Interview: Gecko, ‘I make sure I have time to explore and take it all in’

Gecko playful lyrics cover the big things in life; think iPhones, Libraries & Guanabana fruit juice while his recent short song Baby Cheetah went viral on TikTok, with over 2 million views.

As well as appearing at Glastonbury, Bestival, BBC Radio 1, 6 Music, BBC Scotland, BBC London & the Edinburgh Fringe, he has shared stages with the likes of Ed Sheeran, Loyle Carner, Tim Minchin & Billy Bragg.

In 2020 Gecko appeared on BAFTA winning Sky TV show ‘Life & Rhymes’ with Benjamin Zephaniah. In 2021 Gecko received over a million views on TikTok causing a stir with his song for ‘Laika’ the dog sent to space & his feminist retelling of ‘Rapunzel’.

We caught up with him ahead of his performances at this year’s Glastonbury.

Q&A with Gecko

What’s it like to be back at Glastonbury festival, your ‘spiritual lizard home’, this year?

I’m ridiculously excited to be back at Glastonbury this year. The feeling of arriving in those hallowed fields is like no other. I’ve been playing there for a decade now and it feels like my audience grows each year. The fact that people want my set to be part of their weekend is not something I take for granted. 

You’re playing sets across Avalon Cafe, Toad Halll, Astrolabe Theatre and Poetry & Words – how much do your sets differ based on the stage you’re playing?

I love playing a variety of stages at different times. It’s really fun playing on the Thursday because it’s before the main stages are open so feels like people are eager to explore and find new things. I play Thursday at midday at Avalon Cafe , I think that will feel like a nice set up for people’s weekends. The Toad Hall is close to my heart, it’s all run on solar power in the hippy enclave that is the green futures field. The Astrolabe is a huge theatre tent, I’m going to do some of my sets there wireless wandering round a bit which will add a fun new element. 

What’s it like to open the Poetry & Words stage each day?

Poetry & Words is my home at Glasto. Me and my girlfriend camp behind the stage so it’s a really lovely ritual to wake up, have a coffee and then have the buzz of setting the tone as the tent opens up. People are often a little delicate in the morning so the Poetry & Words tent is a good destination to sit for a few hours and ease yourself into the day. I highly recommend a visit!

How much of the site do you get see yourself when you’re playing the festival, and is there anyone you’re particularly looking forward to catching?

It’s a busy weekend for me but equally I make sure I have time to explore and take it all in. I think Elton John will be a magical end. I’m excited to see Japanese Breakfast-one of my favourite discoveries of recent years. I’m also keen to see Candi Staton as one of my best friends dad’s plays in her band. But mainly I’ll be wondering around without any specific plans falling down a rabbit hole or two!

Gecko is at Glastonbury Festival 2023