Tim Badger chose the letter F…

Three of my favourite bands start with the letter F – these are The Family Cat, Four Tet and Fucked Up but the rules state that I can’t post the same band twice, so I have to skip over these bands, so this week I have gone for a bit of electronica, a bit of old school indie and what is definitely my favourite song of the year so far. I also know Tim Badger quite well and he mailed me and said, that the ‘F better contain Weekender by Flowered Up, as it’s the best song by a band beginning with ‘F’ ever’. He’s wrong. As usual. That honour goes to I Want to Know what Love Is?  by Foreigner and secretly you all know that I’m right.

Firstly I want you to have a read of something…. Finished laughing…Good. Now swap the word UB40 for the words Fuck Buttons and this story becomes instantly more believable. I would love to read what happened to Anna Webster’s ears after she attended a Fuck Buttons gig. I can see the quote now ‘I left after 45 minutes because my eardrums had exploded and my bottom lip had come loose from the pounding non stop beat’. By the way I love Fuck Buttons and would probably consider it an honour to have my hearing permanently damaged from one of their live shows.

For those of you who don’t know, Fuck Buttons are two piece from Bristol that formed in 2004 and are heavily influenced by Aphex Twin and Mogwai and you will hear that from the sound that they create, a sound that was once described as something akin to the noise made at the end of the world. If this is true then it is perhaps only fair that their music was chosen to feature in the Opening Ceremony at the London 2012 Olympics. Just before the queen jumped out of the chopper with James Bond, if I remember rightly.

Their third album Slow Focus was released last year and a brief hiatus whilst Ben Power from the band worked on his Blanck Mass side project (also excellent and worthy of your attention). It certainly didn’t disappoint and featured heavily in the end of year music polls that we all find so interesting. I don’t think there is anyone out there right now doing anything as adventurous and as aurally stimulating as Fuck Buttons. In the past they have used old Casio keyboards, power tools and karaoke machines to make music with, who does that! Their sound is difficult to categorise, they make sensual exhilarating and majestic music, lets put it that way. The track I’ve posted The Red Wing starts with a simple percussion beat and then they just add layers and layers to it – you can almost see the percussion shrinking away in the background to a tiny pinprick. Once they described their name as ‘Playful and Abrasive’, that describes the music perfectly.

mp3 : Fuck Buttons – The Red Wing

It’s difficult to follow Fuck Buttons with anything but let’s try some old school indie. I first heard How Do I Exist? by The Frank and Walters when I walking to local shop when I lived in Plumstead.  Regular readers will recall that I was burgled whilst living there and to be honest I didn’t much like the place. I used to get CDs sent to me all the time, my job was to review them and hope so paper published what I thought of them.  I’d been into The Franks when I was younger, but had kind of ignored anything released after the terrible After All record.

So I was sceptical – I’d even pre written the review, ‘It’s the Frank and Walters. Buy something else instead, you won’t regret it’ or something equally rubbish I think I’d written. Then on a stroll down the road to buy some biscuits, listening to a cassette on a Walkman, it came on. A gorgeous string inspired tear stained wonder of a record and then you remembered, that The Franks made great records, records that if you put them all together would soundtrack a very good summer (apart from After All, that is terrible). ‘How Can I Exist?’ is as close to perfection as the Franks ever managed it is bursting with more truly heartfelt emotion than most bands ever manage in their careers, yet it avoids sounding pompous or overblown. It makes me wonder how on earth they managed to fall off the radar when they made records as great as this.

mp3 : The Frank and Walters – How Can I Exist?

Talking of great records, a few weeks ago Future Islands released Seasons (Waiting on You), which is right now holding firm as the best record I have heard this year.  Yup better than Happy by Pharrell Williams.

Just after the release of their fourth album Singles the bad were invited on to the Letterman Show and there they played ‘Seasons’ and delivered a performance so staggering, so jaw droppingly fucking magnificent that all of a sudden a big secret had been let out of the bag.  Put ‘Future Islands Letterman’ into a search engine and you will understand.

Take the singer – Here is this guy with sensible clothes on, a receding hairline and dancing like he is at a wedding and he is delivering absolute pop perfection on a TV PROGRAMME  that doesn’t happen and he doesn’t give a wet one in a spacesuit how uncool he looks because after that we will all look him, dance like him and pretend we can sing like him. He knows that they are destined for big massive epic things, the thing is, he could be you or me (well the chaps among us). What does it sound like? Reader, this is the best song New Order never wrote. If Barney Sumner wrote this in 1987 we would still be talking about it to this day. That’s what it sounds like.

mp3 : Future Islands – Seasons

Next week its the turn of Q,

Oh and I was joking about Foreigner.



  1. I saw that UB40 story and pissed meself! Woman with medical condition that affects her ears goes to gig, then complains it was too loud! Aw, diddums. Bet that was her first gig in 20-odd years, her first since Take That at the Megadome in 1993 or something!

    That bloke from Future Islands is something else, isn’t he (yes, I typed ‘future islands letterman’ into YouTube…). Can’t make my mind up whether I like it or not, if I’m being honest. But I’m sorry, I can’t compare it to the great New Order.

  2. The future islands track is every bit as good as anything new order recorded before regret and after temptation.

  3. that future islands track is perfect, and the fact the singer dances like he is at a 1950s roller-disco is just inspirational.

  4. Aww no Flowered Up, but Future Islands just about makes up for it, incredible record.

  5. I got that you were probably joking about Foreigner, but I’m more worried you might have been serious about Pharrell Williams.

  6. Future Islands is a great tune. The album isn’t bad. The singer does buck preconceptions … there’s nothing cool about him!

    Fuck Buttons are cool all over. Really have to be experienced live – loudest ever gigs I have been to, earplugs essential. So loud you feel totally disconnected from the world! Fellow Villain disciples, try The Red Wing as loud as the speakers can bear it.

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