As we are now well and truly done with summer festival season it was back to The Fermain Tavern on Saturday 28th September for the first show from Chaos Events since their annual festival back in July and this show was set to be something extra special as it was to be the final gig from heavy rock ‘n’ roll riff enthusiasts Teaspoonriverneck.
Having made their name with covers of the likes of Motley Crue, Guns ‘N’ Roses and (appropriately enough) Skid Row the five-piece unveiled a set tonight with a slightly different spin as it was made up, predominantly of Foo Fighters songs.
Part way through the set frontman Stace Blondel explained the reason for the abundance of Foo’s tunes was that the band are preparing to play a themed night, so, it may not have been the bands usual set but that didn’t seem to be much of a problem. With five experienced players in the band they seem to have hit a high level of tightness as a quintet that meant even on the songs they were clearly less familiar with they still delivered a great performance.
While Stace was a bit more static that usual he still did his best to work the growing crowd and encouraged some to get a little closer stage as the set went on and the band’s renditions of the Foo Fighters material is some of the best I’ve heard aside from the band themselves or UK tribute act Four Fighters who visit the island a couple of times a year.
Coming from a more heavy rock and metal background I got the impression this helped the delivery of the songs as it is similar to where the actual band come from, rather than the many more pop acts who often try to recreate the sound.
Following a couple sets made up predominantly of cover versions, Of Empires were the first solely originals based band of the night.
‘Fresh’ off a well received gig in Jersey the night before the band were clearly up for it and from the start Jack Fletcher was all over the stage with Matt Berry acting as a second centre of attention, albeit a more static one anchored by his guitar.
This dual focus that the band have built over recent shows has really worked to their benefit, giving their performance a much more rounded feel that, with the songs they already have, highlighted by singles Carla and I Am The Night, has seen them become something of a highlight of Guernsey’s original music scene.
While the crowd seemed a bit reticent tonight, with many clearly saving themselves for the headliners, they still seemed to go down well and, with a few months off the live circuit coming up to make an EP, I can only see them growing as people get the chance to hear their songs on record in the near future.
For the best part of the past decade Teaspoonriverneck have been a highlight of Guernsey’s live music scene having played every major festival, most venues and with five records under their belt they have been one of the most prolific of bands the island has ever seen, so tonight marking potentially their last ever show there was a major sense of emotion in the air as they took to the stage and launched into new song Keep It Down.
From there the four-piece stormed through a set taking tracks from all their releases and more new material and delivering it all in a manner that was possible the best set I have seen the band deliver (though to be honest I find it hard to remember them ever giving a bad show).
The crowd in the busy Tav were packed to the front from the start with heads banging for the entirety of ‘The Spoon’s’ hour long set and energy built until the band were called back for two encores, but I might be getting a bit ahead of myself.
With a twin guitar sound on some tracks and keyboard on others the band really have developed a psychedelic hard rock style comparable to the likes of Monster Magnet at times but largely all their own and it was clear that Teaspoonriverneck were going out on a high.
A highlight of the set came in the form of sprawling new track Carousel which combines most of the elements the band have committed to record over the years in one package, this was preceded by George and Blonde Witch of their self titled debut and just how well the material all set together was clearly demonstrated.
Ending their set on new track Medusa it wasn’t long before they were back on stage for a roaring rendition of Eaten By The Devil which kicked off a ferocious mosh pit and, even after that, the crowd didn’t want the band so were treated to epic rendition of Rust In Space before Teaspoonriverneck left the stage for the last time with many in the crowd still calling for more.
Over the years I have seen many bands come and go but few have had the send off and crowd reaction like Teaspoonriverneck got tonight and their absence is likely to leave quite a gap in Guernsey’s music scene, but, with a posthumous EP looking likely, it seems that, while the band may be done live, there may be one final thing to still look forward to from Guernsey’s “Wizzards of Fuzz”.
Here’s a video of the double encore thanks to Plumb: