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VEF 2017 Headliners Announced

News story posted on: Sat, 15th Apr 2017
Chali 2na & Krafty Kuts

Vale Earth Fair 2017 goes international

The line-up for this year’s Vale Earth Fair is shaping up to have a real international feel, with acts from USA and Africa already booked and more in the pipeline. Headliners this year will be Chali 2na & Krafty Kuts, but the whole evening promises to be full of class with Jah Wobble and the Invaders of the Heart and Jupiter & Okwess International also confirmed.

The Vale Earth Fair is incredibly proud to present Chali 2na alongside the highly renowned and respected beat master Krafty Kuts - A hip hop legend joins forces with the finest turntablist for the biggest hip hop party around!

Chali 2na is an American rapper with over 25 years in the business, widely recognised as one of hip-hop’s most distinctive and best loved voices. A founding member of the legendary rap group Jurassic 5, as well as salsa funk band Ozomatl, Chali 2na has worked with a huge range of other artists, whilst also finding time to branch out into acting and painting, Chali 2na has done it all.

From his days growing up on the streets of Chicago’s south side, to his subsequent explosion onto Los Angeles’ burgeoning hip-hop scene, to his tenure as MC for seminal hip-hop group Jurassic 5, Chali epitomizes the portrait of a 21st century artist. With his unmistakable, beloved baritone, he has firmly established himself as one of the most distinctive, charismatic personalities not just in hip-hop, but music in general.

As chronicled by his famous “Fish Market” mix tapes, Chali 2na has collaborated with a huge spread of top international stars including Blackaliscious, Roots Manuva, Mos Def, Linkin Park, Beenie Man, Rusko, Tippa Irie, Rizzle Kicks and many more. His openness to crossing boundaries and bringing his own unique take to different genres is emblematic of his positive and easy going nature, and makes him a perfect headliner for the Vale Earth Fair – this will be one not to be missed.

Buoyed by the wide spectrum of socio-cultural and geographical influences that have shaped him—hip-hop’s renaissance man has recently teamed up with UK producer Krafty Kuts, renowned for his highly technical turntablism, meticulously crafted DJ sets and party-punching productions.

Krafty Kuts is one of the key pioneers in the UK Breakbeat and bass movement scene, with multiple awards to his name. He has released music on the likes of Ministry Of Sound, Fingerlickin, Southern Fried, Fabric, Against the Grain, and many more.

Continuously immersed in beat culture since forming his own b-boy break dancing crew in the late 80s, Krafty Kuts has had his own record store chain, run labels, promoted major events, and performed to crowds of over 40,000 at the world’s leading events alongside the biggest names in music from the Rolling Stones to The Prodigy.

Chali 2na 

Chali 2na

“Chali 2na is the best live hip hop act I have witnessed” said Vale Earth Fair member Rob Roussel, “so the opportunity to have him perform at the Vale Castle was one not to be missed. With Krafty Kuts on board, it should provide a fantastic climax to this year’s festival”

Setting the scene for the headline show will be Jupiter Bonkodji and his band Okwess International, collectively known as Jupiter Okwess. They are the unparalleled leaders amongst the not-so-quietly vibrant musicians of the Democratic Republic of Congo. ‘The Dance of Jupiter,’ a film documenting Jupiter’s musical exploration was released in 2007 and he found himself raised to international recognition. On screen, we see his slender silhoutte exploring the various districts of Kinhasa, discovering artists unknown to the rest of the world.

“Today, we find many young groups continuing in my footsteps, dipping into our archives for inspiration; my mission is complete. If I disappeared today, I’ll have achieved my goal’’ Jupiter Bokondji

Of course, Jupiter wasn’t about to disappear; he is poised for a fantastic career. In October 2011, he played Kinhasa to an audience of five thousand; in July of the same year, he was part of the album created by Damon Albarn, of Blur and Gorillaz fame, ‘Kinhasa One Two,’ released in November 2011 through WARP.

On the recently released Troposphere 13, powered by Okwess International’s dazzling boosts and controlled crescendos, and a little help from Damon Albarn and Warren Ellis (of Nick Cave fame), Jupiter explores the immense wealth of traditional Congolese rhythms through which he filters the electrifying stridency of the rock inherited from his European past. What comes out on stage is a high energy blend of African rhythms backed by a driving guitar band all set against Jupiter’s tense, dramatic vocals.

Jupiter Bokondij 

Jupiter Bokondji (Jupiter Okwess)

Completing the evening’s line up will be the enigmatic bass supremo Jah Wobble with his band The Invaders of the Heart. “For some, including me, Jah Wobble will need no introduction” says Rob Roussel “so having him play at the Vale Earth Fair is an absolute honour”. His CV reads like a who’s who of alternative music that demands respect.

For the younger readers, here’s a brief history of Jah Wobble:

Real name John Wardle, his stage name comes from a drunken evening with squat mate John Ritchie (aka Sid Vicious), who slurred his name and it came out as Jah Wobble – I’ll keep that thought John – no one will forget it! There begins the legend…

Following the demise of the Sex Pistols he formed Public Image Limited with John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) and Keith Levene, staying with the band for their first two lp’s, including the iconic Metal Box. After leaving late in 1980 Wobble formed the short-lived Human Condition, before collaborating with Can members Holger Czukay and Jaki Liebezeit on Czukay's solo projects.

In 1983, he appeared on the LP Snake Charmer billed as a co-leader alongside guitarist The Edge of U2, Czukay, Liebezeit, and producer François Kevorkian.

By 1985 Jah Wobble's heavy drinking and drunken brawls were taking their toll. Halfway through the recording of an album called Psalms, (October 1986), Jah Wobble stopped drinking. From then through to the present day he has remained 'clean and sober'.

He then did a variety of day jobs, whilst continuing to perform and record his music in what spare time he had. In 1987 Wobble reformed The Invaders of the Heart (originally formed in 1982), and with a new line up he travelled to New York City's New Music Seminar in 1989 to get back into the music industry which eventually revived his career.

Following the success of Jah Wobble's Invaders of the Heart albums Without Judgement in 1990 and Rising Above Bedlam in 1991 (featuring Sinead O’Connor), Wobble has since collaborated with a wide variety of musicians, including Primal Scream, The Orb and Gary Clail.

His explorations into world music predated much of the genre's popularity, and his 1994 album Take Me To God was influenced by world music genres and contributions from a variety of artists of diverse cultural backgrounds, including Baaba Maal, Dolores O'Riordan, and Chaka Demus, and was a critical and commercial success.

His music has spanned a number of genres, including ambient music (with Brian Eno) and dance music, and in 2003, reworkings of traditional English folk songs. Although he has released recordings since the late seventies, Wobble has been particularly prolific from the mid-1990s to the present. He now runs his own label, 30 Hertz Records, and tours regularly throughout the UK and Europe with his current band. “He tells me it’s the best line up for the band he’s worked with” said Rob Roussel.

Besides his work as a musician and composer, Jah Wobble also writes occasional book reviews for The Independent. His autobiography, entitled Memoirs of a Geezer: Music, Life, Mayhem (Serpent's Tail books, London), was released in September 2009.

Jah Wobble 

Jah Wobble

Other acts have already been confirmed for this year’s Vale Earth Fair including The Recks and the Robert J Hunter Band, with more to be announced in the coming weeks. In the meantime the Vale Earth Fair is holding a Record and CD Fair at the Wayfarer Centre on Sunday 23 April, from 10am to 4pm, and hosting the live music at the Last Post on Liberation Day.

Advance tickets for the Vale Earth Fair are on sale here for £20 (£15 under 18s/OAPs) through the Vale Earth Fair website, or you can pay £25/£20 at the gate on the day. Children (12 and under) are free if accompanied by an adult.

The Vale Earth Fair is also teaming up with Sound who will be taking over the mainstage at the Vale Castle the day before the Vale Earth Fair from 3pm until 10pm for the “Sound Summer Party to Vale Castle”. Tickets for this event will be £10, or combined tickets for both events will be £25 (£20 under 18s/OAPs), alternatively you can pay £30/£25 at the gate on the Saturday

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

The Vale Earth Fair is supported by the Guernsey Arts Commission