Last weekend <track not found> took a trip to Jersey for a gig organised by Aardvark Events. We had a wonderful time in Jersey and brought back happy memories and valuable experiences. We played at The Troubadour pub in Saint Helier with three other bands from Jersey; Mezra, Swajen and The Outpatients. I decided to do a write up about this gig as it was the band’s first time off island and it is a major milestone in our band’s journey. So here you are, a day with the local band <track not found>,
17th February – 3:00pm
The Condor Liberation set off from Guernsey heading in the general direction of Jersey. The waves rolled underneath the boat and three teenage girls were singing along to their own songs on the outside deck. Luckily for us there weren’t many people on the boat, although I’m sure the passengers would have preferred us to be a tad quieter.
We had arrived in Jersey! A small distance for man-kind, monumental trip for <track not found>. We then started our search for The Troubadour which didn’t take long with help from Google maps. Although the venue was fairly small, the punk rock, vintage décor created a good atmosphere for a gig. After having a quick chat with Shane Horgan, the organiser of the gig, about timings and setting up we headed off to find some fast food and get ready for the gig.
By this time, we had been greeted by the hotel staff and were up in the room making it look like a classic teenage bedroom; clothes, make-up and accessories lay everywhere, it felt like home. Putting on our war paint is a vital part of the band’s routine because it means that we are becoming our stage personas and are ready to go on stage with all the confidence that is needed for a good show.
So, we finally got to The Troubadour. The audience is steadily growing and filling the space in front of the stage where the tables and chairs are being moved around to provide a dancefloor. Mezra were the first band on, their ages range from 16-18 and have been gigging for around 2 years. Shortly after we were introduced to them the 5 members squeezed themselves onto the small stage ready to play a mix of indie-rock covers and guitar led originals. I thoroughly enjoyed their set and it seemed like the audience did as well as each song was greeted with a warm round of applause and many cheers. Mezra’s originals fitted well into the set of Arctic Monkeys, Muse and Royal Blood covers and showed strong song writing technique with catchy riffs and vocals. I felt a lot of sympathy for the vocalist of Mezra (Alfie Butel) as he was suffering from a sore throat and overall cold making it much harder for him to sing some of their usual covers, in light of this, they adapted the set well and still managed to warm up the crowd. Next up it was us, we plugged ourselves in while Emma was tinkering with the drum kit and then we began playing, we played a new song first and continued with our set of all originals except the usual cover of Bathsalts by Highly Suspect. Later in the set the audience warmed up and were nodding their heads and we seemed to get a good reception although I can’t say I noticed much more because I was focussed on stage presence and making sure the basslines were in time and in tune. After the set we had to clear up our gear and move it into the make-shift backstage area by the women’s toilets. Next the Outpatients took to stage missing a guitarist and sporting a new drummer. From what we saw of their set they played a mix of energetic originals and covers with their frontman Shane Horgan dancing in the audience microphone in hand. I would talk more about the Outpatients and Swajen, however, due to our age we had to leave the venue at 9:00pm so we caught a taxi back to the hotel and attempted to find some food to relax with and reflect on the gig.
We were sitting in our hotel room, now in pyjamas and blankets with pizza boxes covering the coffee table and we’re having a look back on how our first off island gig went. We all agreed that it was a great thing to do, and an essential experience for any musician that is starting up in Guernsey. For an island this size the music scene is large and diverse, however, it is important for musicians that have grown up on Guernsey to see and understand how the music community works in different places, even if that is only on our neighbouring island.
I would like to thank everyone who was involved in putting this gig on and I hope that <track not found> and other Guernsey artists that have not yet been given the chance will be able to gig in Jersey again soon.