Bo Ningen & Younghusband - MANCHESTER, Deaf Institute 2 - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Bo Ningen & Younghusband - MANCHESTER, Deaf Institute 2

by Steve Rhodes Rating:10 Release Date:2012-04-21

A trip to the always-welcoming Deaf Institute is on tonight's menu, primarily to see the emerging and excellent Younghusband, who with the their debut album Dromes produced the best album of 2013 and of many a year, in Manchester supporting Bo Ningen.

It's no surprise that said album provides the core backbone of the set, with the triple whammy of 'Comets Crossed', 'Left of the Rocks' and 'Silver Sister' as strong as any opening. It's a powerful performance, full of swirling guitars, rolling basslines, meticulous drumming and finely-tuned melodies, restrained mini-epics, with just enough awkwardness to stand them well above their competitors, in a well-trodden area.

With newer songs 'Better Times' and 'Goodbye Reservoir' falling a little flat, it's left to the always reliable 'Wavelength' and 'Dromes' to return the band to their strong start, especially the latter with its repeating lyric, “Live forever, a slow rise”, more mantric than ever, lapped up by a growing and ever-appreciate audience.

Despite this, while Younghusband are on fine form and a promising band, they are a mere footnote to the phenomenal performance of Bo NingenOpener 'Kaifuku' sets the stall with manic, but controlled, twin lead guitars and frantic drumming, backing charismatic singer/screecher and bassist Taigen Kawabe. With Taigen's high-end bass playing the best impersonation of Geddy Lee, since well, er... Geddy Lee, the band produce an epic, shape-shifting, exhilarating performance which more than shares a resemblance to the dramatic and overblown Rush, but also Captain Beefheart entertaining The Mars Volta.

Almost the antithesis to the rather immobile Younghusband, the whole band are a visual joy, covering the stage with their frenetic playing. The odd technical hiccup, such as during 'Psychedelic Misemono Goya' when a guitar amp blows, is no hindrance, as one of the guitarists continues in the spirit of the band by swirling his guitar around his head while the others soldier on.

The classic 'Koroshitai Kimochi' is a strong highlight, with Taigen yelping his vocal to a heavy technical backing like Melt Banana-meets-Black Sabbath on speed, but it's the newer songs 'DaDaDa' and 'Slider' which truly astonish, maintaining Taigen's multi-faceted vocal and changes in pace and style, but with MBV guitar swirls in places adding an element of blissfulness to an already enraptured crowd. The looping, unremitting, psychedelia-tinged Judas Priest of 'Daikaisei parts II and III' is the perfect closer, with Taigen playing his bass in a whole host of positions before eventually leaping off a speaker at the end.

A band I've regretfully allowed to pass me by, Bo Ningen have produced one of the greatest live performances I've seen in years, leaving me with a constant smile on my face throughout and for weeks (and months) after. I almost feel sorry for Younghusband because although they were great, they were truly blown away by what follows. However, they are apprentices who can easily learn from their masters, and Bo Ningen were masterful tonight.

Comments (4)

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I saw Bo Ningen a few years ago and they are an amazing live band. Like watching that girl climb out of the well in the movie Ring, with an extra ear bashing.

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I wanna see Bo Ningen live so much! Literally everyone else has seen them and said they're amazing"

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They are, catch them on a small stage as well as that helps. So much hair flailing around and the singer is truly scary.

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I'm actually genuinely angry that I haven't seen them live yet.

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