There’s something about the combination of a hot and sweaty summer night, a small bar and loud music that makes for a great combination and that was certainly in evidence on Saturday 14th July 2018 as Lord Vapour and Coastal Fire Dept took to the stage at The Vault.
Starting with a loud blast of noise as they meant to go on tonight, Coastal Fire Dept have been quickly making a good reputation for themselves and their ‘grunge from the Vale’ and they were certainly intent on doing that even more here.
Far more suited to a small venue than the bigger stages it was hard to escape the fact that the music was crying out for a sweaty mosh to kick off in the way seen in all the classic promos of bands from Seattle in the early 90s. Unfortunately most of the audience seemed more intent on catching up with gossip despite the ear punishing volume.
As with their performance at Chaos a few weeks ago frontman Ollie Goddard came across as far more genial than in the past but in such a way as to match the feel of them music as he introduced songs about masonic conspiracy theories, serial killers called Ted and more.
As the set went on they did grab the attention of the audience more and showed that their music has far more in it than one might at first expect with interesting ideas and arrangements throughout.
Coastal Fire Dept’s penultimate track contained one of those great euphoric moments that only loud and powerful guitar music can produce before a cover of The Vaselines’ Molly’s Lips made for a rousing close.
Having all but missed what was, by all accounts, a stand out set in The Peace Tent at Chaos, I was looking forward to seeing Lord Vapour and, as they began their set with the crowd packed in to The Vault’s answer for a dance floor, it was clear this was likely to be another special one.
Over nearly an hour and a half the trio spanned classic hard rock, stoner rock, space rock and general noodle-y guitar based psychedelia in a way that held their dedicated crowd transfixed.
While its clear this won’t be to all tastes there was a real feeling here that Guernsey has its own underground scene for this kind of music of which Lord Vapour are the standard bearers who, from time to time, cross over into more mainstream ventures.
There were points in the set where, for me, it all seemed to be going on a bit too long but within their extended jams there are undeniable moments of brilliance and they have a few songs that are stand outs of the current crop being played on local stages.
Ending with an encore of Hendrix’s Foxy Lady really was the only point where it didn’t feel to be quite gelling but by that stage I got the feeling the band could have done anything and the audience would have loved it.
This made for a great night of live and loud rock ’n’ roll and showed that while Guernsey’s music scene has a level that could be considered ‘mainstream’ it still has a powerful underground with a strong beating heart too.