Pongo, Amber Jay, Karman: Future Yard, Birkenhead

An infectious mix of Kuduro, Rap and Pop, Mark Johnstone catches Pongo at Future Yard.

By Mark Johnstone
Tue 23 November, 2021

It’s not every day you get say you went to see Pongo play in Birkenhead, but today was the day.

It was this writer’s first time experiencing a live gig at Future Yard and I was blown away, not only by the show itself but the venue and the enthusiastic crowd assembled to see her.

Opening the night was local artist Karman who’s opening words were “I’ll be playing the music through my phone”. At this point I wasn’t sure what to expect but the sound was perfect, drawing us into sounds reminiscent of Bjork, Alanis Morrisette, Enter Shikari and The Prodigy.

The very busy Amber Jay was next up to support, part of the LIMF Academy and fresh from shows in London and Liverpool, guitar in hand with a soothing vocal to accompany it, Jay’s set took you on a journey which ended with the incredibly bassy and catchy new single Equal.

29 year old singer-songwriter Pongo hails from Angola fled her home country to escape civil war. Her music is an infectious blend of Kuduro, Rap and Pop. Within the first ten minutes it was time to remove the coat and hat for a full on work out. This was going to be a sweaty one.

Pongo’s audience interaction is incomparable from welcoming a member of the audience on to the stage to go through the dance steps to the title track from 2020’s UWA album, right through to stepping off stage and joining the crowd to perform her new and very energetic single Kalemba (Wegue Wegue),which had the crowd vibing along with the occasional backing vocals dropped in when Pongo passed the crowd the microphone.  The room suddenly became warm, happy and full of energy.

Pongo truly left a mark at Future Yard and we predict big things for her in 2022.

Overall the evening was incredible, three solid sets with an Open Mic taking place in the side room to keep you engaged during the intervals.