By Charlie Bennett, Msc International Security
Bristol welcomed Laguna Goons for their first trip to the UK, touring with our very own Tokyo Toy Company. Following on from a sold-out show in London and a gig in Cardiff they headed to the Crofters Rights for their first taste of the Bristol music scene.
The band hail from Andalusia, Spain but are less Enrique Iglesias and more Damon Albarn. They have found huge inspiration from British indie rock and fitted in nicely, with familiar sounds, voices, and front men in bucket hats. It is a very unique experience hearing the odd bits of Spanish spoken between them and then being transported to a brit pop paradise, something they balance very well.
It was a very intimate affair in the backroom of the Crofters Rights on a Sunday night. The energy was high early, with opening tracks of 'Spotlight' and 'Somebody Somewhere'. Thiago, the band’s singer and guitarist, mirrored this energy, thrashing around the stage during instrumental periods. Being from abroad it was only right that an impromptu Spanish lesson occurred as the band realised that no one in England speaks Spanish or any other language. We were taught the always necessary phrase of "bring me a beer" or "dimma una birra" that I think is Italian but I trust them.
The set was not without its technical hitches, most notably when Thiago managed to stack it into the pedals and microphone of guitarist Pablo, which was played off very well by the front man. The crowd lovingly called out to fellow crowd member Otto to help in this situation of need. As this was my first time I assumed he was a regular who must be handy with tech, which may be true, but following on from the Spanish lesson he addressed the crowd ‘Hola soy Otto’ and on Thiago’s request Otto told a joke to the crowd. Opening with the line ‘Why couldn’t Barbie get pregnant?’ (you can Google the punch line). After a strong ‘What the Heeeeeeeeell’ of TikTok fame from Thiago the issue was fixed and the show went on, all handled very well.
With the clock ticking of their short set, they finished off with their last two songs: ‘Teachers’ off their new EP, and ‘Antistyler’ from their 2020 debut album. ‘Teachers’ gives a different side of the classic teen angst feelings towards school, showing that teachers do in fact live a normal life. Be it drinking in the bar, Sunday dread or that they likely bang their heads on the wall thinking about teaching teenagers who never listen. They finished a great set with the same energy they started with, accompanied by mosh pits then an unexpected Can-can from the crowd…wrong European nation but at least we tried.
I will say there was some disappointment from my side. As a big fan of Spain and the Spanish language, I took a liking to their Spanish tracks listening in the build-up to the gig. Notably tracks such as ‘4 Perros Loco’s and ‘Falsa Dopamina’ that did not make the cut for the set list. This may have been to cater to the audience and show off their brilliant British sound, but I would have loved to hear more of them bringing together the Spanish and British which makes for some fantastic songs on their discography.
I will definitely be looking out for Laguna Goons when they next come back to the UK and you should too. If you are into your classic indie rock and brit pop you will definitely like these 4 lads from Spain, and we can all be Laguna Goons.
Featured Image: Thom / Sonic PR
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