Live review: Buffalo Go
By Jacob Granger, written on March 3, 2015. Yes, we do live music reviews now. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a reviewer to come along to your event
And then there were two.
News was filtering through that headliners Between The Reef would not be playing at The Anvil this evening (March 3). Unfortunately, it had emerged that their van had broken down on route to Bournemouth without time to find a stand-in.
I must give accolades to Foxpunch and Buffalo Go for taking a literal approach to the expression: the show must go on. That alone is worthy of professional recognition. Furthermore, kudos to The Anvil for waiving door entry to rescue the show and the handful of non-band members occupying the designated crowd area.
The three-piece Salisbury-based Foxpunch kicked-off the diminished two-band bill. Self-confessed pioneers of “speed grunge”, that said, it leans more towards the punk realms.
The ambiguity and boldness behind this idea is respectable and refreshing: the concept of breaking the three-minute conformity of songs. However, in relying on a full set-list of two-minute or shorter songs, they are penalised by their own admission.
Typically punk anti-vocals, rigid and unsavoury guitar plus drumming so frantic and tense that the set ultimately wore thin and ineffective. It amounted to feeling detached from any palpable fluidity, flavour or dynamic.
The songs are totally unidentifiable from one to another as a consequence of their prematurity, something that makes the resulting cacophonies tiresome, if not irksome. It causes the next song to start before the audience can immerse into the first one, so the set quickly becomes very stuttered and stagnant. Foxpunch are a flurry of fists. They need to develop a clean hook, some successive jabs and a finishing uppercut.
Buffalo Go provided the pop to the punk on this evening. They sound somewhere between Four Year Strong and Neck Deep, perhaps more pronounced on the former. But they are local… we like that.
This was a notable occasion for debutant bassist Josh Halbert, who said: “It went really well, considering we’ve been working from June, I felt it was a good comeback [for Buffalo Go]”.
Five members make up the unorthodox yet effective line-up. Two lead vocalists plus one backing laid a strong vocal performance, whilst three guitarists wove together tight-knit and textured tracks. It may be a blessing in disguise the headliners couldn’t turn up, as they would have been a tough act to follow. Definitely one to watch.
Now Josh is planning more shows with the hometown act: “Hopefully we can play within the local area, get more gigs and fan-base and go on from there.”
It’s a pity that upcoming bands play consistently empty shows. Although Bournemouth seems to be reviving in the quality of acts announced, more should be done to support these types of shows. If you are planning a similar event, do get in touch – we can help.
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