11th January | Crofters Rights
Photos: Laure Noverraz
There wasn’t the slightest whiff of the ‘difficult second album’ for nascent promoters The Bottle. Sweat and beer yes, but The Milkshake Boys’ sell-out sophomore event at The Crofters Rights yielded further converts to The Church of Lynks Afrikka, with the help of indie-psych from London and post-punk ferocity that could only come from Bristol.
Not letting an initially thin crowd deter them, opening act Social Contract graced the stage with an intriguing clash of soaring psychedelic jangles, radiant metal riffs and proggy jams, each member looking like they belonged to a different band (you would have thought bassist Chris Coward had wandered from Hawkwind’s ‘72 Doremi Fasol Latido tour were it not for the Linkin Park shirt). This disparate mesh of genres never cancelled each other out due to their sound understanding of what makes each style work, although occasionally I felt underwhelmed by their reliance on conventional anthemic indie delivery.
From the celestial sights of psych-rock right down to the shock of grit ‘n’ spit post-spunk, hometown denizens Football FC unleashed an inferno of frenetic guitar attacks, atonal synths and cutting lyrical bile which whipped the humid room into a greater frenzy, the bassist relieving himself from guitar duties to launch himself into the crowd to create a further air of chaos. Latest single, ‘Big Time’ oozed along caustically, a squalid account of the filthy rich and their greasy egos, the acidic character study touching a visceral nerve in the wake of post-electoral malaise. The cool, nasty, grimy bang that was their set placed them firmly in the vanguard of disaffected British punk.
The sweat that clung to the air intensified from the swelling crowd, the surrounding chat consisting of little more than “this next guy is fucking amazing” repeatedly. The absence of a backstage inspired some ingenuity, and so the arrival of Lynks Afrikka was announced by Lynks’ majestic upwards ascension (just ignore their prior laying on the floor). Gloriously rocking Rapunzel hair tassels out of a Mad Max helmet (Beyond Thunderdome of course), knee-high socks and slippers, and a crop top stating ‘I was in The Guardian’, the drag-grenade had exploded to a roaring applause.
With the help of Lynks’ backing dancers, Lynks Shower Gel and Lynks Gift Set, the trio tore through a giddy set of performance art, warped electro that donked like a nightmarish Crash Bandicoot, comedy bits and joyously amateur choreography. Fun was firmly on the agenda, Lynks effortlessly working the crowd into a giddy euphoria with opening industrial banger, ‘Don’t Take It Personal’. The razor satire of ‘On Trend’ was almost cathartic, turning our collective social anxiety surrounding global breakdown and our guilty complacency into a Hi-NRG banger, while signature track, ‘Str8 Acting’ cemented Lynks Afrikka’s reputation of live sets being less a gig and more a party.
Lynks Afrikka’s whirlwind smash at Crofters Rights felt like some brilliant queer happening, an irreverent movement of hedonism and decadence that the no-fun police will seek to stamp out in the future fascist state, but too many will have been converted. All Hail Lynks Afrikka!
See the video for ‘Str8 Acting’ here: