Singing saws, wine glasses and rusty old pipes played out over tales of debauchery and zombies may sound like a score from a horror movie, but it is, in fact, the sound of a band of ‘gypsy, punk lunatics with a taste for the macabre’, and they go by the name of Buffos Wake.
Armed with an array of accordions, violins and various broken folk instruments, the Brighton-based six-piece have spent the past few years touring Europe and the UK following the release of their debut album ‘Carniphobia’ – aptly released on 31st October 2014.
The band are no strangers to the festival circuit either, having graced stages at Glastonbury, Bestival, Boomtown and Secret Garden Party – an environment in which they thrive. It was their festival performances that helped them earn themselves a name as one of ‘must-see’ live band’s in the UK, making crowds dance into the dead of night.
This year, Buffos Wake bring their brand of carnival punk cabaret to London Remixed Festival. So we caught up with to basis, Tom to ask what surprises they’ve got up their sleeves for their performance on Saturday 3rd February.
How did you react to finding out you were on the London Remixed Festival lineup?
We were pretty excited! And when we saw the rest of the line-up we were over the moon! It’s very rare to see a line-up of this quality outside of a sunny field in the summer-time.
We always enjoyed playing at Passing Clouds in Dalston, before it was closed. We really hope the ongoing court proceedings go in their favour, or at the very least they decide to move premises somewhere else in London. Other favourites are the Magic Garden pub, who we have been friends with since their opening night, and the Rumpus parties that pop up all over town.
What do you like most about London and its music scene?
The range and diversity of the music on offer is incredible. We’ve played in most capital cities in Europe and there really is nowhere else that gets close to what London offers culturally. Berlin likes to think it does, but Paris is probably the next runner-up!
Your sound has been linked to an eclectic mix of genres including Eastern European and Russian folk to punkrock and cabaret, but how would you describe your music?
We take a lot of influences from a hugely varied range of sources, so the genre tag is always a debated topic! Something along the lines of Burton-esque carnival-punk usually does the trick, but try saying that anyone outside of a music blog!
Your songs tell tales of debauchery, deformity, and zombies behind a backdrop of sound that makes you want to get up and dance. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
The lyrics are drawn from all over – from news reports of stabbings in reading, from horror movies, from dodgy music promoters ripping off young bands to the sense of isolation you get from growing up as a small-town goth!
You composed your debut album ‘Carniphobia’ using an interesting array of instruments such as the singing saw, wine glasses and old rusty pipes, why did you decide to throw away the synthesisers?
Our bass player has production OCD! It started out as a result of our lack of experience of synths and digital production, and because we have a HUGE collection of strange and obscure (mostly half-broken) folk instruments, collected from all over the world. It grew from that, into a concept WHICH WE WEREN’T ALLOWED TO BREAK.
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London Remixed Festival is hosted in Shoreditch – a hotbed for creativity and innovation. How do you keep your sound fresh?
We are currently writing our second album, which we will start recording a couple of weeks after the London Remixed Festival. We’ve opened up our style a bit to take in some unexpected influences such as 18th-century Hungarian test recordings and early Shy-fx era Drum n’ bass.
We’ll be testing out some new material from our forthcoming album, and this will be our first set of gigs for 2018, so its gonna be raw!
Which bands are you looking forward to seeing most?
The Baghdaddies are always putting on a great show, but I am personally really excited to see Young Waters with their complete line-up. They make beautiful contemporary folk-music that sounds like it has always existed.
What can we expect from Buffos Wake in 2018?
New songs, a new album, some incredible tours globally (TBA!), and a whole lot more sweat, blood and debauchery.
London Remixed Festival tickets are available to purchase via Eventbrite – or click on image below.
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