Buffo’s Wake are a twelve-legged beast hatched in the murky backwater of Brighton, UK. Armed with accordions, violins and a bucket full of gusto they waltz, tango, mosh and kolo their way through various influences from Eastern European, Balkan and Russian folk, to punk rock and cabaret, telling tales of debauchery, deformity, zombies, incest and anatomy and making the audience dance into the night in the process.
On Halloween 2014, Buffo’s Wake released their debut album Carniphobia. Recorded in an array of bedrooms, studios (and everywhere in between), Buffo’s Wake decided not to use any synthesized instruments on their songs, instead opting for entirely acoustic instruments, effects and atmospherics. The album was created using singing saws, wine glasses, old rusty pipes, handmade percussion instruments and anything else they could get their grubby little paws on. The result is the haunting sound of an abandoned circus flowing throughout the album, inspiring the title Carniphobia.
2015 is shaping up to be a busy year for Buffo’s Wake, with various tours, festivals and other projects all in place to ensure the whole world gets to experience the little hurricane from Brighton.
‘Storming gypsy bangers! Twisting folk with a heavy smattering of pounding gypsy dance music – while very new to the scene, Buffos Wake work the crowd like pros, jumping, dancing and bringing you headfirst into the world of eastern European madness – we love them! Sounds Like: the gate has swung shut behind you at the abandoned fairground.‘
– Playgroup Festival
‘When we thought that the atmosphere could not get any better, the members of Buffo’s Wake convinced us otherwise. Sympathetic, energetic, persuasive, playful and professional, they kept up the energy levels throughout the gig. It was easy to see from the looks on their faces that they were very pleasantly surprised by Zagreb’s audience – being so well received even though it was their first time in our region. They completely ruled the moment….. an explosion of energy and dancing…..
The audience were insatiable, and called for an encore several times. The highlight of the evening was during the last two songs, when about 20 people from the audience climbed onto the stage and become one with the band, who visibly enjoyed every moment.’
‘You can expect them to be jumping, screaming, climbing, wandering around the audience, throwing instruments around and everything else, in their spooky musical punk circus’
‘A band to watch out for at Glastonbury 2015’
– Marc Radcliffe (BBC 6 Music)
‘MYSTERY! INTRIGUE! CLOWNS!’
– Taylor Gibbons
‘Twisting folk with a heavy smattering of pounding gypsy dance music’
– Two For Joy
‘Arguably confirming every Daily Mail reader’s prejudice about our fair city, Buffo’s Wake’s latest video sees the Brighton band on a debauched romp along the seafront, ending in violence, vomit and bus-stop cop sex. Having already played an impressive string of festivals and gigged in over 15 countries, the gypsy punks are now off on a fifty date tour of the UK, beginning and ending with shows in their hometown. Like demented circus freaks running riot at a Day of the Dead carnival, Buffo’s Wake blend Eastern European folk music with classical touches and a punky anything-goes sense of absurdity. Their debut album, fittingly released on Halloween, features its fair share of soaring violins, sinister vocals and rampant, rousing choruses. Slowing down is not an option.’
– Source Magazine
‘Dark and twisted, and full of energy!’
– Simon Price (BBC Introducing & Music Journalist for The Independent)
‘It was late at night when Buffo’s Wake debuted, but were people were still hidden somewhere waiting for the main course of the evening. Another band unknown to us, but we were impressed. They presented their debut album, Carniphobia (2014), with songs like Drunk Girls, which drew in the audience. With their Gypsy, Balkan and Ska sounds, the British band played a short but very respectable set, with violin, accordion and bass masterfully accompanying the eccentric singer.
– La Mancha Rock
‘You may recall a desolate band of misfits in Tim Burton’s ‘Nightmare Before Chirstmas‘ that popped up every now and then with musical interludes of damp and haunting melodies that were, in their own way, quite captivating.
Well Buffo’s Wake have a very similar allure; that is intriguing violins and erratic accordions, both utterly besmirched with wonderfully gloomy undertones and lingering vocals.‘
– Boomtown Fair
‘…Buffo’s Wake, whose idiosyncratic mix of traditional European folk with vibrant on-stage antics is, there’s no other word for it, weird.’
‘Combining fast-paced folk, carnivalesque humour, lewd tango and gypsy intricacies into a highly energetic, gleefully anarchic explosion. As influenced by the grime and darkness of Nick Cave as they are by Balkan folk and Ukrainian hooligans Gogol Bordello, Buffo’s Wake delight in sudden gear shifts, baffling non-sequiturs and a healthy sense of the absurd, and are undoubtedly the perfect accompaniment to an evening of knees-up silliness, preferably having consumed an obscene quantity of cider.
Come and have a go if you think you’ve got the stamina!‘
– Electric Harmony
‘Hailing from Brighton, Buffo’s Wake assault your ears like a musical hurricane. Destined to make you dance with wild abandon or ‘like someone being attacked by bees’ (Richard Cadence of egigs.co.uk) this six piece ensemble fuse punk and gypsy rhythms with the sounds of the funfair’
– Mojo Hobo
‘Pogues-style snarl, violin, accordion and double bass make Balkan-bouncing fun’
– Bristol 247
‘Opening like a bouncier version of Rodrigo Y Gabriela’s Re-Foc album and strutting confidently through ten tracks of cool and elegant gypsy punk, Carniphobia is party music par excellence’