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Looking Back - Jersey @ YES


Jersey dj
One part of Jersey performing at Yes MCR

In the heart of Manchester's vibrant music scene, the YES Pink Room was set to host an unforgettable night this March with the enigmatic duo from France known as Jersey. Comprising two brothers with a profound connection not just by blood but through their shared passion for music, Jersey has rapidly ascended the ranks of electronica's elite. Their journey, marked by a remarkable milestone of one million streams and the endorsement of electronic music luminary Fred Again.., speaks volumes of their burgeoning legacy. Their 2023 song "The World I’m Searching For", has hypnotised listeners worldwide with their trance-inducing rhythms, securing their spot on the global music map far beyond their French origins.


Jersey's ascent to fame is marked by their viral performances, which oozed magnetic energy and vibrant sets spun in the chic interiors of Parisian apartments. Their music, a seamless blend of enthusiasm and nonchalance, ignites the dance floor, creating a symbiotic energy between them and their audience. The duo thrive on the euphoria of live performances, a testament to their philosophy of living in the moment, reflected in their music.


Despite their rising fame, Jersey maintains an air of mystery - We sent Will & Lys down to find out that French magic that we all secretly crave.



 



A: We knew the Jersey gig was going to be good from the get go. Hosted in the Pink Room of YES, their setup was rather unexpected. The stage was nestled in the heart of the room amidst a very eager crowd.


As a first-timer to live EDM, I didn't really know what to expect - but Will assured me the live synth setup was quite impressive. I must say I appreciated the strategically placed lamps surrounding the stage. Their soft glow matched with the pink interior of the venue definitely crafted an intimacy with the crowd before we even set eyes on the duo. It was a striking contrast to my initial expectation of a flashy, neon lit stage that I’d originally anticipated from an electronic gig.


W: I totally agree. I had a decent sense of what the gig would be like from a video titled “we play music until someone breaks our synths” from YouTube which Jersey uploaded a few months back and which predates the start of the tour (Link above!). The video was apparently filmed in a Parisian apartment and that sense of a cosy living room gig definitely translates into their live shows. It was lovely being able to lock eyes with other members of the crowd across the stage. A warm, lamplit gig!





A: From the second the pair took to their stage they won us over instantly.


W: It didn’t take much! As soon as the pair walked out on to their own, custom built 360° stage, chants of “Jersey! Jersey!” greeted them. This would become a common theme whenever there was a lull in the action. I think if the crowd’s recognition and excitement (for what I think was a debut tour for the UK) is anything to go by, these guys will have a long and promising career ahead of them.





As for the music itself, we got more than I bargained for. They played their biggest hits of course, finishing with “Talk Tonight” which is currently sitting at 1.8 million plays on Spotify. The reaction of the crowd at what was probably the end of their planned set warranted an encore of “Talk Tonight” again! Also included was my personal favourite “I Want You” which followed a small rendition of "The Shire" from the Lord of the Rings soundtrack. Yeah. Hype, I know! Jersey perform all of their songs live on a series of synthesisers and beat pads, a quality that I absolutely adore in musicianship and which to some degree often gets lost in today's electronic music. Especially in the decks focused rave scene (which of course has its own brand of live performance, I live mix myself and understand the skill involved). With the popularity of artists like Fred Again, to which in terms of technical skill Jersey are a fair comparison, I expect more artists to take this angle in live electronic music.


This though, to be fair, was expected. This was all in the 30 minute YouTube set. What surprised me were portions of the gig that became incredibly heavy in places! Fast, driving beats that in places bordered on donk and sometimes would surpass it and enter a more frantic world that could be closer associated with gabber! This was not just a (welcome) shock to me but also to the dedicated skankers that we found ourselves shoulder to shoulder with at one of the four fronts of the stage set up. If I had a penny for every time I looked at the stranger next to me and we both said “What the fuck? ”... Well I’d have like six pennies probably, but still! The soft, lamplight aesthetic would also give way to more frantic, multicoloured lighting; though still using the medium of cosy lamps. It was like the set was colour coded and it worked so well.



Jersey DJ
Jersey rockin' it in The Pink Room

A: Ah yes, that cover from the Lord of the Rings soundtrack was a nice little surprise. I listened to some of their popular stuff before the gig and was especially looking forward to “Talk Tonight” but I’m glad I went in practically blind. I’ve since added a lot of their stuff to my playlists (high praise from an electronic virgin - yes, that’s what I’m calling myself).


I completely agree with you about the lighting- really added to the experience. We were lucky enough to be so close to the action and I’m happy to say the gig completely surprised me with an exhilarating yet strange sense of closeness. The set up definitely played a role in that, as did the crowd. Towards the end of the gig, one man picked up a speaker (maybe it was a broken synth but hard to tell with all that moody lighting) and held it above his head, which naturally earned quite a reaction from the rest of us. I found it fascinating to witness how the crowd becomes almost an active participant themselves with such intimate gigs. It blurred the boundaries between stage and dance floor to some extent.


W: In typical Jersey tradition, one of the synths did break during a song! It was quickly repaired and the crowd loved it, it’s very on brand for Jersey. Not to mention when one of the Jersey crew started swinging a lamp around the crowd. As a side note, it’s taking a lot of willpower to not refer to them as the Jersey boys… Anyway the room, the crowd and the set itself were all in harmony that night.


A: Remember that water bottle they had on stage that was practically dancing along to the set? We were obviously having a good night because that completely sent us.



W: Hysterical. It taught me some new shapes to throw as well. It’s all in the hips, you see? I’ll be busting it out at my usual rave scene, from which Jersey was a lovely diversion. Speaking of which, though you started with a Weird one, but how was your first foray into electronic music?.


A: As someone unfamiliar with the scene, I was definitely a bit apprehensive. But if Will says jump, I say how high.


W: Careful or this will become a series called “We go to gigs until Alyssa regrets one”. But I’m glad you enjoyed it, it was definitely a unique gig!


A: Honestly, the set blew me away. I recall shouting “Is it always this good?” to you as we left the Pink Room to head up to the terrace.


W: Honestly? No, it’s not!


A: The energy of their performance seemed to spill out into the smoking area too, a testament to Jersey’s set. Conversations flowed loudly about the crowd's favourite moments and there were a lot of laughs amongst the chatter. It got me thinking about how remarkable it was that a French duo could connect so easily to a Mancunian crowd. It was definitely a testament to how music transcends boundaries and can unite people from all walks of life under one (very pink) roof.


We also want to give a huge shout out to the staff at YES and everyone who helped create such a memorable night - we will definitely be back! As for Jersey, keep an eye on these guys - if this gig was anything to go by, they're destined for great things.


You can check out more on our socials and stay tuned for more content with Will & Lys!


Follow Acid Rain for more - As always, see you at the front!





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