First for music news
This Week's Issue
You’re logged in

NME Blogs - NME Blogs

Fuck Buttons Deserve Their Moment Of Olympic Glory

By Louis Pattison

Posted on 31 Jul 12

 
 

Danny Boyle’s Olympics Opening Ceremony was not exactly short on WTF moments, but for me, one moment in particular stood head and shoulders above the rest. At one point early on I looked at my phone to see about 17 tweets in a row going something like "FUCK BUTTONS! THEY’RE ONLY BLOODY PLAYING FUCK BUTTONS ON THE OLYMPICS!" And that, it turned out, was exactly what they were doing.



Nor was this an entirely freak event, because as well as playing two Fuck Buttons (or, ahem, ‘F Buttons’ as more modest commentators had it) tracks, ‘Surf Solar’ and ‘Olympians’, over the course of the epic opening ceremony, the event’s musical director, Karl Hyde of Underworld, also selected ‘Sundowner’, a track by Fuck Button Ben Power’s solo project Blanck Mass. On the night, that song played out backed by the London Symphony Orchestra in front of the Queen and a global audience of approx one billion people as the skies filled with fireworks and eight great humanitarians marched around the stadium holding a massive Olympic flag. Oh, and Muhammed Ali was there. Pretty good turnout, all told.



I’ve since watched the ceremony back online and it was pretty astonishing, although some of my astonishment surely stems from how far this little band have come. I first saw Fuck Buttons play back at the dawn of 2006, when they were a scuzzy noise band from Bristol playing on the bottom of a bill in a pub in Newport, Wales. They made a pretty astonishing racket and I vaguely recall Ben rolling around the inside of a washing machine filled with feeding-back microphones. Much as I admired what they were up to, I remember being surprised to hear they’d signed to a label as big as ATP Recordings, of all places (I know, sounds pretty funny now, right?)

Of course, hearing their debut record, 2008’s Street Horrrsing, and its even better follow-up, 2009 dancier, psychedelic 'Tarot Sport' – produced by the architect of Primal Scream’s 'Screamadelica', Andy Weatherall - it all began to make perfect sense: this was a band dedicated to sonic experimentalism, but in the service of something heroic and life-affirming. Their music is tailor made for grand moments. Look, I even called it when I reviewed ‘Tarot Sport’ for NME back in 2009:
‘Olympians’ is a flowering of synthesisers and feedback crackle that could probably replace ‘Chariots Of Fire’ in the ‘heroic score for slow-motion playback of sporting event’ stakes.”

Fuck Buttons are a noise band, kind of – but big-hearted and in love with the world. And whatever you think of the Olympics – a huge, vacuous corporate celebration, or a great and life-affirming feat of human endeavour – to see their music out there, connecting with such a huge global audience, was a heartening thing to see. Now, who do we have our eye on for Rio 2016? Personally, I’ve got £10 on Death Grips.

 
 
 
Comments

Please login to add your comment.

 
Latest Tickets - Booking Now
 
Know Your NME
 

 
Most Read News
Popular This Week
NME Store & Framed Prints
Inside NME.COM
On NME.COM Today