A weekend spent gigging in Tokyo

The following the week after Setsubun was fairly chilled out, it tried snowing again but all attempts failed to persist. I visited a new sushi restaurant again that I have become fond of due to the ¥105 for any plate policy. Before I found this restaurant sushi was not a item of my staple diet as it is normally quite expensive at most places in Japan, although now knowing the whereabouts of this restaurant I can thoroughly enjoy cheap and cheerful sushi whenever I want. They even serve experimental dishes like, meatball or bacon sushi, which is always funny. The weekend came around pretty quickly. I did not really have any real plans as I have been trying to cut down on spending waiting for my first visitors soon to arrive from England. Although Teru offered if I wanted to go to a gig with him on Saturday, to see Mouse on the Keys again and some other Japanese underground bands. He is friendly with quite a few of the bands so said that he could get us in on the guest list. It sounded like an offer that should not be refused. So we had our one lesson early Saturday afternoon then hopped on the next train to Tokyo, to head to the venue “Fever” in Shindaita. After waiting for the ticket holders to all get, we followed getting in just for the price of a drink, which is such a relief compared to Japanese gig ticket prices. First up was a band called “Lite“. They are pretty interesting instrumental band with a mix of snappy guitar rhythms, technical drumming and some sweeping synth patterns, but they almost sounded too tight, sometimes it felt like I was listening to a recording rather than a band and this took some excitement out of it, but nonetheless a pretty impressive band. Next was “Gomnupers” to present their ear bashing hardcore music. A three piece band made up of a guitarist with his guitar tuned to the darkest letter possible, a drummer who uses the end of his sticks to produce simple but hard hitting beats and a bassist that practically massacres his strings. Mouse on the Keys followed and put on a spectacularly ominous performance just like last time. Such a great band. Lastly were “Z”. A very interesting experimental band, who were giving it everything as it was going to be their last gig ever. Their set up that night was, a singer/saxophonist, a guitarist who had his guitar hooked up to several amps simultaneously to give a wholesome bass sound, and two drummers. They were pretty crazy to say the least, but a good crazy. They got the crowd going and like any good rock concert got a good helping to people to surf the crowds. Although we had to miss the end of their encore to get the last train back to Kazo. I was a little relieved as I had not been to gig that loud in ages and my ears had had enough.

The next day I had a pretty lazy morning. I went grabbed some tenpura udon for lunch and headed into Tokyo, for another evening of live music. I spent the most of the day walking around Shinjuku and bought myself some goodies from a music shop. The gig I was going to was to see Teru’s band “Capofteka” and it was being held in a venue on the outskirts of Kabukicho, the red light district of Tokyo, so I spent some time walking around absorbing the surroundings. Most of the places are girls bars or strip clubs and you get people approaching you saying “you want sex, blow job?!”. It’s pretty funny. This one guy was from Nigeria, and we got talking for a while as he was pretty hilarious. He was pretty philosophical for someone trying to sell me sex. He said that there is too many lights and no one is happy anymore, not like back in Nigeria, which is when he started explaining about all the crime and such in Nigeria. “In 10 years I will be the president of Nigeria” he said, so I took down his number, it could be useful. I got myself away from his constant raving as I said I was going to be late for the gig. Once at the venue, I got in and was welcomed by some free tequila shots being handed out by some lovely girls. A nice touch. The first band was pretty wicked, they put on a good performance and were pretty tight. Although the two bands after that were pretty annoying and uninteresting. After that Capofteka came on, which was relieving as they put on a really good show. It is really quite fun to see your boss rock out. The Mouse on the Keys drummer turned up to watch, so I took my chance to have a quick chat with him and get a good dose of brown nosing in. After Capofteka finished I decided to get back home as I had definitely had a fair share of live music and thought that it would not matter missing the last band.

That next week of work was quite pleasant, I Iet my ears recover and was pampered with chocolates. As it was the week of Valentines Day, I was giving lots of chocolates, even homemade ones, from students and Teru’s family. It seems it is a lot more casual in Japan and it is reserved for girls to give small gifts to friends and such, although I was told next month there is a special day when the boys have to repay the favour, so I will have to prepare myself for some chocolate buying.

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