With one mini-tour, a set at Latitude Festival and several of the Guernsey’s main summer festivals behind them, The Recks returned to The Fermain Tavern for a rare indoor summer show with three of the island’s top up and coming bands.
It may not mean much to many, but to locals The Cor Damme Lars have one of the best names going on Guernsey’s music scene and, thankfully, their Eastern European tinged jazzy folk lives up to it.
While playing early meant the atmosphere in the room hadn’t really developed yet and the band’s stage presence isn’t quite there to build that yet, the trio were none the less warmly received and a less raucous vibe in the venue actually allowed some of the surprisingly darker hues to their music to make its presence felt.
Don’t get me wrong this is hardly The Smiths, and clearly the music is designed for drinking and dancing and having a good time, but there is some nice depth there too and I don’t think it’s going to take much more for their finely delivered gypsy swing to kick off and become something genuinely special.
Up until now I’d only caught Savage Sons in stripped back, semi-acoustic mode so it was great to finally see the three-piece unleash their take on indie tinged blues in full form.
With a relaxed and fun presence on stage it took a few songs (and for drummer Adam Powell, a few Bredas) for Savage Sons to hit their side, but once they did, on track Northern Railroad, they didn’t look back.
Their music comes with an uncomplicated and stripped back feel that hides within it a nice power and depth under the driving rhythms that at a few moments brought to mind ZZ Top of all things.
It’s a sound and style that could be played with smooth precision but it was Savage Sons rawness that brought it to life here and got people onto the dancefloor and singing along to the more familiar tracks from their Howlin’ EP.
On this line up of relatively easy listening acts Brunt stood out like a sore thumb, but it’s probably not unreasonable to say on most line ups the instrumental doom three-piece aren’t an easy fit.
While it was clear some took this moment as a chance for a break outside or to lurk at the back of the venue for those who were into it, and that was an arguably surprisingly large portion of the audience (myself included) the band were on striking form.
With new tracks mixed in with old favourites they presented a set of music designed purely to get lost in with repeated grooves stretching to breaking point but never quite snapping.
What sets Brunt apart from others is that while their music may feel like extended jamming it sticks remarkably close to the recorded product and doesn’t come across as self-indulgent thanks, in part at least, to their almost entire lack of interaction with the audience.
Normally I’d take issue with this but for Brunt it works brilliantly and did so once again here, providing what came close to being the night’s highlight for me.
And then it was time for the undeniable main event, The Recks.
For better or worse the originally Sark based quintet have reached that point, similar to Buffalo Huddleston a couple of years ago, that whatever they might do on stage the crowd go crazy for.
So, while the energy in the room was suddenly reaching a peak as they embarked on their set, it actually seemed to take the band a few songs to reach their stride but their power just grew from there.
The Recks have always been a band who thrive on the edge of chaos and they trod that line here once again making for a great set that did, by their own sometimes incredibly high standards, teeter a little too close to that edge at points (at one moment during the encore in particular).
The audience seemed more mixed than usual too with the hardcore fan base intact but many new faces too showing the band’s appeal continues to grow and, while the set may not have been as effortless or tight as they sometimes are this felt like a fun homecoming for The Recks after a busy few months spreading their wings.
You can see more of my photos from the show on the BBC Music Introducing Guernsey Facebook page by clicking here