We often talk of an artist capturing the imagination of the youth, so much so that they become obsessed, but when it comes to Davey Newington, aka Boy Azooga, he seems to have reignited a spark in middle-aged minds. With arguably 80% of his gig populated by the 40-plus, it’s clear to see he’s heralded as not only a throwback due to his vast 60s-80s influences, but as a quasi-saviour of rock and roll too. For good reason, no less, as his wonderful fusion of soft-rock, early heavy rock, and the 80s avant-garde makes for a genuine uplifting experience at his Green Door Store show.
Davey Newington is Boy Azooga, who released his debut album this year in the form of 1, 2, Kung Fu! It's a joyous ride, full of melody and pop nous, songs such as 'Loner Boogie', 'Jerry' and 'Face Behind Her Cigarette' swinging effortlessly from disco-rock to psychedelia. Already beavering away at the follow-up, he's out on tour this month. He took some time out to have a chat about The Great Escape, Brian Wilson, Hangover Square, and how he hooked up with the legendary Jeff Barratt and his Heavenly Records label.
After finishing the first ever Boy Azooga demos, frontman and visionary of the band, Davey Newington, was just going to put them on SoundCloud, but someone persuaded him to send them to record labels. Speaking about his dream record label, he stated that “Heavenly Recordings would be a dream, they have one of my favourite bands King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, but that’s the ultimate dream and unlikely. Anyone that just wants to put it out would be amazing”. Fast forward a few months and Boy Azooga are one of the hottest bands in the country, having just dominated The Great Escape Festival with three excellent performances, and signed to Heavenly Recordings where their debut record 1, 2, Kung Fu! was released.
To paraphrase that Marmite film classic, the streets were alive with the sound of music! Over three long days and nights, Brighton did truly come alive as The Great Escape juggernaut rolled into town for its 13th edition. The festival for new music saw over 500 acts playing in 40-odd venues, representing countries from all around the globe. If you add in the The Alternative Great Escape, and the plethora of events and pop-up performances arranged off the back of TGE and AGE, you’re looking at closer to 1,000 acts in 80-odd venues. Yes, it was mad, but glorious. Helped along by some beautiful mid-May sunshine, somehow within all the chaos, Brightonsfinest were out in force, documenting, commenting, and enjoying what we like to do best. Watch live music.
So, brace yourself. If you were there, hopefully memories will be stirred. If you weren’t, dive into our thoughts about the state of new music, and check out our many recommendations.