You know how some bands are not there one moment and the next moment they seem to be everywhere?
Not as in being unleashed on the world by a major label with deep pockets and a stranglehold on all the major media outlets, but in a similar way to when you think you’re being followed late at night, when you feel that someone is watching you at odd moments, and finally you turn around and there they are: Boy Azooga.
If you know what I mean.
Boy Azooga seem to be everywhere at the moment, and we’ve decided that that is no bad thing. It’s safe to say that we like Boy Azooga. We want to be friends with them. We want to buy them lollipops with our pocket money and take them home to meet our mother. That kind of thing.
And now you can be Boy Azooga’s friend too
They’re (nicely enough) playing this Friday live at the Monarch and yes, yes, I know, we’re also quite happy about the fact, that we’ve got a pair of tickets for y’all to win. How? I’ll tell you at the bottom of the article. First a little about our new best friend though:
Boy Azooga is in fact one young man; what you’ll see on Friday is the Boy Azooga live quartet. The young man in question is Davey Newington, who as a boy played triangle in orchestras, you know, proper orchestras, the kind that have triangles in them. Then he started on the drums; then he did everything. The debut album 1,2,Kung Fu was written, sung and played by Davey with no help from anyone except his dad on strings (Davey’s dad in fact played in the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, as did his mum, which is where they met).
The track Face Behind Her Cigarette both hints at Hot Butter’s 1972 synth-pop smash Popcorn and draws inspiration from the late Nigerian funk overlord William Onyeabor
With a ton of influences mashed together, Davey says this: “The album is not all one thing for sure,” says Davey. “The whole point of Boy Azooga is to be a celebration of loads of different types of music. I wanted the album to be more like a mixtape or something. We wanted to include loads of contrasting styles.”
By way of illustration of Davey’s multifarious musical mission, the track Face Behind Her Cigarette both hints at Hot Butter’s 1972 synth-pop smash Popcorn and draws inspiration from the late Nigerian funk overlord William Onyeabor. The filmic instrumental Breakfast Epiphany II is a response to The Beach Boys’ Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder), as featured in an LSD-fuelled scene in the Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy. Boy Azooga close 1, 2 Kung Fu with Sitting On The First Rock From The Sun, a piece of poised 1960s- flavoured classicism that expands into a funky prog-kraut wig-out.
Davey’s vocals and arrangements carry the tuneful yearning of early Badly Drawn Boy. But the palette extends far beyond singer-songwriterly poignancy. Davey recruited friends Daf Davies, Dylan Morgan and Sam Barnes to form the Boy Azooga live quartet, an ensemble that swings smoothly from filmic instrumentals to a churning, rave-tinged rock that hints at both Can and their progeny in Happy Mondays.
Other influences include Sly & The Family Stone, Caribou, Black Sabbath, Outkast, Van McCoy, Ty Segall and The Beastie Boys.
Head swimming a tad? Mine too. Get along to the Monarch on Friday and get that head looked at, or at least bounce it around a bit.
Win tickets to the Boy Azooga show with support from Pictorial Candi by writing as entertainingly as possible to win (at) indieberlin.de. Otherwise the tickets are a snip at just over 11€, available from Listen Berlin online or on the night.
Noel Maurice is one of the founders of indieberlin. Originally from the UK via a childhood in Johannesburg, he has been resident in Berlin since 1991. Describing himself as a ‘recovering musician’, he is the author of The Berlin Diaires, a trilogy detailing the East Berlin art and squat scene of the early 90s, available on Amazon and through this site.