To say 2020 has been an eventful year for RentOClean would be an understatement.
With the release of their debut album, Scrub-A-Dub, having been delayed by a combination of lockdown and health issues in the band it finally came out at the end of October only for its launch show to be cancelled for more of the same — finally though on Tuesday 29th December they were able to give the album a proper celebration at The Vault.
Before the reggae punks took to the stage though Eloise Fabbri kicked things off.
After seeing her and her new band (Kieran Smale, Nick Coleman and Charlie Holmes) at the St James cafe a couple of weeks ago I wondered how they would fit in with the rowdier atmosphere of a town bar like The Vault.
Thankfully the power of their sound landed and captured the audience very well with Fabbri’s central performance transmitting excellently, particularly impressive as she was behind a piano for the duration of the set which can often act as barrier for communication.
At their best moments the band found a genuinely confident groove with an organic feel that was captivating while Fabbri’s debut single, Beauty, closed a tight set on a real high and went down a storm.
With the atmosphere already suitably high (so to speak) the increasingly motley looking bunch of misfits (and I mean that in the best of ways) that are RentOClean took to the stage and from the off were clearly back on their best form.
Across a set that lasted more than an hour they treated us to a mix of tracks from Scrub-A-Dub along side some old favourites and had the dancefloor packed right away.
Highlights came with Madness, Una Mas Cerveza (which really come to life in the live environment) along with old favourites Opium War, Battle Of Flowers (North Show Song) and Bean Jah and as the set went on the bouncing and skanking on the dancefloor grew and grew.
There were points where it seemed the whole set was teetering on the edge of chaotic collapse but it was in holding that together that RentOClean found their sweet spot and with infectious energy merging with mellifluous grooves leading to them coming back for an encore of the ‘anthem to equality’ (We’re All) Cunts which closed the night on a (possibly surprising) singalong high.
There may not have been a Vale Earth Fair Christmas show this year but this had a similar atmosphere and feeling and it was great to see RentOClean back on stage and able to celebrate their debut full length album after a tumultuous year and it reminded me how, through most of 2020, we’ve been exceptionally lucky in Guernsey to have had live music like this where most of the world hasn’t been able to.