Last weekend I took my first trip of 2020! I had the pleasure of going on a two show mini-tour with my band Youryokutai Club, the first was down in Yokohama and then back to Sapporo for another show the very next day!
We were invited down to play a local event at a small practice studio located just a few train stops from Yokohama Station. The show was hosted by our old friend and killer bassist Yuji, and his band mosimo. We first met Yuji and mosimo about four years ago at our very first show in Tokyo, although at that time Yuji was the bassist in another band. (The music scene down south is very tight…) Long story short, we were getting to play with everybody for the first time in four years, so there was a lot of catching up to do and we were excited to see everyone.
We arrived in Tokyo the night before the show, I met up with some friends downtown and then made my way to a Manga Cafe for some sleep. (They’re surprisingly comfortable, and more importantly cheap!) The next day I met up with my band-mates in the afternoon, but before we headed to the venue we had to get our ‘Omikuji’ (fortunes) from the local shrine!
The studio itself was like a hidden treasure. It’s an old location, someone told me they’ve been open for about 30 years or so, and the building and interior definitely had a retro ‘Showa-Era’ feel. Walking from the closest station, you have to turn away from the busy shopping district onto a street of old houses and apartments, walk a bit down the block and then suddenly on your right you see this:
The building has no elevator, so after walking up four flights of stairs we found ourselves in an old practice studio. One large main lobby and three small practice rooms. It wasn’t huge, but it was certainly cozy.
We had a great time playing, the studio sound was perfect for the atmosphere and the audience was welcoming and responsive. It was easy to tell that the local scene is alive and well. The other bands we played with were excellent too. A favorite of mine was the band CHATTER BOX, a post-rock three-piece band with a tight sound and dream-like vocals and guitar. Definitely recommend them if you’re into that, you can check out their music here on soundcloud.
After the show we spent the night killing time around Tokyo station before taking an early-morning bus back to Narita Airport for our 7:30 am flight home to Sapporo.
Home Again (and another show?)
We arrived early and, after a little nap at home, I headed to the local venue “Sound Lab mole” for our second show! We played at their FSR event, a long-running seasonal show that features a ton of local bands over a two-day period. The venue is actually in an old movie theater building so there’s enough space for four stages, two food booths, a bar, and a merch area. The stage is huge, and the sound and lighting staff are super talented and friendly. We played during the evening, and while we were all a bit tired I think we played pretty well!
And thus ended our mini-tour weekend. Lots of wonderful music and wonderful people to share the time with. Can’t thank Yuji and mosimo enough for having us down for the event, and thanks to mole for always giving us a great spot in FSR!
And thank you for reading! I’ve got an exciting trip planned for this week, so I’ll be telling you about that in the next blog!
Stay creative – E