On Halloween night 2014 the brewers of popular local lager Breda ‘organised’ a show at The Fermain Tavern and, while the Halloween nature of the gig didn’t seem to have got through to everyone in attendance, there was still some great music on offer and a few cracking costumes – much respect to the construction worker zombie with the missing eye!
Things started off with The Sequel. More used to playing functions than public gigs, it was clear the band were more accustomed to playing for longer periods to a different sort of crowd, so it took them a good portion of their set to warm up.
Across the set they played a selection of classic tracks, modern ‘classics’ and some newer numbers and while some didn’t hit the mark (covering Fleetwood Mac is always a risk), for the most part they were perfectly satisfactory and got a few up and dancing early on.
It was on the funkier songs that The Sequel really started to come to life and seemed to be enjoying themselves more, while demonstrating their obvious talents, and set closer Sweet Child O’ Mine certainly went down well, but in the end I couldn’t help but thinking their function band style didn’t really fit in with the rest of music on offer tonight.
Having last seen The Space Pirates Of Rocquaine play early in the summer at the Rocquaine Regatta, a set ruined by more technical difficulties out of the bands control than you can shake a stick at, it was good seeing them back in a more professional sounding and controlled environment.
Dressed for the occasion as a troupe of zombie pirates, they started out with their most haunting song, Prosperity, and ran through a set mixing tracks from their debut album Vraic & Ruin with newer numbers.
What really stood out in their set here, rather than the less controlled festival atmosphere I’ve been more used to seeing them in recently, is how well put together their songs are, whether they be more ‘novelty’ numbers like Folk Everything, Become A Pirate or the more serious likes of Prosperity.
Along with this the band have a great positive energy which brought more forward as the Tav began to get busier and the Space Pirates delivered one of the most satisfying sets I’ve seen from them in a long time and showed there is more them than the novelty name and image sometimes suggests.
Hot off the heels of their album launch a couple of weeks ago Buffalo Huddleston were also getting into the spirit of things with some novelty re-titling of their songs – so Chillin’ became Killin’ and the vaguely zombified theme of the costumes continued.
Starting the set with Chillin’ meant ‘wordsmith’ Jull-Z was on stage from the start which meant things kicked off with the positive high energy he brings and continued like that for the duration of the set as the dancefloor was packed with moving ‘bodies’ from the off.
The band were back down to their now more common five-piece line up and, while this gives the performance a different feeling that was certainly a more relaxed one than their album launch, it actually, if anything, was tighter than I’ve seen the band in some time.
Hearing a crowd singing along word for word with a local band who’ve only just put out their debut is always something special and that happened on several occasions as the likes of Chillin’, Sky High and Sunrise all seemed to have become ear worms to many.
With an encore called for and granted, Buffalo Huddleston continued their run of great shows and brought proceedings to a close on a real high – though they did announce this was likely their last set for a while as they get back to writing new material, which I am very much looking forward to hearing when they get back on stage.