Despite having had the small staged removed and there being a pillar placed right in front of the stage area (somewhat reminiscent of Chandlers in its heyday) The White Hart has become a regular venue for quite a varied selection of bands in recent years and this night was no exception.
The audience was still small, but beginning to grow as Guernsey’s one man hobo-blues machine Ramblin’ Nick Mann took to the stage armed with a homemade three string guitar that appeared to have a body made from a biscuit tin, though sadly tonight his beer can mic had been relegated by a more convention model.
His brand of one man slide guitar blues based around life in the islands may be something a bit too different for a pub on a Saturday night but, with those who wanted to listen, he went down well.
Mann’s music comes with something of a knowing nod and a wink, both in the subjects covered and the style, but it is clear Mann has a genuine affection for the genre and the sound is a welcome addition to the ‘quirky’ end of Guernsey’s raft of solo performers, most of whom come armed with a simple six-string acoustic.
After a short break garage rock five-piece Thee Jenerators launched into their set as the pub filled up nicely with a crowd who’d clearly come along to watch the band.
Over the course of the set it was clear the band were much more relaxed on stage than I have often seen them and, while this led to a slightly less musically-tight set than some they have delivered, they seemed to be having a lot of fun.
Frontman Mark Le Gallez was, as ever, as all over the room as his mic cable would allow and he was given a run for his money in those stakes by bass player Jo Reeve who spent as much time climbing on tables and chairs trying to connect with the audience and his band leader.
Throughout the set the audience seemed content to hang back behind the aforementioned pillar, which gave things a bit of an odd dynamic as Thee Jenerators undeniably work best when the crowd are moving with them, and there were points where the energy on stage seemed to sag in the face of this.
The band picked it up time and again though with ‘old classics’ like Mystery Man and French Disco and new numbers Daddy Bones and Bela Lugosi providing highlights based around Andy Sauvage’s fuzzy Telecaster, along with a brand new number that had some Jerry Lee Lewis aping piano from Garrick Jones thrown in.
As the set went on things became even looser and more chaotic, and possibly a bit too unfocused but, thanks to the bands infectious energy, it all remained enjoyable. While this was far from Thee Jenerators slickest performance it was good fun and showed that their new songs are fitting in right alongside old favourites and, more than a decade in, Thee Jenerators still have plenty left to offer.