Local band will play huge German festival to mark international link-up between Chesterfield and Darmstadt

As Chesterfield gears up to celebrate half a century of being twinned with the German town of Darmstadt, a local band is preparing to play in front of 400,000 people at the area’s annual music festival.

Tuesday, 23rd April 2019, 2:24 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd April 2019, 2:24 pm
From L-R: Samuel Hutchinson, James Umney, Jack Cooper, Jonjo Caton, Josh Feeley. By RoeParkin Photography.

Alternative indie quintet Clear Vinyl will represent Chesterfield at Schlossgrabenfest, which has attracted millions of visitors since it launched in the 1990s, in May.

Josh Feeley, James Umney, Jack Cooper, Sam Hutchinson and Jonjo Caton say they are excited to fly the flag for Chesterfield as they join more than 100 musical acts from across the globe.

Josh, on vocals, said: “It’s a dream come true for us, to be honest. We’ve been wanting to get the band on the road for years.

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“We were encouraged to apply for a spot by Chesterfield Borough councillor Howard Borrell who’d heard our songs at Chesterfield FC matches and really liked our music.

“You know what competition is like in the music industry these days, we didn’t think we’d have a shot.

“But we thought, well it can’t do any harm, and within 12 hours of sending the form off we had a message saying they’d be delighted to have us play.”

While ‘Schlossgrabenfest’ might be hard to pronounce alone, Josh said: “How do you think I feel?

“I’ll have to speak in German on stage.”

He cites the band’s main influences as Catfish and The Bottlemen, Sundara Karma, Blaenavon, the Night Cafe.

“Music is escapism,” says Josh. “We’ve all got our demons and ways of dealing with them.

“A few of us tried sport for that, but none of us were any good.

“So instead we’re creating music that’s fun and you can throw yourself around to a bit.”

The twinning agreement between Chesterfield and Darmstadt was signed in 1959.

The link between the two towns was put to good use in 2010 when it was used to find relatives of Sergeant Dennis Heeley, whose plane was shot down near Salzbergen during the Second World War.

For more information on Schlossgrabenfest visit: www.schlossgrabenfest.deKeep up with Clear Vinyl at: https://www.facebook.com/ClearVinylMusic/READ MORE: CHESTERFIELD NAMED AS ONE OF UK’S MOST PICTURESQUE TOWNS