Having seen them once before over three years ago and again last week, I’m still certain that Bo Ningen are a band that has to be seen live to be really appreciated – they have really blown me away both times. On the record, you can appreciate the skill of the musicians and still feel the chaotic elements. But seeing them live is truly more of a performance than anything.
The image of Bo Ningen never detracts from the power of the sound; it makes it feel fully realised. The vastly different outfits, with one guitarist in a tight red number and the frontman in a fishnet shirt and long skirt, along with the erratic dancing and the longest hair in shoegaze, all somehow manage to avoid appearing corny despite its excess.
The songs widely range from ambient to guitar-heavy, some funkier songs with syncopated drums. Not really a band that seem to be able to be categorised or confined to one type of music, Bo Ningen maintain their unique sound throughout the changes in style. The singer’s voice is screechy but still dances across the music like another instrument.
Seeing them live means you can really appreciate how in sync Bo Ningen are as players; the lead (and bassist’s) erratic movements are mesmerising as if conducting the sound with flailing limbs, but only in a way that enhances the music. The energy and togetherness of the group is what makes Bo Ningen one of the most exciting live acts, and I look forward to the chance to see them again – hopefully in as intimate a setting as the Brudenell.