Fuck Buttons @ TJ’s, Leeds

Fuck Buttons

TJ’s Woodhouse Club, Leeds

23/04/2010

I should probably start this review with a note: reviewing a band who has decided to include an expletive in their name (chosen to sound “playful and abrasive”) basically gives any journalist the license to use the word fuck quite freely, an opportunity I won’t be passing up!

With that issue dealt with, on with the review. Fuck Buttons are a very interesting live proposition, much of what makes them great on record translates surprisingly well to the venue.

Visually Fuck Buttons create a decent spectacle; the risk is not really being able to see anything might make a live show pretty boring, however, Andrew Hung and Benjamin Power kept it interesting with a reasonable light show and a novel stage set up. The two Fuck Buttons were stationed facing opposite each other, on their own table loaded with an impossible amount of equipment: pedals, synths, gadgetry and a mess wires galore, which the Fuck Button boys kind of bounced energetically around, still concentrating on the essential button mashing or knob twiddling and of course synthesizer playing.

The energy of the band seemed to inject life into the audience too, making a lively crowd out of what could easily have turned into silent, motionless appreciators. In fact it’s a testament to the Fuck Buttons live show that a duo that has been categorized as a ‘noise band’ can move a crowd, keeping them invested and mesmerized. This stems not only from the decent visual arrangement, the energy of the two main players but also to quality of their musical performance.

One thing was certain though the lads put the vast array of complicated machinery to great use; Combining elements of rock music with electronic and dance sounds, as well as their post-rock structures they build layer upon layer of sound – which alone might be dismissed as noise.

The duo makes vast soundscapes, at times epic, grandiose and hypnotizing at others chaotic, urgent and infectious, never too repetitive and always compelling. Importantly too, amongst the spectrum of resonance, reverb, tribal drums and the distorted shouts and yelps Fuck Buttons aren’t bereft of a tune, a fact recognised by the audience.

Perhaps the crowd were a little relived after a somewhat muted performance by opener Factory Floor, who never really threatened to steal the show, or even really progress beyond the basic, bare bones of a tune and should definitely take notes from the headliners. They did teach me us one important lesson though: ‘beware a guitarist with a violin bow, he/she probably doesn’t have a fucking clue how to play use the instrument properly!’

I’ll leave you with one final post gig thought: Fuck Buttons are loud. All those dense layers of noise really do mount up and forgetting my ear plugs left me, well, put it this way, I was fucked.

Fuck Count for the review: 12 (sorry mum)

Gig score: 7.5/10

Fuck Buttons have recently released ‘Olympians’ through ATP Recordings and is available on 12″ or digital download. Get it at 7digital.com

Fuck Buttons –  Olympians

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2 Responses to “Fuck Buttons @ TJ’s, Leeds”

  1. […] All year round Bezzlers « Kele Okereke – Tenderoni Fuck Buttons @ TJ’s, Leeds […]

  2. I quite like Fuck Buttons, but not completely sold on them. I can’t listen to them without eventually thinking about Holy Fuck…. and this is just giving me licence to swear! Great site though!

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