Boy Azooga + Seatbelts+ Tracky
The Shipping Forecast, Liverpool
June 7 2018
Words/Pictures: Jane Davies
Down in the Hold, aka the downstairs venue at Liverpool’s Shipping Forecast, things were heating up so much that the walls were perspiring along with the audience for this sold-out show.
First to set sail for the evening was Tracky, aka Mike Poynton, formerly of Youth Hostel, now resurgent as an all-singing, one-man band and his projector. Tracky has a unique gift for making tales of modern drudgery sound marvellous with funky pop beats and clever wordsmithery. The Adidas clad livewire sailed close to the wind with some very cheeky projections, which included cheeks - not of the facial variety - and clearly delighted and animated the early crowd.
Departure was delayed for passengers about to enjoy Seatbelts, The Hooton Tennis Club side project, due to sound issues. Unflustered and totally laid back, they relaxed into their eclectic set which painted a collage of different genres across the ages. As the audience drank in the music they found hints of Talking Heads and Neil Young. ‘Song for Vonnegut’, taken from their recently released EP of the same name, got the crowd on side and swaying, only to slow things down with ‘It Is As If I Am A.I’. Lengthy and atmospheric, perhaps more suited as a soundtrack to a deep late night post-pub discussion than as a live set inclusion.
‘This is how we do things’ had the essence of the latter work of the Beatles and synth work that chimed along and engaged with the audience again. The “pah pah pah” on Spanish songs was a bit ‘Make Me smile’ and kept the audience smiling and on side. ‘Capitalist Confession’, drew on the combined vocal talents of Abi Woods, Ryan Murphy and James Madden and some interesting cowbells work, signing off with their previous single release ‘Hey, Hey Tiger!’ which had justifiably been received with a plethora of positive reviews. Seatbelts have no signature sound, it is loosely structured patchwork quilt of experimental styles which makes them so alluring.
From here in the dancing got wilder and outbreaks of pogoing at the front ensued. We were not informed as to who the tracks ‘Jerry’ and ‘Jaqi' were dedicated to (though the differently spelt, Jackie Chan Davey has revealed in interview was a childhood hero), but they must have been lively people as they kept the audience buoyant. The bassy ‘Loner Boogie’ topped off a flawless set that had delighted fans and newly affirmed fans in the audience. Boy Azooga was riding on a crest of a wave in Liverpool and is destined to go places.