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Splendour interviews: Jake Bugg, Dog Is Dead, Indiana, Georgie Rose, Gorgeous Chans

July 20, 2013

JAKE Bugg isn’t known for his happy-go-lucky banter or cheesy grin, preferring to let the music do all the talking on his behalf.

And while he wasn’t exactly channeling Freddie Mercury during his one-hour headline set at Splendour on Saturday, he was smiling and talking more than he has at any show in Nottingham – and probably anywhere else.

And he was much the same backstage an hour before he was due on the main stage in front of 17,000 people in Wollaton Park.

Although he’d flown in to Nottingham from Ireland the night before and landed around midnight, he’d gone back to Clifton to see an old friend.

“I was at my cousin Scott’s,” says the 19-year-old chart-topper, sat in a portacabin, dressed in black like an early Sixties Beatle.

“I thought ‘who’s still going to be up at midnight?’”

They stayed up in to the early hours and now he’s paying the price.

“I’m tired, mate,” he admits.

Jake arrived at the Splendour site around 7pm after spending the afternoon sleeping and working.

“I went through some songs for the second album.”

He’d not seen any other friends or family?

“No. My phone’s been going off all day but I’ll see them later,” he promises.

During the set, Jake plays three songs from the next album, which he’ll finish recording at the end of August in Malibu with legendary producer Rick Rubin. It’ll be released in November.

He sayd: “I’ve got about 20 songs and I’ll record all of them to see how they come out.”

Before that he has a show to do.

“It’s amazing to be back and to be playing in my hometown and to be headlining but I also have to stay focused; just so I can play as well and not get carried away with familiar faces in the crowd.

“Or when a girl takes her bra off. It happened in Portugal the other day. Some girl lifted her T-shirt up and she didn’t know the camera was on her and it came up on the big screen,” he laughs.

Jake played Splendour on the main stage last year, but fellow Notts success story Dog Is Dead were notching up their fifth appearance.

I first saw them in the Courtyard at the first Splendour in 2008.

“We knew it was going to be a big hometown gig and something special and it happened, it was really cool, “ says frontman Rob Milton, 22, from West Bridgford.

“Something always happens here; when we play the first chord they open the circle pits and start moshing. I have to remind people it’s not a Slayer show.”

He adds: “It’s nice to play an all-age show. It was actually the first show my nan’s been to. The family were super proud, so it’s good.”

There are more festivals for Dog Is Dead to play before they record their follow-up to last year’s All Our Favourite Stories.

Of their status as Splendour veterans, he says: “It’s five times in six years. Next time we get a free cappuccino.”

Less than 18 months ago, Indiana played her first gig in the Old Market Square in the Future Sound of Nottingham, a competition to open the main stage at Splendour.

She didn’t even reach the final but since then she has signed to the Epic label, been played on Radio 1, appeared at Glastonbury and performed for the Queen with The Script.

She is the second artist to be signed to DHP (the Nottingham-based organisers of Splendour, owners of Rock City and much more) after Dog Is Dead.

And she’s pregnant! Baby Etta is due in September.

“She was kicking a lot,” says the 25-year-old from Long Eaton. “When you’re halfway through a song and you’re really into it... it’s really off-putting,” she laughs.

She has one more festival next weekend then will be on maternity leave from the world of pop until October when her debut single is released.

She’s thankful that the scorching weather settled down for Splendour, a largely cloudy, if warm, day.

“It was my first main stage, ever,” she says, adding that it was a better experience than Glastonbury.

“That was the most special performance ever,” she says of her early afternoon slot.

“I could really feel that everyone was like ‘we like you actually Indiana... it made me want to cry. I wasn’t expecting to be so overwhelmed.”

It would have been understandable for The Gorgeous Chans to have felt overwhelmed by opening the main stage as the winners of the Future Sound of Nottingham competition but the indie/ska band of mostly teenagers enjoyed it.

“It was great fun, “ says 19-year-old saxophone player Liam Webber.

“We were a bit worried the samba wouldn’t go down well but it seemed to,” he adds, of their sound, a mix of Paul Simon’s Graceland and Vampire Weekend.

Although the line-up was buoyed up to a ten-piece, two core members were missing.

“Our trumpet and organ player couldn’t make it so we replaced them with a samba band,” he says.

After the set they sped off in all directions and reported back with positive reviews about fellow Notts artists Rob Green, Dog Is Dead and Georgie Rose.

The latter, an 18-year-old from Mansfield, is one of the region’s most-talked-about female singer-songwriters and yet she’s only been performing for just a year. Her set was on the smallest stage in the Courtyard but she is a contender for the main stage next year.

“The security were turning people away,” she says.

“I wasn’t expecting it to be that busy so it kind of blew me away a little bit.”

She adds: “I’ve got a lot of work to do but I aim to get on the main stage.”

Dozens of artists played over the three music stages with an afternoon of chuckles delivered on the comedy stage, plus a market, a funfair and cabaret.

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