On a cold December night, I went to see Geppetto & The Whales who came all the way from Belgium to bring some continental charm to the small Hoxton venue. With their cryptic name and the skinny jeans they were sporting, they could have easily passed for a local indie act, but they thanked the audience for being at their first-ever show on UK territory. This was one of many firsts for the young band this year, as their London visit is part of their first big tour around Europe, which is in support of their debut LP, Heads Of Woe.
They started off with a favourite of mine off their EP, People Of Galicove, ‘Duquesne’s Horse’. One of their more vibrant tracks, it lifted the spirits and set the crowd up for an hour of enjoyable music, which turned out to be quite versatile. Throughout the gig, the sextet played through some psychedelica-tinged numbers off their repertoire such as ‘Heads’, some heavier ones such as ‘Indian Child’, and for a few folky songs one of the lead singers swapped his guitar for a banjo. And all that was done perfectly, as the harmonies between the not one, not two but three lead singers did not falter once.
Towards the end of the gig, the band showed a streak for experimentation as they started to extend their songs by adding some wild instrumentals. While at times these seemed a bit overdrawn, the boys fired them with so much rigour that there wasn’t a single member of the audience that was left unmoved. The direct result was that, as soon as the boys waved goodbye to London and left the stage, they were immediately called back for a two-piece encore which they also performed brilliantly.
Geppetto & The Whales’ first UK show was a success, and if they continue to show the skill and conviction they graced the stage of Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen with, it is surely the first of many more to come.