This woman rocks!
Muddy meets Jo Bartlett, founder of the mega successful Green Man Festival and the woman in charge of the Camberley International Festival
We love all things indy here at Muddy, especially indy musicians who break the mould. So it’s no surprise we’re huge fans of Jo Bartlett, founder of the massively successful Green Man Festival in Wales, and organiser of the Camberley International Festival which kicked off this week with 10 days of live music, film, comedy, drama, literature and food.
Jo and partner Danny Hagan are the two parts that make up the folktronica duo It’s Jo And Danny, and they’re pretty familiar with the festival circuit themselves having played Glastonbury, Reading, Leeds and T in the Park.
They went on to form The Yellow Moon Band, producing a blend of blend of folk and progressive/psychedelic rock music. Jo has also produced a solo album, and is currently in a psychadelic folk band Kodiak Island. This lady rocks!
She also ran The Buzz Club at Aldershot’s West End Centre in the 1990s, which attracted top chart bands such as The Stone Roses and Manic Street Preachers. I think I have a girl crush. These days she’s the woman behind the Camberley International Festival – and if the success of Green Man is anything to go by, we know this vibrant and eclectic festival is going to be huge.
Anyway, I was lucky enough to grab five minutes with Jo for a few quick-fire questions.
Muddy Surrey: Jo, are you ready?
JB: Er, okay then…
Green Man Festival or Camberley International Festival?
JB: Camberley International Festival – it’s where I’m at!
The CIF act you’re most excited about?
JB: I’m really looking forward to seeing the short film competition on Thursday 15 June at Camberley Theatre. We were amazed at how many people entered – directors from as far away as Spain and Italy! Myself and the theatre manager, Andy, went through them all and complied the long list. These are now with the judges, including BAFTA award winning actress Juliet Aubrey who is the CIF patron. The short listed films will all be shown on the cinema screen in the main auditorium and the winners announced with the prizes presented by Juliet. I’m really looking forward to seeing them on the big screen!
There’s also live music in the bar before-hand from Jack Francis and his band. Jack played for us earlier in the year and this time he is returning with his full band. He’s a brilliant song writer – kind of West Cost American 1970’s vibe, so I’m really looking forward to hearing him with the band. It’s free to attend – plus we’ll be giving complimentary glasses of Prosecco out on arrival – what’s not to like?!
Where will CIF be in 10 years time?
I’d like to think it will take over all the areas in Camberley we can lay our hands on! The bars, cafes, theatre, streets and parks. We have an obelisk at the top of a hill – I know if I’m ever programming string quartets to perform up there my mission will be accomplished!
It’s Jo and Danny or The Yellow Moon Band?
That’s a tricky one….I love them both very much, but I’d probably go for It’s Jo and Danny as The Yellow Moon Band are an instrumental band and I do love to sing! I’m very proud of both bands though.
Any chance we might see you back on stage?
Funnily enough….my current band, Kodiak Island are playing at The Carpenter’s Arms on Saturday June 10 as part of the CIF! Free to attend, with lots of great music….
Folk music or electronica?
Another tricky one…..folk music for Saturday morning, electronica for Saturday night!
Live or Studio?
I get to play live so rarely these days – when everything is right – the sound, our performance how we’re going down, it’s pretty hard to beat…I love recording too. Argh! Ok, I’ll go for…..live, but it has to be in the perfect setting! (Sun set, main stage Glastonbury, to a delighted audience? Yes please!)
Favourite Eighties act?
I was a real indie kid in the ‘80s so it’s going to be a guitar band – I was in love with Lloyd Cole and saw him and the Commotions live loads. That hair! Those cheek bones! I actually went on tour with him many years later and still blushed when he spoke to me!
Youth or experience?
Experience blessed with youthful exuberance.
Brogues or stilettos?
My new silver trainers.
Best blog on the planet?
Muddy Stilettos obviously!