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WE REVIEW 100 GECS IN MANCHESTER, WHAT HAPPENED?

There’s something endearingly straightforward about the way 100 Gecs go about things. “This song’s about when you smell something and it smells fucking bad and you’re like, ‘damn what was that’” – Laura Les tells fans before the duo launch into the cannily titled ‘What’s that Smell’. She stands beside bandmate Dylan Brady – whose headwear is not overly dissimilar to something the flowerpot men would wear. The stage is otherwise empty bar a keyboard and the occasional guitar – usually disappearing no sooner than having appeared. Yet this near deserted platform is enough for this audience to be consistently awed by the duo’s penchant for magnificent pandemonium. 

It’s a remarkable sight given the bizarre nature of the Missouri band. They are usually cited as creators of hyperpop music but this assertion does zero justice. Somewhere between bubblegum and hardcore, Les and Brady have created a dizzying world of absurdity. Songs are built upon the most basic of motifs yet catapult from the stage aggressively and relentlessly. 



But the show is far from elementary. The band take risks that few musicians would have the audacity to consider. There is an unaccompanied and unmelodic performance on tuned gamelan instruments – during which Les is particularly zealous with her note bashing. There is a strange acoustic version of the semi-eponymous ‘gecgecgec’, itself preceded by Les and Brady politely practicing scales. They even conclude the night with the Christmassy ‘Sympathy for the Grinch’ – on this mild summer evening. Not every chance draws the same degree of amazement but the lack of any reasonable expectation beyond the next five seconds is exhilarating. 

Perhaps most impressive is the never-ending joy permeating any onlooker present. Fans treat even the unreleased tracks as if they are cult classics, learning the words to ‘Hollywood Baby’ and ‘757’ on the spot. And there are continually peculiar lyrical themes too, ranging from tooth extraction to crisp-related hunger. Between songs, Brady makes odd warbling noises on his keyboard like a schoolchild who’s been told not to touch it. It’s sensorily chaotic. 

The evening’s biggest draw as expected is the blistering ‘Money Machine’ – featuring a spoken word introduction that is known verbatim by most in attendance. But it’s the electrifying energy that Les and Brady have that makes the gig what it is – not every moment is flawless but even so, it arrives with some serious gumption.