The Jamaica Inn is doing a good job of adding itself to Guernsey’s list of regular pub venues, with the added bonus that, generally speaking, the crowd it attracts are their for the gig, rather than just passing through, giving it a feel somewhere between the likes of the De La Rue in Town and a more dedicated venue like The Fermain Tavern.
Tonight it certainly attracted a crowd for the bands and, by the time Of Empires took to the stage, it was already getting busy and, certainly getting warm as the summer sun made an all too rare appearance overhead.
Of Empires may have been on early but this didn’t stop them giving it their all and, clearly playing to a partisan crowd tonight, they had the audience engaged from the off.
The band themselves seemed to be looser and freer on stage than I had yet seen which gave the show an added boost and brought out the fun side of what they do to a greater degree and with Carla and I Am The Night becoming sing-a-long songs too this was the best I’ve seen Of Empires yet and is very promising as we head into summer festival season.
Thee Jenerators continued the high energy, high temperature show in their own inimitable style. Kicking off with new number In The City and adding yet more new material to the set tonight, alongside crowd favourites such as Yellow Fruit Pastille and Crazy Little Love Machine, the garage rockers showed exactly why some of their best gigs have been in the island’s smaller venues.
Their set tonight took me back to shows in The Golden Lion in 2006 and 2007, but with the added bonus room for the audience and a whole load more great songs. Mark Le Gallez once again showed why he’s better off not encumbered by a bass guitar as he spent most of the set in front of the stage with the crowd while Steve Lynch seemed to be in charge of marshaling the psychedelic troops on stage as their leading man partnership continued to hit new heights.
Before the music continued there was a brief interlude while Hannah Saul had her head shaved outside the bar. While this may sound like a fairly random occurrence for a rock ‘n’ roll gig, I should make it clear Hannah has been raising money for the last few months for Cancer Research and this was the culmination of her campaign which raised upwards of £700 for the charity.
Back inside, and once Hannah’s hair was off, it was time for Londoners, The French Electric, to take to the stage. The band certainly wear their 80s influences on their sleeves as they mix the dark gothic tones of Sisters of Mercy, particularly from vocalist Simon Board, with a more pop end sound of the era, well as pop as The Human League’s non-Don’t You Want Me output got.
While the band’s performance tonight could have been tighter, tracks like debut single Pharaoh showed this lot will certainly be worth keeping an eye on as they try to make their mark on the UK indie scene, and having Guernseyman Jim Rhesus on bass guitar certainly adds an extra interest for the local crowd.
Having already made their mark in Guernsey when they played The Fermain Tavern last year, tonight’s headliners, The Killing Floor, were starting from a strong point as it was clear many in attendance tonight had come out to catch this band again.
From the off the band showed why they recently got a slot at the Download festival at Donnington as Marco Argiro’s amazing charisma blasted from the stage, capturing anyone in its path while the band’s excellent pop rock songs brought to mind both the more American style of the Foo Fighters as well as the British end of the 90s pop rock movement with bands like 3 Colours Red being mentioned in the crowd, but all with The Killing Floor’s own extra twist.
The bands power didn’t take long to get to the crowd with many singing along to many of the songs and more and more dancing as the set went on and call and response number Shout really striking a chord with the bands fans, and winning them many new ones as well it seemed.
Certainly tonight’s gig had that special feel to it and, heading into festival season, acted as a great warm up, especially to Chaos which is famous for being the more rock ‘n’ roll end of proceedings on the islands and I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the last time we get to see The Killing Floor in a venue this size as they seem to be on the rise to much bigger things – but I hope this isn’t the last time we get to see them over here.