With the large number of ‘event’ gigs and shows already having taken place this year a gig like this, where four bands simply play a show for the sake of making music, seems to have become somewhat run of the mill, but, thankfully for us gig goers, this didn’t seem to effect any of the bands’ approaches tonight.
The gig, organised by The Future Shock, started out as people were still filtering into The Fermain Tavern with newcomers, Brunt. This was only their second gig but, much like their first, they took to the stage as if they’ve been playing together for a long time.
The kind of groove based, ‘stoner’, rock the band play is the sort where, to be effective, all three band members have to be in synch and, for the most part, Brunt were just that tonight, grooving and rocking like a machine.
As the set began Brunt’s sound seemed a bit lost in the sparsely populated venue but, even as just the back of the bar began to get busier and more of those at the tables took an interest in the band, their sound balanced out to something that had me nodding along just as it should.
Rounding off their set with a Asteroid cover with Ben Mullard of Dead Wing on vocals, showing just where their inspirations lie, they left the audience primed for the rest of the night and Brunt seemed to have won over some new fans as well.
With a few more gigs under their belt than Brunt, but still relative newcomers to the scene, The OK were second on stage tonight and their rock ‘n’ roll covers (and a few originals) had come on even since their recent gig at the De La Rue with SugarSlam.
What really struck me about The OK tonight was that they seem to be finding their sound in the more garage rock style. With covers of the likes of The Hives and The Vines, along with their own more garage-y originals, The OK had a small crowd in front of the stage by the end of their set and were another band who seemed to win some new fans tonight.
I’ll be the first to admit that in the past I haven’t been the most appreciative of Party In Paris’ pop-rock sounds, tonight though they may have won a new fan – around the halfway point of their set in particular, the five-piece seemed to kick things up a gear into a more power pop vein that, on the right night, could certainly have got me dancing.
Aside from myself, Party In Paris once again drew the evening’s biggest crowd to the front of the stage, and, though the audience took a while to warm up, by the end of the set many were moving.
Once again Gemma Honey really stood out on lead vocals and the young singer could have quite a future, and tonight Jodie Martel, also seemed to be taking more of a part on backing vocals giving the band a much deeper vocal dynamic as well as adding something a bit different many bands over here with her saxophone.
With a gig coming up supporting the reformed Sacred Hearts next month, it seems danceable power pop could be back on the cards for Guernsey this summer.
Playing only their second show this year, Lifejacket rounded off proceedings tonight with one of their more irreverent sets.
While the band were far from the tightest they’ve been their energy and songs carried them through, and the lyrics to a couple of their songs came across clearer than in the past, revealing some of the acerbic wit of Andy Sauvage’s writing, a prime example being: “You’re preaching rhubarb but you don’t have the custard, your grasp of English isn’t cutting the mustard,” amongst several others.
Closing with a typically storming rendition of Mclusky’s Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues and an encore reprising original number Brains, they left people calling for more and closed a night showing off the variety of Guernsey’s live rock scene in fine style.
You can see a gallery of my photos over on the BBC Introducing Guernsey Facebook page (or by clicking on any of the pictures here).