Review: Bodega – 13/08/19 – Riverside, Newcastle


It’s an uncommon sight to see an artist check their Instagram feed mid-song at their gig, but at Newcastle’s Riverside on Tuesday night, this is precisely what Nikki Belfiglio from the Brooklyn born art-rock quintet Bodega did…

Don’t be fooled though; she hadn’t negligently prioritised scrolling and liking over her performance. This was a well thought out jab aimed towards the ever-growing issue of social media addiction we’re all a little guilty of succumbing to. 

In combination with the PC mouse tangled around co-vocalist Ben Hozie’s microphone and the robotic din of a computerised voice repeating “scroll click, endlessly scrolling” between songs; Bodega made sure their social commentary on the digital era was heard loud and clear within the four walls of Riverside. And with noticeably fewer people holding their phones in the air to video it all (in comparison to other gigs I’ve been to of late) it seems that people were in-fact heeding the advice and keeping the technology at bay for the night. 

Modern technology wasn’t the only subject of Bodegas music, after performing ‘Gyrate’ Nikki proudly announced to the crowd that it had been written about female masturbation. This allowed Ben to chime in and add that the next song was about male hallucination as a smart transition into ‘Jack in Titanic’. Both of these songs were the only ones to have been spoken about or explained throughout the entire gig. 

Bodega was witty, energetic and fun, with their shouty vocals and pulsating beats. However the novelty started to wear off once it became apparent that almost all of their songs were played in the same key. Other than the times when there was a particularly catchy hook to a song there were some bored-looking faces amongst the crowd. 

What Bodega lacked in variety, however, they did make up for with their stage presence. For the most part they had bags… heck even suitcases of. Especially from their shaven head drummer who appeared almost as if she was preparing for battle as she energetically jumped about and rhythmically bashed the drums in front of her. 

The perfect contradiction to Bodegas fabulously eruptive drummer was the bands cool, calm and collected bass player, Heather. She was either channelling an “I want the world to stop” moody kind of angst, or an “I want this gig to stop so I can go home” kind of boredom. It was kinda hard to tell, but I’m assuming it was just the angst. 

The last ten minutes or so of the gig were filled with what I can only describe as a chaotic, (but exciting) confusing cacophony of sound. Nikki swayed around the stage and waved her drumstick at the crowd, her single cigarette earring wildly swung around to match the manic manner of the music. 

If you ever so happen to find yourself with the opportunity to go and see Bodega live, grab it. Despite being a little repetitive at times, Bodega are still rousing and to both watch and listen to. 



Check out more photos from Bodega’s show at Riverside, Newcastle over on our Gig Gallery… 


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