Vanity Project

fanzine archive and photo blog

Bo Ningen @ Rough Trade East

Bo Ningen
Rough Trade East. 30oct12.

Taken at face value, one might easily lump Bo Ningen into a Japrocksampler-made-flesh corner, and bandy the names of Kawabata Makoto, Yamantaka Eye and the Flower Travellin’ Band around as though to suggest they can only be a product of their ethnicity and cultural heritage.

Bo Ningen might be as Japanese as kabuki theatre in their skin and bone, but their psyche rock business owes as much to the West as it does to the Far East. They were formed and are based in London, and although no fans of contemporary UK music per se, wrap around elements of kosmische musik’s cylical ethereality; the darker, less Arthurian end of prog and the drawn-out freakout end of the garage rock n’ roll scene.

This year’s album release, their second proper, Line The Wall is a triumphant LP which does a great job of capturing the band’s remarkable live energy. Soko burns like revving tyres, while Henkan undulates and pops like a lava lamp roasting on an open fire. Here they do the same, only more so.

For while the record provides good after-the-fact evidence of their action, it’s not a perfect encapsulation. On your compact disc or vinyl platter, or within the coding of your mp3, you won’t see bassist/vocalist Taigen’s mouth gurning and wrapping around itself as though in the eye of a wind-tunnel’s gusto. You won’t see the guitars spinning and jutting, strafing the front row like annoyed seagulls. What’s more, you won’t feel your eyelids flap up like roller blinds, nor sense that all the eyelids around you are equally peeling back as easily as a satsuma’s suit. Startling then, to cut a long eyelid-heavy story short.

A Bo Ningen show crackles with shared delight and even here, at a Rough Trade East instore, where audiences tend to be quiet and performances low-key, a heat develops, the band handling this show like any other, where they treat their instruments like bare-knuckle sparring partners, climb the speakers and plant down a flag for their own world wherever a stage will attempt to contain them.

With each Bo Ningen show I have attended, they have been twice as good as the previous occasion. If these trends continue, they will become the greatest band in the world about four gigs from now. On this form though, I can happily live with them plateauing out for a bit.

More VP fanzine pictures @ Songkick

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October 31, 2012 - Posted by | new reviews |

1 Comment »

  1. […] 13: Bo Ningen. Rough Trade East (October) “With each Bo Ningen gig I have attended, they have been twice as good as the previous occasion. If these trends continue, they will become the greatest band in the world about four gigs from now”. FULL REVIEW. […]

    Pingback by 2012: 25 gig salute « Vanity Project fanzine | December 20, 2012 | Reply


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