Before we went to Japan we both didn’t know what to expect. We had only just finished touring Europe and after long drives from France to Hungry in an 11 year old transit van with a dying clutch a 13 hour flight half way around the world to play shows seemed like a luxury to us.
We played 8 dates in total, travelling by train with the only gear we could fit into the holding luggage. Thom’s huge pedal board and breakables neatly packed into a large suitcase. The only difference from all the other tours we have done so far was having the patient Shuichi Yasuda from ‘So I buried records’ as tour manager and mostly translator.
Booking a DIY UK tour we can do but Japan was all he’s handy work. All the venues we played were amazing and unique, from basement bars, cafes and well know concert venues. There was always a crowd that was welcoming to the noise we made.
With all the shows the other bands who opened for us were incredible, at times we thought there’s no way were going to go down well with the crowd after each band played but somehow we did?
Over the two weeks in Japan we meet some amazing and creative people. With music, right now there is an amazing pool of talent in Japan. Were still listening and taking notes from all the demos that were given to us at shows by bands and musicians.
Here are a list of band you need to hear
They played the second Tokyo date with us and from the very start they blew us away with their shoegaze melodic sound. They will be coming over to the UK at some point next year so look out for them.
The Piqnic Link https://soundcloud.com/thepiqnic/saoirse
Hamamatsu finest. Before they played the lead singer and keyboardist with a tiny amp strapped to him walked through the crowd singing “welcome” followed by the other two members, bringing the party to us all. It was like Sesame street but if Calvin Johnson took over the ABC sing-along.
Muscle NTT Link - https://soundcloud.com/musclentt/nhk
Our label mates and the first show of the tour. Boys Age are captivating live, they put so much into it even singer Kaznary Gully injured himself somehow while playing but still kept on going? They have so much music online it’s worth your time.
Boys Age Link - https://soundcloud.com/boys-age/fake-gold-pt-1-wonderful-life
Leather or DYGL?
Really young dudes who made us feel old but the kids are doing alright. They have an early Strokes feel to them live. They seem to change their name from time to time according to their lead singer, i just can’t keep up with em.
They seemed to mix Animal Collective and Elastica into their sound. According to people this is Japanese pop. If so pop’s pretty good in Japan compared to the UK.
Batman Winks Link - https://soundcloud.com/batmanwinks/sacred-song-feat-gloomy
While watching them play I think the spirit and emotions of singer Yusuke Ikeda just took me. Tiger Mos are a talented bunch of guys and captivating live. There sound and energy reminiscent to Anathallo.
Tiger Mos Link - https://soundcloud.com/tigermos/holyrover
My Cake your nerds
Everything about this two piece I loved, straight away I just thought K Record bands like Lake and also a little Mouldy Peaches. They have loads of homemade music videos that are worth watching.
This duo chilled us all out, after carrying Thom’s heavy pedal board around all day. Harps with their Washed Out sound was the perfect remedy. They did a cover of The Pastels, so what more can I say.
Harps Link - https://soundcloud.com/youcallyuko/all-tommorow-gone
Highly charged punk duo that bounced around the stage. We couldn’t help but lose our shit to them. There’s not much in ways of songs due to only going for a few months.
Here are more acts our manger Shuichi told us about when he was DJ for the last show we played at a art studio in Yokohama.