Search The Line of Best Fit
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Bingo Fury Holly De Looze

Finding middle ground with Bingo Fury

14 February 2024, 13:00
Words by Adam England

Original Photography by Holly De Looze

Ahead of the release of debut album Bats Feet For A Widow, Jack Ogborne tells Adam England about his Bingo Fury persona and the influence of growing up in Bristol.

Bingo Fury exudes a quiet confidence.

It’s the day after the release of latest single “Mr Stark” and Bingo Fury is sat in The state51 Factory just off London’s iconic Brick Lane.

His debut album, Bats Feet For A Widow, is set for release on 16 February, following the 2022 EP Mercy’s Cut. “It’s a short record,” he starts, “I was trying to make it the same length as a Serge Gainsbourg record and I got three seconds off, so it’s 28 minutes and seven seconds instead of 28 minutes and four seconds, which is a shame.”

As he dives into the record’s narrative and what underlying theme persists, he offers: “musically and lyrically, it feels like it has a coherent aesthetic, but it’s certainly not a concept album.” He adds, “I didn’t go out thinking, ‘this is what this is going to be.’ You accumulate these songs and they’re coherent and feel like they link, just because they’re coming from the same place.”


Fury’s known for his experimental sound that combines elements of post-punk, jazz, and no wave but, as he says himself, Bats Feet For A Widow is perhaps easier to get into. On whether it could be considered his most accessible, he pauses. “I don’t know if accessible’s the right word.” He ponders for a moment, before conceding that it is in some ways. “When we finished the record, I was like, ‘Wow, this is really pop’,” he laughs, “I think looking at it now, it's not. It's still quite strange, but it's definitely more accessible than the other stuff.”

“I think I'm actively trying to find a sweet spot of music that I feel is like pushing myself and pushing other people but doesn't feel exclusive or alienating, which is a hard balance. It's a difficult thing to get right. I don't know if the record's done that, but certainly trying to get closer to that middle ground.”

The album was recorded in a church in Fury’s hometown of Bristol, the city he grew up and has lived for the majority of his life. ”I think that comes through on the record,” he says. Bristol’s a city with an impressive musical history, from trip hop artists such as Massive Attack and Portishead in the 1990s to big names in the UK alternative scene like IDLES and Katy J Pearson, via electronic artists like Fuck Buttons and Kosheen.

Bingo Fury 2 Holly De Looze

It’s somewhere that Fury was allowed to cut his musical teeth in, explaining that he started going to shows with his parents when he was a pre-teen before going more regularly at 16 or 17 with friends who were slightly older. “They would take me to see the more experimental stuff, see the more off-kilter gigs,” he reminisces. “Like, I remember friends taking me to see, like, Giant Swan, Bad Tracking, Kinlaw & Franco Franco – loads of music that for a 17-year-old is pretty mind-bending. For any age! But certainly for me, it suddenly totally changed my outlook on what I wanted to do.”

He’s quick to note that he enjoys living in Bristol in his twenties. Describing the energy in London, where he lived in a former partner’s house for a while, as “heightened – which I find jarring,” Bristol by comparison is more relaxed. “In London, there’s a slightly more hierarchical atmosphere to things, or at least in music. And in Bristol, it's so level. Everyone's on the same page and you can just fucking cycle out to the woods in Somerset in 15 minutes. It's just like, that's so valuable for me.”

Continuing, he offers, “in London, I feel a slight sense of claustrophobia, where I know that I'm surrounded by concrete for miles and there might be a green space, but only a park, and I'll get to the other side of the park. Whereas I can literally walk up to the end of my road and I can see Somerset, or I can see hills, and I know that does something to you.”

The lyrics, even if indirectly, are inspired by his childhood in Bristol. By Fury’s own admission, he’s only read “like five or six” books as an adult, but due to his religious upbringing he’s very familiar with the Bible and describes it as one of the few literary references he has.

“There’s certainly nothing intentional about it,” he admits. “I do find myself using words or phrasing lines reminiscent of [the Bible], but I don’t think it’s a particularly considered thing. You just write about your experience, and I think a lot of the time with music you’re trying to access something from your childhood.”

It’s Fury who takes care of the lyrics – they’re his domain more so than his bandmates’. Whereas he has been in bands before, Bingo Fury is more a project than a band, and he acknowledges the confusion himself. When asked if Bingo Fury is a character, he explains that Fury is the character who fronts the group, but that the others in the band are important too.


He’s known and played in bands with bassist Meg Jenkins and drummer Henry Terrett since his teenage years, and Bingo Fury is rounded off by Harry Furniss on the cornet and Rafi Cohen on the guitar. So, why go down the route of creating Fury as a character?

For Fury himself, he explains that as he was making “emotionally vulnerable” material, the character allowed him to have a buffer. “I guess it’s partly like in songs – songs are kind of a mantra display of your experience. It’s playing into that idea of, like, you can curate what you want people's perspectives of you or your life to be like in a song, and so Bingo Fury is just me imprinting the characteristics of myself that I want to portray and being able to create that,” he remarks.

“When you go on stage or whatever it is, you kind of shift something in your head which allows you to summon that confidence – it’s about having a buffer between me and the aspects of being in a band which are intimidating.”

With a host of new tunes in tow, Fury and co. will soon be heading out on tour. “We're playing in Paris on March 1, which will be fun,” he smiles, “and then supporting Folly Group for a few dates in March. Then I'm away producing another band, and then we're touring in April.” After that, he isn’t too sure what’s in the pipeline, but as he succinctly puts it himself, “I'll be writing songs for the rest of my life for sure.”

Bats Feet For A Widow is out 16 February via state51

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