After taking a break in January following their great Christmas party night, Sound Guernsey returned to kick off February half-term with yet another night championing new live music for a young audience.
It was very much a night of two halves and brand new band Sons of a Maniac kicked it off, following a recent well received outing in a local Battle of the Bands.
Playing a mix of 90’s and 00’s pop-rock standards from the likes of Snow Patrol, Coldplay and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers the five-piece, while clearly nervous, sounded good. As they settled down their were moments where they found some really nice grooves and frontman Sam Ashcroft has something going on when he breaks through the nerves.
Above all though what came across and really worked for them was the sense of fun and enthusiasm they brought, with smiles all round throughout that were infectious and got through to the audience.
With something of a switch of tone Asylum Seekas’ DJ Minirol, took to the decks while the scene was set for a night of grime and hip hop by Dave Hyett getting a dance off going with his classic b-boy moves.
Inspired by him several of the crowd took turns showing off their moves while others gathered round to watch and cheer them on in what was a lot of fun.
As Test Switch took the place of Minirol the live hip-hop portion of the night got going with Lowlife.gy.
With a confident and legitimate feeling delivery, Lowlife was captivating from the off as he delivered a series of what felt like rough and ready, but impressive, sketches and he definitely has a presence on stage that went down well and kept some of the crowd breakdancing.
Jordan Mauger, aka Atari, was up next with Smellz on the decks delivering a more electronic inflected set of grime.
While his delivery was somewhat more proficient the tracks still felt like sketches rather than totally finished products and he seemed to have more trouble keeping a connection with the audience, possibly due to the more intense nature of his style for this more upbeat and fun-loving crowd.
Finally of the trio of new(ish) faces was Doyle, again along with Smellz, keeping a similar style to Atari but with a slightly lighter feel. Again the tracks felt like sketches but with a lot to like and some spot on delivery.
For all three of these young performers I’m not sure the audience entirely knew how to react (and I’ll admit as I often have, neither did I) but its great to hear something new and for both the performers and the audience to be exposed to something new and fresh.
As soon as Asylum Seekas hit the stage at full strength, with DJ Minirol alongside MC’s Jimi Riddlz and Apex, the dance floor of The Tav filled up and everyone seemed up for the energetic performance that was delivered.
Much like at past Sound Guernsey shows, Guernsey Bus was a highlight of the Seekas’ set with Jimi Riddlz heading into the crowd to get them singing along to the title.
While there were points where the audience began to drift after what had been a fairly intense hour or so of hip hop from the support acts, Asylum Seekas brought them back in towards the end of their set by setting up a freestyling game.
With Minirol providing a bag of ten random items purchased from local budget store Poundworld, Apex and Jimi Riddlz freestyled around these in fun and lose but still impressive form, with everything from Marigold gloves and cardboard pirate hats to thermal socks and Chewit sweets coming out of the bag.
With a couple more tracks to close Asylum Seekas once again showed why they have been so popular for so long as they have some great lyrics and are like nothing else in Guernsey and, above all, they work damn hard at what they do on stage and it really pays off and once again did here bringing the night to a close on a high.
Some of my photos were used alongside the review of the show in the Guernsey Press published on Saturday 25th February 2017: