Since the release of their fourth album, Rejeneration, in early 2012 Guernsey’s favourite garage rockers, Thee Jenerators, have been remarkably quiet – the band, who in the past had made their name with their frenetic live shows, seemed to have gone to ground.
So, when they announced a show on a Monday night (a very rare thing for a rock ‘n’ roll band in Guernsey) there was a notable sense of anticipation from their fans, which, coupled with this being their first gig with new bass player Jo Reeve, drew a fair number down to the De La Rue on April 8th.
Though the crowd was a bit more subdued than they might have been on a Friday or Saturday, Thee Jenerators weren’t put off as they launched into a set spanning their 10 year history with tracks from debut album Jenerator X rubbing sonic shoulders with songs from Rejeneration, and even a few brand new ones too, and it was clear that the addition of a new, full-time, bass player had given the band back the chemistry which had sometimes been missing from their more recent shows.
The addition of Jo as dedicated bass man added a sense of the same vibe the band had at their live peak when Nick Dodd filled those shoes, and it seemed to me that the whole band felt more together with this five-piece combination than they had as a four-piece.
Aside from Jo’s rumbling tones, the band’s new material was another nice surprise.
Continuing their meandering trek through rock ‘n’ roll history that has seen them take on everything from punk rock to mod to ska to football terrace sing-alongs, the new songs had a driving power reminiscent of underground 70s rock and tonight were delivered at breakneck pace.
Even though it was a “school night” the band got a few of the livelier members of the audience up and dancing for favourites like Who The Hell Is Frank Wilson? and Crazy Little Love Machine and, even if the crowd weren’t moving much, Mark Le Gallez was back at his energetic best whether he was rolling on the floor or climbing over Ozzy’s drums.
As ever this was backed up by Steve Lynch’s suitably 60’s-style fuzz fueled guitar that seemed its most comfortable in this context for a while.
In the end it may have been a different night, but then the band (who at one point tonight described themselves as being “like the Dave Clarke Five on acid”) have never been ones to fit in with the rest of the pack if they could help it, but Thee Jenerators more than lived up to expectation tonight and kicked off their 10th year in fine style.