I arrived at the venue early to find it utterly heaving with cool-looking people. I’m not talking poser East London folk —the room was packed with genuinely interesting characters of all ages. Had I taken the time to look up GrimmGrimm and Bo Ningen before I arrived, I maybe would have understood why this was such an anticipated show. The combination of all three acts made it one of the most standout gigs I have attended this year. But while I very much enjoyed the dreamy, melancholy layers of Grimm Grimm and the amusing acid punk spectacle that was Bo Ningen, I was here for Fufanu.
It’s hard to ignore Fufanu’s influences—their sound is drone psychedelic rock peppered with elements of Joy Division and The Black Angels. It is altogether engaging. Lead singer Kaktus holds the audience with deep, snarling vocals, his body language treading that fine line between Ian Curtis torment and privileged teenage sarcasm. Guitarist Gulli looks effortlessly cool and unfazed while the band bang out one dark, hypnotic tune after the other.
The stand out track of their set was newly released single Circus Life —a seven-minute long cyclical build up meditating on the pressures of tour life. Fufanu are a young band that are clearly taking themselves seriously, but then, why shouldn’t they? With talent that spans across genres (Fufanu began as a techno act, and Kaktus composes contemporary orchestral works on the side), high profile support from folks like Damon Alban, and enviable upcoming tour dates, they have situated themselves to gain the large following that they deserve.
I for one eagerly await their return to the UK, and the release of a debut album.
Fufanu played Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen on April 1, 2015. You should have been there.