Summer may be here, but don’t put away your winter coat just yet: you need Big Jacket in your life

The folk scene in Southend is incredibly healthy. It’s a good time to be a troubadour, with plenty of Open Mic nights springing up over the last few years. There’s never been more platforms for upcoming artists.

One of the current standout acts in this scene is Big Jacket. Led by Jordan Hemmingway, they have only been playing together since January this year and already they are earning themselves a large following. Their single release show at The Alex was absolutely rammed, but this is testament to just how good their songs and live performances are.

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Something To Think About‘ is charming song. The reassuring growl in Jordan’s voice is perfectly complemented by the delicate tones of Kyiah Marks. The subtle build to the huge crescendoing ending is a beautiful journey. They’ve stamped their sound; this is pure and honest pop music. Very welcome in our seaside town.

Big Jacket play Village Green Festival next month. ‘Something To Think About’ is available on iTunes right here.

Lydia Kitto – Astonishing Southend Soul, Set to Soar in 2017

-By Mikey Glenister

It’s been a while since there’s been a talent quite like Lydia Kitto. In fact, I’m struggling to think of any solo artist from Southend who has presented this much potential for global domination at such an early stage in their career.

‘Ride’ demonstrates her craft perfectly. The subtle house track sits under Lydia’s voice as it takes off, which demands your attention.

2016 was the year that Kitto started to really turn heads. She had one of the stand out performances at Village Green 2016, and her debut single ‘Run To You‘ has received over 100,000 streams on Spotify. And it’s easy to understand why.
Her style and swagger makes her completely unique. Every melody oozes personality, which sets her leaps and bounds above the rest.

She’s one of the most versatile performers in Southend, storming local open mic nights. She’s incredibly comfortable behind her keyboard, armed with a guitar, or with a full band behind her (her go-to players are members of Beach For Tiger, another Southend band that deserves your attention).

The Amy Winehouse comparisons are inevitable, but as you can see from one of The Broom Cupboard Sessions she featured in, tackling a big Amy track like ‘Stronger Than Me’ is a breeze. She completely owns it.

She closed 2016 with an incredible performance at The Jazz Cafe, which only validated her claim to become a true breakout star in 2017.
BBC Essex Introducing have endorsed her as one of their Essex Sound of 2017 artists. It’s not hard to see why. This year, we’ve got our eyes on Lydia Kitto, and can’t wait to see what she does next.

VILLAGE GREEN 2014 PREVIEW

It’s that time again! Southend Who? takes a look at who we think you should be checking out at this year’s biggest live music event in Southend!

With so much going on, we’ve planned the perfect schedule for the must-see acts of the day!

KISS ME QUICK – 11.45am – VILLAGE HALL STAGE

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So the smart people will know to get down to the site nice and early. One reason is to get your bearings of the site without the crowds, but mainly to check out the fantastic KISS ME QUICK.

Fronted by David Woodcock and Wendy Solomon (both fantastic artists in their own right), this genius pairing of the two is an absolute joy. Their super happy folk is the perfect start to the day. Click the photo for their music!

FUTUREAGES – 12.15pm – VILLAGE SCHOOL STAGE

We’ve not been shy when it comes to singing FUTUREAGES praises (best post rock band on planet at the moment, shucks). But you won’t get to see them often in Southend on such a big stage as the Village School Stage. This is our biggest recommendation of the day. DON’T MISS OUT. SERIOUSLY. 

YOUTH CLUB – 1.05pm – VILLAGE SCHOOL STAGE 

After seeing FutureAges, don’t go anywhere! Southend heroes YOUTH CLUB return to the same stage they smashed last year. Having enjoyed top 30 chart success with their ‘Colours EP’, they’ve gone from being local darlings to national darlings. This is likely to be the first massive crowd of the day. Our suggestion is to be part of said massive crowd and dance your tits off to their polished indie pop! 

KAYLEN CASTLE – 2.05pm – VILLAGE YOUTH STAGE

After the inevitable madness of Youth Club, it’s time to bring the tempo down a touch. But that’s not at the expense of quality. KAYLEN CASTLE is a self taught acoustic guitarist who, quite simply, has mad skills. At only 17, he is sickenly good. This is definitely going to be a treat for the ears. So grab yourself a drink and check him out. 

LONGY – 3.10pm – VILLAGE SCHOOL STAGE

Did you miss LONGY absolutely smash his set at Leigh Folk Festival the other week? If you did, this is the perfect chance to redeem yourself. Longy is a force to be reckoned with, but with his full band behind him, he’s unstoppable.

THE GOLDMASTER ALLSTARS – 3.30pm – VILLAGE GREEN STAGE

If you have seen Longy before, then now is a perfect time to switch over to the main stage for THE GOLDMASTER ALLSTARS.
It’s hard to find a stage big enough to fit these party starters on, so the massive main stage is perfect! These boys have been ska and dub pioneers for nearly a good two decades, perfect for the afternoon at Village Green!

SHLOMO – 4.20pm – VILLAGE SCHOOL STAGE

SHLOMO is one of the leading lights in the beatboxing game. More recently he’s been experimenting with loops technology. Not many can touch him with his skills. He will be one of the most astonishing things you see all day. 

DAN LE SAC VS SCROOBIUS PIP – 5.30pm – VILLAGE SCHOOL STAGE

One of the big pulls on this line up this year. DAN LE SAC VS SCROOBIUS PIP have always pushed the boundaries of hip hop and electronic music, and this is likely to absolutely go off. THOU SHALT NOT MISS THIS BAND.

WHOM BY FIRE – 6.15pm – PERFORM STAGE

WHOM BY FIRE are a deliciously intense folk duo. Previously Caleb, they are just glorious. I nice breather before the headliners, and highly recommended!

MAN LIKE ME – 6.50pm – VILLAGE SCHOOL STAGE

MAN LIKE ME are possibly one of the most entertaining live acts you will ever see. Full of brass, dance routines, and big big dance tracks, these boys raise it up. This will go off HARD.

BILLY WRIGHT – 7.25pm – PERFORM STAGE

After years with Redtrack and Casablanco, it seems BILLY WRIGHT has finally found his calling card: being himself!
His chilled pop is perfect for winding down the evening too. 

BETH ORTON – 8.10pm – VILLAGE SCHOOL STAGE

Closing the festival is the phenomenal BETH ORTON. Boasting an impressive back catalogue, she’s incredibly welcome at Village Green! Some thought this might be an odd choice for a headliner, but you will be sure to find much of her set incredibly familiar. Her folk mixed with electronica is a real treat.

SO THERE YOU HAVE IT. Our perfect Village Green. Other notable acts to check out if this doesn’t suit:

EIGHT ROUNDS RAPID – 1.20pm – VILLAGE GREEN STAGE
THE HILLMISTERS – 2.55pm – VILLAGE HALL STAGE
KATIE MALCO – 5.25pm – VILLAGE YOUTH STAGE
ASYLUMS – 6.45pm – PERFORM STAGE
EDDI READER – 7.10pm – VILLAGE GREEN STAGE