London’s Bo Ningen (in English – Stick Man) sound pretty worth a gander on paper. Something like: ‘Four cutie-pie Japanese guys – with waist length hair – going ballistic with pendulous, soul-scraping heavy-rock in totally non-ironic early 70s clothes.’
Bo Ningen met in Japan but arrived in London two years ago with the aim of creating a retro-future rock behemoth. Job done already it seems. They have a very real and deserved buzz as one of the best new live bands in the country.
Their show at Offset Festival last summer felt like a landmark gig at the time. The band pummeled through their songs and then proceeded to attack their gear and each other with the ferocity of Gordon Ramsey over a deflated meringue. You could tell that everyone there was blown away by both the performance and the bonkers ending. It was very real. You can see some of it below. Guitarist Yuki gets badly hurt as he’s pushed off stage onto a pole but he carries on with the carnage anyway.
So yeah, Bo Ningen sometimes smash up the stage (and themselves), but the key thing is that it never feels posed or forced. This kind of unselfconscious destruction is something only the finest bands can do well and it’s always fun to see creative violence unfold naturally.
Crucially though they play like actual demons (not just metaphorically demonic), and have some killer songs too. It’s fast and catchy psych rock with inventive trippy sections and the occasionally tombstone riff to keep metallers happy. As a bonus, androgenous frontman Taigen has a feral bark that’s got my pet whippet rather jealous.
We have an exclusive download of their brilliant recent 10inch single below. And check out the chaos live during their UK tour starting on February 18th at The Rest is Noise in Brixton.