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Boy Azooga - 1, 2 Kung Fu! (Album Review)

Wednesday, 13 June 2018 Written by Liam Turner

Boy Azooga’s Davey Newington knows his stuff. Since grasping his first pair of drumsticks at age six, the Cardiff native has played in a bunch of orchestras and jazz bands, along with turning out as a member of Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon. All this background work has culminated in his band’s first LP, ‘1, 2, Kung Fu!’, which can only be described as a kind of fantastical, timewarped musical menagerie.

Here, you’ll find nods to Gorillaz, Black Sabbath, Mac DeMarco, the Beach Boys, Tame Impala, the Flaming Lips and the Beatles, to name just a few. Much ado has also been made about the influence of Nigerian synth pioneer William Onyeabor, in particular, from the jittery keyboard stabs of opener Breakfast Epiphany to the sparkly synth accents on closer Sitting On the First Rock From the Sun.

And nowhere is Onyeabor’s influence more apparent than on Face Behind Her Cigarette, which moves and grooves with a rhythm that rivals some of his most infectious tracks.

Unfortunately, though, Newington’s lyrics also resemble Onyeabor’s, as he repeats the same vapid lines over and over (“The face that no one can forget / Is the face behind her cigarette.”).

Questionable couplets pop up elsewhere on the record, too. On Loner Boogie, Newington sings: “Went to a party, stood around felt a fool / I tried getting busy, but they ain't busy being cool.” And on Jerry, he adds: “Walking down to Thompson's Park / And you ran so far, I couldn't hear your bark.” Happily, both tracks make up for their lyrical shortcomings with some seriously heavy grooves and earworm hooks.

And that seems to be the point here. Boy Azooga aren’t too concerned with what they’re saying, because the music they make is so goddamn funky. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who can resist moving to Taxi To Your Head, for example. They should also be commended for delivering a record that sounds coherent and cogent, despite stuffing it to the brim with a panoply of genres and esoteric musical references.

Even more impressive, though, is that through imitating many different artists and sounds, Boy Azooga have themselves created something rather original. Sure, it would be easy to pigeonhole the four-piece a quirky purveyors of indie rock, but there aren’t many - if any - who sound quite like them.

Boy Azooga Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Wed June 13 2018 - MARGATE Tom Thumb Theatre
Thu June 14 2018 - LEICESTER Cookie
Fri June 15 2018 - CARMARTHEN Parrot
Sat June 16 2018 - NEWPORT Le Pub
Fri October 05 2018 - DUBLIN Grand Social
Sat October 06 2018 - LIMERICK Kasbah Social Club
Sun October 07 2018 - BELFAST Voodoo
Tue October 09 2018 - BRISTOL Thekla
Wed October 10 2018 - BIRMINGHAM Castle and Falcon
Thu October 11 2018 - GLASGOW King Tuts Wah Wah Hut
Fri October 12 2018 - MANCHESTER Now Wave Venue
Sat October 13 2018 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE Cobalt Studios
Sun October 14 2018 - LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Tue October 16 2018 - NOTTINGHAM Bodega Social Club
Wed October 17 2018 - LONDON Scala
Thu October 18 2018 - BRIGHTON Green Door Store

Click here to compare & buy Boy Azooga Tickets at Stereoboard.com.





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