Live Review: Gengahr - Koko, London 03/05/2018
London's alluring indie psych-pop four-piece, Gengahr, return to their home town for the penultimate night of their UK tour to promote their beautiful new LP “Where Wildness Grows”. The album has been in the works for a couple of years so tonight was an opportunity to hear the songs live and they didn't disappoint.
Starting the night off is “Is This How you Love”, full of swirling and ethereal guitar riffs and singer Felix Bushe's vocals are gentle and captivating. Koko is a perfect venue for the band, it's ornate red and gold panelling and multiple balconies create a lot of space to step back and soak up the lo-fi psychedelic tunes. Guitarist John Victor looks so at home on the stage, making the most of the space he struts around adding a visual dynamic for the laid back vibes that a lot of the songs portray.
While Gengahr come across on record as chilled out easy listening, they don't let that dictate the type of band that they are on stage. During “I'll Be Waiting” Gengahr become heavier, more rock-orientated in their performance with both Victor and Bushe trashing their guitars and riffing together during the climax. A few songs in and “Before Sunrise” is my favourite song of the night as it just fills me with happiness, the shimmering guitar melody and vocals just make you want to close your eyes and escape reality for the next four minutes.
While the set is filled with songs taken from their new album, they do throw in some of their old favourites from their debut record, most notably Bathed in Light, Dark Star, Fill My Gums With Blood and Embers, which received a huge applause as they unleashed their alter rock egos once again with a grinding of guitars and frenzied drumming, you can't help but get swept up in it. Before Sunrise will always be my favourite track but tonight, Gengahr perfectly balanced the evening with their gentle side like with the delicate and emotional Pull Over (Now), then doing a 180 and belting out melodic grungy guitars with Burning Air. Both notable stand out tracks of the night.
Gengahr bring the night to a close with the energetic Carrion, another song from the new album and I can't believe how quickly the time had flown by, I wasn't ready to leave. Tonight was a pure delight from start to finish and while I had planned on having a soothing end to my day, I left invigorated and more in love with music then I had at the start of my day. Experiencing music live takes a record to a whole 'nother level and I forever champion live music.
Words and Photography by Rachel Prew