Interview – Bridie Jackson & The Arbour

Photo - Ian West

Photo Credit – Ian West

Heading to Glastonbury this month? Digging out your musty old tent? Calculating the key clashes? Well you may be interested in the story of Newcastle’s Bridie Jackson & The Arbour – an act appearing at the Acoustic Tent alongside the likes of Gabrielle Alpin and The Proclaimers…

As ever, the famed Emerging Talent Competition offered a once in a lifetime chance for an unsigned act to win a mainstage slot at this year’s Festival.  Having been through the notoriously intensive judging system, Bridie Jackson & The Arbour came out on top beating off a staggering 8000 entries.

On the night of the final, by the time the winners were announced the girls were… well, worse for wear! So we thought we’d catch up after their minds had a chance to clear.

Hi there girls once again, massive congratulations on your success at the Emerging Talent Competition…

Thanks! It’s all a bit of a blur… but a very good one!

That good blur consisted of many fine acts, some of whom will also be appearing at The Festival. Are there any personal favourites?

We all loved The Dancers. Very happy to see that they are doing so well.

Seeing your name on the lineup must have been a ‘blimey’ moment?

Blimey indeed. Yep, but a career highlight.

 Can you fill us in on the background of the band; how did you all meet?

We met through work and the local band scene. Newcastle is a tiny city, more a glorified village really – and everyone knows everyone!

One of the poignant things about your dynamic is the range of instruments used, would you say this gives you an extra edge?

We just use the instruments we like and know how to play, they create the sound we want and it seems to work! I’m not sure any of us have thought about it much more than that really.

Ethereal and haunting are words that crop up amongst the press when describing Bridie Jackson & The Arbour; could this derive from your dark subject matters?

I think you’re right, lyrically I am quite drawn to, as you say ‘dark matters’ and I always have been. As a child, I used to love scaring myself silly reading Edgar Alan Poe and looking through art books of Francis Bacon and Bosch – I think I was drawn to how distinctive and vivid they were.

You’ve adopted the song Scarecrow which I understand has a sinister narrative right?

Yeah, I didn’t write Scarecrow – It’s by a Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 17.35.42friend of ours called Louis Barrabbas, but it resonated with me and I loved the lyrics and story, particularly the twist at the end. It’s about someone who dies on the eve of their wedding, and then this ghost like protagonist describes seeing a Scarecrow dressed in her wedding gown. The listener only understands the title right at the end of the song.

Can’t beat a bit of enigma! So what else is in the pipeline for you guys in the coming months?

Quite a lot is going on at the moment, we’ve just put on our own contemporary Folk festival. It’s not quite on the scale of Glastonbury, but it’s only its first year, so who knows where it will lead! It’s called The Walled Garden Festival, and it was held in the grounds of a museum in Stockton. We are also rehearsing our new single in July and hoping to tour at some point this year.

Lastly are there any particular bands that you’d like to see at Glastonbury? Bridie you mentioned Portishead on the night…

Yes, I’ll definately go and see Portishead. I’m also, excited to see Daughter and Of Monsters and Men.

Fantastic, well thanks for your time and we’ll see you at Glastonbury!

Bridie Jackson & The Arbour are the first act to appear on the Acoustic Stage on the Saturday of the Glastonbury weekend.

To hear more from the band you can like their facebook page here –

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