Skip to main content

Home Music Music Live Reviews

100 gecs live in London: a raucous, ridiculous, and remarkable UK debut

Laura Les and Dylan Brady engineer an evening of chaos at their debut UK headline show

4.0 rating

By Brit Dawson

100 gecs perform their debut UK headline show at the O2 Forum in Kentish Town, London on 30 August 2022
100 gecs perform their debut UK headline show at the O2 Forum in Kentish Town, London on 30 August 2022 (Picture: Henry Groves)

As has become customary at 100 gecs’ live shows, Dylan Brady and Laura Les emerge onto the stage of London’s O2 Forum in Kentish Town dressed in wizard robes. This show has been years in the making — the pandemic forced 100 gecs to cancel not one, but two world tours, in 2020 and 2022 respectively — and the gecs-starved crowd lets out a rapturous choral scream as the pair quickly launch into their opener ‘Hey Big Man’. It’s the second track, though, that really gets the night going. “Pick it up,” roars Brady, as Les propels into the opening lines of “Stupid Horse”, one of many ludicrous tracks on the pair’s breakout 2019 album 1000 gecs

And with that, an evening of bizarre chaos kicks off — as is to be expected. Tumultuous weirdness and farcical absurdity is 100 gecs’ whole deal. The duo’s music is a hyperactive mash-up of just about every trashy genre you can name (pop punk, ska, nightcore, the list goes on), laced with a sense of humour that’s straight-up stupid (lines like “Hey little piss baby, you think you’re so fucking cool?”, “What the fuck? What’s that smell? Turn it down, that fucking smell”, and “I’m eating burritos with Danny DeVito” are so ridiculous they become transcendent).

Their live gigs are just as daft. This is 100 gecs’ debut headline show in the UK (though not their first ever performance here; they played at Reading and Leeds Festivals over the weekend), but the set will be familiar to anyone who saw the duo at a European festival over the summer, or who’s watched videos of them performing live online. Alongside huge tunes from 1000 gecs, including “Ringtone”, “Hand Crushed by a Mallet”, “Money Machine”, and “800db Cloud”, comes more recent singles “Doritos & Fritos” and “MeMeMe”, as well as new tracks “Hollywood Baby”, “7:57”, and “What’s That Smell?” (introduced as “a song about a shitty smell”). The latter three are from 100 gecs’ forthcoming sophomore album, 10,000 gecs, which is still yet to get an official release date despite being announced in July last year.

As it’s their first time in the UK, there are a few nods to the new setting – specifically, references to Oasis, The Beatles, and, of course, the Queen. “Who thinks the Queen is still alive?” yells Laura Les, as the crowd boos in response. “Wake up people! This is our version of ‘God Save the Queen’.” The pair then bend down in the centre of the stage and start banging on an xylophone-like instrument, hitting it increasingly aggressively as the crowd chants, “Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!” As intended, it feels like everyone’s in on the joke, heightened once again a little later when Les bellows, “Has anyone had a tooth removed before?”, before performing an unreleased live favourite, “I Got My Tooth Removed”, which is met with raucous laughs from the uninitiated.

When they’re not singing in AutoTune (and, if you’re Brady, a giant yellow wizard’s hat), they’re talking in AutoTune. There’s a questionnaire — “We’re just trying to make sure we’re relevant, on brand, on topic,” says Les. “Have many of you have eaten a Dorito before?” — a sort-of acoustic version of “gecgecgec”, and trippy spoken interludes that are either completely made up on the spot or have some kind of hidden meaning. “The experience has just gone terribly wrong,” Les declares in one such speech. “The guy who plays scarecrow in the back has just woken up, and he doesn’t know who anyone is. He went through a vending machine. He loves Pepsi.”

Having watched the show from the venue’s balcony, it was only after the band left the stage that it became clear that the crowd in the stalls had spent the show stomping on the cloves of garlic on the floor, while others were worshipping a horse bong. Just another 100 gecs gig.