When the lights dropped to begin BOKKA‘s January 28 gig at Loftas, it didn’t take long for them to confirm why Poland has one of the best European music scenes.
In Bowie-esque fashion, the Warsaw-based fivesome took to the stage wearing silver jump suits and masks to conceal their true identities. Think aliens.
There was neither a rambling introduction about how happy they were to be in Lithuania for the first time, nor were there hollow platitudes. They just got straight to creating a show and sound that’s reminiscent of Kraftwerk and The Cure from the mid-1980s; albeit with a 2016 reboot.
By the time BOKKA reached the third song in their 16-song setlist, they finally got around to somewhat of an introduction.
In keeping with anonymity, no words were said. Instead they spelt out their message via a drum pad, which read “HI THERE. AND WE THOUGHT THAT THERE WILL BE JUST A FEW OF YOU. REALLY GREAT TO SEE YOU. ENJOY.”
That over with, the band showed their musical capabilities by shifting into a borderline deep house track called ‘Let It‘.
Undoubtedly, their track ‘Town Of Strangers‘ was the favourite with most of the audience. With almost 700,000 Spotify listens and in excess of 3 million YouTube its, it’s their most popular song; something they know after having written “THIS IS THE ONE YOU ALL KNOW” once again through the drum pad.
However, a personal highlight was ‘Changing Lovers‘. Again, using that BOKKA sound of alternative, post-punk rock with a modern twist, the silver suited Poles created a track that’s both an ear worm and purely clever in its execution; almost a song of two halves – in fact, my notes read “this is the music that Eastern Europe needs. Female vocalist. Export. F**K YES.”
I could go on about BOKKA’s unique sound, their ability to mix genres, their alien style outfits, the etherial light show, and why they’re unlikely to be like any other band you’ll see or hear this year or any time in the foreseeable future.
However, I won’t.
After they typed out their leaving message of “IT’S REALLY GREAT TO BE HERE. BUT IT’S TIME TO SAY GOODBYE. THANK YOU FOR HAVING US,” it became clear that the best thing about BOKKA was that I left Loftas not knowing who the characters behind the masks and the suits were.
And it’s for that reason and the intelligent creation of a personality by not verbally communicating with the audience, that I will go and see them again.