FESTIVAL VIBES: GEN AND THE DEGENERATES

Gen and the Degenerates

Words and Photos by Gary Lambert

The final FestEvol of 2021 is now with us! It is setting up to be a day to remember with a whole host of fabulous bands. But don’t forget FestEvol: Part 3 doesn’t need you to have been at FestEvol: Part 1 and FestEvol: Part 2 to understand what’s going on at this one. There’s music and magic going to happen. One of those magical bands will be Gen and the Degenerates who, we promise, will unleash hell in rock form from their opening notes tomorrow. It is going to be one of the sets you will desperately need to catch. It isn’t just a case of listening to their music either, Gen and the Degenerates always have something to say, especially Gen Degenerate which is handy for us…

Popped Music: How are Gen and the Degenerates? GatD: Gen and the Degenerates are doing really good. We are really enjoying working on all the stuff that we are working on right now. We’re looking forward to properly playing live for the first time in ages. We did do a little warm up show in Preston recently which was loads of fun but we are so happy to being back to doing it regularly. And the weather doesn’t hurt too, having the sun out is always good for our mood.

PM: Why are you looking forward to playing FestEvol? GatD: I’m looking forward to playing it because it’s going to be a really big gig for us, Invisible Wind Factory is such a great venue! We’re going to get to share the stage too with some amazing artists. It’s so nice to be part of a progressive line up where the bill is so even in terms of gender. Revo has helped us out a lot in our career starting out in Liverpool, so to be able to get to play for him as part of this amazing day of Evol is such an honour.

PM: Will you have any new tracks to play at FestEvol? GatD: We have loads of new tracks to play at FestEvol! We’ve got Underwear and Runaway Blues which we’ve put out this year on Marshall Records, but then everything else after that is brand new. We’ve been working hard on our songwriting over the last year, and as a result we’ve got a whole set of new tracks that I am so excited to play for people.

PM: Are there any artists you’re looking forward to catching at FestEvol? GatD: Yes! There are so many artists I’m looking forward to catching. That’s the main benefit of being on shows like this, we’re able to watch bands that we like. I’ll be like “yeah, I’ve done my bit, now I’m going to watch everybody else”. I can’t wait to see Black Honey, I’ve been a fan of theirs for ages. I’m looking forward to seeing Big Joanie. I really love Pins, so I’m excited to see them. I’m also looking forward to seeing some mates like Ali Horn who does the show after mine and Jay’s Degenerate Radio show on Melodic Distraction, and I’ve never actually seen him play live so it’ll be nice to see him play. I’m super excited to see Phoebe Green too. I’ve been a big fan of hers for a while, and she once gave our Evan a pep talk in a smoking area on a nice out in Preston as he was getting stressed about something so it’ll be nice for that narrative to come full circle.

PM: What do you think makes Festival Season so important to Gen and the Degenerates? GatD: This will actually be our first proper festival season because we’ve not really been booked for festivals before. We’ve had kind of a big step up this past year, a big thank you to Marshall Records for that. It’s really important to us because it is going to be new, fresh and exciting, and we are going to get to meet so many new people and share our music with them.

PM: What are your favourite memories of festivals? GatD: We haven’t been booked for many festivals in the past, but we did get signed up to play at this crazy little festival in Wales that someone was putting on in their big, massive garden. Like they had this massive stately home, no that might be over exaggerating but it was a very big gaff. The main thing was that we had such a great time hanging out the five of us. We played really early so we had time to hang out and be friends. It is so important as a band to have those moments when you are together, but you’re not actually doing work. That was where Guinnesswine was invented by Evan, which is unsurprisingly a mixture of Guinness and red wine, and as you can imagine that left everybody pretty intoxicated. I remember walking up a hill to one of the stages, and Evan was giving everybody struggling to walk up the hill sips of his Guinnesswine saying to them “this will help you get up the hill”. Everybody was having a sip and then saying “this is vile, what the fuck is it?”, and the festival wrapped up pretty early but we were still having a good time so we went back to our tents and were chatting and giggling until early in the morning. As it was Artist Camping we kept on getting told off by security when they were going past because we were talking so much. They were trying to make everything pretty chill, but that didn’t work out when you’re dealing with Degenerates. Even though we brought three tents we ended up all sharing the one pod of one tent in a big cuddle puddle. It was really cute.

PM: Who is in charge of the music played in the van? GatD: We are a democracy enforced by our driver on the last tour. We take it album by album, and everybody gets to pick an album so there’ll be at least one Rolling Stones album per trip, one Metallica album too. I like to stick on something chill like Kacey Musgraves or maybe Amy Winehouse as she’s my fave. I am petitioning to get an audiobook played, but that’s a dying request as nobody wants to sit there and listen to an audiobook with me I’m afraid.

PM: Are you playing any other festivals this summer? GatD: Yes! We are playing festivals! We are so lucky. We’ve recently been announced that we are playing at Isle of Wight Festival with This Feeling which is amazing as that’s a proper big boy festival. We’re also playing at Burn It Down Festival in Torquay which will be really fun. There are others too but they haven’t been announced yet. I’m usually a human sieve when it comes to secrets like that. And we’ve got Wild Paths in Norwich, but that isn’t in summer, it’s in October.

It’s not too late to get a ticket to watch Gen and the Degenerates (and The Big Moon, The Orielles, Black Honey, Big Joanie, Lucia & The Best Boys, Pins, Phoebe Green, Trudy and The Romance, Holy Youth Movement, Average Sex, The Peach Fuzz, Ali Horn, Bobby West, Zee Davine, Beija Flo, Deja Vega, Sky Valley Mistress, The Lotts, and The Merchants). Grab yourself one now for £25 here! It’s £30 if you decide you’ll have one on the door.

If you want to read about what you missed at the other two installments of FestEvol 2021, then the check out our reviews of Part 1 and Part 2.

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