As I arrived at The Jamaica last Saturday, DJ Oneofakind was already setting the tone for the night, spinning an array of funky sounds with a garage-y vibe that, as the night went on and the bar filled up, would have people dancing with delight to these not so often heard records – all, appropriately, on the original vinyl.
Thee Jenerators launched into their set with all the power and energy we’ve come to expect but, as In Love With The City roared to a close all was not well as technical difficulties, mostly from some over enthusiastic drumming, caused a break in proceedings, but, soon they were back and roaring once more.
The rest of the set was a raucously sloppy affair with massive power pushing it forward non-stop, as microphones flew across the room and the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll really made its presence felt.
It was clear during their tribulations here that Thee Jenerators new line up have coalesced now with Andy Sauvage on guitar doing his best to steer the chaotic band while Mark Le Gallez was, as ever, an anarchic dervish on the tiny stage and dancefloor.
With old classics like Mystery Man and Rocket 88, from their now more than 10-year-old debut, blasting out it was new tracks like Bela Lugosi and Daddy Bones that were my highlights and proved that energy in the right places can make any performance something worth seeing.
Ray & The Guns took to the stage next with a more traditional rock ‘n’ roll sound getting things going with the Peter Gunn Theme really showcasing Nick Dodd’s twnagy six-string which pervaded the set.
Unfortunately, following the frenetic garage power of Thee Jenerators meant Ray & The Guns sounded a bit underpowered by comparison, but, none-the-less, they played a set that grabbed the crowd from the off.
As always Ray sounded great on lead vocals with a voice that works as well here as it did with the heavier spaced out sounds of Remainder 3 in the past and leads the band through their mix of classics and more modern rock ‘n’ roll numbers with fine style.
Following some more excellently picked tunes from Oneofakind, Jersey-based four-piece The Cryptics took to the stage playing a very authentic sounding take on 60s psych-rock, with a bit of Stoogeyness thrown in for good measure. Again they had the crowd caught from the start and got some dancing a few songs in.
Frontman Screamin’ Johnny Moth looked like he’d stepped out of a 60s American TV performance, while guitarist G.T.O adds the Detroit rock vibe with wah and fuzz making his Stratocaster drive and Billy Cryptic’s bass playing was consistently praised by those at the front between songs.
With their trash-surf-garage sounds in full effect it was new EP title track Black Lucy and their take on The Trashmen’s Surfin’ Bird that stole the set and closed the live music for the night on a high before Oneofakind topped things off with some more great tunes that had The Jam jumping as people began heading out into the night with ears ringing from a fine night of retro-infused, but thankfully far from hipster, rock ‘n’ roll and garage.
And this video isn’t from this gig, but gives you a taste of The Cryptics:
A version of this review also appeared in The Guernsey Press on Thursday 27th March: