Thursday, 18 March 2010

Gecko - Leading the life of lizards

Their dreams concede of headlining the mother of all UK festivals, Glastonbury. Bristol fest is fulfilling their need to play for the moment, but the way Gecko is handling their cards this could all change in the future. The Wotton-Under-Edge trio are making a name for themselves with matching pinstripe trou’s and a convenient charm that has be-fanned the likes of BBC Radio 1’s Mike Davies and The King Blues. I caught up with them to talk about life in general, and their latest EP ‘Stop, Look, Lizard’. The most important thing, it seems, is that it’s yellow. I was curious as to where the reptile obsession came from; “It’s always been there, really, we don’t know.” Expecting something a little more inventive I was reluctant to tell them that “It just kinda’ happened” didn’t cut it. “We’ve had the Beatles, we’ve had the Eels...let’s take it lizard, It’s an evolutionary scale” was what they finally came up with.   
"This is our first steps with a producer, which is really good!"
Despite London introducing its self as a new muse for the record last year, Will, Simon and Nathan headed back south to record their EP in Devon under the control of popular music producer Peter Miles, who has previously worked with Sonic Boom Six, Failsafe, and The King Blues to name a few. The advance from having home brewed their earlier albums, to countryside camp site surroundings was a big achievement for Gecko, who identified recording the EP as one of their career highlights. Front-man Will explained with smug accomplishment; “I’ve got a lot of the album’s he’s produced so working with him was pretty exciting.”
“The two old albums have been totally self- produced. The first one was literally done in my house, and the second one, all but drums which were recorded at a studio in Bristol. This is our first steps with a producer, which is really good.”       
"Stop, Look, Lizard is Latin American rhythms, reggae, sort of ska-ey, a bit of African guitar, skatty singing... We fit a lot in" 
To launch the late August, and very yellow release Gecko embarked on a ten show ‘Aint That Like a Lizard’ tour, which kicked off on the 7th.  They played shows from Plymouth to Edinburgh, and on their travels were able to sing along to opening track on their EP, What you gonna do? on the radio. “Hearing it for the first time was good, second time you got a bit complacent, and third time (in utmost cliché) was a charm!” Pre tour the three were rocking it up at pub festivals around the country, and played to their largest crowd on the main stage at Bristol Festival. To top it off, Gecko performed with new pals The King Blues, and the Blockheads at the vegan faire. More rewardingly, was lending them-selves to a good cause by headlining Exeter’s Leukaemia fund charity show in October.
Where do they want to be in five years time? Well seeing as a duet with reggae legend Bob Marley isn’t feasible, headlining Glasto is their ultimate dream. “Or”, Simon piped up; “You know you’ve made it when you have an island named after you.”...  Keep the dream alive, Si!  
Although their songs provide the motivation needed to dance in a drunken-like way, the witty lyrics are fuelled by current happenings in the world, with underlying meaning that might surprise you. “What you gonna do?” Will clarified; “is a call to live life for the sake of living it”. The lyric “Cos' you can't live a life without having the pictures, I just threw down the camera and kissed ya” relates to the constant and somewhat unnecessary documentation of people’s lives on social networking sites. I mean, what would I do if I didn’t know my neighbours neighbour was watching Jeremy Kyle on a new leather sofa? On a more controversial note, Falling Down unexpectedly picks up on religion. The tropical vibes and dark lyrics underlined with hope, relate to many people’s mixed feelings on the matter; “It’s basically saying I don't know if there is a God or not, but if there is I reckon that he/she'd be pretty decent and understanding that I don’t know who to believe.” 
 Stop, Look, Lizard is four of the band’s latest songs, two of which were written after London sparked inspiration in singer and songwriter Will following his move there. As well as referring to living life, What you gonna do? is a positive song written about feelings of excitement, and opportunities that allowed the band to prosper after the move. With all appreciation flowing, he continued “The song Woke Up was started on New Year’s Day, and was, in a way, a resolution to not take things for granted” 
Give Gecko a listen and you’ll soon discover they pack a punch, you can’t quite decide where to categorise them in the music world, and it appears that neither can they. Unlike most bands that enter the scene with a vision; “It’s singer songwriter dance music. Especially the EP, it’s got a bit of a carnival vibe to it. A lot of Latin American rhythms, reggae, sort of ska-ey, a bit of African guitar, skatty singing and I dunno’ what the bass lines are” He concludes; “I think we fit a lot in.” You think? Well it certainly highlights a hole in the market that a band like Gecko could fill, and I’d like to think that in the near future, on a bigger scale, they will.  

Photo by Kaja Brockington

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