Following last year’s tour supporting Shame and Priests, Gurr returned to London for their biggest headline date in the capital yet, delivering an impressive sold-out show at The Lexington last Tuesday.
Berlin “first wave gurrrlcore” duo Gurr have been quietly amassing a hugely respectable list of fans. Andreya Casablanca and Laura Lee first started turning heads in 2016 and ‘17 with the release of debut album In My Head along with a rip-roaring live show. Last year’s She Says EP showed a darker, more mature side to the duo, constructing some wonderfully heartbreaking indie-pop ditties compared to earlier, more amusing moments such as ‘Rollerskate’ or ‘Computer Love’ from their debut.
However, despite the band’s more considered approach to their latest record, Gurr still find a balance between their fun sense of humour and more serious moments when it comes to their biggest London headline show to date. For instance, Gurr begin in accordance with last year’s EP and its opening one-two punch of the title track ‘She Says’ and ‘Bye Bye’, both of which perfectly exemplifies the band’s current sound. Then, to get the sold-out crowd fully on board, they stroll into a verse-chorus of Gwen Stefani’s ‘Hollaback’ before seamlessly running into the aforementioned ‘Rollerskate’.
Gurr sit somewhere between The B-52’s ironic surf-pop, 90’s atmospheric indie-rock and Bikini Kill’s riot grrrl movement; Casablanca often reminds one of Kathleen Hanna or Nina Hagen, especially when free of her guitar in set closer ‘In My Head’. They also live an interesting double life unlike many other bands in current times, functioning as a hyped underground band in the UK and US, while being massively popular in their native Germany. Part of that balance is achieved by singing in both English and German, such as on the gorgeous ‘Zu Spät’ (“too late”) or ‘Walnuss’ (“walnut”). When given the option, the largely English-crowd show their support for the German versions of the songs.
Towards the set’s climax, Gurr perform a stunning, stripped-down version of their biggest single ‘Moby Dick’, before delivering a rather special version of Blur’s ‘Beetlebum’. The duo released the cover as a single at the back end of last year, and have been performing it elsewhere, however, performing the Brit-pop classic in its city of origin felt particularly special, and it is painted all over Lee and Casablanca’s faces. For the encore, Gurr play stand-alone single ‘Hot Summer’ before closing on an energetic rendition of arguably their best song, ‘#1985’. It is a fantastic performance notably enjoyed by crowd and band alike and it’s exciting to see this genuinely great band on the rise.