Guernsey’s Castle Cornet has seen a few invasions in its long history but none quite like the raid it’s South Battery withstood from two of the islands hardest rocking tribute bands on Friday 22nd July 2022, as Maiden Guernsey and Back In Vraic made a somewhat out of character appearance at KPMG Castle Nights.
It was the AC/DC tribute who started the night on the stage more often reserved for smaller scale acoustic acts but, with a cannon forming part of the ‘natural’ structure of the ‘arena’ it seemed almost purpose built for the five-piece.
Having made a strong name for themselves in the last year and a bit the band did just what they do best and rocked their way through a set of some of the Aussie rockers’ finest from Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap) to Highway To Hell all with a sense of enjoyment that was infectious and carried things along.
After a strong start they seemed to waiver a bit but soon rekindled their fire which took them through the remainder of the set with frontman Tom ‘Shinfo’ Domaille using the ‘stage’ to its utmost and barely standing still for more than a few seconds for the best part of an hour while doing his best to get the crowd, who seemed intent on simply relaxing in the sun, involved.
As it went on they did, with the more well known numbers getting singalongs going, along with some trademark call and response, and even a bit of self admitted wobble on For Those About To Rock didn’t slow them down, certainly aided by Shinfo scaling the mighty weapon on stage (much to the frustration of the castle warden).
A full singalong to Highway To Hell even got a few up and dancing and left the gathered masses calling for more and, while Back In Vraic May have left them wanting, they soon got more in the form of some of Iron Maiden’s ‘greatest hits’ courtesy of Maiden Guernsey.
Having not been able to play at Chaos a few weeks back due to you know what, the band were clearly raring to go and went for it, all guns blazing, from the off here as they raced through an hour or so of the NWOBHM band’s finest.
As predicted it didn’t take long for frontman Stace Blondel to start exploring the monumental architecture on, off and around the stage which just added to the already high spirits.
As ever the band impressed greatly with their renditions of the Maiden classics all delivered well while clearly having a terrific time and again an infectious sensation of fun lifted the whole performance which included everything from The Wicker Man to Powerslave via Run To The Hills and a particularly impressive Hallowed Be Thy Name.
There were some moments across the evening where it felt like the bands on stage might be overpowering the comparatively small looking PA but, as Fear Of The Dark left people calling for more, there was no denying how much of a fun show both bands had put on making this edition of Castle Nights a little different to usual and all the better for it.