People Who Are Addicted To Music
by tom smith
After two consecutive sold out shows with FACT and [Champagne], Japan Underground returns with another belter of a line-up – and this time it’s teaming up with the Terracotta Film Festival for the ultimate Asian entertainment experience. Performing live will be the Japanese band Kao=S, making their UK debut at the event. Kao=S mix traditional Japanese music with modern rock. They’ve already toured America, had a video that made France’s No Life TV‘s top 10 videos of last year (ranking even higher than IBITSU from the GazettE), and they’ll be special guests at this year’s massive Japan Expo in Paris. PLUS support from THREE mighty acts; indie-pop from vocal goddess/diva ERIKA, more shamisen sounds from Hibiki (the UK’s only certified shamisen master) and drummer Tomo, plus shoegaze meets techno with The Newmarkets. AND, a full Japanese food menu available all-day from in-house food specialists Peko Peko! (check out the menu)
Stage time 9:35-10:35
Kao=S (pronounced ‘chaos’) fuse traditional Japanese instruments, performance art and passion with modern rock music for a truly unique experience. With links to FINAL FANTASY, a string of successful U.S tour dates (including a showcase set at SXSW) and a manga in their name, Kao=S now sets their sights on London for their first UK performance. The band consists of vocalist, sword dancer and FINAL FANTASY motion capture actress Kaori Kawabuchi; ‘Syamisenist’ Jack playing his own original rock-take on the traditional Japanese Tsugaru-Shamisen style; vocalist, guitarist and Kao=S’ leader Shuji Yamagiri; and new addition Shakuhachi (Japanese flute) player Daisuke Kaminaga, who joined the band as a regular member since touring America with Kao=S in 2012. Kao=S influences from traditional Japanese folk music, to rock legends such as Black Sabbath, L’Arc en Ciel and Led Zeppelin.
Stage time 8:50-9:20
ERIKA has emerged from a life coloured by the musical corners of London town and Japan. While it was initially opera and musical theatre in which she found her voice, as her birthdays passed she discovered the soundtrack to her early daydreams and pop greats such as Kylie and Carly Simon made their influence. Later ERIKA found herself as much at home with the 90s rave scene as she did with the heavy rock scene and from this union of diversity emerges a style of ‘epic pop’. But don’t get complacent, ERIKA is not all catchy riffs and bubblegum. There is a darkness to her songs that you don’t have to dig that deep to find.
On stage ERIKA is an icon of fashion and confidence and coupled with a vulnerability that is hard to ignore, it is really only in her performance that you can fully understand how interesting and impressive ERIKA is.
Stage time 8:05-8:35
Hibiki is the only professional player of Tsugaru Shamisen in the U.K. Since his arrival in U.K, Hibiki has performed on many occasions, including the Japanese Emperor’s birthday event at the Japanese embassy, Japan Matsuri and HYPER JAPAN. He currently teaches 20 students the Tsugaru Shamisen. Check out a video below of one of Hibiki’s other collaborations;
Stage time 7:20-7:50
Techno DJ/producer Shin Nishimura and Hide Uno the drummer singer from Dobly became friends and spent their school days in Newmarket, UK. The Newmarkets’ music is a mixture of alternative boogie beats and mild melodies and harmonies, heavily influenced by break beats, techno and rock music.