Molotov Jukebox – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds – 26.04.16

Molotov Jukebox – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds – 26.04.16

Molotov Jukebox are, true to their name, explosive. A six-piece band fronted by Natalia Tena (known for her roles in Harry Potter and Game of Thrones), their performance bursts through the endless Leeds gloom into the Brudenell Social Club like a ray of carnival sunshine.

From the very beginning, it’s clear that the night is going to be good; from the moment the six of them step onto the stage, the atmosphere is one of excited and expectant exhilaration. Their set is fantastic, easily mixing more established songs from their first album Carnival Flower with new material from Tropical Gypsy without ever letting up on the pace of the evening. It’s a testament to how fantastic they are that even though some of audience have no idea who they are, they still dance the hardest. Molotov Jukebox move seamlessly between the slightly less manic ‘Neon Lights’ — arguably their most popular song — to the bubbly opener of their new album, ‘Pineapple Girl’. Nat Tena’s melodic voice works wonderfully with both faster songs, such as ‘Double Dare’, and slower ones, like ‘Niña’, an emotional ode to family and roots.

Ever since their inception, people have had problems placing Molotov Jukebox in a specific genre, and they seem to relish this, creating a sound which is entirely new and utterly fun; even some of their slower songs are lent a relentless upbeat feel by their use of brass and guitar, and the cadence of the singing makes it impossible not to sing — or dance — along.

It is, by far, the most pure fun I’ve had at a concert. A word of advice for their shows, however: wear clothes you can dance in, and prepare to get hot; until they erupt into the mainstream and perform to enormous arenas, their fans will dance hard enough to make their small venues so hot you might think you’ve actually been transported to South America.

Yasmin Asif