Lynks // Jessica Winter // Nukuluk – The Fleece, 20/03/22

It isn’t necessarily a profound statement to declare that a lot can change for artists in just over two years, but for Lynks it would appear that that change has been on a completely different level to most. To many, it only feels like yesterday that the masked mischief-maker was performing support slots to thirty confounded faces in Bristol’s sweatbox basement venues, and yet merely a moment later we’re treated to a sold out show in front of adoring followers. Returning to the city in which the project was born, Lynks’ performance at The Fleece felt like more than just a homecoming – this was a victory lap.

Handed the frightful task of psyching up the crowd for an evening of hellraising drag insanity were Nukuluk and Jessica Winter, both of whom took up the mantle with equally stunning performances of their own. London experimental collective Nukuluk delivered a fearsome amalgamation of harsh electronics alongside elements of trip-hop and dub to an unsuspecting but engaged crowd. The catharsis in the delivery of vocalist Monika at times left him bereft of any energy left to give, yet the jarring nature of the tracks they performed stirred an emphatic response from the audience. Moving slightly more in line with what Lynks would go onto deliver, Jessica Winter remained moody and atmospheric at times, but ventured into pure unadulterated pop at others. Energy certainly wasn’t lacking in her set either, where over the course of the half hour she performed by herself, every square inch of the stage had been covered.

Donning their usual range of garish disguises and throwing limbs around like there’s no tomorrow, Lynks (accompanied by the ever-faithful backing dancers Lynks Shower Gel) was nothing short of a riot. In a set that traversed through old favourites from the aforementioned basement days such as ‘Str8 Acting’ to the latest singles ‘Silly Boy’ and ‘Hey Joe’, there was no shortage of campy chaos. What’s also both remarkable and warming about attending a Lynks show these days is that the audience participation on any given song doesn’t need to be instigated; it just happens instinctively.

With the show split into ‘chapters’ of bangers, slowies, bangers specifically about awful men and covers of Courtney Barnett and Wet Leg thrown in for good measure, it’s clear that the vision Lynks began with has turned into a fully realised concept that is best observed in a live setting. The playful and off-the-wall sense of humour has only continued to grow alongside the act, and now it has begun to find its place on larger stages, there’s a real sense it will only continue to blossom and provide joy to everyone lucky enough to witness it. The only thing that hasn’t changed is me being at a loss for words to describe just how essential it is you try and see the show, and even if the gratuitous techno renditions of ‘Chaise Longue’ make it seem like Lynks might be in danger of selling out – fuck it, it’s fully deserved.

Words: Reuben Cross // Photos: Tom Whitson

Lynks is currently on tour across the UK. To view more dates on the tour, click here.

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