Over the first weekend of April 2016 The Vault in St Peter Port was rocking to a varied but complementary set of sounds of Guernsey pop-rockers Static Alice and Jersey hard rockers Flashmob. Both bands have become mainstays of the annual Chaos weekend over the last couple of years with Flashmob in particular closing the 2015 festival with a highlight set so it was interesting to see them here, in a more intimate setting.
Static Alice started the night off and quickly had the crowd engaged and modestly dancing along. As the set went on this only grew and it wasn’t long until the area around the stage was packed and it is at times like this that Static Alice really come into their own.
While guitarist may have been as focused on his playing as his pedals as ever, despite being hidden under a ‘Morticia Adams wig’, bassist Scott Michel seemed to be feeding off the energy of the audience and put in one of his best performances because of it.
Of course though, Dom Ogier was the real centre of attention and equally seemed to be fuelled by the energy of the audience as the set went on and things got all the more energetic.
Added to Static Alice’s set tonight were a few new songs that take what they’ve been doing so far and polish it a little further but largely stick to the same formula building their impressive repertoire of songs.
Dotted throughout this were a few covers that just upped the energy even more until the band were called back for an encore.
For me the highlights of their set came with original song King Kong from their debut album The Ghost of Common Sense and their version of Don Henley’s (or The Atari’s) Boys Of Summer. The set closer and encore, AC/DC’s Highway To Hell, was the weakest song of the set, but none-the-less Static Alice put on a great show, helped by a very much ‘hometown’ crowd.
While not playing to their local crowd, it would be easy to mistake Flashmob as being from Guernsey with the level of support they received here.
From the off the band were a great fun hard rock band mixing their own songs with covers from the likes of AC/DC, Motley Crue and more (though a run at Ace of Spades in tribute to Lemmy was a low point, but thankfully came early on).
While Flashmob played with a stand in bass player tonight I don’t think anyone would have noticed had they not told us as the band all clicked together. Harry Sutton and Jay Du Heaume led the band from the front with a real knowing sense of performance and fun while the rest of the band back them up to the hilt and get in on the fun whenever possible.
While covers like Girls, Girls, Girls and an epic AC/DC medley (complete with Static Alice cameo) really got the crowd rocking their originals stood up well too with great hooks and use of backing vocals emulating the great songs of the style.
While never likely to tax the brain too far they built on the performance’s sense of fun, to quote Jay: “Flashmob, tackling really serious world problems like ‘F**k off, I’m busy!’”
After what seemed to be a suitable set closer in a metalled up version of The Timewarp from The Rocky Horror Show we got an extended encore featuring Velvet Revolver, Guns ‘n’ Roses and Judas Priest that rounded off a night of fun rock music in a great way.