Apparently I saw this lot play supporting Sona Fariq at Sheffield Casbah. A gig I vaguely remember spending the first half hour wandering around asking who the supports were, before giving up and deciding to review only the headliners. My recollection of the bands that came before Sona Fariq that night is limited to say the least, but one thing I do remember is my friends and I agreeing on the first acts likeness to Pulp. That band, I have recently discovered, are called Bhuna, following in the fading footsteps of Jarvis & co, they’re causing a bit of an indie/rock-shaped stir in the city of steel.
Yesterday morning, a copy of their recorded-in-a-day demo crash landed in my letterbox, and listening to first track ‘Waiting On The 123’, the Pulp simile makes more sense than ever. Indie funks bursting with swagger and panache, catchy hooks and off-kilter lyrics. Although in places the repeated guitar riffs tire somewhat, but the overall sound is upbeat and saturated in attitude.
Slowing it down for the other two tracks, Bhuna hit perfectly on the catchy, chilled-out indie-pop so many bands aim for - the kind of thing JJ72 might actually be quite good at if they didn’t have such a rodent-sounding vocalist. Careful, romantic and strangely enchanting.
In some ways, it’s all a little bit dangerously pub-rock. But then, on another level, for the amount of time and money spent on recording, it’s a fantastically promising little demo. Given a little spicing up and smoothing over this could quite easily become one of the most exciting CDs to emerge from the [somewhat lifeless] current Sheffield music scene.
At the moment, the make-or-break for this band will lie with their live show. The measure of passion and life behind these songs has been made hazy during recording, so for me at least, it all relies on how it’s translated in an interactive setting. If only I’d taken more notice of Bhuna strutting their stuff all those months ago…
7Kate Price's Score