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(SXSW 2015 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #341: Gengahr

 
By on Wednesday, 18th February 2015 at 12:00 pm
 

The name Gengar for anyone between the ages of 10 and 25 will probably only conjure up one image: a giant purple ghost whose unevolved form would not stop giving you grief as you went through Lavender Tower, and had that kind of mischievous, possibly paedophilic grin painted on its face. After sufficient airplay on the BBC’s specialist music outlets – BBC 6 Music and Huw Stephens’ programme on Radio 1 – Gengahr (see the difference) may bring an altered image into your consciousness.

The North London four-piece are fronted by Felix Bushe, a man who’s not afraid to take on the sublimely creepy in his lyrics (and videos for that matter): take ‘Powder’ for example, it’s a chilling almost Addams’ Family Values take on your classic ’80s flick. They’re supported by BBC Introducing in London on their wee jaunt to Austin, Texas and that automatically will hand them some clout in the hazy heat of the desert. They’ve already impressed at festivals in the UK with their morose take on indie-psych pop, with audiences at Worthy Farm, Richfield Avenue and Bramham Park all seeing the allure of this indie band.

They’ve got the backing of some serious names as well, after sharing the bill with both Dry the River and alt-j and opening for the latter at none other than the O2, they’ll not be daunted by much that is thrown their way. They’re also releasing their debut record this year, so with a trip to SXSW on the cards, it’s undeniably a crucial year for the band if they really do want to evolve from a BBC Intro buzz band to an act with some real hype and credibility. They’re also going to be showing their faces at The Great Escape in Brighton and at a few festivals across Europe like the Best Kept Secret festival in Holland, so it’s likely that their name is going to be out there during 2015.

What are they about? Well, it’s indie noir, if you can conjure up that. The kind of music that you’d expect to see underpinned by a video of a man in a purple smoking jacket, with a twirly little moustache, puffing on a strong mahogany pipe. Are you there yet? No! Well how about this – a morose mix of electronic guitar phase mixes, which are reminiscent of ’70s pop combined with layered vocals and dark sultry undertones.

They’ve caused a stir in the UK and around Europe and now it’s time to see whether audiences in America are going to be captivated by Genghar. Catch them next month at the BBC Introducing / PRS for Music night Wednesday, the 18th of March, at SXSW 2015 in Austin, Texas.

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2015: BBC Introducing and PRS for Music Foundation announce their SXSW 2015 showcase, 18th March 2015

 
By on Thursday, 22nd January 2015 at 11:00 am
 

It’s been a great running tradition that the BBC has hosted a night at massive band showcasing festival South by Southwest in successive years, and in just under 55 days, the Beeb will be making waves with yet another esteemed appearance in Austin! Taking place on the evening of Wednesday, the 18th of March, at the home of the British Music Embassy for the week, Latitude 30 on San Jacinto Boulevard, the event will no doubt give unprecedented attention to the acts chosen to perform on the night, and we here at TGTF are really pleased we’ll be in Austin for the festivities.

Last night on his evening drivetime programme on 6music, Steve Lamacq welcomed his fellow BBC presenter Huw Stephens to announce the line-up for the BBC Introducing night at SXSW 2015, partnering this year with PRS for Music Foundation, who gives their never wavering support to up and coming UK artists and their developing careers. Who will Lammo and Huw be bringing with them to the big dance in Austin in March? Here’s a rundown, in alphabetical order:

Blossoms – Stockport has the distinction of being the birthplace of Delphic and Dutch Uncles (both via Marple). But in 2015, all eyes will be back on the Greater Manchester town and five-piece Blossoms, putting on the psychedelic mantle that became cool again after the success of Temples last year. Will they surpass the Kettering group’s success in Austin in 2014? We’ll have to wait and see. One thing’s for sure, their name should not lead you to assume they’re fragile Northern flowers: check out the swaggery cool of ‘Blow’.

Gengahr – there always seems to be contention on who will be the next great British guitar band. On the current list of hopefuls, London’s Gengahr certainly have their supporters. They aren’t the hit-you-over-the-head loud kind of obvious guitar band, preferring more thoughtful vocals and well thought out melodies that might bleed over to pop territory. Except they’re quite masterful on guitar: have a listen to ‘Powder’.

Jack Garratt – in case you were concerned that the epic British beard would not be covered at this year’s SXSW, have a look at Jack Garratt and think again. But that’s beside the point. What’s far more important are Garratt’s piano playing and deep, soulful voice. One wonders if the Austin event could be his jumping off platform to superstardom as it was last year to Ireland’s Hozier.

Little Simz – it’s probably not a wise thing to ignore Islington’s Simbi Ajikawo. The rapper, who goes by the moniker Little Simz, had her debut EP ‘E.D.G.E’ exclusively premiered on Billboard last summer and has already been noticed by Jay-Z and his crew for her experimental style of rap. And just in case the music thing doesn’t work out, she has acting to fall back on as a vocation: you may remember Ajikawo as the character Meleka in a few episodes of E4’s Youngers.

SOAK – we’re not entirely sure why Derry teenager Bridie Monds-Watson goes by the stage name of SOAK. Her highly acclaimed EP in 2013 was titled ‘Sea Creatures’, so maybe she feels some kind of affinity to the sea and water? What we do know for sure: she’s got an achingly sweet voice, she recently signed to Rough Trade and her debut album for them is expected later this year. Stay tuned for more news on her in the coming months.

Spring King – with a new promo video just uploaded to their YouTube channel 2 days before Huw Stephens’ big announcement, something tells you Manchester garage rockers Spring King are just raring to go to Austin. The aforementioned promo, for the song ‘Not Me, Not Now’, was filmed when the band were in New York City last October for the other biggie American emerging music festival CMJ. Will the prior experience playing for American audiences help them in Austin? We shall see.

To read the official announcement from BBC Introducing, go here.

We here at TGTF will be bringing you even more preview coverage of SXSW 2015 in the coming weeks leading up to the big week in Austin in March. To catch up on any of our past reporting or if you want to keep an eye on our coverage as it continues, head this way.

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

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