Review / Boy Azooga @ Thekla

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By Guy Marcham, Music Sub-Editor

Boy Azooga represent a kind of indie rock music so infectious that you can't help but dance to', Music Sub-Editor Guy Marcham reviews Boy Azooga at Thekla

Groovy baselines, Hawaiian shirts and a picture of the hilarious comedian, Paul Merton hanging from the keyboard. Boy Azooga certainly know how to have a good time, and it's safe to say the bands headline show at Bristol's Thekla was no exception.

The band burst open proceedings with the infectious funk infused, 'Taxi To Your Head', off their 2018 debut album, '1,2, Kung Fu!' Within a matter of seconds, sole songwriter, Davey Newington had invited the crowd to 'boogie'. A call which did not fall on deaf ears, as the Bristol crowd were keen to head bop, foot tap and dance their way through the evening. An early outing for arguably the band's biggest single, 'Face Behind Her Cigarette' followed. The song's hypnotic keyboard refrain pulsated throughout the audience, eventually culminating in a crawling bad ass baseline that lead to an eruption of energy from the tightly packed crowd. Full of swagger and boundless joy, Boy Azooga represent a kind of indie rock music so infectious that you can't help but dance to.

Yet no indie rock band would be complete without a series of swirling bittersweet ballads, set to jangling guitar hooks. Luckily enough, Boy Azooga had these in abundance. Possibly their most radio friendly anthem, 'Jerry', had the entire audience in arms, singing along to its instantly catchy chorus. Another live hit entitled 'Waitin' also demonstrated Boy Azooga's more contemplative side, as Newington's gentle hushed voice met with rippling synths to a gorgeous and soothing effect.

However, as soon as the audience had just about caught their breath and let their legs rest from continuous dancing, the band plunged back into their mammoth riffs and psychedelic funk jams. The band treated the Thekla crowd to a cover of a song by little-known band 'The Table', which jolted back and forth, echoing the sound of fellow label mates, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. Newington and Co. also took the opportunity to play a brand-new song, entitled 'Go Out, Raise the Dead', which perhaps gave an insight into the band's awaited follow up, especially with its monolithic riffs and distortion heavy style. The band wrapped up their gig with a rousing version of 'Loner Boogie', the song which first drew me to them. The pummelling garage rock song led to a rather raucous and chaotic finale, with a mosh pit bursting out and engulfing the entire Thekla dancefloor. The final 'boogie' of the night was definitely an energetic one.

On the track 'Jerry', Newington sings 'Why does the song have to end?' A question many in the audience asked themselves as the band quickly left the stage following their hour long set. Yet, with new songs already finding their way into the setlist, hopefully we won't have to wait long for the boys return and for the songs to start over again.

Featured Image: Guy Marcham/ Epigram


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