All you needed to do was to follow the cooler, older crowd straight upstairs to know where the gig was. Queuing up in all shades of black, anyone who knew the history of Boss Hog is here, representing with green hair, pink hair, long hair or no hair at all.
Boss Hog are making a bit of a come back with Brood X their first full album in seventeen years due out in March, and now this show at Oslo in Hackney, London. Oslo is a gorgeous old rail house, formerly Hackney Central’s main building, it’s bare brick walls and tall round topped windows panel the walls downstairs. Luggage racks make up some of the the lighting fixtures, while elegant died fabrics hang ghostly from larger centre lights in the back room.
Filling up fast, this crowd is cool. All types of characters from many backgrounds all mingling together. Old worn in leather jackets, hair styles from towering quiffs to dreads. Cool hats, tailored coats and classic horn rimmed glasses.
Not a hipster in sight? Everyone here is an original from when these subcultures began, or at least they wish they were. A baby punk goth girl mixing in with old metal heads and lovely grungers, this is certainly the most authentic place to be on a cold winter night in London.
Sexy, alive, grooving, grinding and so damn happy. That’s Cristina Martinez tonight as Boss Hog open with Wichita Grey from their four song disco 12″ EP Brood Star release from last year. She’s giving us everything that we’ve been waiting so very long for. You can tell she’s ecstatic to be back on stage. Serving out her seriously talented front-woman power, Martinez’s presence is wildly magnetic and all eyes follow her stalking, provocative, killer moves.
Enticing the crowd by joining us on the floor, she walks out, still singing, defiant among the admiring and grinning audience. She leaves us awe struck in her wake but not without first choosing one lucky punter to sing and sashay in front of with her hand on his chest, grinning wickedly, so lucky to be her captive audience. The rest of the band fills in perfectly.
Martinez’s husband Jon Spencer of Blues Explosion fame hangs back humbly but still shreds his guitar so deadly, we are all hankering for more. Hollis Queens kills it on the drums ripping out slick vocals during Whiteout and other tracks. Jens Jurgensen’s brilliant bass lines are so frenetically rhythmic that just before the end of the night he snaps a string and has to move to guitar. We are definitely being shown how it’s done tonight, the skill these musicians share is an experience to behold.
After the show Cristina and Jon came down to sign records and hang out getting photos with fans. This truly shows how much they care and what great people they are on top of blowing everyone away with their music!
Live Review & Photography by Belle Piec
Boss Hog at Oslo, Hackney on Friday February 3rd 2017