London-Irish five-piece Bokito made quite the impression at our recent London gig at The Finsbury. At the climax of a scintillating set that straddled the gap between Afro-funk and tropical indie pop, they launched debut single ‘Better At Getting Worse’ and its carnivalesque organ, calypso rhythm and whopping refrain provoked a rapturous reaction and thunderous chants of “Bokito! Bokito!”. With their infectious first offering out now via Lost In The Manor Records, we talked to Bokito to get the lowdown on what’s to come.
New single ‘Better At Getting Worse’ is ace. How did the song come about?
Moses Moorehouse (singer): “The music came about three years ago for a play in Ireland and the director wanted “something like a Zach Braff-made movie”. ‘Better At Getting Worse’‘s lyrics came about around two years ago as a means to an end when I was going through a bit of a rough go of it, but nobody seemed to notice. Men, Irish men in particular, are excellent at hiding their emotions. I thought the song was fitting to have good craic music, but dark lyrics and hope for a while at least that no one would notice!”
How did you guys get together?
Jody Lahart (bass): “Me and Jack (vocals) had been in a folk/rock band in Dublin before I moved to London and Jack followed a year after with the intention of starting a new band here, something with a bit more energy and expression. It proved to be much harder to find like-minded musicians than we thought, as lots of people we met were only interested in paid gigs and others just didn’t have an ear for a tune. I met Joe (guitar) through a rehearsal we had for a mate’s band and asked him to come for a jam. Lots of the songs just clicked when Joe joined which was amazing. Tom (drums) was a one in a million find on Gumtree. Again it was similar, he came down for a jam and straight away he made the songs come alive and added so much feel to them. Sam (keys) is a relatively new recruit. I met him through work. Sam adds that final bit that we’ve been looking for for ages – he just raises the quality of our performances and adds a texture to the songs that wasn’t there before.”
What inspired your name?
Moses Moorehouse (singer): “There’s a gorilla in Rotterdam Zoo named Bokito. Some lady was tormenting him behind the zoo enclosure and despite the fact that he was in that big tank most his life, he somehow escaped, found the woman and attacked her (she’s fine btw), roamed around for 30 minutes then just went back into his enclosure without being shot or tranquilized. So he had to live his whole life not being what he wants to be, but for half an hour, he got to be the wild animal he was born to be. We figured that that was extremely fitting for us – especially if you saw us live!”
Who are the Top 5 biggest influences on your sound right now?
Any other new bands that you’ve played with and would recommend?
Jody Lahart (bass): “We played with a band called The Llamas ages ago now and they were brilliant. Great tunes and stage presence. There’s a sense of humour to their performances that you don’t see that often in bands at the moment.”
And finally, what does 2017 hold for Bokito?
Jody Lahart (bass): “Hopefully lots of festivals and more releases. We’re playing The Great Escape in Brighton which we’re really looking forward to. We’ll hopefully be announcing a few more soon.”