On Friday 7th February 2014 Grant Sharkey made the somewhat rough journey from Southampton to Guernsey to play a show at The Fermain Tavern. Support came from Burg and Stalk The Lantern, but as I’m part of that band I won’t be reviewing them.
The night started out with the surprise return of Burg to the Guernsey stage, fresh from a session in the studio recording his debut album, which I for one am rather excited to hear.
Burg, aka Steven Lynch, combines country and blues, with a knowing wink to the fact that he’s a Guernseyman with a put on American accent, to make a sound that, while clearly familiar and well trodden, can still sound fresh in the right hands, and in Burg fresh is certainly what this sound was.
Across several band’s Lynchy has always proved himself to be a talented guitarist but it is when he stripped right back to acoustic that this really stands out and one moment tonight, where he re-tuned while nonchalantly chatting to the audience, highlighted this tonight – though maybe that’s the envious guitarist in me speaking.
Otherwise, it was the set of original songs that do something new with a well established sound that really make Burg such a fine prospect and tonight the crowd seemed to be lapping it up both right at the front and those hanging back.
While it may be some time before we see him on a Guernsey stage again I’d urge you to check Burg out if you happen to come across him gigging while he’s on his travels.
Grant Sharkey has been a regular visitor to Guernsey for many years both as a solo act and with bass and drum three-piece Toupe, but it’s always a treat to see him come back. Tonight he was backed up by Barney on drums and, while Barney has more recently made a name for himself behind an electronic kit with Bright_Lights, he was on blistering form behind an acoustic kit.
But back to Grant and, armed with his double-bass, he was on his usual form of combining songs of a political bent with great funky sounds and a good dash of humour and fun to top it all off.
From the start a dedicated few were moving (and its hard not to once Grant gets going) and singing along or calling back as well and more joined them across the course of the set as Grant was also joined on stage by Vix Hobbs for a few songs too.
As ever Grant left the audience calling for more and treated them a couple of encores before calling it a night and rounding off this varied night of music in fine style.
My review of Grant’s performance was also published in The Guernsey Press on Saturday 15th February, alongside Shaun Shackleton’s review of Stalk The Lantern and Burg, here’s a scan of my bit: