NEWS: Boy Azooga announce debut album '1,2 Kung Fu!'

1,2 Kung Fu! This summer Boy Azooga are coming for you!

One of our tips for 2018, Boy Azooga, are riding a wave of momentum, which is a rarity for a British band these days and this is their story: one of utter perpetual motion since their formation. Formed 18 months ago of the imagination of all-around lovely fella Davey Newington, a well-known face of the Cardiff music scene having spent time as a drummer in various outfits (Houdini Dax, Charlotte Church’s Pop Dungeon). Their early demos uploaded to SoundCloud possessed a wistful, psych-pop charm but this was just the start of something very special indeed: “The first track I wrote with this band in mind was ‘Taxi To Your Head’. It felt different to anything else I’d written before because it was more about the groove and experimenting with samples and different sounds” notes Davey.

Davey then recruited friends Daf Davies, Dylan Morgan and Sam Barnes to form the Boy Azooga live quartet, and together they craft a multicoloured, refreshing shot of shape shifting sounds: a kaleidoscope of gleeful sun-dappled psych pop, underpinned by rave tinged, funky grooves that won’t fail to get your body moving, informed by one too many evenings spent drinking listening to Nigerian William Oneyabor, The Beastie Boys and Can records, welded with fizzy glam soaked riffs and threaded by addictive, unfussy chant along vocals and entwined melodies all delivered with beaming grins written on their faces.

Then they spent months locked away working on songs with producer Eddie Al-Shakarchi AKA Ed Boogie in his home studio in Cardiff,  Davey plays the majority of the instruments on their bountiful debut ‘1,2 Kung Fu’ which is released this week.“He is an incredible musician, producer and friend.” beams Davey “Without him, there would be no Azooga! He’s inspired me in so many ways. We share a love of Spinal Tap, fuzzy guitars and oven cooked pizzas!” 

Thus their debut is the culmination of a whirlwind year and a half for the band whose early demos were passed onto Jeff Barrett from Heavenly Records, who promptly signed them up, last November they released their debut single the ace, sun-dappled Onyeabor-inspired rhythms of ‘Face Behind Her Cigarette’, since then they’ve been securing notable support slots with Magic Gang & Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever before selling out venues on their own.

Then they unveiled the addictive surf pop of ‘Loner Boogie’; its barreling percussion and caveman chants had heads in a spin, like Super Furries‘Chupacabras’ by way of Supergrass‘s ‘Caught by the Fuzz’. “It’s a scary world out there these days, sometimes you don’t want to go outside.” said Davey  “Sometimes you get the Loner Boogie. Follow us into the Cardiff Transport Club for some fish-eye Kung Fu and a Guinness with the legendary Kliph Scurlock. Not sure he’s that into it, to be honest though.”

One of the first songs they put online was re-recorded for their next single the meditative hazy wistfulness of ‘Jerry’ that has more than a touch of Kurt Vile about its bittersweet sonic inflections but is actually a song about a dog, that touchingly name-checks Thompsons park in Cardiff “Jerry is one of the oldest songs on the album. I took inspiration from a song called Do I Get So Shy by Shoes; it’s understated and calm with sweet lyrics. I like how the singer is asking questions in the lyrics of that song, it makes it more vulnerable.” Davey explains: “We filmed the video in Cardiff Dogs Home, both dogs featured (Bander and Winston) have now been re-homed if you were wondering. The guys at Cardiff Dogs Home love people to go in and visit and meet the dogs. Check out the links below to see which dogs are currently in need of a home.”

Davey reveals this other more wistful side of Azooga sound is a thread throughout the record too “There’s a couple tracks that are more melancholy and laid back. I loved the ‘Smoke Ring For My Halo’ record by Kurt Vile. I pretty much always start out on an acoustic guitar when I’m writing but often the song won’t end up being that guitar led and I’ll want it to be more experimental. Sometimes the song calls for a more traditional songwriter feel though and Jerry, Hangover Square and Waitin’ are those kinds of songs.”

Azooga followed it up with an appearance alongside Welsh heroes Gwenno and the Manics on Jools Holland, and a set at the Biggest Weekend in Swansea. This whirlwind of success and attention has even taken Davey by surprise “It was never really intended to be a band, I just wanted to make a record that I could hold that I was proud of” he admits “So all of this has been surreal and amazing. We feel really lucky to be on Heavenly and be given the chance to release music and tour.”

Following playlisting on Radio 6 and spins on Radio One Mike D from the Beastie Boys interviewed Davey on his beats show, and he’s a self-confessed fanboy “It was a total honour. He was a sweet guy and so knowledgeable about music.” recalls Davey “Paul’s Boutique is one of my all-time favourite records and a big influence on the song ‘Taxi To Your Head’ as well as the rest of the record. I took my copy of the LP to him to sign, when I asked him to make it out to Dave he said: “but you won’t make any money on eBay if I do that!” He’s a hero!”

Another band that has influenced Boy Azooga are fellow Welsh adventurers Super Furry Animals, they are perhaps the most inventive Welsh band ever. But what’s Davey’s favourite Furries song? “Its hard to pick favourites but some standout tracks for me are Ice Hockey Hair, Dacw Hi, Some Things Come From Nothing, Hometown Unicorn, Herman Loves Pauline and The Teacher.” he reveals “I love the Furries, their creativity and enthusiasm is really inspiring!”

Boy Azooga stand quite apart from the clichéd, lad bands who often dominate the ‘indie’ landscape, their debut album is a refreshing, unabashed exhilarating surge of guitar pop laced with a collage of imaginative influences, they foster an excitement comparable with that of the early Coral, Supergrass, The Happy Mondays or the aforementioned Super Furry Animals. Boy Azooga arrive with the sound of the summer: imaginative, heady, refreshing and giddy, all aboard the Azooga train, alongside Adwaith and others they are a Welsh band with the ability to cross over into the hearts of the UK listening public of likes we probably haven’t seen since the 1990s!

Boy Azooga release their debut album ‘1.2 Kung Fu’ on June 8th via Heavenly records!


Boy Azooga live shows 2018:


05 – Edinburgh, Sneaky Pete’s

06 – Middlesbrough, Westgarth SC

07 – Liverpool, Shipping Forecast

12 – Cambridge, Portland Arms

13 – Margate, Tom Thumb Theatre

14 – Leicester, The Cookie

15 – Carmarthen, The Parrot

16 – Newport, Le Pub

24 – Glasgow, West End Festival @ Oran Mor


14 – Southwold, Latitude Festival  (Lake Stage)

21 – Topcliffe, Yorks – Deer Shed Festival (Main Stage)                 

22 – Jodrell Bank, Cheshire – Bluedot Festival (Nebula Stage)

27 – Tanworth in Arden – Lunar Festival (Main Stage)

28 – St. Germans, Cornwall, Port Eliot Festival (Caught by the River)


11 – Horncastle, Lincs – Joefest

16 – 19 – Glanusk Park, Green Man Festival

25 – Totnes, Sea Change Festival


01 – Tollard Royal, Dorset – End of the Road Festival

14 – Hawarden, Good Life Experience


05 – Dublin, Grand Social

06 – Limerick, Kasbah Social Club

07 – Belfast, Voodoo

09 – Bristol, Thekla

10 – Birmingham, Castle & Falcon

11 – Glasgow, King Tuts

12 – Manchester, Now Wave Venue

13 – Newcastle, Cobalt Studios

14 – Leeds, Brudenell Social Club

16 – Nottingham, Bodega

17 – London, Scala

18 – Brighton, Green Door Store

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.