With the sun beating down outside it felt rather incongruous heading into St James on Saturday evening after a couple of the island’s big festival weekends, but with some upcoming visitors in King Nun, live favourites The Recks and Track Not Found, Chaos/Sound Guernsey Battle of the Bands winners Case On The Base and the returning Savage Sons there was a lot on offer.
Continuing where they left off at Chaos, young trio Case On The Base kicked off the night and, after overcoming some nerves playing to an imposingly large and unfortunately sparsely populated room, they delivered some fine grunge sounds.
Mixing a number of decently done Nirvana covers with some tracks of their own they went down well and, as they do a decent job with the Seattle band’s tunes, it was good to hear — especially as they didn’t just do the obvious and cover Smells Like Teen Spirit.
Their own stuff meanwhile had more hints of a Pearl Jam even Rage Against The Machine added to the grunge mix and their energy grew nicely as the set went on.
With this performance they showed how they are quickly becoming a highlight of the younger part of the island’s music scene.
After a fairly lengthy break as their frontman has been away from the island, blues rockers Savage Sons were back with their California desert road trip style sounds, impressively following just one practice.
While their sound got a bit lost in the hall at points, when they found their groove it was infectious and frontman Llewelyn Van Eeden certainly has a strong presence and look.
The best moments of the set came with the more familiar tracks taken from their debut EP Howlin’ and, as they closed on a song with drummer Adam Powell switching to guitar and Josh Davies joining them on drums, the Queens Of The Stone Age meets Pearl Jam feel grew even further closing their set on a high point.
Uncharacteristically in the middle of the bill here The Recks started their set strong with new song Red Rocking Chair, playing to a slightly larger crowd than the preceding bands.
While the likes of Lights, Train Wreck and She Ain’t No Revelator were present, along with a few of their newer songs that are fast becoming live favourites, the set felt somewhat on the short side with a few of their guaranteed crowd pleasers conspicuous by their absence.
Unfortunately with the slightly smaller audience and the temperature in the room the whole thing felt a little more lethargic than usual and, while The Recks played well, they never seemed to get out of second gear leaving the set feeling unusually flat from a band capable of being so energetic.
Now we have another landmark as this marked their first with a new drummer… but we’ll come to that shortly as the two remaining founder members, Grace Tayler and Maisie Bisson, started the set sat on the monitors at the front of the stage and delivered a few songs in much more relaxed, dare I say it almost lounge, style including one entirely in French.
From there things returned to more usual Track Not Found territory as they introduced new drummer Charlie Holmes (more often seen playing bass for The Honest Crooks).
Unsurprisingly this brought a rather different energy and dynamic to the sound and performance, only added to by the fact that the man otherwise known as Cheese has only been playing drums in any dedicated fashion for three weeks (to be honest making for a very impressive performance on his part).
As the set went on the energy did begin to build and from Code Red onwards the band were sounding great.
While it will no doubt take a few gigs for things to settle down this certainly showed the band have no plans at slowing down and with talk of a new EP on the horizon things continue to look up for Track Not Found.
South west Londoners King Nun first connected with Guernsey after their frontman, Theo Polyzoides, heard Track Not Found at a festival both bands played earlier in the year in the UK and, by his own admission, became somewhat obsessed by their single Science (Gone Wrong).
Hitting the stage with a lot of energy the young indie rock four piece didn’t slow down for the best part of an hour with all members filling the stage and really giving their all to put on a show for the appreciative but rather static audience.
While their wasn’t much in terms of dynamics in the band’s sound across the set and at points things felt a bit restrained (despite all the jumping around) and choreographed it was the aforementioned frontman who was highlight.
At his best moments he seemed to have something of an energy and appearance of Malcolm McDowell’s Alex from A Clockwork Orange crossed with My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way and at times it felt like he was on the verge of really breaking out into something truly fascinating but there was always a hint he was holding something back.
The ending of the set initially felt a little perfunctory until the band returned for an encore that gave a more satisfying climax to a performance that certainly ticked all the boxes for a precision made energetic, modern, edgy indie band, it just felt like maybe we didn’t quite see their full raw power tonight — something that seemed to be a theme for the whole evening for various reasons.