Friday, September 22, 2017

Live Review :: Estrons + Boy Azooga :: The Hope & Ruin, Brighton - Sep 20 2017


Estrons + Boy Azooga

The Hope & Ruin, Brighton

September 20 2017

Words/Pictures: Steve Willcox

The unusually named Boy Azooga, a four-piece from Cardiff, are here in Brighton for the first time on the bill as one of the night's supports for fellow Welshmen (and lady, of course) Estrons at this sold out show. A confident band with energy in abundance, they soon get into their indie-funk groove with 'Tambourine', which got the crowd's collective boogie going, and 'Upside Down', which with its numerous funky guitar licks left this reviewer feeling as if I'd been transported back into a 70s Shaft movie.

Vocalist Davey ("Stokey") Newington is quite calm and unassuming but the lyrics this man delivers are sublime, coupled with the spark of energy that is guitar and keys player Dylan Morgan. The slow number 'Waiting' starts acoustically with Davey's guitar before then going hell for leather with the rest of the band joining in. Highlight of their set had to be 'Face Behind Her Cigarette', a totally 80s synth-funk tune from what seemed like it had come direct from a Gameboy. This band is going somewhere.

Another band who are definitely going somewhere are headliners, Cardiff alt-rock four-piece Estrons. Renowned for their live act, they deliver what must be one of the most audience participatory sets I have witnessed at a gig for years. At one point a guy was even hanging on for dear life from a lighting rig after crowd surfing his way through to it.

Kicking off with a triple whammy of 'Lilac', 'Body' and 'I'm Not Your Girl', frontwoman Tali Källström then announces jokingly that this was the end of the set. A huge roar develops before she then admits she's just pissing with us, and leads into 'Strobe Lights'. Her voice has an enticing bite to her tone - Cerys Matthews-cum-rock chick with a soulful edge, which, when combined with the chopped up guitar riffs and control of Rhodri Daniel on this hard-hitting number creates a fine blend of razor sharp post-punk.

The Peter Hook style bass playing of Steffan Pringle looked  - and sounded - immense awesome on the brash and gritty 'Glasgow Kisses'. Penultimate number 'Cold Wash', part of their recent AA single release with 'Strobe Lights', drew well-received approval, before closer 'Drop' hurtled along like a train thumping along the track to the pace of Toby's relentlessly reverberating drums that had the crowd moshing in a frenzy all over the floor.

Tali, meanwhile, loving the control, took great delight in forcing herself towards the front and you could sense the fans absolutely loving the energy of this band. If one word was put on this band's tour bus it would have to be: 'Beware!' Truly an awesome gig - or 'anhygoel' as they would say down in the Valleys.

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