The Peace Tent Xmas Party – The Fermain Tavern – 29/03/14

The Space Pirates of Rocquaine
The Space Pirates of Rocquaine

Only the decidedly wonky denizens of The Peace Tent (Chaos’ ‘other’ stage that has taken on something of a life of its own over the past couple of years) would organize their “Office Christmas Party” for the last weekend of March, but with the photocopier set up in the corner and cine-film of a 1970s Christmas running on the big screen, along with crackers, party poppers and paper chains, it was clear that last Saturday night, it was indeed, Christmas party time.

Following a game of “how many milk cartons can you fit in the milk carton” (apparently the answer is 9), and a set from the slightly wooden (or cardboard) looking but excellently lo-fi sounding Nick Mannequin, the first live act of the night took to the stage.


Citizen-X has made something of a name for himself for his soundscapes posted to Soundcloud over the last year or so, but it is only recently he has taken his work into the live arena and this was my first chance to catch his act.

Armed only with an iPad strapped to a mic stand the music was created through a mixture of live performance and samples all marshaled through the tablet. The sounds evoked feelings based around interplanetary travel and themes from TV shows, including Game Of Thrones and Doctor Who, all backed up with projections based around the same ideas.

While the performance aspect was interesting to see, and the music a fascinating new sound on Guernsey’s live scene, interest from the growing crowd fluctuated, but it seemed that, in the end, Citizen-X went down well and I for one am fascinated to see where he takes both his music and his live act in the future.

Buffalo Huddleston
Buffalo Huddleston

While a slimmed down version of Buffalo Huddleston got ready on stage we were treated to more cheese-y disco anthems from DJ Ormer and a game of blowing up balloons…

With both violinists Becky and Sarah otherwise engaged, the first part of tonight’s set took Buffalo Huddleston back to its roots with Mike Meinke and his guitar being the focus. What this served to do was show just what Mike can do with the acoustic guitar as he used it for melody, rhythm and percussion, along with a suitcase-cum-kick-drum and a selection of genuinely great songs.

The second half of the set took a more freeform and experimental turn that, while not to the taste of some, grasped the essence of the night excellently. Joined by MC Jull-Z and using a guitar with special ‘tap’ boxes built-in, the duo ran through a few of their standard songs, along with some playing around with various sound effects in between, and Jull-Z being given a few chances to shine with some freestyle MC-ing.

The Space Pirates of Rocquaine
The Space Pirates of Rocquaine

It’s been a while since I’ve seen The Space Pirates Of Rocquaine and from the off tonight they delivered one of the tightest sets I’ve seen from them.

With old favourites like Witch of the Longfrie, Edge of the World and Bad To The Core rubbing shoulders with new songs like Prosperity, Folies D’Amour and The Variouf the set summed up the breadth of songs the six-piece have to draw from.

As the set went on a few began the dancing that carried on to the upbeat folk-rock until the sounds of encore Sarnia Cherie faded and during Mountain Man I even overheard a comparison being made between The Space Pirates and The Arcade Fire! (High and, certainly tonight, suitable praise indeed.)

Undeniably tonight was a real highpoint of a set for The Space Pirates and rounded off the fun, relaxed, upbeat vibes of the night excellently as The Peace Tent once again presented a night of entertainment as only they can and left me very much looking forward to their main event of the year at Chaos in June.

You can see a full gallery of my photos from the show on the BBC Introducing Guernsey Facebook page.

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