Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Fuck Buttons – Koko, London 20/04/10

23 April 2010, 12:18 | Written by Gina Louise
(Live)

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Photographs by Sebastien Dehesdin

I got taught that the first rule of journo school (and quite deservedly so) was never to use the phrase ‘fucking awesome’, yet there is simply no other way to describe Fuck Buttons’ gig at Koko tonight. The lights are low, the beats are big and the bass is so deep that I don’t have to reach across the table for my drink: if I wait long enough it will vibrate its way over to me. In the wise words of those articulate fellas the Black Eyed Peas, ‘tonight’s gonna be a good good night’.

The Bristol duo dissolve onto stage; the enticing sounds of the pairs’ latest single ‘Surf Solar’ fizzling in slowly to drown out the crowds adoring cheers. And then it happens. I turn into one of those people I hate at gigs, the I’m-late-but-I’m-gonna-get-to-the-front kinda guys. But it’s somehow easier to swallow my conscience when the result is so sweet. The long drawn out intro builds to a crescendo, and when the melody kicks in the whole song melts into one trippy progressive tune. Already having sinned against the journo code once, I’m just gonna roll with the clichés: I actually have goosebumps. Oh if only my mentor could see me now.

There is something so all consuming about the music that these guys make, and everyone else seems to think the same as the crowd begin to move in a kind of chaotic unison. On stage everyone’s favourite knob twizzlers appear heady in the excitement. They stand, like excitable children either side of a desk of gadgety goods, goading each other with each layer they add to the hectic mix of beats. They take turns to play with a myriad of interesting looking technology, my particular favourite being the Theremin, which Andrew Hung integrates with a few choice dance moves.

Throughout the gig, they manage to distinguish between songs without breaking the stream of music, avoiding the potential hazard of playing two hours of continuous drone. They tie the songs together with elements of ‘Ribs’, extracting the Aborigine style hollering without actually performing the song. Wise choice, as eight minutes of such tribal screaming could send you into some odd kind of acid-free trip.

I’d love to tell you about the lighting, stage effects and all that jazz but I am so utterly immersed in the music that I genuinely have no idea what special effects they have. They could whack a traffic light in the background and I’d be equally impressed. It’s all about the music.

As always, I made the rash assumption that Fuck Button-esque bands live sets will be nothing more than a foray of button pressing, yet time after time I am proven wrong. Not only can these guys hit some buttons in order, they can use instruments too. I can honestly say I have never seen someone play the drums with such vigour and enthusiasm, or in quite the way that Power manages it, hitting not only the drum, but the sticks, the table, basically anything that gets in the way. It is oddly beautiful to watch.

They finish with a euphoric encore of ‘Sweet Love For Planet Earth’, which, when paired with the ‘Surf Solar’ opening kind of renders the bit in between a little redundant. I am on such a high from the intensity of the music that I have come to a profound realisation that all you need is the music. My advice to all junkies: kick the scag, become a Fuck Buttons groupie instead.

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