A review from 18 January 2010 on 6 Day Riot; a band that has made a good few visits to the Channel Islands over the last three years. Their song ‘Run For Your Life’ recently featured on the Scream 4 soundtrack. - JMM
(Scan courtesy of The Guernsey Press)
SATURDAY night at the Fermain Tavern saw London Folk-pop quintet 6 Day Riot grace the stage with their second appearance in the Channel Islands since headlining the Friday night at this year’s Sark Folk Festival.
Despite the event competing with the broadcast of the X-Factor finals, the turnout was surprisingly good. It was comfortably filled, with the recently-renovated venue’s new layout showing its strengths.
As a Folkal Point event, it is safe to say that most of the crowd were already familiar with the band from the festival.
They launched into their set with their latest single, All I Need – a waltzing, lilting zephyr of a track which carries lead singer Tamara Schlesinger’s feathery twee pop hooks gracefully and acts as a great gateway to the band’s sound identity.
That sound is a veritable smorgasbord of inspirations and quite difficult to place – although usually branded simply as folk-pop, there are several additional layers found in their instrumentation, which adds to the eclecticism.
Guitar, violin and double bass make for your standard folk backbone, but when you throw in the baroque sentiments of tenor guitar and ukulele, the Latin zest of the horn lines and frequent vocal harmonies, the recipe definitely becomes unique.
Despite this the band still manages to delicately orchestrate all of these elements and keep the songs sounding light and airy. The repetitive and upbeat spirit of the vocal lines also adds to the appeal, instilling the soul of the band into the minds of the audience and inviting them to join in their world.
The band’s excellent on-stage chemistry certainly made for a great atmosphere: a tribal fiesta of sorts.
The whole band seemed to undulate and swing harmoniously, from Tamara’s gleeful stomping under her shamanic headdress, to Edd Harwood’s lively circumambulation of his double bass, all the while with spectators dancing and eddying and chanting along with the better known songs, such as Run For Your Life.
The groove of their material held strong – particularly songs from their 2009 album Have A Plan – and the crowd developed an almost symbiotic connection with the songs, consensually hosting the infectiously catchy melodies and finding it difficult not to bounce to drummer Daniel Deavin’s tom-tom-driven rhythms.
Another high point, and perhaps the sine qua non of their successful formula, is that the band delivers songs which are already pregnant with a sort of creeping familiarity.
Even when logic dictates that you are hearing a track for the first time, there is something reassuring in the mixture which makes the listener feel on allied turf.
The set consisted mostly of material from the last couple of years, including material from recently released album On This Island – the name, according to the band, was inspired by their visit to Sark. Some of the set did span as far back as their debut album of 2004, Folie A Deux, and despite the line-up having significantly changed over the years there was a consistency throughout the whole performance.
The voracious crowd managed to squeeze three encores out of the band, including their version of seasonally relevant song 2000 Miles by The Pretenders (available to download free from their website). The final song of the night, although never before played live by the current line-up, came together well and sealed the deal on what was a very worthwhile gig.
With a genuine fondness for the islands being expressed by the band, they hope to try to organise a return by April.
I would strongly advise checking them out next time they are passing by.