Sometimes, you don’t set high expectations for a gig. Not because you’re afraid of being disappointed but simply because you don’t know what to expect. Such was the case for Gus Dapperton.
Gus is the very definition of eccentric. He comes from a town dominated by farms, he has a bowl cut, he dresses like an art school student – to be fair, he wouldn’t look out of place wandering the streets of Manchester – he’s shy but in a charming way and has a strangely hypnotic voice. His music, for those unfamiliar with him, is best described as the perfect soundtrack to those talks about life with your mates over a six-pack of beers under the afternoon sun in mid-July.
The venue was changed from Soup Kitchen to Gorilla mere hours before the show, to the confusion of many. Despite the change, the room was packed for the evening. ‘Easy Life’ opened the set and blew us all away. Their chilled-out, trippy vibes with catchy bass lines and flashy saxophone-trumpet duets were a pleasure to experience and are indicative of great things to come.
To my disappointment, however, the band barely have 300 followers on SoundCloud and have only released one single. So, if you want to catch them, keep an eye out on their social media to see them live, they’re definitely worth your time.
Gus and his band came on almost sheepishly and introduced themselves to a cheering room. Synths, funky basslines, catchy guitar riffs and punchy drums filled the air for the next half hour and, I’m sure many others felt the same, I couldn’t help but smile and dance to every tune. The show felt intimate, personal and even cozy as members of the audience would interrupt Gus when he spoke between songs. He’d stop in his tracks and reply to the shouts, showing that he really cared for everyone there.
The stage was as simple as it gets. There were no screens, a couple of colour-morphing lights, the band, their instruments and amps. There was no photography pit and no security in direct view of the crowd, leaving the band, quite literally, at arm’s length from them.
Unfortunately for us, Dapperton’s discography consists of 8 songs. He played all of them, an unreleased song and two covers: first, midway through the set, ‘Let Me Love You’ by Mario and secondly, as the encore, ‘This Charming Man’ by The Smiths. Of course, the audience absolutely loved this gesture. Despite the short show, every second of it was pleasant and dreamy. And if Gus’ Facebook page is telling the truth, he’ll be back with his band soon.
Both acts caught me off guard. My expectations were either low or nonexistent – and I mean this in the most positive sense of the word. Not expecting anything, on purpose, is a great way to see things in the purest light possible – , as I was delving into the unknown. I walked away with a whole new level of love and respect for Gus as well as the giddy happy feeling you get when discovering something new and exciting thanks to Easy Life.