Our first proper blog post of 2012 was about Fujiya & Miyagi. They had recorded a version of Your Silent Face for a cd of New Order covers given out with the February edition of Mojo magazine. While it might look like we’re spending all our time writing about Brighton music, secretly we’re huge New Order fans on the side, so the chance to slip some New Order into the blog was most welcome.
In February we spotted Matt Hainsby swapping his bass for an acoustic guitar onstage at the Bleeding Hearts Club under the name I Am Ampersand. He was the third member to join the band and “Fujiya” and “Miyagi” had already been grabbed, so he was left with the “&”. A few weeks later the ultra-limited but utterly brilliant 20 Seas 4 Oceans 7″ came out on the legendary Great Pop Supplement label. It came with a hand-made wood print. It’s got lyrics about a mer-man. The intro sounds a bit like an unplugged version of Spirit In The Sky. What more could you possibly want? Another great 7″ followed in the summer and a few weeks ago he rounded off the year with Grave Goods, an album of quirky psychedelic folk songs that you wouldn’t have expected from a member of Fujiya & Miyagi a year ago.
Matt Hainsby isn’t the only member of Fujiya & Miyagi who’s been involved with extra-curricular activities this year. David Best has teamed up with Sammy Rubin from Project Jenny Project Jan to form Omega Male, who also put out their album in November. Where Grave Goods wasn’t immediately recognisable as an album put out by a member of Fujiya & Miyagi, there’s no mistaking Best’s inescapable vocal style on Omega Male. Tucked at the end of the album was one of our favourite tracks this year – the incredibly gorgeous Buildings Like Symphonies, which combined with I Am Ampersand’s 20 Seas 4 Oceans, was the clincher for placing them so high in our list.