Boy Azooga


It’s beginning to feel a lot less like Christmas recently, I still feel dampened by the election results, but time to dry off in Manchester’s finest YES venues for a very special Boy Azooga Christmas Show.

The night starts with the fantastic support act that is John Myrtle, his heavily humorous lyrics and stylistic tracks remind me slightly of Syd Barrett, and with only the recent release of his debut EP, he already has tunes that are eagerly waited on by the crowd, with ‘Cyril the Slug’ highly in demand.

Next up, the Cardiff Quartet make their way onto the stage for what is surprisingly one of, if not the first headline show they have played all year. By no means have Boy Azooga taken their foot off the gas pedal though, with their follow up album to ‘1, 2 Kung Fu!’ expected to surface in the earlier part of next year. Alongside that, Davey and the crew have experienced support shows with Bob Dylan, Neil Young and even both the Gallagher brothers! It’s nice to hear that the family feud between the two can at least be paused for a mutual love of the great music that is Boy Azooga.

They play through their festive set filled with confidence, with a little peppering of new tracks and covers. This is my fifth time seeing the Welsh wonders, but it is most certainly accurate to say that they grow bigger and better by every performance. A sense of real tightness and pure enjoyment oozes off the stage as the flair and talent is showcased upon the stage.

It wouldn’t be much of a Christmas celebration without a few additional features though. The very light decoration of candy sticks on stage is a nice tough, but the highlight of the night comes in the shape of the encore.

Azooga needed ‘A Little Help From Their Friends’ as they brought back John Myrtle, his band, and a few other additions to ‘Help’ perform a mesmerising Beatles Medley. From ‘Helter Skelter’ to ‘Paperback Writer’, and even a snippet of ‘All You Need is Love’, the majestic musicians show their flexibility and music prowess; even Daff Davies swaps out his drumsticks for six strings, which is news to me.

Sometimes you’re at a show, and it really clicks just how special that moment is, the place you’re in, and the uniqueness of the momentum that not only has surfaced but followed Boy Azooga since their debut album just over a year ago. With debuted tracks in the set list, it was a good way to get a sense that Newington and the gang have not just tried to replicate LP1 but have built on it.

When talking about the journey that his music has taken him on, Davey states that, “If I woke up tomorrow and this was all to come to an end, I’d be extremely happy still, this last year has been incredible!”

Don’t you worry Davey, you can pinch yourself because this isn’t a dream; and the sky really is the limit in these Real Rocky Times.

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