Bodega w/ Bug Club @ Mono // 23.03.22

When the taste makers at Mono Records book a band to play two nights back to back you know you are in for a good time…

Opening tonight’s show is psychedelic rock trio Bug Club who for having such a diminutive line up certainly pack a punch in terms of the noise they can create.

Hailing from Wales the band rattle through a quick 30 minute set, giggling and generally having a good time. Frontwoman Tilly Harris is the psychical embodiment of a cute pixie and her candidness is infectious. Stand out tracks include; ‘If My Mother Thinks I’m Happy’, ‘Lorraine’ and ‘Wishing Well’.

Bodega have been touring their second album ‘Broken Equipment’ which will see them play across the UK to the end of the month. The 5 piece ensemble originate from NYC which is where they get their name from the countless Bodega’s (small convenience kiosks) that can be found on every street corner in Manhattan.

Tonight is the second night Bodega are playing Mono and the crowd is packed out and quite rightly so. The band play with a tremendous vigour, they are painfully cool with perfectly quaffed Teddy boy haircuts and chic vintage dresses.

They introduce their latest band member, Adam See who is affectionately named ‘The Professor’ owing to the fact that he is indeed a former Philosophy professor. The band have never taken themselves too seriously which makes their sound subversive yet playful, which is part of the appeal.

Having not one but two female percussion players is a bold move. That teemed with the fact that Thai Lee is not only standing up behind her drum kit but also dancing and at one point jumping enthusiastically at certain verses, whilst simultaneously swigging beer makes Bodega one of the most captivating live performances we’ve seen for some time.

Lead singer Nikki Belfiglio seems to embody the spirit of Audrey Hepburn meets the character Marla Singer in Fight Club (although that might just be the sunglasses) with her cute beehive and modish dress.

They play a surreptitious mixture of tracks from 2018 debut album ‘Endless Scroll’ and current release ‘Broken Equipment’ both of which have two very different distinctive vibes. The former a lazy post-punk, Sunday afternoon, garage rock affair (produced by Austin Brown of Parquet Courts) similar to The Breeders with hints of Liquid Liquid too. The new realise however is more up tempo almost math/art rock with glitchy synths and a BPM over 100.

Set highlights included; ‘Bodega Birth’, ‘How Did This Happen’, ‘Warhol’ ‘Doers’ and ‘NYC’. Opening track of the new record ‘Thrown’ has an almost Data rock quality to it.

Bringing the set to a close the band play hit ‘Jack from Titanic’ and the feverish ‘I’m Not a Cinephile’ followed by a much distorted rendition of The Rolling Stones, ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ and with that the set is over. Be sure to check out Bodega on the rest of the tour.

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