In 2011, two young musicians, Arthur Marechal (drums) and Lucas Bernard (singer/songwriter), formed a high school band in Uzès, South of France. Naming themselves JELA, they started by covering their favourite songs by The Doors, The Clash, The Beatles, The Smiths, Oasis and Jack White, with the raw ambition to fulfill their own rock’n’roll dream.
But no one is a prophet in his own land.
So when JELA crossed paths with Dave Roberts, a 60-year-old Mancunian lyricist who wanted to share his work and his musical experience with a band, it didn’t take long to build the bridge between the two generations and the two countries. Under the guidance of their new mentor, the pair flew to Manchester – the right place to spread their wings.
In September 2012, the high-school cover band turned professional by starting to write and record their own songs. The first single, No Longer Blind, is a tight hit, the kind of high-powered 3’33 rock concentrate. But JELA’s eclectic repertoire has revealed wider influences, from folk to electronic music through post-rock and blues.
Ready to live their dream in Manchester, Arthur and Lucas began playing and composing as much as possible. Months and months of gigs and open mic sessions exposed them to a huge variety of audiences and fellow artists. They met and collaborated with different musicians who fueled their inspiration (jazz bassist Jude Coupe, Miximetry’s guitarist Vincent Ploy…) before expanding to the current trio when Sam Artigau (Lucas’ cousin) joined the band to play the bass.
Better, faster, stronger – JELA continues at a whirlwind pace.
Hard work, discipline and daily practice has led to the building of a solid one-and-a-half-hour adrenaline set, ranging from blues-rock to intimate folk, hectic groove and psychedelic vibes. In fact, the diversity of influences in the unity of the “Trinity” is the band’s greatest strength.
Since the autumn of 2014 JELA has been touring and performing in and around the Manchester area, in Scotland, and in many venues on both sides of the Channel. They’ve also landed residencies in Stockport (Bank Chambers), Buxton (Trunk), Burnley (Paddock), and Bury (Luna Rocks). They have played hundreds of gigs in 2015-2016, including headlining the “Manchester Music Festival” at the Rockstore in Montpellier (France).
Armed with a wealth of amazing experience for three kids in their early twenties, JELA is now ready for the job. Time has come to release their quintessential creativity on a first 7”, with making it a song and… a dancing hit. Thus speak The Dancers and their lyrics inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche. Lend an ear : this record leads the dance for a forthcoming series of EPs (recorded at Manchester’s Spirit Studio).