Sark band The Recks were back at the Fermain Tavern last Friday supported by Thee Jenerators and Ray & The Guns. Tom Girard was there...
Last Friday night, following a year of build-up that has seen mentions in various national media as well as a rapturous reception all around the Channel Islands, The Recks' first tour kicked off in earnest with a show at The Fermain Tavern.
Before they took to the stage though we got a double-headed rock 'n' roll treat from Thee Jenerators and Ray & The Guns.
Thee Jenerators launched into a set that spanned their 10-year career from Mystery Man and Fight The Power to brand new songs not yet recorded.
Having seen the band play many times over the years it can be hard to differentiate one high energy garage rock set from the next, but for this they seemed to have stepped back up a gear, with Mark Le Gallez now free of bass-playing duties and able to be his now legendarily frantic self.
While Mark was jumping around on and off stage, new bass player Jo Reeve joined Steven Lynch as a more static but the nonetheless watchable presence. Sonically, Jo has added a new low-end power to Thee Jenerators' sound that had been missing for the last 18 months or so.
With new material heading in a heavier direction, but still with their particular garage rock flavour, the band kicked off the show with raw power that had people dancing throughout.
Following this kind of energy was never going to be an easy task, but Ray & The Guns did their utmost to keep the ball rolling.
While they're not such a force of uncontrollable nature as Thee Jenerators, their reworked twist on rock 'n' roll classics went very well. Front duo Rachael Cumberland-Dodd and Rosie Allsopp provided contrasting vocals that added an extra depth to many of the songs and helped set what could easily be a straight rock 'n' roll covers band apart.
Once again people were dancing throughout and as the band combined I Just Wanna Make Love To You with
Born To Be Wild they created an unexpectedly great song that proved a highlight of the set.
Ending on an Imelda May-like take on Soft Cell's Tainted Love, Ray & The
Guns left things on a high before the evening's headliners.
With a Sark flag waving, thanks to and enthusiastic contingent of Sarkees,
The Recks kept the energy going from the off as the crowd packed to the front of the stage.
At this point the feeling really was as if we were in the presence of a major visiting act, which I think shows the momentum The Recks have built since their first acoustic dabblings appeared on Soundcloud a couple of years ago, and they didn't disappoint the packed Tav.
Starting out slower than their most well- known tracks, the Sark-based five-piece slowly built up the speed, drawing the audience with them as their mix of folk, indie, jazz and rock worked its way into the dancing shoes of many in attendance.
They don't solely rely on danceable energy, though, as front triumvirate Richey Powers, Nick Coombes and Ash Jarman at times provided some excellent vocal harmonies while at other points working together with lead, rhythm guitar and trumpet to create a real three- pronged up-front presence.
Rounding out their set with a pair of bang-on floor fillers, the crowd wouldn't let The Recks leave the stage, so they closed with an encore of the song Porcupine. This somehow managed to kick the energy up another level and get many singing along as well as dancing.
With gigs around the south of England happening as I write and local festival appearances coming up over the
summer, this show left me thinking that The Recks may well have just what it takes to make it beyond our shores in a really meaningful way.
The momentum they've built, both locally and nationally, was certainly more than backed up by their performance.