28th April | Thekla
Photos: Jess Greenwood
What a week. Korea signed a peace treaty between the North and South in an unprecedented turn of events. The latest instalment of The Avengers brought the culmination of the last ten years’ worth of films. Climactically, it peaked with Gengahr performing at the Thekla.
After reading a review of Low Island, the supporting act, praising them as comparable to LCD Soundsystem, I was ready for something special. It was, perhaps, an unfairly large gauntlet to lay down. Not quite living up to those expectations is no fault of the band, more down to a promotional writer having a few too many ‘lemonades’ and then hurling fistfuls of compliments like they had a sack-full of spares. What was evident was that they had a rich, cinematic, indie-dance sound that warmed the room nicely. Low Island are full of energy and certainly worth keeping an eye on.
The stage was blacked out as a crescendo of anticipation surged through the crowd; like an apparition, Gengahr materialised, full of purpose. Safe to say that since they played Bristol a year ago, the band has grown tremendously. It was a privilege to see them play. The setlist brimmed with tracks from A Dream Outside and the new album Where Wildness Grows, merging both Gengahr eras seamlessly. Their charm on stage was only outstripped by their grateful and humble demeanour.
Watching the vigour pulsating through each musician in unison was a sight to behold – British guitar music on peak form. Guitarist John Victor mesmerised with his driving guitar lines and whirling sounds. His Midas touch with his instrument had you lost in the sound, while Felix Bushe’s melodic vocals danced around each track. The versatility of his voice, which is comfortable to dwell in the falsetto, gives Gengahr their unique sound.
The Band moved through their songs such as, ‘Heroine’, ‘She’s a Witch’, ‘Bathed In Light’, ‘Fill My Gums With Blood’, ‘Before Sunrise’ and ‘I’ll Be Waiting’ to name but a few. Drawing from a generous repertoire of hit songs, the momentum never let up. After their ‘final’ song, the noise erupted calling Gengahr out for an encore.
Coming back to the stage and their delighted fans, they brought with them ‘Lonely as a Shark’ and ‘Mallory,’ displaying how beautifully the old and new material blend together. It provided a fantastic end to the show and a sign that this band is moving from strength to strength. If you have been looking for a rock band to get excited about then the search is over. My only criticism: how does a band called Gengahr get away with not playing ‘Dizzy Ghosts’? They found a way.