The band Boy Azooga have won the Welsh Music Prize for their latest album, ‘1, 2, Kung Fu’ with some solid competition from other nominees like the Manic Street Preachers, Gruff Rhys and Gwenno.
The prize is for any music made by Welsh people, made in or out of Wales. Band frontman, Davey Newington said when accepting the award, “This is a proper honour to be recognised, with just all the other amazing people nominated…Just to be part of Welsh music at the moment is exciting.”
And there is good reason for them winning, they are quietly taking the music scene by storm, developing a devout following of fans. I recently saw them on their first night of their tour earlier this year, and the venue was standing room only, and I was subsequently and rightly blown away.
The band assuaged any concern over their early years and proved they have the chops to create something worthy. There were no drunkards bashing about here and there on that night, it was supreme focus on the stage with learned ears waiting to hear them. What I found most striking was the way they experimented with style and form so readily and a whole host of incarnations while still feeling fresh.
Each song was truly independent and different in approach and yet somehow there was a common thread throughout. They have a slight musical magpie nature about them in that they dabbled in the essences of various artists who have long gone before them.
They ease through rockier tracks and hint to the psychedelic and punkish but certainly visit funk and groove liberally. Their standout track, ‘Face Behind Her Cigarette’ has a very familiar base line and garnered a huge response before and after the song meaning it already has a huge following.
To their deserved credit, the huge cheers they raised, getting larger and larger as their 45-minute set went on that evening, with everyone really present and taking part, their sound makes them quite universal without being pop but just solid, quality musicians and artists. And that is precisely why they have won this award, they weave something really special and I believe this is just the beginning.
Keep up with the band here.
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