review: Bo Ningen, 世界的なバンド, London The Macbeth 22nd February

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Billed as a "21st Century rock n Roll Party" night, in reality this was a pretty cool way to kick off Bo Ningen's latest UK jaunt.
After a decent DJ set concentrating on familiar classics (Sabbath, Sonic Youth, Beefheart, Patti Smith, the Damned), unpronounceable Japanese band 世界的なバンド take the stage. This 3 piece look and sound like a 60s garage-punk band, complete with immaculate mop top hairstyles, all-black clothes and a singing drummer.
They play an impressively tight set and win the crowd over, but they aren't really going to make much of an impression with that name. I asked someone who has Japanese parents what it said and she was unsure. For the record she said "nabasodo", so that's what I'm calling them until I hear more!
As I said, Bo Ningen are back in the UK for a string of shows, including March's instalment of British Sea Power's Krankenhaus event, and it is obvious from the start that they are in great form.
With their well conditioned waist length hair they look like a typical metal band, and one of the guitarists does that Slayer thing where he whips his hair around. Of course, they aren't a typical metal band, but they are obviously influenced by the more psychedelic elements of '70's metal in particular. In fact they are a post-script to that type of hard rock, it's as if it took a direct route towards the noise bands of the '80s and '90s and bypassed the ghastly mtv-rock which influenced a lot of modern metal.
They are amazingly tight and controlled, despite the hair-flying histrionics on stage and the songs are lengthy and ambitious. They clearly love playing live and get a great reaction from the crowd. The parts where they went into overdrive and the venue's mirrorball was spinning red lights around the ceiling were my highlights. I have to give the sound people a big thumbs-up as well, because it can be so easy to let noise bands like this revel in extreme volume. Tonight the sound was powerful and enveloping without being painful, and that's always a bonus.

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