Garbanotas Bosistas

Garbanotas Bosistas_Justė Urbonavičiūtė

If you only have time for one psychedelic rock band from Lithuania, look no further. In 2016, Garbanotas Bosistas were voted the best act by the audience at Tallinn Music Week showcase festival (Estonia), and won the Best Alternative Act award at MAMA (Lithuania’s biggest music awards ceremony). They also became the first Lithuanian act to perform at The Great Escape Festival in the UK, and played successful gigs at the Europavox (France), MENT (Slovenia), Liverpool Sound City (UK), Reeperbahn (Germany), and Positivus (Latvia) festivals. These are just some of the many achievements this (quite humble) four-piece band can boast, but usually they simply let their music do the talking. People who have heard them live, however, are less reserved about expressing their opinion. ‘They certainly remind me of this band I used to manage, called Pink Floyd,’ the legendary rock manager Peter Jenner said after witnessing a performance by these Lithuanians. It was a comment that should surprise nobody, for Garbanotas Bosistas (which means Curly Bass Player in Lithuanian) are definitely inspired by the psychedelic haze of the 1960s. However, a wide array of influences can be  traced in the band’s sound, from krautrock vibes to blues rhythms and ambient soundscapes.

Garbanotas Bosistas were formed in 2008 by two brothers who were taught to play the guitar by Franciscan monks (yes, this is true). After a couple of minor line-up changes, Mantas Joneikis (guitar) and Šarūnas Joneikis (vocals, guitar, keyboards) showed true promise with their debut EP Venera (Venus) in 2012. With nods to both Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, the band became an underground sensation, selling out in clubs with almost no promotion. They upped the ante considerably with Above Us, their first full-length album, released in 2015, which was an even more imaginative affair, drenched in echoes and subtle electronic sounds. Their second album Room for You was released at the end of 2017, bringing even more rave reviews and enthusiastic fans. And no, the bass player’s hair is not curly. But for the growing crowds who flock to venues whenever the band is in town, this does not seem to be an issue (and rightly so).

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