Talented Jersey sure the future is bright
Blimey, it's been ages since we last caught up with Jersey Budd, The Week was thinking the other day. And now seems like a pretty good time to catch up with the singer, what with him having a big home-town show coming up next week and all.
Oh, and he's set to go on stage at the Albert Hall tomorrow as well. No biggie.
"Everything's magic at the minute," Jersey tells The Week during a break from rehearsing. "I'm doing the Teenage Cancer Trust gig at the Royal Albert Hall and it's just going to be me and a piano player. I can't wait. The Beatles, Dylan, the Stones – they've all played there."
Of course, it's not the first time Jersey, who is supporting his old mates Kasabian, has played at the famous venue.
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He got the same gig when they were up in 2009.
"I lost my nan in November and she missed the first one as well, but wanted to see it," he says. "It's a shame she couldn't hold on, but I'll be playing and thinking of her.
"It's always great to support the boys. Not just because they're mates – I'm there because my songs stand up, and Tom and Serge are behind me with that."
There's no denying Jersey has a great voice and a collection of well-crafted, catchy songs. But he's had a difficult few years, with a change of manager, a new band and signing to a new label, indie company Smoky Carrot.
Singing and performing his own music is all he's ever wanted to do, but he admits it's been a rockier path than he imagined as a teenager.
"When you're 15 and you first start out, you're just in a room with your guitar and it's all about your music.
"As you go along it becomes less about the music, as such, but I've been getting back to that and it's been great.
"I'm free as a bird to write what I want to write now and release the songs I want.
"I've been quiet for a while, but that's through no fault of my own. I've had to start again, really.
"I hadn't released any new music for ages. My debut album Wonderlands was out in 2009 and after that it was difficult getting money to go into the studio again.
"But the hunger is still there. Believe me, if I wanted to give up I would have done it ages ago.
"If it was about the money, I would have walked away a long time ago. I haven't earned a bean, but this is what I love.
"It's been a rough few years but I've come out of it and my new band has brought my songs to a higher level and things are going really well.
"You've just got to keep that belief."
The belief, and the talent, scored Jersey gigs in New York at the beginning of the year, which in turn led to radio play and earned him a few new American fans.
"The gigs were in New Jersey and they were magic," he says. "I was playing with James Maddock, who's actually from Countesthorpe but moved over there about 10 years ago.
"We did two sell-out nights at the Rockwood Music Hall and had a fantastic reaction from the crowd, it was great."
James Maddock, fact fans, is followed by Gary Barlow on Twitter, and Gary only follows 55 people so... well, we're not quite sure where this is going, but we think, in a roundabout way, we're trying to tell you he must be doing all right for himself.
And so is Jersey. He released an EP, The Heartbreaker, in December, and there's a follow-up coming next month. The launch gig takes place at the Y Theatre next Saturday and ticket sales are going well.
"It's hard to sell tickets to gigs nowadays," says Jersey. "I don't know why, I guess people are too busy sitting at home watching X Factor or Dancing on Ice. But they've sold well."
And Jersey has got another reason to be smiling – he's about to become a dad.
"We're expecting a little girl at the end of May," he says, proudly.
"I'm probably going to take a few months out and I'll be on hand, changing nappies. Then I'll sit down and write some new songs.
"Hopefully, she will be my inspiration. I can't wait to have someone to care for and not to be so selfish. I'm dead excited."
Baby Isla, as she's going to be called, will be following in Jersey's toe-tapping footsteps if he has anything to do with it.
"She already knows some songs," he says. "I sing to her and we put CDs on – lots of songs with Isla in, like Islands in the Stream. And my stuff as well, of course."
Jersey is playing at the Y Theatre on Saturday, March 30. Tickets are £8 in advance, or £10 on the door. Visit: