The real deal

A night of heavy metal took punters through sets by some of the heaviest bands the islands have to offer. Tom Girard joined the crowds at the Fermain Tavern last weekend...

Dave Riley of Iron Cobra onstage at The Fermain Tavern.
Dave Riley of Iron Cobra onstage at The Fermain Tavern.

A night of heavy metal took punters through sets by some of the heaviest bands the islands have to offer. Tom Girard joined the crowds at the Fermain Tavern last weekend...

SATURDAY saw promoters The Future Shock lay on a night of all-out heavy metal for their first event of 2013.

On display was some of the heaviest music in the Channel Islands.

First to take to the stage were on-again, off-again southern metallers Iron Cobra.

Following a successful run of return shows last summer it was good to see the five-piece back on stage.

Saturday’s set may not have been their slickest, as feedback and guitar noise drenched a good part of it at the start.

However, once they balanced things out they were back on fine form. The band put on a more serious show than many since their return, despite the ever-irrepressible Bobby Battle.

The song Dead Man’s Hand remained a highlight, along with zombie tune A Parody of Actual Events. While most of the crowd remained distant, some did start to warm up by the end.

The last year or so has seen Brutus Stonefist play fewer gigs than previously. This has meant that when they have appeared it has been more of an event, and tonight fitted this bill.

For the first part of their set Brutus demonstrated the more groove-laden style they have been developing, with hints of Pantera alongside the more full-on thrash aspect.

When they strike this combination Brutus are at their best, and the crowd certainly responded to it on the night as they packed the dance floor in front of the stage.

As the set went on, the band headed back into more hardcore-infused sounds and this kept the crowd going before the inevitable calls for Slayer began and, rather than brushing them off, Brutus launched into their cover of Mandatory Suicide.

Brutus showed a band who seem to have matured somewhat as there was distinctly less in-jokey banter and a more direct approach, playing some full-on heavy metal which, alongside Iron Cobra, brought back a few memories of the L’Ancresse Lodge days.

The crowd giving it up for Jersey band Stan Smith.
The crowd giving it up for Jersey band Stan Smith.

Jersey’s Stan Smith have built up quite a following here since their first gig a little over a year ago.

Their followers were certainly ready for them, lined up at the front and soon moshing as the band launched into a set of their own take on heavy metal. With a style clearly influenced by the likes of 90s metal bands Machine Head and Pantera, with a hint of White Zombie, Stan Smith demonstrated why they have become one of, if not the, top metal bands in the islands.

A real highlight came with their call and response crowd pleaser, where they invited The Future Shock’s Jack Fletcher on stage to help with the vocals and created a stand-out moment of the night.

While a few of the crowd did seem to have sloped off by the end of their set (something that seems to happen with nights like this for reasons I’ve yet to work out), Stan Smith left the crowd wanting more and me with the feeling, more than ever, that these guys are the real deal.