by Alexandra Hall
“It’s Indie Rock but slack. Mum likes it.”
I couldn’t think of a better opener to introduce Perth’s finest gem, Great Gable, than lead singer, Alex Whiteman’s response. No messy confines of labels or pitches that make you pick up your phone and immediately tune in, like I’m some sort of car salesman trying to pull the money from your pockets. Just their words.
Named after a mountain in the United Kingdom where Whiteman’s family spread his grandfather’s ashes, a place that represents familial dedication, Great Gable stands for more than just another group of indie rockers with a tongue for reggae. Whiteman’s desire to reconcile a family spot with his art is a true testament to the band’s dedication to the best sound they can create for their audience. It means more than a number of streams.
Great Gable fell into my hands through a Spotify radio two summers ago. “All Day Long”, a perfect summer jam, came blaring through my speakers with a funky riff and beat. Even without having ever heard the song prior to those moments, I felt like it was an old friend. One that, no matter how many years pass, you can always get along with. The tune was simple with a heavily repetitive chorus that after tens of listens, you’ll expect to get bored of. The thing is… you never do.
“GG”, Great Gable’s first EP with hits like “Drift”, and “Punga” shot the group into the indie rock, reggae infused scene with it’s thick bass and catchy choruses. Although the EP is excellent as a starter EP, the band has since revamped their sound with new tones of sophistication. “Modern Interactions”, released in 2017, fine tuned some of the roughness of the prior EP and set the stage for three further singles to be released, all edging more towards the indie rock scene and abandoning some of their old, reggae sound. Their most current release, “Cool Mind Blue” has a slower, bluesy sound to it while resonating with the dreamy, drawn out vocals of “GG”. Great Gable’s releases thus far exemplify their ability to fuse the essence of what the group is all about with their changing maturity.
But don’t take it from me. Drummer, Callum Guy, has always struggled with defining the sound into a bite-sized genre.
“I never really know how to answer this question, we have always struggled
with defining our sound as we are constantly evolving and being inspired by new
music… I’d say we are in the Indie rock realm though, pulling from strong rock and pop
roots, blended with some blues, RnB and Hip Hop…Our tunes are kinda like a
mixed bag of lollies or something, it’s all the same but different.”
The description couldn’t be more accurate. If you’re looking for a rock band, you’re in the wrong place. An indie band? Sorry, next stop. Maybe some reggae? I don’t know what to tell you. But with all of these being individually incorrect, Great Gable merges handfuls of genres together and makes them all simultaneously correct.
And what are these genre labels doing to the artists themselves? Bassist, Christopher Bye states that, “It creates confines in which some artists feel they must stick within and
adds pressure to produce music lies within a certain “sound” that is trendy at the
time or that has similar qualities to their past works.”
Perhaps after being lumped in with the other indie rockers, Great Gable has felt pressure to recreate their “GG” EP and other hits like “All Day Long”. However, as they launch into the end of 2019 and all of 2020, the group is going through a myriad of changes. In October of this year, the group is heading to Byron Bay to record their debut album with Alex Henriksson, a music producer and songwriter known for working with acts like Matt Corby and The Ruiins. They’ve carved a name for themselves in the indie rock scene since their debut EP and have a handful of supporting and headlining shows coming up within this year, along with the promise of some music videos accompanying new releases.
Even the band’s live performances are undergoing a change, as their favorite songs to play are no longer just their hits that get the crowd going. Guitarist Matt Preen even says, “I would have to say Cool Mind Blue is my favourite, mostly because there’s a lot more concentration needed to nail the Saxophone solo by our best pal Geordie Bain. The solo is that good, and so much fun to play live.”
No longer is Great Gable about staying in the confines of their past. With their future prospects and desire to better themselves as musicians, the scene can expect to see mountains being moved by these four rockers in the coming months. Great Gable has a solid foundation of fervor and enthusiasm to build their discography. We’re ready to watch it happen.
Until next time,