Ahead of her performances at this year’s C2C and with a new single out on March 8, we put Jessica Clemmons of Jess and the Bandits in the spotlight for a quick Q&A. Here’s what she had to say:
SSC: Hi Jessica, we can’t wait to see you. I think you’ve played C2C before?
JC: I sure have but it has been a LONG time!!
SSC: How exciting was it to get the call?
JC: Ridiculously excited. I honestly didn’t expect to be playing, so to find out they were having me back was wonderful.
SSC: What are you looking forward to most?
JC: PERFORMING! Also, performing new songs and seeing other artists play too. The UK country scene has changed so much since my last time at C2C that it will be exciting to see new friends performing this year, as well as some who’ve been around a little longer. The main arena is great, but the outside stages are such a perfect place to spot new artists and hear new music.
SSC: You’re playing the Big Entrance and the Icon stages – the Big Entrance in particular is always a huge draw. Because it’s so busy, how do you focus and make sure you’re heard above the noise?
JC: I think I just let the music do the talking and of course encourage people to gather around and take a listen. I’m also super excited to say that I’ve been given an additional set time on the Saturday. People will also be able to catch me at the Barrelhouse (Town Square) as well, so there’s an extra chance for me to play for y’all!
SSC: Do you get to ‘hobnob’ backstage with any of the other artists or is it just too busy?
JC: It’s honestly extremely busy because in between performances, there’s all ways, lots of interviews and catching up with fans and friends alike. We’ve now got two shows on different stages on Saturday too, with only just over an hour between each one, so I’ll be making the most of the time before and after to be catching up with people.
SSC: Will you have time to explore the rest of the festival and get some time to chat to your fans?
JC: Absolutely! I’m even fortunate to be able to bring my family with me, so it will be a lot of fun to take my little ones around the festival. They have their boots and hats ready to go!
SSC: Who are you looking forward to seeing most yourself?
JC: I’m super excited to see Paris Adams, First Time Flyers, Jade Helliwell… the list goes on and on! We’ve actually put together a playlist of some of the great female artists who are playing this year, because it is the week of International Women’s Day and my Hey Girl release after all – what better excuse is there to celebrate female artists?!
SSC: Any insight you can give us to some of the songs you’ll be playing?
JC: I will definitely be doing a lot of the favourite Jess and the Bandits songs, but I’ll be performing my new single, Hey Girl as well as my previous release, and Emotional Baggage. I even have two brand new songs that I haven’t even been able to record yet, but I’m thrilled to be able to perform them live, so if you want a sneak preview, you’ll have to come an catch one of my sets next week!
SSC: You were here at the end of last year, will we see you doing any other gigs this summer in the UK?
JC: Oh, you know it! Festival season is one of my favourite times in the UK so hopefully I’ll be announcing soon where people can come and see us.
Hey Girl was passed to Jess by co-writer and producer Femke Weidema and documents perfectly the journey Jess herself had taken throughout her younger adulthood, with friends, family members and acquaintances questioning her position as a single woman without any children.
Speaking about the song, Jess has previously said: “As far as we’ve come as a society, there is still this pressure for women to get married and have children by a certain age. Men don’t seem to have this same expectation. With events such as International Women’s Day becoming a permanent date in the yearly calendar, it’s great to be able to celebrate this, but also to acknowledge the journey taken by so many young women, many of whom I am sure will relate to this song as I did.”
Hey Girl is out on March 8, now available to presave https://slinky.to/HeyGirlJessAndTheBandits