Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tokyo Music 1

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Just got back from a long weekend in Tokyo. It was our first time in Tokyo but we wanted to check out the music scene there so we picked three gigs from the listings during the four days we were there and headed out.

First up was a gig at Heaven's Door in Sangenjaya. There were several bands on the bill but the headliners were Ed Woods, billed as a shock rock band. We arrived a bit late having navigated the Tokyo metro and having stopped for some culinary experiences on the way and came in to the small club halfway through the Ed Woods set. The music was pretty intense power trio stuff, with just guitar, amped up acoustic double bass and drums. The music was pretty wild but we wondered what the 'shock' rock element was.

Towards the end of the set the bass player decided to take his troosers off before getting down on the floor behind his double bass for a while (presumably he was doing a Hendrix and playing it with his teeth but it's hard to say). Upon emerging, smeared with blood, he then proceeded to douse himself in liquid from a water bottle. At this point, the thought flashes through your mind "Just how shocking is this shock rock thing? Has he worked himself up into such a frenzy that he's doused himself in lighter fluid and is about to set himself on fire? And, by the way, where are the fire exits?"

Fortunately the next thing to emerge from his bag was not a lighter but some soap and he started to lather himself up. He then performed a unique - in my experience anyway - variation on stage diving where instead of leaping into the welcoming arms of the crowd he instead asked the crowd to part and dived, face first, onto the concrete floor, careening across it like ...... well, like a soaped-up Japanese double bass player in his underpants careening across a concrete floor.

I'm not sure what it all meant but you've gotta appreciate a guy who's prepared to put in a bit of effort to get the crowd going.

More Tokyo music and other random stuff to follow......


ulaca said...

Just as well the Jap rock scene doesn't attract attention seekers.

David Biddlecombe said...

LOL. Yes, the Japanese seem at first glance to come in only two varieties - absolutely polite, reserved and conservative or absolutely in your face and off their rockers.

ulaca said...

It was Clive James - a bit of a combination of the traits you refer to? - who once wrote, in the context of Japanese conformity, that they even rebel in the same way. Cosplay's a good example.