Music Reviews

Live Review: Gengahr, The Bodega (18/11/2016)

The room was rammed and nicely excited after a startling performance from Starwheel and the energetic brilliance of Caro.  It’s been a fair while since Gengahr graced Nottingham, and the crowd was desperately waiting to experience where Gengahr had come from the acclaimed success of their debut album.


“We were hooked”

As the band emerged they were full of smiles, blue lighting cast down, and we were introduced to ‘Mallory’, a tingling, lighthearted, guitar filled, new track, which had the place dancing. The track doesn’t deviate too much from the sounds of the first album live but offered more groove than ambience, and more voice than falsetto. We were hooked.

Gengahr then they faded into ‘Heroine’, and everyone was gripped, an impeccable rendition of the song had the crowd singing along whilst floating about the room. The band politely raced through tracks ‘Whole Again’, ‘Broken Wings’ and ‘Where I Lie’ without so much as a silence.

Then the band burst into ‘Embers’ and things took a turn, becoming raw, fuzzy and thumping. The crowd started moving and the band broke into solos, whilst flying about the stage. This distortion turned the place into a beautiful nightmare, as opposed to a glittery dream. It gave us a sense of the extremities the band were looking to hit when we interviewed them.

The impressive thing? Gengahr slipped into this dark fantasy without even waking the crowd up. We all went with it through the next few songs and indulged in the gritty. By the time we hit the penultimate track, Felix’s falsetto had now ceased and we were given baritone vocals and frequent verbal noises, bits of words, distorted fragments of bits of new lyrics and an escapism as opposed to just a gig. 

The band actually took a brief pause before going into the last track of the setlist, fan favourite ‘She’s A Witch’, which was beautifully structured, and sustained the almost telepathic tightness in the rhythm section whilst letting the guitarists break off into bits of solos.


“This distortion turned the place into a beautiful nightmare, as opposed to a glittery dream.”

The band then left, and the transfixing red and blue pools of light turned off, but the crowd stayed and chanted for more.

I don’t think the band actually intended to do an encore; they went backstage, the guitars were unplugged and we were edging the curfew. They came back on with ‘Powder’ and as a response to the heckles for an encore, with the simple gratitude: “Nottingham, you’re fucking brutal.” They promptly dived into the track, which was a perfect end to the night, with its chillingly sparse verses and dreamy optimistic choruses.

For just the third night of the tour, the band were flawless, and they were smiling and joking with each other, playing off each others’ vibes and giving Nottingham a show that just shouldn’t have ended.


“A show that shouldn’t have ended”

Gengahr’s other tour dates can be found here.

Rhys Thomas

Images Courtesy of Rhys Thomas

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