Guernsey Gigs Unplugged Club 4 – The Golden Lion – 01/05/18

Gregory Harrison
Gregory Harrison

A few months ago I posted a blog about a new regular event taking place on the first Tuesday of every month, organised by Guernsey Gigs, and mixing the ideas of an open mic night with a social ‘club’ kind of atmosphere.

Now four months in the event has become a fairly well established part of the regular cycle of open mic nights and their ilk with a good following and enjoyably relaxed atmosphere and format.

So heading into The Lions Den (the upstairs room of St Peter Port’s Golden Lion pub) on a disappointingly damp 1st of May, I knew what was coming and, as Gregory Harrison kicked off proceedings with a few of his own songs, all was as expected.

Erica Mariess
Erica Mariess

Each event since the first has also had a loose theme, intended to inspire the performers in their choice of songs, or maybe even to write something especially, and really that’s one of the reasons I’m doing a blog about this month’s event, as the theme was tied in with the new ‘mental health’ charity album being compiled locally.

With that in mind a mic had been set up to capture the performances, both for potential use on the album or simply for posterity, and Greg kicked that off with a powerful acoustic rendition of his song Demons which had been the lead single for his debut EP.

As the night went on a few others tackled the chosen theme as well and it was great to hear the many different approaches and styles, even within the acoustic format.

Blue Mountains
Blue Mountains

(I should, at this point, probably say that if you are interested in being involved in the album you should get in touch with Graham Duerden, drummer of the band Tantale, who is working in compiling it).

Away from the thematic tracks the night also offered a great range of performers and styles.

Over the last few months the likes of Tim Bishop, John Le Sauvage of JD & Folk, Dave ‘Ten Toe Hobo‘ Etherington and others have become regular faces, but it was great to see that, as the audience attending has grown, so has the range of those getting up to play.

These began with a great little ukulele set from Erica Mariess, I think making her public performance debut, Tanyth Opie also debuting and impressing greatly with her a capella renditions, and, in the first of two highlight sets of the night, Blue Mountains making their first public appearance for a number of months.

Ernie
Ernie

This atmosphere is the perfect kind of setting for folk duo Blue Mountains who, in the intended spirit of the ‘club’ played three songs, previously unheard from them.

The trio of traditional tracks, including Gallows Pole as made particularly famous by Led Zeppelin, were as impressive as expected and it was great to catch them in such an intimate and appreciative environment as this.

The other highlight came with the events penultimate set as Ernie made his debut at the club.

He proceeded to wow the crowd with a trio of classic jazz songs drawing on a lifetime of musical experiences all over the world from Jersey to France and beyond that provided something entirely different to everything heard at the events so far and something I’d very much like to hear more of.

Between The Signs
Between The Signs

With the theme for the next event selected as ‘songs about your musical instrument’ and more events coming up, Guernsey Gigs are continuing to build on their aims of promoting music in the islands in a new and exciting way.

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