This Gengahr article was written by Jen Taylor, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Sam Forsdick

The energy at Scala was palpable as a sell-out crowd filed into the theatre-style venue to see British group Gengahr play their headline gig.

Pumarosa opened the night, their set filled with floating, ethereal vocals, 80s synth beats, and a big five-piece sound. Although lead singer Isabel Muñoz-Newsome seems to try a bit hard, her charisma and the band’s musicality won over the crowd.

Cash and David have a very professional sound and, though only a 3-piece, their use of looping and drum pads helped give them a much bigger sound than expected. Singer Liz Lawrence is very natural and unassuming as a frontwoman, with an incredibly powerful voice. It was nice to see all band members so engaged in the music they were creating.

Gengahr aimed to please early on, pulling out some of their big hits to start their set. ‘Heroine’ opened up spectacularly live, and ‘Bathed in light’ was delightfully quirky, with a particularly memorable bass line. The colourful backdrop, that framed the stage, coupled with the soft lighting and smoke provided a fantastic ambience that matched well with Gengahr’s dreamy, psych-pop style.

The band put a lot into their performance, and the audience were generally enjoying it, but they were struggling with their sound throughout the set. It’s hard to say whether the problem was a result of the Scala’s acoustics or if there were technical issues with mixing the high pitched vocals that are typical of Lead singer Felix Bushe.

Despite these issues Bushe’s vocals were mesmerising. They swirled above the audience mixing with the musical nuances and strong songwriting that is such a feature of their recordings.  The crowd were not ones to shy away from showing their appreciation either as shouts of “I Love you” were directed to the band at random intervals throughout the night.

The audience thoroughly enjoyed seeing their favourite songs being brought to life onstage, and when Bushe, leaning into the audience to sing their song ‘Powder’, signalled the end and the band departed everyone cheered for them to come back on just one more time. No one was left disappointed, and ‘She’s a witch’ was evidently a good choice of song for their encore. It was probably their best song of the night, and elicited the best response from the audience, with everyone singing along in unison.

It seemed there were a few things that didn’t quite fall into place at this gig, but Gengahr have written some brilliant music, and their unique style is well worth listening to live. It will be interesting to watch them grow as performers and see where their next move takes them.

Gengahr - Scala, London (8th October 2015) - LIVE REVIEW

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