For his highly-anticipated show earlier this month, Sega Bodega brought a unique, intimate performance to St Pancras with striking string interpretations of his tracks, proving his prowess as a forward-thinking, expectation-defying musician and producer.
It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Sega Bodega as a solo artist. The Glaswegian, London-based performer and producer behind the likes of Brooke Candy and Shygirl had taken more of a behind-the-scenes role for the past year or so until early November when he dropped, as if out of nowhere, the infectious ‘U Suck’. And along with it, the promise of a new live show named Strings at St Pancras.
Teasing fans via social media in the days leading up, Sega Bodega announced a new project and that he had been learning to play guitar. An artist in his prime after his 2018 acclaimed self*care, and fresh from working on SEXORCISM with Brooke Candy, the choice to swap a club night for an intimate showcase at St Pancras Church was a bold one.
The risk paid off to some extent, as the grand setting created an extra sense of ambience to the blending of glitchy pop and a string quartet. Adding to this mysticism was a golden and violet light blaring over the figures playing instruments while Bodega often crouched in the corner or picked up a guitar. The songs themselves were beautifully re-interpreted but often slowed down quite a bit, and while all the different components were on point, it kind of missed the punch that is so integral to a lot of Bodega’s work.
Nevertheless, there were moments of bliss, when the lush textures of the strings and experimental pop hits came together in harmony. Starting things off with a stunning rendition of ‘cowgirl’, it was truly mesmerising hearing the strings pluck along as a replacement to computerised sounds in such a unique setting. From the same project, ‘kisses 2 my phone’ had completely new life poured into it. Topping it off was the most recent single, ‘U Suck’ and it has to be said, it’s pretty punk rock to repeat the lines, “I don’t mean to be rude, but honestly / Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you,” in the house of God.
The overall experience ebbed and flowed nicely, and it was interesting to see what new songs Bodega had in his arsenal (which will probably sound a little different when they come out later next year). While there were small moments it seemed the audience lacked interest, they were immediately drawn back in again when the next song kicked in. The main takeaway? Sega Bodega thrives in defying expectations, and if the new songs were anything to go by, there’s plenty more in store from this disruptive pop visionary.