Thirteen years ago I started a section on the BBC Guernsey website called Guernsey Unsigned, since then it’s developed into the BBC Introducing radio shows for Guernsey and now the Channel Islands but, back in June 2006, the first live event I covered was headlined by Third Time Lucky.
Since then the band have split and last graced a stage together 11 years ago but when Havoc Events announced a one off return show for them there was more than a sense of excitement among their old fan base.
Before they hit the stage though the Havoc guys had put together a packed line up of support acts starting with youngsters Dead Steady.
Having impressed in previous outings the five-piece had upped their game even further here, particularly when they headed into areas of classic rock, so we were treated to formidable versions of Thin Lizzy’s The Boys Are Back In Town and trio of Black Sabbath favourites; NIB, War Pigs and Paranoid.
Particular highlights here came from the band’s dual guitar sound of Harry Esteves and Joe Ingrouille along with Harry Reade’s drumming which really kept the groove, particularly of the Sabbath tracks, nice and tight and swinging.
It’s also interesting to see Dead Steady adding themselves to the growing list of young bands breaking away from what had become the template for under 18 acts in recent years and I can’t wait to see where they go now they seem to be finding their own persona.
From tight grooves we headed to something rather opposite as Jawbone made a now rare but always welcome appearance.
I’ll never not love their chaotic take on punk with covers of Ramones (Bonzo Goes To Bitburg), The Damned (Neat Neat Neat) and The Misfits (Astro Zombies) along with a few originals combined with an anarchic sense of performance that teetered on the brink of collapse but never quite did.
What really impressed, along with having the chance to shout along with the band to the classic covers and the crowd clearing enjoying it all, was those original songs that manage to say something while also being catchy and having singalong choruses in the way of the best of this particular style of punk rock.
Added to that the band’s ridiculous energy was as infectious as ever and made for a great set tonight.
After the ridiculous and chaotic energy of Jawbone the tight and slick modern pop punk of Burning At Both Ends presented a startling contrast.
While the band’s performance was, as ever, faultless, it suffered from the direct comparison and the crowd were, while appreciative, rather more restrained and there was a sense of the energy in the room dropping considerably across their set.
That said the band showed they are able to laugh at themselves and recognised the difference audience response with their between song comments and they certainly have a few great songs in repertoire including tonight’s set closer FAD Island that remains a highlight of recent releases from the island.
Restrained wouldn’t be a word to describe the crowd as Danny, Mim, James and Andre, aka Third Time Lucky, took to the stage and launched into a set of pure nostalgia driven pop rock.
Danny Phoenix may have started the set by saying, ‘This isn’t going to be very good, but it will be fun’, but for a couple of rehearsals and with two members having barely played their respective instruments in anger in a good long while, the band delivered a set that wasn’t just enjoyable because of the nostalgia but because the band performed some immensely catchy songs certainly well enough for everyone to have a good time.
I intentionally hadn’t listened to Third Time Lucky’s sole EP, Love Etc, following the announcement of this show and I was amazed at how well the lyrics to the songs came back to me.
It seems I wasn’t alone as for most of the set the whole crowd was singing along and it was clear both on and off stage everyone was having a great time.
While the set wasn’t entirely seamless the energy and atmosphere in the room carried things through and as they finished the set on Nothing Left and Forever And A Day the audience wouldn’t let them leave without an encore so we were treated to a bonus second run of Louise (complete with intro from Catie Le Prevost) which closed the set on a high and I hope it’s not 11 years before we get to do this again!
The Honest Crooks had the potentially challenging task of following that but, in three piece mode tonight, judged the audience perfectly and went all out with a party set that got the audience skanking and involved from the start.
With more covers thrown in than usual things really picked up with Gentleman’s Dub Club’s High Grade which saw Jawbone’s Lee join them to add in some ‘brass’ and things didn’t let up from that culminating with Lee back onstage for a run at Rancid’s Radio and then crowd surfing (no mean feat with the low ceiling of the Tav).
To say ‘it went off’ would be an understatement and again the band weren’t allowed to end their set their as the audience chanted the name of that Sublime song that really shouldn’t become a chant but has become a highlight of gigs like this for The Crooks, and so they closed the night with a rousing rendition of Date Rape to send the crowd home happy and top off a great night in true party style.
Here’s a video put out by Havoc Events of the event: