Bwani Junction in-store gig at Rough Trade East
Rough Trade East is crawling with whispers and idle chatter. Edinburgh quartet Bwani Junction are set to take the stage any minute and the vibe surrounding the whole place feels like a soothing balm. Books, vinyl, all the best in the so-called “indie” world is there and the fact there’s a gig happening in the middle of it, makes it all the better.
After having exchanged a few words with some of the people gathered around the stage, the four Scots jump on the stage and literally re-shape the whole place within seconds after their My Body, My Mind watery intro. Rory Fairweather, singer and guitarist, greets their audience with his boy-next-door attitude and bright smile, inviting them to come closer to the stage: “I know we’re in a record shop, but we’ve come all the way from Scotland and this still feels like an actual gig, after all.” Civil War comes next, with its Afro-Caribbean sound drenched in British suburban melancholia, somewhat marking the band’s typically unique style.
Bwani Junction, who have taken their exotic name from 1956 Ava Gardner film Bhowani Junction, are real stand-outs among their indie musician comrades. They mix and match old and new, colourful sounds with homeland sorrows lyrics, flavouring it all with their clean images of good boys performing in a school play. What is astonishingly striking, though, is the basic fact they have an incredible amount of raw energy that will eventually lead them to greatness. Everything, from the way they lead their show echoes of festivals like Glastonbury and watching them play on a small stage like that at Rough Trade East, is like watching fireflies trapped inside a jar, painfully hypnotising.
She Ain’t Sayin’ No and Today’s Crusades follow shortly in a cloud of jangling guitar riffs from guitarist Dan Muir and powerful drumming by Jack Fotheringham. A beautifully reggae-ish version of The Pogues’ Dirty Old Town make the incredibly enlarged crowd cheer in awe.
Even though, they’re promoting the re-release of their debut album “Fully Cocked”, they manage to fit a couple of new tracks into their set-list, including Borneo, already bound to be an all-time favourite, before ending their impressive act with their hit Two Bridges, an anthemic song which made their crowd go wild at the last T In The Park, when Bwani Junction headlined the BBC Introducing Stage.
Being compared to bands like Libertines and Vampire Weekend, Bwani Junction know exactly how to make the difference in the often much abused indie rock’n’roll panorama. It almost seems like they don’t think enough of themselves until they embrace their instrument and give way to their magic. It is impossible for the audience not to feel profoundly touched by the astounding sound of this talented Scottish foursome.
Bwani Junction are playing another set in London tonight ,Tuesday 16th October, at the Lexington at 9 pm.
Watch the video for Two Bridges here: