Live Review: Bokassa – Wolverhampton

Bokassa - Wolverhampton - Tim Finch Photography

Live Review: Bokassa - KK's Steel Mill, Wolverhampton
20th October 2021
Words: Cat Finch
Photos: Tim Finch

Just a couple of years ago, pre-pandemic, Bokassa we’re riding the crest of a wave. A storming debut album landed them on a stadium tour of Europe with Metallica. Then their sophomore album, released during the aforementioned tour, went and blew the bloody doors off! The world was indeed Bokassa’s oyster.

With the pandemic hopefully behind us, Bokassa head to the U.K. for their first full headline tour of the country. Supported by the mighty Florence Black and for one night only here in Wolverhampton by local favourites Xilla.

As KK’s Steel Mill starts to fill up Xilla take to the stage. Their style of rock transcends what you might expect. It’s expansive, progressive, experimental reminding me at times of latter day earthtone9 without elements of heaviness. Their five song, thirty minute set a welcome introduction to the evenings events.

Florence Black @ KK's Steel Mill - Tim Finch Photography

Next up we have one of Wales brightest prospects in Florence Black. They have already released an album of the year contender in 'Weight of the World' and now they hit the road. The set kicks off with the high energy onslaught we've become accustomed to, but as the song progresses technical gremlins first cut out the mic's and then the stage lights! But that doesn't stop them, Tristan cries out from the dark, we better jam then and whilst we wait for the lights to be restored and the power to return we are treated to a few minutes of glorious rock fury.

As normal service is resumed the lads play through forty minutes, showing any new fans just what they are about. This is new wave of classic rock at its best with all the fist pumping, head banging action you would expect. Closing out the set is their staple cover version of Budgie's Breadfan, and I still maintain their rendition is the best in the business!

Bokassa @ KK's Steel Mill - Tim Finch Photography

Having only had the chance to see Bokassa in stadium settings prior to tonight, I've been waiting a long time to catch them in a more intimate setting, one that perfectly fits their ethos. And KK's Steel Mill is that perfect venue!

With the room simmering nicely thanks to Florence Black, Bokassa take to the stage and use the instrumental 'Freelude' to build the atmosphere thats takes us into the fast paced onslaught of 'Last Night (Was A Real Massacre)'. It's a ferocious start to the set which really highlights how good the band are and perfectly suited to these intimate club venues.

In between songs Jørn jokes with the crowd, his banter on top form. The set consisting of songs spanning their three album discography it's a Bkassa fan's wet dream and a great introduction for the band to those Florence Black die-hards in the crowd.

Bokassa struck gold two years ago in stadiums across Europe, and on the form they are on with this tour their prospects are growing yet further. The kings of Stoner Punk have cemented their place at the top of the table.

Bokassa @ KK's Steel Mill - Tim Finch Photography

Photo credits: Tim Finch Photography

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