The more things change, the more they stay the same. Having seen Bo Ningen supporting the Horrors a few months back, the chance to see them headline was too good to pass up- those who read my review of their performance that night at the Pyramids will recall favourable comparisons to Can and Black Sabbath.
With a new album, Line The Wall, released recently through Stolen Recordings, one question was on my mind. Would they change their sound, and how? The answer is simple- no, not really! Save for a certain debt to space-rock on the newer material (think along the lines of Hawkwind), the brew is still a potent mix of Tago Mago and Master Of Reality. Add in a pinch of Warrior On The Edge Of Time, say, and the mixture is complete.
And it is this dynamic which makes them so compelling- a master-class in rock theatrics, with a massive sound and the time and space to do so some pieces took on the air of a sort of heavy rock Shinto ritual, band completely unaware of audience as they did their own thing, guided only by each other and an almost childlike glee in the manipulation of feedback, creating a wall of sound that would shake the most devout Zen monk from his meditations.
Before all that, though, he would have had to contend with the joyful racket of the supporting cast- Batteryhead and You’re Smiling Now But We All Turn Into Demons (winner of my unofficial ‘ Hardcore Name Of The Year’ award thus far, see also http://www.myspace.com/thedemons) bringing a touch more thrash to proceedings as a nice prelude to a comparative comedown, with the ringing still audible even a day later, a sure sign of a good time.
Bo Ningen played Southampton Joiners on 9 October 2012