We caught up with Icelandic experimental-post-punk outfit Fufanu for a chat ahead of their show at The Flapper on Monday 20th February, with FEET & Veda.
Your new record Sports was released on Friday 3rd February 2017. What can we expect from the album?
Build up, tension, release, melancholy and happiness.
You started out as an experimental electronic duo called Captain Fufanu. How does the new record compare to LP Few More Days to Go both musically and lyrically?
The album is in many ways more confident and grown up compared to Few More Days to Go. We used more of our electronic soundscape and kept the soundscape really focused for each song. People have also told us that they feel a more positive vibe in it.
What was it like growing up in the music scene in Reykjavik, Iceland?
We can’t compare it to any other cities because we don’t have the experience of growing up anywhere else. But for us it was good… good access to music and it was easy if you had the will to start some project and play shows.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ guitarist Nick Zinner was the producer on Sports. What impact did he have on the making of the record?
His biggest impact was pushing us to write more. There were songs and parts we had decided that were ready, but Nick got us to write more, different things perhaps, some worked some didn’t. He came in with a pair of fresh ears and managed to act like a director rather than a writer.
In what way did your Icelandic surroundings influence the new record?
That is for one of the genius out in the world to answer… You see, for us these surroundings are really normal. Schizophrenic weather, a lot of darkness vs. a lot of daylight, it’s just built in us. I think travelling and experience new parts of the world and be able to compare that to our home had more influence on us than being in Iceland.
Damon Albarn remixed the single ‘Ballerina in the Rain’ from Few More Days To Go. How did you come about to supporting him at London’s Albert Hall and also Blur?
Kaktus used to work with him on his first solo album Everyday Robots and touring that album with him as well. Kaktus played him some demos from that album and this idea came up that we would open for him in Royal Albert Hall. From that moment the Fufanu/Damon ball started to roll and one thing led to another.
What have you got planned for the rest of 2017?
More gigs in US and Europe… write more music and then write again, write more music.
And finally, what can people expect when they attend your show at The Flapper on Monday 20th February?
A decent live show filled with great energy from a group of Icelandic city boys.
FUFANU PLAY THE FLAPPER BIRMINGHAM ON MONDAY 20TH FEBRUARY 2017, WITH SUPPORT FROM FEET & VEDA. TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE HERE.
Coming up this week in Birmingham; on Wednesday we have sassy, high energy, pop rock duo Rews at The Flapper, singer-songwriter come vlogger Bry at Mama Roux’s, and Northern five-piece Little Comets at O2 Institute. Thursday sees South London four-piece Hidden Charms bring their psych-tinged, effervescent indie rock to the Hare & Hounds. Check out the full listings below:
REWS are the sassy, high energy, pop rock duo consisting of songstress Shauna Tohill and beat-maker Collette Williams. Together they are creating a genuine buzz on the UK/Irish music scene following the release of their four recent singles. They were Huw Stephens‘ “Tip Of The Week” on BBCRadio 1 with their new single ‘Miss You In The Dark’, played on BBCRadio 6Music with Tom Robinson, as well as all 38 BBC Introducing shows. Support comes from raucous and melodic four-piece Mutt, and Birmingham band Ember Weir.
Setting up a YouTube channel (BriBryontour) to let family and friends know how he was getting on in his travels, one late night abroad he uploaded a video of himself playing one of his own songs and everything changed. Hundreds, then thousands, then hundreds of thousands of new subscribers tuned in to hear his music. Forging a very real connection with his followers through personalised videos, question and answer web chats and specially curated online sessions, his confidence grew and his repertoire expanded. Bry landed the sole support of 21 Pilots’ sold out European tour last year. Support comes from vlogger Tessa Violet and singer-songwriter Danny Gruff.
Little Comets, the five-piece from the North East of England, are soon to release their fourth album WORHEAD on The Smallest Label, the follow up to 2015’s Hope Is A State of Mind. WORHEAD is the most brutally honest Little Comets album to date – acerbic, withering and uncomplimentary about the state of our time; yet woven together with great beauty and care, drenched in positive melody and the percussive thrust of an innocent mind. Support comes from the Essex quintet Eliza And The Bear.
South London based band Hidden Charms return with their intoxicating new single ‘I Just Wanna Be Left Alone’, and new EP Harder From Here released via Deltasonic Records.Mounting a strong case for the title of ‘UK’s most exciting guitar band’, the four-piece carefully hint at the psych-tinged, effervescent indie rock of their previous releases, but ‘I Just Wanna Be Left Alone’ is the sound of a band moving forward. Support comes from Kent three-piece The Bay Rays and psychedelic pop band The Lizards.
Watch the video for ‘I Just Wanna Be Left Alone’ below:
Rews are the sassy, high energy, pop rock duo consisting of songstress Shauna Tohill and beat-maker Collette Williams. Together they are creating a genuine buzz on the UK/Irish music scene following the release of their four recent singles. ‘Can You Feel It’, ‘Death Yawn’, ‘Shake Shake’ and now the chart banging ‘Miss You In The Dark’.
Across the summer Shauna & Collette have performed at a string of high profile festival performances including Glastonbury, Green Man & Kendal Calling to name but three.
Shauna was inspired to form REWS following a series of tours with previous bands and an inspirational artist retreat in late 2014. She met the fantastic Collette Williams in March 2015 and they have been a match made in heaven ever since. Rews are lining themselves up to break through in 2017, touring in the spring.
Rews aim is to inspire people to be who they are, dance, sing, have fun yet address those deep issues that people face in every day life. It might just be your medicine!
We’ve got a busy week of gigs lined up this week, including critically acclaimed Illinois singer-songwriter Ryley Walker at the Hare & Hounds on Wednesday, and Danny Brown at The Rainbow Warehouse celebrating the release of his new album. Thursday brings a night of math-rock with Three Trapped Tigers shaking up The Flapper with their effect-laden guitars and glistening sci-fi synths. Saturday sees Glasgow duo Honeyblood take on Mama Roux’s following support slots with Foo Fighters and Wolf Alice. Check out the full listings below:
Introducing Velvet Dreams EP, the debut from psychedelic shoegazer trio Is Bliss, released on Club AC30 – a tantalising taster of this new band’s potential. The EP’s atmosphere resonates strongly with the hazy sixties underground, with its sitarlike waterfall guitars and hypnogogic beats, but other, harder influences bleed through. The band have been together barely a year and yet have quickly gained attention opening for Wolf Alice, Telescopes and Nine Black Alps. Support from Birmingham Mogwai-influenced Outlander.
With a powerful voice that spans ranges and eras & an effortless approach to a fine melody on the guitar, the Illinois singer-songwriter sets the bar high for the modern folk artist. Robert Plant declared himself a fan – as did double-bass legend Danny Thompson, with whom Ryley would later embark on a string of sell-out British shows. A sprawling tour of the USA around Primrose Green presented a perfect chance to workshop ideas for what would eventually become his third studio album, Golden Sings That Have Been Sung. Support comes from Itasca, L.A.-based guitarist, singer-songwriter Kayla Cohen.
One of rap’s brightest lights Danny Brown celebrates the release of his 4th studio album Atrocity Exhibition with intricate wordplay, unmatched storytelling, and lyrical thoughtfulness. The album is the latest peak in a career full of highlights: over the last decade, he’s worked with a breadth of artists from Purity Ring and Rustie to Schoolboy Q, E-40, and Ghostface Killah. Support comes from 21-year-old Detroit rapper ZeelooperZ, member of Brown’s hip-hop collective Bruiser Brigade.
Watch the video for ‘When It Rain’ below:
THURSDAY 17TH NOVEMBER
Three Trapped Tigers + The Physics House Band + Constant Waves @ The Flapper MORE INFO • BUY TICKETS
Three Trapped Tigers are a band for which genres and labels struggle to keep up; they move - often at breakneck speed – from screeching, effect-laden guitars, an arsenal of glistening sci-fi synths, pummelling sub-bass, colossal riffs and audacious drum patterns that both underpin and define their unique sound. In full force the band feel both gracefully intelligent and wildly primal, gargantuan yet melodic. Support comes from Brighton psychedelic math-rock trio The Physics House Band and West Midlands prog rock band Constant Waves.
UK based Australian heavy blues rock and roll duo The Graveltones formed in late 2011, after the two members met in London’s Tin Pan Alley, brought together by a mutual love of artists as diverse as Captain Beefheart, Howlin Wolf, John Lee Hooker and QOTSA. Their critically acclaimed debut album saw the band tour extensively with the likes of Rival Sons, The Temperance Movement, Boss Hoss, Monster Truck, Cadillac Three and a stunning set at Download Festival 2013. Support comes from blues rock and roll singer-songwriter Brandy Row.
Watch the video for ‘Bang Bang’ below:
Spotlight On: Alligator + Gloss + Nausea + Gasfoodlodging @ O2 Institute Blue Room MORE INFO • BUY TICKETS
Birmingham Promoters present a new weekly night at a brand new venue within the O2 Institute, The Blue Room. Every week Birmingham Promoters will showcase the best & most exciting local acts from across the West Midlands. Alligatr are not just your usual indie band from Leicester. Combining their influences of jungle and dance with rock and jazz, they have created a unique vibe which makes their songs sound far from the bland and the obvious. Support comes from indie post-punk band Gloss, Birmingham based Nausea and 3 piece alternative countrified/indie-fied Gasfoodlodging.
Weirds have been destroying venues across the UK for the past year with their blistering sonic assault of motorikdriven, druggy grunge. NME described their live show as “like a vulture ravaging a corpse”, but beneath the fuzz and sprawling, psychotropic breakdowns lies a knack for melody and structure. Support comes from Vulgarians with their unique brand of chilling postpunk noise, and Birmingham based garage noise band History Of Sex.
Glasgow duo Honeyblood have managed to brilliantly capture then subtly refine and embellish the duo’s notorious live energy that over the past two years shared stages all round the globe with everyone from Belle And Sebastian and Foo Fighters to close comrades like Courtney Barnett and Wolf Alice. Support comes from Manchester band PINS crafting a blend of noise, texture and melody.
Fronted by former Amazing Snakeheads frontman Dale Barclay, who has witnessed firsthand the banality of the music industry and came out battered but unbeaten, And Yet It Moves want to play music for the love of it. Live they enrapture crowds with a real natural chemistry, Barclay’s undeniably captivating aura and expansive, songs of sorrow mixed with themes of the heart. If you want freedom these are the guys for you, if not just go away. Support from Birmingham heavy garage rock band Bad Girlfriend.
Widely acclaimed Icelandic experimental-post-punk outfit Fufanu have shared the second track taken from their forthcoming second LP Sports – agitated, dark, brooding single ‘Bad Rockets’. The ground-breaking band have also revealed that their highly anticipated sophomore album will be released on 3rd February 2017, supported by a UK tour throughout February.
Produced in Iceland by Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, ‘Bad Rockets’ along with first single ‘Sports’ sees Fufanu return with a palpable sense of urgency and a fresh spin on their dark, new-wave-esq electronic-driven post-punk.
Launching the band at 2014’s Iceland Airwaves, in the space of just one week Fufanu became a hotly-tipped emerging band, made their UK live debut at the capital’s JaJaJa night and supported Damon Albarn at the Albert Hall – winning the approval of Brian Eno into the bargain. The band were praised by the press, who compared them to Neu!, Joy Division and Bauhaus.
2015 saw the band sign to One Little Indian, before going on to support The Vaccines on their sold out March/April tour in the UK – also slipping in a memorable two-night stand with Bo Ningen at Hoxton Bar & Grill. In June things once again dramatically shifted up a gear when the band played to an enormous audience, supporting Blur at Hyde Park.
Future of The Left are once again contractually obliged to tell you that their new album The Peace and Truce of Future of The Left will be released on 8th April 2016 through their label Prescriptions.
Recorded by Anthony Chapman at Monnow Valley studios in Monmouth it contains thirteen songs and is, once again, their best one yet, obeying the universal law that the new album is always the best one, otherwise it wouldn’t be released in the first place. The album (and, once again, an accompanying mini album which was recorded at the same time) will be available earlier to anybody who contributed to the Pledgemusic campaign, which was launched in December 2015 and reached its funding target within 3 and a half hours (beating the 5 hours it took to fund the previous album How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident).
Three Trapped Tigers are a band for which genres and labels struggle to keep up; they move - often at breakneck speed - from screeching, effect-laden guitars, an arsenal of glistening sci-fi synths, pummelling sub-bass, colossal riffs and audacious drum patterns that both underpin and define their unique sound.
As anyone who has seen their incendiary live shows will know, trying to pinpoint what makes the group such a force is a difficult thing to do. On stage they are something of a vortex, creating a swirling mass of layered sounds that sucks one in, possessing that rare ability of managing to sound complex and fluid whilst eschewing any feelings of pomposity or sterility – in full force Three Trapped Tigers feel both gracefully intelligent and wildly primal, gargantuan yet melodic.
“Music without fear, and such audacity should only ever be celebrated” – BBC
“A living experiment in how to wring maximum joy from the synth-rock format” – Uncut
“The Hosts’ output is redolent of Roy Orbison crooning mournfully yet manfully over mountain-high rhapsodies worthy of Spector.” – The Guardian
Sheffield quartet The Hosts released their debut album called Softly, Softly back in February 2014. Now, two years later, they have announced the release of the follow-up, entitled Moon.
‘Baby Move On’ was the first single to be taken from Moon, and sets the velveteen stage perfectly with its raucous wall-of-sound lushness and gigantically ace key changes which garnered playlist action from BBC 6Music, Single Of The Week on Absolute, and stacks of plays from John Kennedy at Radio X and Janice Long over at Radio 2. Next was second single. ‘Make My Heart Turn Blue’ (released on April 22nd), which is an exuberantly odd take on classic rock’n’roll melodramatics, slightly like David Lynch rewriting the Grease screenplay.
The Hosts have previously spooked the masses playing with the likes of Richard Hawley, The Walkmen, Paul Weller, Suede, Cold War Kids and Cherry Ghost.
The Hosts will be supported by London/Birmingham four-piece The Traps, who celebrate the recent release of their second album Wild Escape, via Speech Fewapy Recordings and Label Fandango. A record of expansive sound and ambition, it’s an explosion of melody that signifies a real step-on in the band’s abilities. Littered with the infectious hooks and ethereal harmonies, Wild Escape marks an exciting new dawn for The Traps in 2016.
Based in Twickenham since 2011, The Carnabys are an explosive, in your face live band: honing their craft in pubs, clubs and venues they broke into a wider consciousness in 2012 with London and German festival appearances.
Since then they have opened for Bruce Springsteen, Kings of Leon, Lenny Kravitz, Black Crowes, Alabama Shakes, supported Blondie (numerous times), Patti Smith, Imagine Dragons, Palma Violets, AllusonDrugs, StarSailor, The Coronas.
Having released their debut album No Money On The Moon in late 2014 on Hard Rock Records, The Carnabys have achieved Radio 1, BBC Introducing, Amazing Radio plays and many more. The Carnabys are going to become one of the new generation of UK bands recognised for delivering powerful, explosive and energetic live shows. 2016 is starting with a national UK tour, calling at The Flapper Birmingham on Sat 26th March 2016.
After the critically acclaimed release Deep Fantasy (2014), White Lung return with their fourth studio album Paradise, due out 6th May via Domino. Coming in at a succinct yet powerful 28 minutes, the album simmers with desire and pain, love and beauty, and a seething urgency, hurtling towards the album closer and title track ‘Paradise’ at signature breakneck speed.
In addition to the album announcement, White Lung are pleased to share the video for first single ‘Hungry’, which was scripted by Mish Barber-Way and Justin Gradin, directed by Gradin, and stars Amber Tamblyn (Sisterhood Of The Travelling Pants, The Ring, 127 Hours, House).
For the making of Paradise, the band reconnected in Los Angeles to work with producer Lars Stalfors (HEALTH, Cold War Kids, Alice Glass). Bringing all the energy, unique guitar work and lyrical prowess the band are known for to the studio, White Lung curated their songs with a new pop sensibility, focusing in on making a record for the present. Mixed by Stalfors and later mastered by Joe LaPorta, Paradise is their smartest, brightest songwriting yet.
“While previous White Lung tracks often balanced a slowly burgeoning pop sensibility against messy, screamy, unbridled aggression, ‘Hungry’ leans heavily on the former—a three-minute contained explosion of darkly melodic power pop that favors finesse over noise” – Pitchfork