Chrome Hoof / Bo Ningen

  • Brighton
  • United Kingdom
  • Audio
  • 2010-05-22

Bo Ningen’s second visit to Brighton in as many weeks saw them able to fire off their huge psych assault into a bigger venue at Audio after a smaller show at the Hope during The Great Escape. And despite a low turnout at the end of a long, sunny day, they still managed to fill the venue with noise. The four strong London-residing Japanese group collectively own a whole load of hair (including some awesome fringework) which is flailed around almost continually as a wall of fuzz is toppled on to the audience. Soaring, spaced-out lead wails out over a mass rhythm guitar noise, bass in head-bob-inducing heavy grooves and alternatingly powering r’nr or pumped but slower drumwork. Vocals come across as a sometimes indefinable entity, their edges bleeding into the spacey fuzz, but are still a strong presence in the sound — generally when wailing more. All in all a welcome aural battering from a fascinating live entity.

from Sun Ra’s Arkestra via Parliament and Funkadelic to SunnO)))

Headliners Chrome Hoof appear to half fill the venue with just their members — the 9-strong (approx) band making use of every inch of the stage, and also getting to play to the larger audience amassed come their stage time. Out to promote the release of second LP Crush Depth (see here) it was no surprise to hear the set open with “Crystalline” and deliver a wealth of material from the new record — full of the group’s trademark polyphonic multi-instrumentation, powering rhythym section, diva affront and general genre mash. Tracks like “One Day” and “Towards Zero” offered schizophrenic grooves, “Sea Hornet” and “Mental Peptides” full-on instrumental workouts, and unsurprisingly the appearance of debut album material like “Tonyte” and evil metal showstopper “Death is Certain” was more than well-received. The sparkling hooded gowns, glittery faces of the band and Lola Olafisoye’s figure hugging zippered-down suit sees the the group continue the lines of those from Sun Ra’s Arkestra via Parliament and Funkadelic to SunnO))) and black metal, and adds to the show — especially the spectacle of band-leader Leo Smee in centurion’s helmet growling out “Death is Certain”. A fascinating set — a shame the crowd wasn’t still larger for it.

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