autobiographical track detailing Itch's life as a homeless teenage punk, was released on a split 7" single, alongside "Mayday", the debut UK single by Flobots. This was included on second LP Save the World, Get the Girl which received positive reviews and plenty of Radio 1 airplay, culminating in the band performing a cover of Dizzee Rascal's "Bonkers" on Radio 1's Live Lounge in June 2009.

A transition period followed with a controversial reformation of the band’s line-up before a tour support for Enter Shikari, and an appearance on the main stage at Reading festival in 2010. The critically acclaimed LP Punk and Poetry followed in 2011, putting The King Blues on the Vale Earth Fair’s wanted list, but unfortunately the band split up in 2012, releasing the LP Long Live the Struggle as their final act.   

Late in 2015 The King Blues announced they had reformed on their official Facebook page, with the words "Guess who's back and pissed off again". A new EP followed in 2016 titled Off with Their Heads, and another tour support with Enter Shikari, culminating in a sell out show in London's Alexandra Palace.

Politics remains at the heart of their music and this year The King Blues have released "38 Minutes" - a punk rock puppet opera written by Itch. It is to be performed in Camden in August and sold out months in advance. The musical theatre piece is based on a false alarm that went out in Hawaii in 2018 informing residents of an imminent missile attack. It took 38 minutes for a second alert stating it was a false alarm to go out, with the soundtrack entering the UK top 40.

Also appearing is Karl Phillips & The Rejects - A completely original mashup of ska, punk & grime with a hip-hop nod at luminaries like The Clash, The Specials & Mike Skinner (there’s a bit of theme developing here!). Karl's refreshingly honest lyrics test the boundaries of the human mind and the English etiquette, coming from a place most people can relate to but never dared to mention!

New single 'Plastic Gangsta' got its exclusive first play on BBC Radio 1. Over the last few years they have supported or toured with Rudimental, Chase & Status, Example, Dub Pistols, The King Blues, Sonic Boom 6, Gentlemans Dub Club, Imperial Leisure, The Neville Staple Band, Dreadzone & Alabama 3 – some familiar names there for Vale Earth Fair regulars.

Karl Phillips

Karl Phillips

Karl Phillips & the Rejects and have appeared at numerous UK festivals including Boomtown Fair, Bestival and Blissfields, and have had air time on BBC Introducing shows and BBC 6 Music. Here's a quick link to his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/karlphillipsmusic/

It is also with great pleasure that we welcome The Wakes to the Vale Earth Fair. A firm favourite of Errol’s, The Wakes are travelling all the way from Glasgow for an afternoon set.

The Wakes are a folk rock band that fuse a mixture of Celtic traditional music with punk rock and funk. The band's lyrics embrace their culture, heritage and surroundings. They cover all manner of subjects from anti-fascist politics, immigration and unemployment to uprising and rebellion in Scotland, Ireland and beyond.

Musical influences include The Pogues, Dick Gaughan, The Clash (again!), Dropkick Murphys and Bob Dylan.

The Wakes officially formed in early 2007, releasing their debut album ‘These Hands’ that summer and pioneering the first of three Glasgow-based Big Hooley concerts in September. Second album ‘No Irish Need Apply’ was released 18 months later. This album produced a charity single ‘The Uncrowned King of Football’ in memory of Glasgow Celtic legend Jimmy Johnstone.

While the continued presence of electric instrumentation in The Wakes' material has provided the necessary edge to the group's rockier "folk 'n' roll" identity, they have maintained a tangible link to their traditional roots, and they still continue to perform acoustically.

the wakes

In August 2013, the group released The Red and the Green, which like its No Irish… predecessor received favourable criticism in various music press, as the folk 'n' roll sound further deepened, followed by Venceremos was launched in September 2016, becoming the band's most critically acclaimed recording so far.

On the main stage the will also be performances from local stalwarts Sacred Hearts, new kids on the block Track Not Found, and the undefinable Crowband, along with the Badlabecques from Jersey.

There are also a couple of changes to this year’s Vale Earth Fair with day one extended until midnight. As with the previous couple of year’s Sound.gg will be showcasing the best of the new breed, with under 18 acts taking to the main stage from 2pm until 8pm, but they will be followed by Breakz ‘n’ Beatz DJs taking to the stage until midnight, with full laser show.

There is also the addition of a new spoken word stage around the back of the Castle during the day on Sunday.

The Electric Shakes and the Recks take up the headline slots on the Viewalalu Stage on the Sunday, with an eclectic blend of bands filling out the rest of days programme for that stage, including the Cor Damme Lars and some special guests – more to follow on that stage nearer the festival.

Advance tickets for the festival, which takes place at the Vale Castle on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th August, are on sale now through the Vale Earth Fair website: www.valeearthfair.org, and from Vinyl Vaughan, HS2, YakWax, Kendall Guitars, and the St James box office

Profits from the Vale Earth Fair are split between the humanitarian organisations the Burma Campaign UK, Free Tibet, and Bridge2.