Live Review: Bo Ningen/Serma

Bo Ningen, Serma

The Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes – 5/9/2022

 Local band Serma are a nifty combo who put the power into power-trio. Opening with their latest single ‘15-40’, they hit the ground running are barely look back over 30 furious minutes. Their alternative rock/grunge mash-up is highly addictive and, despite their tender years, Serma show a great musical maturity by alternating between loud and quiet sections. Displaying an obvious telepathy, they can start and stop on a dime, and their dexterity certainly keeps the crowd on their toes. For a set closer the band debut new track, ‘Pilot’, and the polite applause that greeted the start of their set turns into a crescendo at its conclusion. Superstars in waiting?

With all four members originally hailing from Japan, Bo Ningen came together in London in 2006, and since then they’ve ploughed a unique furrow, and left a tantalising trail of vinyl in their wake. The Craufurd Arms always furnish visiting bands with a great sound and light show, and Bo Ningen put it to great use. Throwing themselves around from the first note, their set is part rock gig, part performance art, and is both a sonic and sensory overload. Like Hawkwind jamming with Sonic Youth, the band incorporate elements of space and noise rock into their sound, its hallucinogenic (but without the hallucinogens) and hypnotic, and is designed to transport you to another dimension. In fact, Bo Ningen sound like nothing else on earth, and they do cut the persona of aliens beamed down from a passing spacecraft. The bombastic music emanating from the stage causes the floor to vibrate, and it feels as if the venue has been hit by a mini-earthquake. The only real complaint is that at a brief hour, their set is all too short but, true to the old maxim, it certainly leaves us hungry for more.

Review and photos by Peter Dennis