Video: City bands tune up for debut gigs at Glastonbury Festival

Killamonjambo Killamonjambo

Friday, June 20, 2014
8:31 AM

As Dolly Parton and Metallica grace Glastonbury Festival’s famous Pyramid stage, a wealth of artists will perform across dozens of smaller stages.

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The crowd watch as Mumford & Sons perform on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury 2013 Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts at Worthy Farm, Somerset. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday June 30, 2013. See PA story SHOWBIZ Glastonbury. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA WireThe crowd watch as Mumford & Sons perform on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury 2013 Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts at Worthy Farm, Somerset. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday June 30, 2013. See PA story SHOWBIZ Glastonbury. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Worthy Farm has a reputation as a hotbed of talent, where many a star starts its ascendancy, and two Norwich bands have made the bill this year.

Seven-piece Killamonjambo will play the Croissant Neuf stage and Avalon Café, and four-piece Port Isla are on the BBC Introducing line-up.

And both bands said they were excited to be part of one of the best-loved music festivals in the world.

George Bensley, 25, is the drummer with Norwich funk band Killamonjambo.

He explained that they had been due to play Glastonbury’s Rabbit Hole last year, but an admin mix-up meant there were not enough tickets for all of the band and crew to get in – and they had to cancel.

But a successful audition for the organiser of the Croissant Neuf stage led to a first gig, and word-of-mouth between promoters resulted in a second at Avalon Café.

“They’re really good slots and we’re quite pumped for it,” said George. “It’s gone from nothing at all to two gigs at Glastonbury and for all of us it’s our first time at the festival – as punters and as artists.

“We’ve been sat in front of computers the last few years trying to get tickets.”

The band’s Avalon Café gig clashes with that of American heavy metal pioneers Metallica.

While George described himself as a big fan, he said: “We’re hoping there will be a few stragglers about to come and see us, have a good dance and get a bit sweaty.”

The current line-up of the band, which has been gigging for around six years, is George, Fred Feeney on trumpet, singer Jamie Hagon, Luke Kerry on bass, Jonny Lawes on saxophone, Frank Youngs on lead guitar and Andy Vanzandt on trombone.

They have previously played to 4,000 people in Berlin, but said Glastonbury is the biggest festival they have been a part of.

Their debut studio album Fiesta Moonlanding will be released by WRR Records in August with a launch at Norwich Arts Centre on August 22 which will see the start of a UK and German tour.

Indiepop four-piece Port Isla – William Bloomfield, Stanley Spilman, Henry Kilmister and Willem Olenski, – are on the line-up for the BBC Introducing stage.

The group made the finals of the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition 2013.

Glastonbury’s city of tents opens to the welly-wearing masses on Wednesday, with festival-goers praying for sunshine. Port Isla play the BBC Introducing stage on Sunday at 7.30pm.

Killamonjambo play the Croissant Neuf stage on Friday at 11.30pm and Avalon Café on Saturday at 10.30pm.

For details see www.killamonjambo.co.uk or portisla.com/

Do you have an arts story? Email emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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