Gengahr have certainly been busy since releasing their debut album, A Dream Outside, last year. The London quartet have had a full festival season, with their psych pop suiting the minimal festival sun like a moth to a flame. Plus, they’ve toured non-stop with Wolf Alice and Alt-J, building up their indie fan base. Now they're in the middle of their second headline tour with several sell-out shows to boot; Bristol’s Louisiana is tonight.
A sold out Louisiana means the Bristol venue is incredibly busy. With little room to manoeuvre, Gengahr fight their way through the crowd to the stage. A new track starts them off, and they have a fair few of them on the set list, too. It’s clear what they’ve been up to over the past year, with hints of a new album soon. (Upon being asked when, front man Felix Busche replies, “How long is a piece of string?”) Their new material doesn’t stray too far from what they know best – soothing melodies and Felix’s soft falsetto vocal, with flecks of indie, dream pop and psychedelia; yet it dabbles with more synth sounds, hinting at a matured Gengahr.
“Heroine” and “Bathed In Light” follow, delivering the album tracks that the crowd are waiting for. And it’s definitely A Dream Outside that’s brought such a large crowd this evening, with nearly every track played being a crowd pleaser. Their quirky and sometimes dark lyrics, coupled with Felix’s falsetto, are encapsulated perfectly by the jangling guitar, reigning in the psychedelic elements of their album and emphasising the pop.
There’s no encore this evening – but not for lack of crowd enthusiasm. “There’s no way we can go out and come back in elegantly,” Felix says. Their improvised encore consists of “Tired Eyes” and album favourite, “Powder”, bringing their set list to a close with an original number.
Watching Gengahr stand by the door to wave and thank every attendee is humbling. And it’s striking just how different Gengahr are. Their music is quite unlike any other that’s around at the minute - and with only a year or so on the scene too. They layer all the classic elements that are popular right now, but remould in a unique way: there’s apparent elements of Tame Impala’s expansive and unsettling melodies, Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s poppy soundscape, and the indie rock we all know and love. But it’s not cut from the same cloth. Gengahr are one to watch.