“We’re gonna christen this place,” proclaims Geese frontman Cameron Winter underneath the blue hue of Third Man Records’ new London home. As well as being one of the first bands to grace the stage at the Jack White-owned label’s 60-capacity basement venue, tonight sees the Brooklyn teens wind up their first-ever UK tour, which included a trio of consecutive sold-out shows in the capital. It’s no small feat for a band that rose to prominence online throughout the pandemic and released their debut album, ‘Projector’, less than a month ago.
After making their way through the crowd to the “fucking small” stage, Geese kick things off with the unreleased track ‘2122’, which nods to the gristly psych stylings of the Preoccupations. The band’s sights may be on the bigger stages that are already booked in for next year, but Third Man Records’ intimate set-up is perfect for their controlled chaos. Nearly falling over one another as each subsequent breakdown hits, punters are left to push up on their tip-toes to try and get in on the fun.
Tracks from ‘Projector’ almost sound unrecognisable live as they take on a heavier sound, demonstrating how Geese are constantly progressing as musicians. ‘Low Era’ builds into a thrashed-out jam session, while ‘Fantasies / Survival’’s math-rock groove is amped up to the sort of nosediving breakdown that The Strokes’ Albert Hammond Jr. would be proud of.
Later on, ‘Smoke in Japan’, the upcoming B-side to ‘Low Era’, gets a Bikini Bottom facelift following a cover of the closing theme music from SpongeBob SquarePants. It shares the same zithering melody live as the soundtrack of 60s film noir The Third Man (of which Jack White’s label shares its name), so this playful aside doesn’t feel out of place. Geese soon head back on track with ‘Smoke in Japan’ – a spiky number stuffed with huge riffs that recall ‘IV’-era Led Zeppelin – before rattling into the harmonica-driven ‘Tomorrow’s Crusades’.
Geese’s next UK shows will see them playing to crowds 10 times the size of tonight’s, meaning the intimacy afforded by Third Man Records is even more special for those in attendance. “Tell me what you want / Tell me what you came for,” the room sings in unison during closer ‘Disco’ as the band honour their debut single in its rightful sweaty home. They needn’t have asked the question, though: arms flail upwards and the crowd’s collective voice overpowers the track’s wiry riff, making for a euphoric send-off for the post-punk newcomers.
‘Fantasies / Survival’
‘First World Warrior’
“Art of War’
‘Spongebob Squarepants (Closing Credits Theme)’
‘Smoke in Japan’