New York’s Bodega are back in the UK bringing their eclectic punk art noise to our shores once again. They are supported by one of York’s finest bands, Bull.
Words: Bill Adamson // Photos: John Hayhurst
A gig at the Crescent from Bull is always a great event and this was no exception. The band were on fire at this homecoming show. Their songs, which are great in recorded form, transform into something devilishly heavenly when played live. Bull were on peak performance mode with every member of the band playing as though their lives depended on it. Is there another band in the world that can combine Byrdsian harmonies with classic and punk rock vibes in such a sublime way? I don’t think so. “Start A New” and “Stuck” which bookended their set were magical highlights.
If I was in a band, I would not want to follow Bull onto the stage, but clearly Bodega weren’t phased by this at all. If anything, maybe they even upped their already towering game. This was a high octane set from blasting off with “Thrown” to an encore to die for which included a handful of Bodega gems, “Warhol” and “Protean” were stand outs. The band barely stopped for breath. Tai Lee was magnificently mad and would have outperformed the Duracell Bunny ten times over. Meanwhile the chemistry between the band was immensely powerful, particularly the vocal sparring from Lee to Ben Hozie. Their cover of Bob Dylan’s “Slow Train” was completely mental and turned the rather soft rock original into a mountainous volcanic eruption of sound. From their style, sound and attitude Bodega are easy to identify as a New York band. I found elements of Talking Heads, the Ramones, the Strokes, LCD Sound System, the B-52s and Blondie in their sound. But pinning them down to a specific genre is difficult and probably impossible. They are punk, art, rock, electro, and everything in between. If you get the chance to see them live, then do it!