There’s no going backwards with London duo Gentle Friendly.
Verse/chorus/verse is not for them.
Instead, amongst the mass of tangled wires that snake around the
Luminaire stage into endless effect pedals, iPods and unidentified
boxes, the pair sit, building sounds to rapid completion before quickly
moving on to the umpteenth section of any one composition.GENTLE
David – red-headed, Etonianlooking singer/keyboard-basher – kneels side on to the audience,
sometimes gently humming into two microphones, often retching into them, as his instrument rests on an old suitcase.
In front of him is drummer Daniel, surrounded by a sparse five-piece kit that seems to have been very bad indeed,
with an electronic organ within reach for him to stretch his fingers on throughout the evening.
Bar the occasional – if essential – turn-offthe-wheezing-zombie-in-theamplifier- noise-now nod,
it’s tough to tell why David and Daniel face each other.
Completely in their own worlds – Daniel’s a universe of ferocious Health-styled drum assaults,
David’s a place where eyes are tightly clenched to face grimaces and loud yelps – the pair play independently of each other,
and yet completely as one, like a couple of Jedis with a penchant for
creating loopy, multi-layered blasts of noise core. We are believers.
the bass-lines of ‘D.I.L.E.M.M.A’ distinctly resemble a certain
popular math-rock band. Emilia Ergin’s sultry musings on the cello
add much needed depth to ‘Polar Swelling’ as she sneers at the
hapless audience. Like an operatic version of Interpol’s ‘Obstacle 1’, it
courses steadily around the room, enveloping everything in its path.
Wrapping his slender fingers around a bottle of red that has been
his constant companion throughout the evening, Owen
seems to carefully cultivate the
image of a tortured soul – the opening refrain of “Everyone loves
a breakdown” seem an exercise in self-indulgence
as he stands like a condemned man on the edge of the stage.
‘Relentless Fours’ soon proves to be more than sum of its
parts, mixing a capella whisperings
with four-to-the-floor rock freakouts, a ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ for
the Blank Generation.
While on the surface Grammatics may look like average indie pretenders, in reality they tick all the right boxes:
Pretentious? Yes. Argumentative? Definitely. Relentlessly
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