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Fuck Buttons live review

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The bigger the venue Fuck Buttons play, the slower, louder and more insouciant they become. At their biggest headline show yet, Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power amble onto the Forum’s stage and launch straight in to the lurching, dislocated drums of Stalker, the most hiphop-indebted track on the latest record. It’s a brave opening – less a grand arrival, more insidious slithering from the darkness – but it works, and the duo maintain the pace of slow menacing swagger for half an hour, gradually upping the volume from tactile to abrasive as they go. Combined with the mesmerising projections resembling a deviant variation of the noughties’ iPod ads, all rainbow colours and slithering silhouettes, it makes for a disorientating time warp: when the pair roll into Olympians, upping the tempo and general sonic temperature for a second act that feels altogether more sinister and, unbelievably, louder still, it feels as if they’ve been playing for hours.

A final sequence that recalls the far more big-room friendly pulsating techno of previous album Tarot Sport ends the main set with flurries of triumphantly ecstatic aural shrapnel, and the sense of heroic communal bliss that ensues is not just a result of the effortlessly uplifting chord progressions being fired from the PA, but also of seeing an act so fearlessly spontaneous, imaginative and intensely visceral. Their venues are growing, and along with it their volume – but, rewardingly, Fuck Buttons also seem to be approaching the peak of the musical powers.

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