Gengahr @ The Joiners, Southampton (Live Review)

Gone are the days of supporting, here are Gengahr, leading their own tour in the UK not long after their run around Europe. Southampton’s show is one of the last few to come and despite a busy few weeks, Gengahr bring their all to The Joiners. A Sunday evening in this city has never been so alive.

The show starts with the easy going sound of Indigo Husk, light hearted indie; perfectly fun on the surface with thick grooves underlying. This bunch of Londoners drum up to an electrifying performance of ‘Goes Around Comes Around’, at which point you really get a feel for what this band are about. Indigo Husk take true moments of growing up with an upbeat attitude that shines through the energy of their show and connection with one another.

In stark contrast, the upcoming Hampshire based band Mystic Peach draw us into a bewitching state of dark delight. Entering more into the realm of shoegaze, this trio rip and shred and scream intensely, softened by the sweet fuzz of psychedelia. They are the sort of band who you’ll instantly fall in love with and though they may be relatively new to the scene, they come with such power and command, just simply unforgettable.

By the time third support Low Island are playing, there is a sense of each band representing one side of Gengahr, a band well known for bending the genre rules in order to create their own signature sound. With Low Island we feel the enthusiasm for indie-club anthems. The band perform as a solid unit fully immersed in their music; every movement is fluid and theatrical. Even with the amount of electronic equipment on stage, the extent of their dance sounds still comes as somewhat of a surprise. The true delight in seeing Low Island is getting as lost in their music as they are while performing. This strong sense of connection with the audience makes them stand out as ones to look out for this year.

When Gengahr enter the stage there is pure excitement in the air.Having once been that surprising support act waiting to be discovered, Gengahr are now a big deal; expectations are high.

With the recent release of Where Wildness Grows, there are implications of a focus on new tracks, but new and old favourites are thrown together in equal measure, including first single ‘Fill My Gums With Blood’. It is a true testament in how far they come, but also just how great they have been all this time. It’s the sort of show that highlights the sounds you never noticed before; opening the ears to so much more. Recent single ‘Carrion’ is held in high regard, constantly requested throughout their set, the band of course withholding it for their encore. The performance of this track stands out as a marker for what they are today, a rapidly growing band with an excellent dynamic of the weird and wonderful.

No matter how far they have come, Gengahr have not got too big for their boots. Their very demeanour on stage is humble, but the sheer sound that fills the room is beyond confident. ‘She’s a Witch’ proves to be a hit not only as the crowd return the lyrics, but with the smooth blend of gentle vocals and striking instrumental breakdown. Gengahr have proved themselves firmly tonight and left a taste in our mouth for more. Bring it on.