Elmer Henley leave things on a high with support from From Bedrooms To Backseats, Coffeeshopknifefight and Twelve Ton Trouble at The Fermain Tavern.
I have to admit that, despite The Phantom Cosmonaut providing tunes between the bands, I was skeptical about the notion of a gig being organised by a t-shirt brand… but once the band’s started playing that skepticism soon left me as it was clear that actually this was just like any other gig, and a good chance for some bands who wouldn’t normally get to play The Fermain Tavern to get up on its stage.
First up tonight were blues rockers Twelve Ton Trouble who have already established themselves as a band worth seeing with only a handful of full, electric, gigs under their belt.
This was the best set I had seen the band deliver yet with Robert J Hunter clearly very comfortable back in the frontman position giving him more freedom to perform and add some extra flourishes to his lead guitar work while the rest of band fill in the gaps.
Mike Le Huray in particular stands out on bass as he moves around the stage engaging with the audience as the band deliver their youthful version of this age-old sound.
Coffeeshopknifefight couldn’t be much more sonically different while still featuring a guitar, bass and drums (well a drum machine) to Twelve Ton Trouble. From the outset theirs was a set of insane noise and noise and energy.
Sound-wise the three-piece are reminiscent of Atari Teenage Riot, but rather than taking the political activist/anarchist approach to music, Coffeeshopknifefight are a technicolour upbeat blur of crazed guitar, bass and drums all topped off with Aaron Grant’s shouts and screams.
Tonight it was hard to tell if this was a ‘good set’ for the band as this was my first chance to catch them properly and with a sound as unique as theirs (in the Channel Islands at least) all I can say is that by the end of the set I was getting into it and I didn’t seem to be the only one.
“Easycore” four piece, From Bedrooms To Backseats, were on stage next and this is a band I have always found hard to get on with.
Sometimes I really get into their sound and find them a great upbeat, high-energy band, other times something doesn’t click and I’m left cold – sadly tonight was one of the latter, and I can’t put my finger on why as clearly the band have as much, if not more, musical talent than many bands I see over here.
Despite my reservations however, for those packed up to the stage singing along and banging their heads to band’s mix of pop-punk and metalcore, it was as if From Bedrooms To Backseats could do no wrong and their set went down a storm with their fans.
Tonight’s main event were undeniably Elmer Henley who were playing what may well be their last ever gig.
Despite a few technical hitches at the start the metalcore five-piece were soon hitting the top of their game with what was probably their best set this summer and certainly a return to form following their strong effort, but ultimately disappointing, outing at the Vale Earth Fair.
Musically the band were exceptionally tight, with the samples and other noises added by guitarist Tom Berry slipping into the songs with precision as Ben Lickley and Clinton Millard are constant frenzy of rage and intensity, with a real sense of charisma that drew the audience in perfectly tonight.
Alongside some strong original songs my highlight of the band’s set came in the form of an unexpected cover of Slipknot’s People=Shit and, if this is the band’s last hurrah they ended on a suitable destructive note with Tom’s guitar smashed and the crowd baying for more.
Guernsey Gigs were also on hand and put together this video of highlights of the night: