Ive just moved to East Worthing. From Cornwall. People dont
say hello in the street anymore. I am longing for some
sort of human connection, aside from being muttered at by the local
lunatic. The plus side is that Im close to Brighton, the mistress
whose music scene is obviously going to be far superior to the wild
South West. My friends got me a ticket for Christmas to see Gecko
at a tiny room in the upstairs of Caroline of Brunswick, a pub with
walls adorned with a massive death metal model of the Hounds
of Hell. Gecko is not death metal. He was wearing dungarees.
In fact, if you look at his website, hes always wearing dungarees.
This bold fashion choice may reveal what sort of artist Gecko is.
Real name Will Sanderson-Thwaite, from South Glos, hes the slightly
quirky artistic type who now resides in North London and raps in a
very British accent. No, not like Ed Sheeran. No, no. Emphatically.
Although also focusing on acoustic-based songwriting, Volcano
is far cleverer than the (albeit chart-topping but still crap) deliberate
tear-jerkers told in the perspective of grieving children or what
have you. Actually, I think that the albums title track could
be interpreted to be about loss but sickening and sentimental it is
not. Having appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe and numerous major festivals,
Gecko is the lute player in the long-forgotten picture immortalised
in his lyrics, the panda looking for love in Edinburgh Zoo and, er,
Rapunzel - spanning Ben Folds, Beck and Beans on Toast with his fusion
of hip-hop, synth sounds, clean piano arrangements and minimal storytelling.
In fact largely comedic, Gecko really does need an audience to entirely
translate as essentially he is a performance artist; his voice is
also less harsh live than on a recording. Having said that, the album
does flow in the same way as a live set, complete with spoken word
interludes and applause and with the same startling emotion creeping
out of nowhere in between the laughs. Often kitsch commentary on modern
life, his simple brand of humour collides with a gentle whimsical
romance, particularly towards the end of the album. Almost a musical
representation of a gentrified Gavin and Stacey-esque pop culture,
this is what I really like about Gecko. Hes warm, friendly and
genuine and quite unpretentious, but with a quality that makes
him more special than the average chap with a guitar.
Hopefully he doesnt become too cool and keeps
his promise to play Shoreham By Sea. Id like to hear him sing