So I heard that there was a ska/punk show happening at the closest club that plays punk to where I live in Japan (the Graph in Kisarazu), and without knowing the names of any of the bands, let alone their music, I decided that I would check it out.
The first band up was Blue Beat Monster. They are a relatively young bunch of guys that are from the same prefecture. They played very straight-forward ska, which as a person who's trying to dance, and constantly unsure of what's going on, is fucking great, because it meant that skanking was most definitetly possible. Sadly, as Blue Beat Monster was playing their set, the Graph had about 5 people in the audience, and I wasn't in the mood for calling massive attention onto myself. The highlight of the show for me was when they covered the song "Spiderman," despite them completely butchering it. They tried, and it was fun to head-bob to, and their English was better than my Japanese, so they had my respect. They really didn't have much talent yet, but if they keep up having doing what they're doing, I'm sure they'll get more than 5 people in their audience in no time! If they came back, I would definitely check them out, and possibly drink a lot more before to take away my self-consciousness of skanking horribly.
After their set, they handed out pens and questionares, and my friend translated the Japanese for me, and I filled it out, and for doing so I got their demo disc! It's filled with straight-forward ska!
The next band really has no relation to punk rock. Well, as they played, they did remind me of Coheed and Cambria, but I think that's because my knowledge on music outside of punk rock is just that fucking horrible. They featured a female vocalist, a keyboard player, and then the standard guitar, bass and drums. They were called...Blue Hole! (I was hoping there was a "blue" theme in the night at this point, but I was wrong.)
At this point the audience size doubled, as Blue Hole had 5 of their friends in the audience, and it decreased the sausage ratio from 100%. I don't really care, but boy do I enjoy saying sausage ratio! Anyways, they played very gothy/poppy/slow atmospheric music, and the girl sang in a beautiful, passionate near J-popish voice. I didn't dig what they were putting down, but I really enjoyed to see the singer so passionate, and the keyboardist was totally being one with that piano. They didn't have any merch there, but if they did, I wouldn't have bought any. If I had better Japanese though, I would've wanted to talk to them and see what they were all about.
The last band, and the most popular of the night, was the illustrious Midnight Pumpkin from Nagoya. At this point, there was almost 20 people in the Graph. Midnight Pumpkin are an 8-piece ska-punk group, with the majority of their members being female. They feature two female vocalists, two trumpet players, a sax player, a trombone player, and then the standard guitar, bass and drums (these three instruments were all played by guys, and they were hidden away in the back, which led me to believe this may be a band going on the ladies' looks, but I was luckily proved wrong). This band loved having fun, and they danced about and sang with power. I bought their demo, so I'll give you a taste of a song they had that was in English:
Let's go play all time today, come on!Their English isn't the best (but still light years ahead of my Japanese, and even further ahead of my ability to sing in Japanese, so they have my respect), but what comes through is that they're all about having fun. They had fun on stage, dancing about to hyper-fast ska songs (however, there was a lot of tempo changes, so it was bloody impossible to get into a good skanking rhythm as I didn't know the songs).
I will work happy together
Is needle poison in sweets?
Midnight Pumpkin had two devout fans singing every word at the front of the stage. When their set was done, they yelled "Encore!" and clapped their hands a lot, and just the two of them got them to play an encore! It was cool!
So the show was good because the first ska band (Blue Beat Monster) played nice danceable ska. The second band was good, and intense to watch, but totally not my thing. The third band was fantastic, and would've been great to sing along and dance with...if I knew the songs.
All in all, another fun ska/punk night at the Graph in Kisarazu.