It wasn’t that long ago we were writing about a brand new record that hit our inboxes from a relatively unknown band called Bokassa. The record was entitled ‘Divide & Conquer’ and since the very first time we hit that play button, its been a staple in our playlists ever since.
Fast forward a year and in that time, they have had multiple glowing reviews published by many media outlets, airtime Daniel P Carters Radio 1 rock show and an incredible shout out by Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich who hailed them as “his new favourite band” after featuring them on his radio show. Things are looking up for the Norwegian kings of stoner punk.
It was only right that upon the announcement that Bokassa would be playing their first ever show in London that we made sure that we were there. Joining the lineup a mere 4 days prior to the show, Haggard Cat are up first and are noisy and unconventional as the two piece fill the stage of the Boston Music Room with their self proclaimed “White Stripes wannabe bullshit hipster pseudo rock”. Its wildly chaotic and definitely not bullshit. [7/10]
Palm Reader are a worthy support on the night helping pull in the crowd. Theres definitely plenty of folk through the door who are here for them. They take no time getting into the thick of it as they make their way through a setlist that sounds as if it came straight from the depths of hell. Its full and heavy. The sounds that emanate from the stage are not from this world and on this night, Palm Reader have everyone in the room eating out of the palm of their hand. [10/10]
As Bokassa set up on stage, we catch a glimpse of the setlist written on the back of some paper plates. “The venue didn’t have any paper” Guitarist/Vocalist Jørn Kaarstad tells us as many are amused to learn. Once set up the first notes of our first ever live experience of Bokassa happen. “Impending Doom” boots into gear. Our new favourite band is here and they are confidently owning their stage as they churn out riff after riff.
If there is one thing thats made certain, its that Bokassa are taking no prisoners in their performance. Its electric. “Last Night” is an absolute rager live as we suspected it might be. The Bokassa fans in the room excitedly bang their heads whilst everyone else is quickly converted. Bokassa, tonight has made a fan out of everyone in the Boston Music Room.
“Immortal Space Pirate” is a particular highlight of the night clocking in at over 7 minutes. The track that closes the ‘Divide & Conquer’ record sounds absolutely epic with massive riffs filling the air like Londons thick smog on a muggy day, its at this point most are helpless as they succumb to the need to headbang.
Riff after riff after riff after riff. Its been a very long time since we have seen a band debut with such a strong record who are able to back it up live too. Bokassa look absolutely confident in their ability to put on an incredible live performance full of electricity that will at points, have you watching in a trance-like gaze at just how good they are. The rest of the time you’ll be pumping your fist and banging your head uncontrollably.
Big things are coming for Bokassa, a band that are the full package and we cant wait to see whats next. But if one thing is for sure, on this night, In London, they came, they saw and they absolutely conquered. [10/10]