Republica's Saffron exclusive interview

GuilFest exclusive talks to eFestivals

published: Tue 26th Jun 2012

around the festival site

Friday 13th to Sunday 15th July 2012
Stoke Park, Guildford, Surrey., England MAP
£115 adult weekend, or £130 with camping
daily capacity: 25000
last updated: Fri 3rd Jan 2014

eFestivals had a chance to speak to Samantha Marie Sprackling more commonly known as Saffron, the lead singer of electronica band, Republica who talked exclusively to eFestivals ahead of their only UK festival appearance at this year's GuilFest when they take to the Main Stage on Saturday 14th July.

Republica have been quiet for quite some time what have you been up to the interim period?
We got back together to play live a couple of years ago, and we have basically been doing a lot of shows abroad. We've got to go to lots of places we've never been to before. Last year we did Bucharest, Transylvania (we've done a few in Romania actually), Dubai, Bahrain (before the troubles), and it's been quite exciting for us to go to new places. GuilFest is going to be our first UK show this year.

In the interim years I have been really lucky to have collaborated with quite a lot of artists. I did a song with The Cure which was on their Greatest Hits album. I've worked with DJ Carl Cox, I sang on a Jeff Beck album. I had a number one dance single with an artist called Junkie XL. I've sung with The Prodigy, it's been fantastic, and both my songs and Republica songs have been used it a lot of films over the years. 'Ready To Go' has been in over 300 films and adverts, and we're very pleased that it's had the life that it's had. All songs are forever but particularly that song, people still love it today.

I've also done a fair bit of DJing. I DJed for Paul Weller's son Matt Weller on New Years Eve. I've also done for fashion people like Versace, and I also did a party for the Sultan of Brunei which was good, and Tim Dorney from Republica DJs as well.

Early on in my music career I did a record with Jah Wobble, and he was one of the first people I met in the music business, I was around 21 and I'd just got signed as a solo artist and songwriter to Warners, and he wrote a song for me. I met him one day, and the next day he phoned up and said he'd written a song, and I was like, "Oh god, what an honour". It was on WEA and was a song called 'World Of You.' I learnt such a lot from him writing and production wise, which stood me in good stead when we got the band together. He's a real true character.

How does GuilFest compare with those more exotic locations?
GuilFest is one of those festivals that we always wanted to do, but never got around to doing. We were quite delighted to be asked, because we're all in the London area, and it's like doing a hometown gig really.

Have you ever been to the festival before?
No I've never been to GuilFest, I met the promoter Tony Scott at an Adam Ant concert recently, and it turned out we were both born in the same town in Nigeria, in West Africa, which is a bit of a strange random thing. It's a great line-up there this year as well.

At festivals do you like to go out and about and see other acts performing? GuilFest is a good festival for that.
Oh yes, we always like to check out all the other stages, and check out the other bands who may or may not be friends of ours. GuilFest have got Chic, and Jimmy Cliff which is wonderful, you don't often get the chance to see those bands at all, so I'm quite looking forward to it. I think we're on the same stage as Jimmy Cliff actually, I hope I can get to meet him.

What was the last UK festival you went to?
We've been to that many shows I'm struggling to remember the last one I went to. I think it was probably V Festival a few years ago, it was probably the one near London. They always have quite a diverse rosta of acts on, like GuilFest.

Have you got any other UK festivals lined up this summer?
No, GuilFest is the only one we're doing in England this year, because I've got to have a knee operation. We've got some more dates later in the year but they're mainly in Eastern Block countries.

It's great because in a lot of those countries, when our record was out they weren't allowed to listen to music. In countries like Romania under the Ceausescu regime, and it's only in the last ten years or so they've been having western bands doing large festivals, but they're really fantastic audiences, and they travel for many on trains to see us it's wonderful.

I remember watching you at Glastonbury in 1997...
The muddy year.

Yes, the muddy year, we were all ready to give up and go home, and we watched you and bumped into John Peel and decided to stay for the weekend.
Do you know what I bumped into him that day, and he asked me to give his son an autograph, which I was really chuffed about. I really enjoyed it, I remember we had to go straight off afterwards. I remember one of the stages sank that year, and there were quite a few bands like Kenickie who were there but couldn't play that year. We had to drive straight to the airport because we were playing Roskilde the next day and that was great, good times. Roskilde was amazing, we played in a big tent, and it was wonderful, we had a very, very goo reception.

What is your favourite festival you've played at over the years?
Oh god! That's such a hard question. I think certainly as a band I think there's a few, I'm sorry I can't pick one. I think doing Reading, and Glastonbury, V and T in the Park, and Phoenix Festival, remember that? They don't do it anymore I loved that. Any of the major festivals where you feel that you've finally arrived, when you get asked to do those. We did a lot of Radio Festivals in the States that were really good, and the big ones like Roskilde, Rock Am Ring, and Pinkpop which I headlined one year as a guest with Junkie XL. He's quite big in Holland, and I wrote three songs on his album, one of which was a number one dance single, which got used in The Animatrix it's called 'Beauty Never Fades'. I'm quite proud of that song. I've managed to sneak myself into a few festivals as other artist's guests which is good. I did a couple of shows with The Cure in France, and with DJ Carl Cox some big nightclubs, and so I've kept it quite varied.

Is any of your other material likely to get showcased at GuilFest?
We hope to, I don't know how long the set is. I think it's quite short so we'll aim to be as good as a Ramones gig. They always used to do a half hour set, and pack in the hits, and the rest will be new songs, which we can see how well they go down..

Who is the current line-up of Republica?
It's myself, Tim Dorney on keyboards, and Johnny Male on guitar, and we've got a new drummer, a new kid that we've found who is brilliant, his name is Connor Lawrence.

Will you staying be staying at GuilFest for the whole weekend?
I'd like to because there are bands playing on the Friday, and on the Sunday like Heaven 17, that I would like to see, because I never saw them. I don't think they ever toured much back in the day. I'd love to catch ABC, Chic, and Buzzcocks I love watching them. I'll have to look and see who's playing, and obviously Jimmy Cliff, I'll be down the front!

Thanks for your time Saffron, and I hope you have a fantastic day at GuilFest.
Thanks very much, bye, bye.

The award winning, family friendly, 3 day camping festival GuilFest takes place in Stoke Park, Guildford from Friday 13th to Sunday 15th July 2012.

Unlike some other festivals, you can immediately feel that this festival with a capacity of 25,000 is being run to give everyone a great time, rather than to get rich quick!

The line-up includes Olly Murs, Bryan Ferry, Jools Holland & His Rhythm and Blues Orchestra feat. Roland Gift, Tulisa, Jimmy Cliff, Gary Numan, Candi Staton, Cher Lloyd, Tim Minchin, Chic feat. Nile Rodgers, The Straits, The Wonder Stuff, Postman Pat and Jess, Zingzillas, Levi Roots, ahab, Elvis and Friends, Black Spiders, Goldblade, Buzzcocks, The Undertones, Nouvelle Vague, Skindred, Beth Hart, Young Guns, The Wurzels, Ash, ABC, The South, Heaven 17, The Beat, Republica, Andy C, Benga, Sub Focus (DJ set), Kids In Glass Houses, StooShe, The Skints, TV Smith, DragSTER, Bjorn Again, Dodgy, Alvin Stardust, Bastille, Rolo Tomassi, Glitterband, Feed The Rhino, Lost Alone, TRC, Dismantle, Millions Like Us, The Priscillas, Chords, Take Fat, The Ramonas, Tyrannosaurus Alan, Yashin, New Town Kings, The Sex Pistols Experience, Stone Foundation, Rubber Bandits, Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer, John Spillane, Friction, Subscape, Sigma, Brookes Brothers, Pyramid, Polar, Ben Montague, Devil Sold His Soul, Invaders, Charley Farley Sunday Four, Nell Bryden, Pint Shot Riot, Street 13, Rock Choir, and Crowns.

For the line-up details, day and stage splits, as available please click here.

The line-up is always quality, so there's more enjoyment to be got from the bands than you might expect and there's also late night entertainment.

An adult weekend camping ticket is priced at £130, adult weekend tickets without camping are priced at £115, child (aged 12-15 years old) weekend with camping £80 and child weekend tickets without camping are priced at £65. A campervan ticket is priced at £60.

People aged 16 years and over at the time of the festival will have to buy an adult ticket. Anyone under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult aged 18 years or over. Children aged 12-15 years old at the time of the festival will need to purchase a child's ticket. Children aged 11 years or younger at the time of the festival are admitted free accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket.

To buy tickets from Seetickets, click here.

To buy tickets from Ticketline, click here.

There's live music over seven stages, comedy in the eFestivals Cosmic Comedy tent, The Man In The Moon Theatre Tent, Farmer Giles' barn dance, children's entertainment, street theatre, art and crafts, and delicious food from around the world. There will also be a late licensed 150 foot beer tent bar which means nobody has to wait very long for refreshment, cocktail bars, and lots of clean toilets throughout the site and camping areas.

The extensive Kidzone features fun, games, theatre and activities, with circus performances, face painting, and fun rides. On the Sunday it's over to the children for the annual Kids Parade, where the children get to show the rest of the festival what they have made over their weekend.

Facilities adjacent to Stoke Park include The Guildford Lido which is only 2 minutes walk and The Spectrum Leisure Centre, great for hot showers, a sauna or a swim. The historic town is itself only 10 minutes walk away and has shops, cafes restaurants, bars and pubs galore; Guildford even has its own castle!

eFestivals is again proud to be a sponsor of GuilFest in 2012, as part of our commitment to put 10% of our turnover back into festivals.
interview by: Scott Williams

Friday 13th to Sunday 15th July 2012
Stoke Park, Guildford, Surrey., England MAP
£115 adult weekend, or £130 with camping
daily capacity: 25000
last updated: Fri 3rd Jan 2014

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