Take half a yard of nicker elastic (to make the songs stretch to a 40 minute set) and four young loveable rogues playing keenly and brashly on a balmy Saturday night in Staines and you have got yourself a Buffalo Sundown. Buckinghamshire’s boy-wonders ‘Buffalo Sundown’ (or, if you prefer it, ‘The Buffalo Soldiers’ -as the Dirty Crawlers called them later) set the tone and temperament for a frenzy of fun filled frolics at Staines’s favourite headquarters for live music. And even if, as the late Malcolm McLaren has told us, ‘Buffalo Gals’ tend to go round ‘outside’, the Buffalo Boys (in this case) were to start the-ball-rolling inside – giving up everything they had – and a little bit more – for the lively audience at The Hobgoblin.
Imagine a pop punk outfit like ‘Fall Out Boy’ with lots of smiles and cheeky eyes and a squeaky-clean look straight out of the leafy suburbs, add some catchy tunes and cheerful choppy chords, and you pretty much sum up Buffalo Sundown. They are fun and engaging in the same way that the awkward but intelligent boy in your class was. You know the one I mean, the one who talked back to the teacher but he always got away with it – the one who could talk his way out of a fight and he always helped out with your homework. Clear vocals from Joe and some reliable backing vocals from Chris (bass guitar) helped to bring out the best in their songs and melodies. And Tommy provided a resilient bounce, thrum and purr on drums while Mousinho gave us a neat variety of tricks on guitar.
Buffalo Sundown play songs like ‘Situation Cultivation’ which winds up your leg like creeping tendrils of ivy with it’s insistent bass notes flapping in the breeze and that ever hooky chorus. Or take ‘Before Revolution’ with its animated verse, choppy, chugging chords and a sublime riff tugging at your pants like a puppy-dog on heat. Other BS tunes tend to thrash excitedly around, and all have that charming freshly effervescent quality. Joe’s clear and relaxed vocal style with a polished guitar accompaniment tends to remind me of Tom DeLonge.
Best of all, the Buffalo Boys are self-effacing and charmingly modest about their accomplishments and their inherent vitality. They were not only a great warm-act for the headline band but – more than that – they were lively and spirited enough to wake up the weekend and give us that shot of boost juice that we all need in prime time.
Crackling with enthusiasm, this chipper band is about as perky as Rihanna’s wopbopaloobops during a heated cha-cha.