GECKO – Volcano

I’ve just moved to East Worthing. From Cornwall. People don’t 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 I’m 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, he’s always wearing dungarees.


This bold fashion choice may reveal what sort of artist Gecko is. Real name Will Sanderson-Thwaite, from South Glos, he’s 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 album’s 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. He’s 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 doesn’t become too cool and keeps his promise to play Shoreham By Sea. I’d like to hear him sing again.

Anna C