Fujiya & Miyagi have always been an understated band, whistling by, collecting fans like a snowball on a slowly declining hill – one flake at a time. But this gig at the ever-busy Cargo brought this element to new heights as the band displayed some of the tunes from their third album, Lightbulbs, released last September to their London fans.
Originally a duo, F&M are a four-piece live band backed, throughout the set, by a big screen displaying patterns, words and pictures made up of dice. It’s all very impressive, and quite engaging, and makes up for the band’s lack of stage presence. It is this which holds the key to a gig full of little hooks and signs of greatness which faded away as lead singer David Best continued to stare at the floor. Either extremely shy or extremely arrogant (one suspects the former) the band’s refusal to acknowledge the crowd or create anything that the clearly partisan audience can up the gears with is incredibly disappointing.
There’s no doubt Fujiya & Miyagi have some tunes. Ankle Injury, Photocopier and Cassettesingle present some of the finest moments tonight with the krautrock element coming to the fore. F&M are true builders (ok, well not in a bum’n’The Sun way no) – they lay the foundations, bring in some heavy drumbeat - then accelerate picking up a well-known phrase or rhyme (including the Funny Bones headbone connecting to the neckbone one…) along the way. There’s no way they’re not good enough for a venue of Cargo’s size, or equally the adoring following, put if you’re gunna throw a party don’t forget to enjoy it yourself.