A couple of weeks ago I returned from Japan after a three week holiday with my husband. One of the best things about the trip – and there were many best things – was the live music we saw. Here I’ll share some of the most notable, for my own memory back-up as much as anything.

Toranoko Rammy

We saw Toranoko Rammy (Tigercub Rammy) as part of the 11-band line-up at Mosaic live house in Shimokitazawa on new year’s eve. Not so much memorable for their music, but for their fan base of enthusiastic middle-aged men, all devotedly clad in Rammy merch.

Here’s a video I found of one of their shows, enjoy some fan footage from 4m20s.

After Toranoko Rammy finished their set, all their fans left the gig, despite there being six more bands to come.

Kahori

Kahori played later at the same show, absolutely carving it up on her flying V like some kind of guitar heroine, and singing with a backing track.

After her set she gave us a flyer for an upcoming gig, and she was so nice we just had to buy her EP, “I wanna be a guitar heroine”. She signed it for us too!

Here’s an Apple Music link for a wee listen.

Furutori

Furutori (meaning energy bird, I think?) were my favourite band that played the new year show. They’re two women, one on drums, the other guitar and synth and both doing vocals.

We also bought their CD, “Emotion-Motion” which is also available for a listen on the fruit player. They also have a couple of tracks up on their Soundcloud.

Strawberry Colorful Glans

To Sapporo, and the questionably-named Strawberry Colorful Glans. These were my faves of Loud and Peak, a line-up of six post-hardcore bands at Spiritual Lounge live house. Something I didn’t know before that I know now is that Sapporo has an excellent music scene.

I found a Soundcloud link of a demo of theirs, it’s not a great recording but you get the idea.

Nuisance

At Loud and Peak we made friends with a woman named Natsumi. Maybe she was wondering what a couple of gringos were doing there. She also introduced us to Mizuyoshi, the guitarist from Nuisance, also on the bill that night. Bizarrely, Mizuyoshi asked if we knew of the Melbourne band Enzyme – not your most well-known Melbourne band but yes, we’ve seen them at least a couple of times at the Footscray when we’ve been the normie-looking people at crust shows there. Apparently Enzyme like playing in Japan, and they’ve played with Nuisance.

And here you can enjoy some Nuisance.

There was plenty more we saw, including a ‘year end party’ at Trunk Hotel, Shibuya, with a bunch of DJs and bands and which was very much a cool dude place to be (continuing our accidental habit of being two outliers at nearly every gig we go to, anywhere). We also went to an improv show at a record store called Ftarri near Tokyo Dome, an ‘art happening’ in a private underground hall in Shimokitazawa, which seemed to devolve into something of a neighbourhood open mic show, and an earlier show at Mosaic where we just caught the last three bands. And that’s without even mentioning our own karaoke.