9th October | Thekla
As the dust of the festival season has settled, a name that has continued to be plugged by fans across the nation is Boy Azooga. Having featured prominently almost everywhere, and their Green Man performance going down in Welsh history books, the dates of this tour were awaited as premium events.
Performing to an already sizeable crowd, Cardiff natives and friends of Azooga, Sock, kicked things off. They have been formed for just over a year and already their woozy shoegaze tracks have been likened to early Mac DeMarco. Their offbeat lead vocals with psych undertones made them an ideal opener on the line-up. As swirling multi-coloured visuals filled the screen, following Sock came Scottish duo, Man Of Moon, who truly succeeded in transporting Thekla back to the 70s.
The pair have been creating a real stir in their home territory of Edinburgh, and their presence in Bristol made a similar statement. With grungy bridges stamping their mark, intertwined with zorbing riffs, pieces like ‘Sign’ sounded mature in tone, as if they had been applauded for decades. The roster for this gig had a real hand-picked, DIY quality to it, with frontman Chris Bainbridge being Davey Newington’s cousin.
The venue now at full capacity, the build-up to Boy Azooga came with interludes of electro-funk. Boy Azooga is the result of Davey Newington’s creations being brought to life with a tight band behind him, once a drummer, now having turned to a frontman. The outfit soothed the Bristol crowd with their warming psych tinklings. Since their debut album release of 1, 2 Kung Fu (Heavenly Records) in June, it is beyond easy to see how Boy Azooga have charmed the masses with their eloquent blends of genre, accompanied by their overwhelmingly humble nature displayed by all.
Their ability to silkily slide between luscious tones is one of the many commendable traits Boy Azooga have; tracks from ‘Taxi To Your Head’ to ‘Waitin’’ display their remarkable musicianship. Although dreamy arrangements were evident, the set never lulled into monotony, unlike other bands of a similar calibre; Daf Davies on drums propelled the set into raucous moments with heavy momentum, which balanced the atmospheric softness of seeming crowd favourites ‘Jerry’ and ‘Breakfast Epiphany’.
As Newington reminisced about seeing Pond at Thekla last year, he radiated a genuine happiness about playing the venue, “It’s honestly such an honour playing here. It’s so surreal.” Closing with ‘Loner Boogie’, the crowd reached a kinetic peak as a frenzied pit formed in the set’s final moments.
Boy Azooga are being hailed as future festival headliners and following this performance, this is a given. What cements them to this certainty is their capability to produce beautifully crafted tracks that allow you to indulge in submersive moments of gorgeous depth.