By Chris Morley
Ahead of the Play Up Pompey Music Festival (July 12-27), I caught up with Kill Kasper man, Pompey fan and all-round good egg ’ Kolonel’ Jamie Kasper, to talk music (and of course football)
What gave you the inspiration to stage the festival?
Myself and a local musical legend called John Hicks chatted on Facebook about chipping in for one of the £1000 shares the Pompey Supporter’s Trust were offering, then we thought, why not put a fundraiser gig on instead? We told a few more mates about the plan and invited the main movers, shakers, promoters, venue managers/owners, journalists and socialites from the city’s local scene to a meeting to see what we could do. After a few beers too many our single fundraiserhad turned into a 16 Day festival!
With the aim being to bring the football club back into the community, would you say the local music scene ( bands, artists, venues) is similarly community-owned?
The overall scene in Pompey is huge and magical, made up of many smaller scenes with well over 100 active bands at any one time and some of them are flippin’ brilliant. I don’t know about community-owned, but a lot of love has been shown for Pompey in it’s time of need and it’s great to see any egos put aside for something we all believe in. We’ve even got bigger bands like We Are Scientists backing the cause, the support has been fantastic!
Given the roster of acts you’ve managed to put together for the events, it must be heartening to see such support. Who would you encourage punters to check out?
I wrote out a list, there were 20+ bands and I still felt mean for not including mates, I just can’t do it!! So what I am going to do is tell you the shows that have the potential to raise the most money for Pompey, which is why we’re all here! On July 19th we have a Ska Night at Fratton Park headlined by The (brilliant) Racketeers and a Mod Night at the Cellars headed up by The Targets. Our big finale is a weekend at The Wedgewood Rooms; on the Friday 26th July, Dirty Little Rockstars are showing off some of our local talent in a 2 room gig to be headlined by Kassassin Street along with 7 other bands including my own and the It’s a Sin DJs until the small hours of the morning. On the Saturday we have Days of Speed (Paul Weller Tribute), Heartbreaker as Led Zeppelin and The Tiddley Kinks as The Kinks with the legendary Funk’difino and The Monkey Love Stunt Team finishing off the night in glorious style. Our other big potential earner for the club is the Comedy night on July 14th, again at The Wedge. Have a Google of the Raymond & Mr Timpkins Revue, they are are hilarious! Tickets for these shows are available from links on our website, www.playuppompey.org or you can phone Fratton Park for Ska Night tickets.
Are there any spaces left for local bands/artists to play shows in aid of Play Up Pompey Music?
Yes and no. We’re up to our eyeballs trying to organise the 16 days and 20+ venues we have already, but venues have been slow getting back to us and there are still a few slots available. We have a feeling a few more will come out of the woodwork too and as long as they want to help raise money for Pompey, we’re not going to turn people away!
You’ve been asked to organise a stage for the Fans Day at Fratton Park on July 20. Are you looking forward to the challenge?
We’re 100% behind Fans Day and the organisers The 12th Man. Thankfully tho, Steve Pitt from The Cellars organises the bands for that! We love Steve, not only does he know his bands, he’s also helping to take some of the load off us!
Have you set any major fund-raising targets for the festival?
We don’t want to put a figure on it and we’ll be grateful regardless of the sum. Our original plan was to raise one share for the local music community, so whilst we’re naturally hoping to raise more, anything above and beyond that is going to be progress! If a venue/promoter raises the £1000 for a share on their own, they can keep it, everyone who takes part but doesn’t make the £1000 mark will receive a certificate from PUPM and their funds will be pooled to buy shares on behalf of the local music community.
Do you see yourself as the ’ Guy Whittingham’ of the festival, galvanising your team to go out and play the best gigs they can for themselves and the club?
Haha! No, Guy’s an absolute hero, I met him the other day and got a little star struck! He’s such a friendly person tho, he’s even offered to introduce some bands for us and is going to take the squad to the pub that raises the most money! I see myself more as a someone who just loves Pompey, learnt to sing on the terraces and couldn’t stand watching his beloved club be treated the way it was. Thankfully I wasn’t alone and some fantastic people have been helping me out. You know who you are!
How will the money raised help Pompey?
It’s not really about the money. It’s more about galvanising support for a community owned football club and giving people who couldn’t afford a share on their own a chance to chip in for shares whilst enjoying themselves. Us local musicians have much bigger mouths than we do pockets, so we figured throwing one hell of a 16 Day party was a great way to do our bit.
As a fan of the club, what have you made of their recent struggles?
Pompey has been a roller coaster my entire life and if you’d have asked me in the 90’s if I’d have swapped an FA Cup for dropping down the leagues, I can’t lie, I’d probably have bitten your hand off! Now we have a new adventure but this time it’s *our* adventure, because we own the club!
The League Two fixtures for the coming campaign were released this week, with Pompey starting at home to Oxford. A winnable game, you’d think- how do you see the Blues getting on this season?
Guy knows there’s only one league Pompey doesn’t have a trophy for and whilst our budget is mid-table, our aspirations are high and with the best fans in the world cheering you on, anything is possible!