Gig review: Boy Azooga at Hebden Bridge Trades Club

Davey Newington, the son of two National Orchestra of Wales musicians, tapped into his creative musical lineage from an early age.

Boy Azooga
Boy Azooga

Starting with drums, he wound up as tub-thumper in chief for the Charlotte Church fronted Late Night Pop Dungeon before heading stage front to create Boy Azooga.

Enlisting the services of mates Daf Davies, Dylan Morgan and Sam Barnes to complete his kaleidoscopic sonic vision, the surprisingly assured ‘1-2-Kung-Fu’ fuses shimmering psych pop melodies and garage rock with electronic, ambient and percussive frills, somewhere on the same side of the tracks as a certain Gruff Rhys.

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Returning to the Trades Club following a previous appearance as part of the Heavenly Records Weekender roster back in February, Boy Azooga have also recently completed a whistle stop jaunt around the USA, and were performing in Holland only last night; busy times indeed.

The quartet hit the stage and before you know it, the sprawling infectious grooves of ‘Taxi to Your Head’ fill the Trades’ intimate surroundings. Part funk, part rhumba, the opener is in stark contrast to the urgent synth pop of ‘Face behind Her Cigarette’ and the sun-drenched lushness of ‘Jerry’ that follow, demonstrating some pretty handy songwriting skills if you ask me.

We’re treated to Azooga’s pulsating cover of ‘Do The Standing Still’ originally created by cult Cardiff punk band The Table, and somehow acquainted with the Newington household; Davey informing those in attendance the reason behind the band’s name stemmed from the fact they were able to call themselves a household name!

Azooga also showcase some new material including ‘Go Out Raise The Dead’, reminding me a little of Black Grape’s Kelly’s Heroes, before rounding off a pretty handy set with the animalistic shuffle of ‘Loner Boogie’, albeit the band’s Saturday night version.