On November 30th, London-based act Gengahr played Nation of Shopkeepers in Leeds. The evening was kicked off by support acts Plaza and Caro, two lesser known bands who warmed up the audience perfectly with lively, entertaining sets.
When Gengahr took the stage, with their predictable Pokémon mascot hidden amongst the kit, the atmosphere shifted noticeably – there was a buzz of excitement and the audience were drawn in closer. After a couple of false starts due to some technical difficulties (frontman Felix Bushe was quick to make a few jokes and smooth the situation over,) ‘Mallory’, one of the many new tracks they played, kicked off proceedings. It may have been new, but it was heaving with the dreamy, psych-pop guitar the band is so affiliated with.
They then played a mixture of as yet unreleased tracks from their upcoming second album, although despite many appeals from the crowd, there was no release date implied. Fan favourite ‘Heroine’ made a gratifying appearance, and we were introduced to ‘Whole Again’, ‘Carrion’ and ‘Broken Wings’, all of which possessed the characteristics of Bushe’s distinctive falsetto and Gengahr’s unique sound as a whole. If this performance was any indication of what is to come, the band is set to build on their already established distinctive sound and deliver something that exceeds expectations.
The vocals were somewhat lost behind the almost extra-terrestrial electric guitar riffs – but that didn’t really seem to matter. Without much time for even a breath between each song, each melding seamlessly into the next, they created an ethereal, fantasy-like atmosphere that the audience was deeply sunk into. The set closed with crowd favourite ‘She’s a Witch’, and the abrupt ending seemed to snap the audience out of its reverie, leaving us unanimously feeling that it had come all too quickly.
Photo by Mike Massaro.By Grace Vaudin