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Fuck Buttons - Why 'Tarot Sport' Doesn't Work, Live

By NME Blog

Posted on 03 Nov 09

 
 

Fuck Buttons
Heaven, London
27 October, 2009


Gigs by Serious Electronica Artists used to mean a night of earnest beard-stroking while shadowy men timidly fiddled around with laptops. Fuck Buttons cast aside that rulebook, swapping emotionless noodling for waves of soaring, elegiac noise.



Sadly, it’s Tuesday night, and despite between-band DJ Andrew Weatherall gamely trying to make the crowd believe it’s the peak of their weekend, Fuck Buttons have to work hard to warm up the audience. They face each other over a table stacked with noise-making machines including an open case with an electronic digestive system, and several items with more knobs on than a charter flight to Ibiza in 1998.





Opener ‘Surf Solar’ introduces the remorseless variation on call and response that FB excel at. Benjamin John Power grooves like your uncle at one end of the table while Andrew Hung dances like a drugged pixie opposite, screaming noises barely audible above the all-encompassing maelstrom of sound coming out of the speakers. They are masters of their mysterious tools, creating towering, danceable drones - but there’s something slightly laborious about them this evening. Sounds are recklessly stacked up so that the moments of shimmering transcendence that made recent album 'Tarot Sport' so moving are lost in the storm.



‘Olympians’ steadily reaches a giddy climax, but it's just another layer of marginally different noise that finally sends the dancers around me mental, not the arrival of a memorable hook, a new drumbeat, a definite moment of release. 'Tarot Sport' is a hugely enjoyable album, drawing on a much broader sonic palette than their abrasive debut 'Street Horrrsing' - but on tonight’s evidence it’s for listening to in private, not experiencing live.

Photos: Julius G. Beltrame

 
 
 
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