Japanese Invasion Night – The Fermain Tavern – 21/07/18

PUNiK
PUNiK

Two years ago Japanese punk rockers PUNiK made a huge impression with their performance at the 12th Chaos weekend and right away talk of their return to the island began.

It’s taken two years but on Saturday night that’s what happened at The Fermain Tavern as PUNiK returned along with fellow far eastern noise merchants Morllyheads and a supporting line up of talent from the island.

The night started off with youngsters Vice, fresh off their performance in the Battle of the Bands at Chaos 14.

Vice
Vice

Once again the quartet came across with more grit and confidence than before and were entirely unfazed playing to a rather different audience to their usual.

There were still moments, particularly from lead singer Jessie Birch, where the performance felt a little too mannered and could do with a bit more of an edge but that’s something that will come with experience (the band are after all only 16) and their new original Banshee, that comes across like White Stripes doing pop punk, promises great things to come.

Static Alice have long had a reputation as one of the island’s most reliably entertaining outfits and, playing a shorter set and earlier on the bill than usual, they more than lived up to that reputation here.

Playing a heavier selection of their pop-rocking collection meant all four members seemed to let lose a little more than usual and their enthusiasm was hugely infectious in the already ‘up for it’ crowd.

Static Alice
Static Alice

This set gave Luis Morais a little more room to show off the Tom Morello style side of his guitar playing and Dom Ogier was in full flight throughout and the audience responded accordingly.

A new track toward the end of the set, along with closer Warriors, provided the highlights of what I think might just be the best performance I’ve seen from Static Alice.

Having wet their feet in the Channel Islands scene the previous night in Jersey, Morllyheads hit the stage at The Fermain Tavern as they meant to go on unleashing a rolling and rocking blast of grunge infused punk.

Lead by the dual presence of singer Kentaro Chiba and bass player Yutaka Moriyama (aka Morlly) they released a huge energy from the stage that was reciprocated by the willing audience.

Morllyheads
Morllyheads

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen bass playing quite like Morlly’s as it seemed to mix elements of Flea, Rob Trujillo and Matt Freeman into something I think PUNiK bass player Nigel Van Der Grijspaarde put into words best as he described him as a ‘bass monster’ rather than a bass player.

That’s not to discredit the rest of Morllyheads who more than ably played their part and created a tremendous sound, and, at the risk of sounding cliché, left me thinking, ‘Morllyheads, ichiban!’

And then came the wall of noise that is PUNiK.

From the minute they plugged in a rage of distortion and feedback sprang from the stage more than living up to their chaotic reputation.

PUNiK
PUNiK

As the set went on, things did coalesce into something a little more conventional at times with Hello! and Fuck The Hero! providing the musical highlights.

PUNiK though are more a force of nature than a conventional band and with flying mic stands, stage invasions and crowd surfing, the band and audience came together in the way of the true punk spirit and even though their set really was a non-stop volley of sonic abuse it was very hard not to get swept along by it and I think I now have a new ‘loudest band I’ve ever seen’, putting Motley Crue to shame.

Despite being one of the best bands in Guernsey right now I wondered quite how The Honest Crooks would follow what PUNiK had just unleashed.

There was no need for concern though as the band quickly had the crowd back on the dance floor and skanking to the ska punk dub reggae sounds.

The Honest Crooks
The Honest Crooks

As they have been proving for sometime The Honest Crooks showed why they have become bona fide headliners with a set made up of mostly their own songs that had people singing along as much as the covers that made up their extended encore.

Ever growing and developing, a new song here featured a breakdown that kicked off a proper mosh while their take on Sublime’s Doin’ Time took things in a far more dub direction.

With an encore that still left people wanting more The Honest Crooks closed an already great night with another high point and continued to prove that summer 2018 is the summer of The Honest Crooks.

You can see more of my photos from the show on the BBC Music Introducing in Guernsey Facebook page by clicking here

10 thoughts on “Japanese Invasion Night – The Fermain Tavern – 21/07/18

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  1. Hi came over from England to see the gig.used to hang out with nigel vandagrechspada of punik fame.I thought the whole experience was amazing,credit to all the bands and organisers. Can’t wait till next time. Brilliant.

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