Boy Azooga @ Yes


With their tickets booked for their first ever US tour, Boy Azooga spend one of their last nights in the U.K. at Yes Club in Manchester.

It has been a hectic year for Davey Newington and the lads, releasing their debut album 1, 2, Kung Fu! only a matter of months ago, attracting enough recognition to see them appear on Jools Holland, BBC Radio and now in just a few days time they will make their KEXP debut and it is most definitely deserved.

The Cardiff quartet open the night with an introduction of ‘Breakfast Epiphany II’ before kicking things into gear with ‘Taxi to Your Head’. Infectively heavy riffs, perfected percussion and a seasoning of suave showcase the class act that is Boy Azooga.

The Svengali behind the creation, Davey, comes across as a shy character at times, but that energy soon dissolves when the lights are low, and the mood is heavy. The most genuine man in the industry is quick to thank the crowd before soon reverting back to their catalogue of formidable fan favorites such as ‘Face Behind Her Cigarette’ and ‘Jerry’.

The setlist is rich in new tunes for Azooga fans too, showcasing songs such as ‘Jaki’, ‘Splott 5-0’ and ‘Upside Down’. Not to mention the impeccable cover of The Table’s comic book dead body dance floor classic ‘Do the Standing Still’, which followed after Davey’s joke, “They shortened their name from Do You Want This Table? to The Table so they could say they were a household name,” which Davey continued, “Well…that’s gone down better in previous shows.”

As the band close with ‘Loner Boogie’, your heartbeat matches the tempo of the speakers which explode with brain battering bass. The hard-hitting infectious tune even possesses the support act Man of Moon to join in with the mosh pit as the crowd flare their limbs to the fans’ favourite hymn.

The night leaves you on the dancefloor, dripping in sweat, having flashbacks of what could be the best moment of the night: was it Davey Newington himself getting down into the crowd and rocking out while the crowd praised the man like a god, or was it that underappreciated joke? Either way the night was most definitely something special.

It is impossible to talk of the show without giving credit to the rest of Boy Azooga. With Davey originally being a drummer himself, it would be hard to swap out the sticks for strings if he didn’t have an impeccable drummer behind him. That comes in the form of Daf Davies, making the perfectly precise percussion seem effortless while keeping the pieces in place as Dylan Morgan masters the keyboard, guitar and even the xylophone. Last but most certainly not least is Sam Barnes. Switching between guitar and bass while harmonizing beautifully with stellar vocals brought an all-round perfect night to a remarkable conclusion.

The band’s second album is yet to be announced, but with whispers of it being around the corner, the only way for this band to go is up, despite being on the top level already. These are ‘Real Rocky Times’. Azooga! Azooga! Azooga!

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