On Friday the 4th September we had the distinct pleasure of attending a live music show (is that what the cool kids are calling it now?) at The Magic Garden in Battersea. We arrived early enough that we could enjoy a nice pint or two in the beer garden before the show began. It became obvious fairly quickly that the pubs name was no over exaggeration, the beer garden was a stunning environment perfectly suited to sinking a few pre show brews. We wish we’d taken a camera along with us to document just how surreal and ethereal the garden was but it was a place far removed from the claustrophobic greys of the London cityscape, it was covered by a circus tent like and dazzling with streams of fairy lights. To the side was a converted taxi cab which had been refurbished and acted wonderfully as a unique and much lusted after seating space. The staff were incredibly friendly and once the gig itself kicked off the space and sound team did everything possible to ensure everybody was having a fantastic time.
We probably spent a little too long basking in the majestic surroundings, once we did make our way back inside to enjoy some of the premium live music on offer we were absolutely blown away by the genre defying stylings of Bomba Titinka. Hailing primarily from Italy they put on a masterclass in musical mayhem, switching up styles and sound as often as the frontman Mr Bricks did between his banjo, guitar and growling vocals. Not packing a complete brass section they managed to make up for this through a tactical organ and saxophone combination which built a soundscape that you would be hard to label as lacking. When it was time for a solo every member of the band stepped up to the plate but the saxophone really stood out as a show stealer. The double bass was provided by Wanda Lazzarovich who was as lovely as she was talented rocking a beautiful double bass as decked out in fairy lights as the beer garden outside. She provided a shuddering backbone for the band that thumped it’s way through rhythm to just rock. The rest of the rhythm section fell on the drummers shoulders who had one of the most haggard and stripped back kits I’ve ever seen but managed to make it sing throughout. Playing a set replete with covers and their own material they really built up an atmosphere that made it impossible to stand still, by the end of their time on their stage everybody was nodding their head and grinding their hips to the irrepressible jazzy stylings. ‘Grammafono’ was as unforgettable a track as their amazingly funky cover of Blur’s ‘Song 2’.
Next onto the stage were the Australian band The Woohoo Revue who put on a gypsy swing party. Taking to the stage dressed to get groovy the band treated the amassed crowd to one hell of a show. In comparison to Bomba Titinka, these Australians amazed with an incredibly tight and expansive brass section which shook out any remaining cobwebs and had the audience skanking along merrily. By the end of the set even the bar team were standing atop the bartop and singing along. Again giving in to ridiculous displays of musicianship it was the guitarist that had jaws dropping to the floor this time as he tickled out a spooky serenade from his instrument.
We must admit before the show, we were not familiar with either band. This is a mistake we have since rectified and cannot urge you strongly enough to do the same. If you see them playing live anywhere in your vicinity be sure you get your butt down there and be ready to boogie. If there recorded content isn’t enough to convince you these are two incredibly talented sets of musicians then their live show damn sure will.
Words by Matt Miles