LIVE REVIEW! Bokassa - The Underworld, London

December 13, 2019


Its only been a few months since Bokassa released the soundtrack to our summer ‘Crimson Riders’. Of course a potential album of the year by many media outlets simply wasn’t enough that the band felt the need to embark upon a huge stadium tour with none other than Metallica. Its been a busy year for our kings of stoner punk, thats for sure, but as we draw a close to the year, the band are still hard at it. 


The Riffs, Hooks, Breakdowns & Freedom tour came to the heart of Camden town on a Friday night for the UK leg of the tour having already laid waste to 14 venues prior. But this is The Underworld. Special things happen here as we were sure to find out. 


Joining Bokassa on the road for this portion of the tour are Puppy who have received their fair share of the buzz lately and its easy to see why. They can only be described as a free for all of sounds refusing to follow any kind of written rule on the book so to speak. The bands comedic


values comes across natural from the start right after a small technical hitch with their intro music (The Terminator Theme) which decides it just doesn’t want to play anymore. Its laughed off easily. “oh nice one” the band members laugh in unison as they decide to finish of the into themselves by humming it. 


The truth is, for all of their comedic worth, Puppy are quite genius.  Whilst on paper, it may appear to be band that struggles with identity at times but the interlacing of many genres and styles into their hook laden songs is simply fantastic and something that comes across as if it were built to be experienced live. Be it the thick crunch and catchy choruses of ‘Black Hole’ or the mid tempo Silverchair-esque plod of ‘Powder Blue’ all washed over with well harmonised vocals, theres an awful lot here that makes it very hard not to like as much as the music purists would want to, its just too damn entertaining. 


Speaking of entertaining though, Those damn Bokassa boys have only gone and done it again. With a huge stadium tour behind now a thing of the past, it was always interesting to see how the smaller stage would treat them. The Underworld remains cosy with many Bokassa shirts either old or freshly new from the merch stand. And from the very first note played, it really doesn't take too long for things to get going at all. 


The photographers are somewhat at a disadvantage as they are forced to the back of the dance floor fairly quickly by the punters who are dying to get going in the mosh pit which once started, never really stops and only culminates into an array of crowd surfers and stage divers with at one point bassist Bård Linga joining them all whilst never missing a single note. 



The setlist is a great mix of old and new, but with Crimson Riders still fresh off the press, its the new that really puts things into gear. Those familiar with every lyric make themselves known as they sing along to monstrous riffs of ‘Vultures’. Those who didn’t take the time to learn the lyrics are all good as they throw themselves around to ‘Captain Cold One’ and then of course there are those who just cant stop head-banging to riff after riff after riff of 'Walker Texas Danger'. 


Not only have Bokassa had quite the year, with mega tours and a ridiculously great second release, but they’ve somehow managed to end it on an even higher note with their own headline tour that didn’t result in them playing in front of five people which is sometimes the case with bands as fresh as this. Resistance is futile. If this is just the beginning, then Bokassa, kings of stonerpunk will soon be kings of the world. Mark my words. 


God damn we are excited to be Bokassa fans. 




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