In what seemed like an unusual choice of venue, this evening The Doghouse was home to the launch of the new album from Last of the Light Brigade.
With a long history, despite the members still young age, the band have gained quite a following over the years and they were out in force giving the occasionally unfeeling venue a good atmosphere from the start.
First up came Autumn Curtis-Summers and her harp, joined by Karl on percussion, for a low-key and mellow start to the evening that combined reworked classical pieces and folk music with dance and rock songs reinterpreted for this unique musical collaboration.
It was on the instrumental numbers tonight that Autumn and Karl really came into their own, but, even the moments that didn’t work so well, like a strangely happy rendition of the Cranberries Zombie (a song about “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland), the concept of the harp with the electronic percussion was something different and provided a great chilled out start to the evening.
Robert J Hunter filled the second support slot of the night and fulfilled the role of taking the relaxed sounds that started the evening and upping the energy, as we headed toward Last of the Light Brigade, excellently.
It was clear tonight that Rob’s recent regular gigging has really helped develop his performance and his new raft of songs has expanded his repertoire greatly. What really impressed tonight, as well as Rob’s delivery, was the way he combines deceptively complex playing with simple sounding blues style songs that could sound painfully calculated in some hands, but when delivered by Rob feel both genuine and passionate.
And so it was time for the evening’s main event, Last of the Light Brigade.
As soon as the band took to the stage the crowd made a definite move forward giving the area around a dance floor a busy and enthusiastic atmosphere from the start of the band’s set.
Throughout their performance Last of the Light Brigade mixed both new and old material which showed how the new, more mature sounding, songs sat excellently alongside their older numbers.
The three core members of the band seemed more relaxed on stage tonight than I have seen in a long time with both frontman Tyler Edmonds and bass player Ben Queripel performing for the audience much more than usual, with Ben even fitting in a Wilko Johnson style shuffle around the small stage during some of his instrumental passages.
Tonight also saw Last of the Light Brigade joined by Andy Coleman on keys for much of the set. This extra element really filled out the band’s sound and, for the first time, presented the band’s songs as they appear on record in a live environment. This provided several highlights including a few of the new songs and Little Billy from their previous album which has become something of a live favourite.
Now the gig is over I am looking forward to listening to Floggin’ A Dead Horse as Last of the Light Brigade continue to prove why they are a band Guernsey should be excited about as they combine elements of pop with a bit of a rough edge to create the sort of real pop music bands used to make in the 1960s and 70s.