Update: The Niche website has now been taken down, scroll down the page to read the full review
On Saturday 6th April 2013 Chaos Events continued the trek to their summer festival with a show at The Fermain Tavern featuring three Guernsey bands alongside a Jersey act making their debut on our shores.
You can see a full gallery of my photos from the show on the BBC Introducing Guernsey Facebook page and my review has been published via the Niche showcase website (read it by clicking the screen grab below):
With names such as Mallory Knox and Evarane already announced for this year’s Chaos weekend music festival and bike show in July, there was a sense of excitement and anticipation as The Fermain Tavern began to fill up for tonight’s festival warm up show.
The Tav was already busy as young metallers Distant Shores took to the stage to start the night’s proceedings and chaotic is probably the best way to sum up their performance tonight. In the past Distant Shores have proved a breath of fresh air in Guernsey’s metal scene, tonight though their set felt somewhat pedestrian with them also not sounding as tight as in the past.
Frontman James Holmes did admit the band had only had two rehearsals in preparation for tonight and that only left me thinking maybe they should practice more – I hope there’s still something to this band as I have very much enjoyed them in the past, but tonight, it seemed to get a bit lost.
They may have started a bit slow with quite a change in style from Distant Shores, but by the mid point of their set SugarSlam were back up to their usual blistering form. What SugarSlam have that won them the crowd to night is, simply, great songs that combine pop and rock enough to appeal to a wide audience and this was demonstrated this evening.
Plumb was, as ever, the centre of attention on stage, but the band’s natural chemistry together translated well and as the set went on the applause the band received, and the number of bodies on the dancefloor, was testament to their impressive appeal and they almost stole the show.
Show stealing duties tonight however went to Of Empires who upped their game considerably and really began to capitalise on the potential they have always shown.
Playing their first gig this year it was clear the band have been busy with their down time, writing an almost completely new set of songs which have developed their sound with extra backing vocals and additional harmonicas, in particular, adding a real depth that was missing before.
Not only was the band on top form for this set but the light show, provided by Lloyd Helyer of L.H. Events, was spot on to back it up tonight – I don’t often mention things like the light show, but, for Of Empire’s set tonight, it seemed more than worthy of it.
Rounding off their set with new song Carla (all about vampires) and single I Am The Night left things on a real high as Carla certainly has the sound of being a future single, and left several in the Tav shouting for more.
Jersey’s Harlequin Knights have only been together for seven months or so and were making their Guernsey debut tonight so as the set started the dancefloor was filled more with those curious to hear this new band than those ready to dance, but the Knights would soon turn this on its head.
Reminiscent of Guernsey’s own Tantale, but with a bit more of an attitude stirring under the tunes, the four piece combined indie rock with electronic and synth sounds and a bit of wigged out guitar work to create something a bit different for the Channel Islands.
As the set went on more and more headed onto the dancefloor (though the still inexplicable post 11pm audience drain seemed to have left other areas of the venue a bit sparse) and by the time the band fired into No More, certainly a potential crowd favourite, the room was bouncing.
Certainly this will be a band worth catching when they play Chaos itself in July and, all being well, they will have the Beer Tent bouncing, tonight though, while not entirely a successful set from where I was watching, Harlequin Knights certainly made an impact and I’m sure won a few new fans on our rock.
I only got one video on the night, but here it is, a taste of Distant Shores: