Gengahr – Think Tank Newcastle – 21-10-15

Gengahr

From the very first moment I heard Gengahr play out on BBC Radio Six my interest was peaked. Their first single ‘Heroine’ caught my attention and from then on I’ve been hooked. Gengahr have shot up the indie success ladder fast and infected its air with their brand of mesmerizingly dazed dream-pop.

Far from dazed however, were the audience who had eagerly assembled at Think Tank to be thoroughly warmed by Gengahr’s troop of support bands. First up were Pumarosa, a London based five piece who are currently the subject of quite a lot of hype around the scene. Garnering support from the likes of the The Guardian for their celestial celebration of a track ‘Priestess’, which is seven and a half minutes long might I add. Heavy on the spiritually slow builds and atmospheric energy, Pumarosa got the night off to an interesting start.

Next up and there to lighten to mood ever so slightly were the synth pop stylings of Cash + David, another band plucked from the capitals beating heart and taken to the North to show us what they’ve got. For the most part the twosome were a pleasant listen, energetic and light but edging slightly too far into the realms of Tropicana house at points. Flashes of greatness sparked through the performance however, when multi-instrumentalist Tim Roth [aka Cash] stepped away from his percussion pads, taking to his guitar and bringing the sound to an altogether heavier place. Personal preferences aside, it was an impressively tight performance and one which I dare say most people would find hard to stand still to.

It’s been quite a while since I have got as excited about a new band as I did Gengahr. I almost reverted to that place that many of the younger members of the crowd occupied that very night, the space in which all 16 year old indie fans live. A time when you so urgently need to consume everything a band has ever put out straight away, over and over. Is that place called obsession? I’m not sure, but I did think I’d grown out of it. Turns out I haven’t. I even bought a poster at the end of the gig. That’s five pounds well spent in my book: a blow up of A Dream Outside’s artwork, a piece which was produced by the bands talented bassist Hugh Schulte.

When the band floated onto the stage in a wave of excited energy they were warmly welcomed by their crowd, each member seemingly ready to be carried off by the power of Gengahr’s psychedelic cloud of sound. Height restrictions almost got the better of front man Felix Bushe, who skimmed just below the low ceiling of Think Tank’s stage. Seeing him in person, it was surprizing to hear his intoxicating falsetto tremble and quiver so effortlessly from a man whose build seems closer to that of a sportsman than a musician. Skinny indie boys are a thing of the past it seems. It didn’t take long for Gengahr to begin showcasing the impressive amount of single-worthy tracks which ‘A Dream Outside’ contained. Songs like ‘She’s A Witch’ washed over the crowd, sending a dream-like calm into the room only to be broken by the plentiful plucking of John Victor’s psych infused riffs.

Their entire performance rides on an air of trippy energy, you can’t help but enjoy it while simultaneously wondering if someone dropped some uppers in your drink. ‘Heroine’s shimmering summer hook was of course a highlight, which had the crowd signing along to each bittersweet chorus. However, the band also took the time to showcase some of their newer material, tracks from their surprise E.P ‘Tired Eyes’, all of which was welcomed by a crowd were completely hypnotised by Gengahr’s intoxicating spell.

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