Still Woozy at Electric Ballroom
The first time I saw Still Woozy was in January 2019 at the Rock & Roll Hotel in Washington, DC. After a wavy hour of his trademark psychedelic bedroom-pop and a few Mac Demarco covers, he stopped and said to the crowd: “Well, that’s all the songs I’ve got…. Which one do you want to hear again?!” Everyone cheered (and chose Goodie Bag, obviously…)
Still Woozy graced us with his quirky and, quite frankly, epic presence last week in London at Camden’s Electric Ballroom. This time around, he certainly had enough songs to keep us going all night. Two nights even – he completely sold out the venue for two shows in a row. Sven (aka Woozy) released his debut full-length album If This Isn’t Nice, I Don’t Know What Is just over one year ago. His first European tour was originally meant to happen last March, but as we currently live on planet Earth, it naturally had to be rescheduled for November. But that certainly did not stop a sea of stylish fans from queuing all the way down Camden High St and around the corner. That’s one thing about Woozy – he has some serious fans.
The gig kicked off with a strong start from two women-centered acts, who unsurprisingly kicked ass. First was Legwurk whose music (and personality) is just as weird as Woozy. The crowd loved her, and she rejoined us on stage later as Woozy’s bassist (slash backup dancer?) We also were gifted a set from Dublin-based Efé, who had great stage presence and an even better voice.
If you should know one thing about Still Woozy, it’s that he loves to shake his bum. And as soon as Sven hit the stage, the entire crowd was dancing. He introduced himself with my personal favourite song off the new album – 2000s inspired banger, Window. Woozy cried out, “London, I love you already!” and in unison, the crowd shouted out back, “If I got one thing right it was you and me!” That’s another thing you should know about Woozy – he really, really loves his wife (Cooks, the artist behind his cover art, they got married in August and he was sporting his classy new ring on stage). It’s sweet, relatable, and a central theme in If This Isn’t Nice. And people surely must like it, because as Woozy carried on performing his new album, without a doubt at least 90% of the audience continued to sing along to every single word.
Sven had the same goofy dance moves and loveable stage presence that I remembered, but his confidence and skills have definitely grown. Being joined live by Legwurk on the bass and Harry Terrell on the drums definitely thickened the electronic foundations of his music. Woozy himself jumped around from vocals, to guitar, to vigorously shaking his ass on top of the amp. His older fans were left waiting not-so-patiently for the first half of the set, until we finally heard his 2nd-song-ever-released hit Cooks (see!) and 2018 classic Lucy. Woozy came down into the crowd during the down-tempo, heartfelt BS and dished that he loves British accents because he grew up listening to Harry Potter on tape.
Four years later, Still Woozy is still asking fans what we would like to hear (this time we got a 30-second screaming punk ad-lib) and closing out the show with the all-beloved Goodie Bag. Sven’s really been doing something right here – so much so that his fans cherished his sound even before his discography caught up. It was brilliant to see this come to life last week in Camden. With lyrics like, “That’s life, why would it change now? One minute I’m up, one minute I’m face down…” Still Woozy’s music makes you feel young, alive, and just slightly mentally unwell – but hey, who doesn’t love a little bit of madness?