For very small-scale but highly interesting goth events in Tokyo there is the underground network Artism.jp. While the tightly-knit community of performers and patrons is pretty much Japanese-only, foreigners are welcome and so I went to the Gothic Bar Heaven 25 event at Club Crawl in Shibuya to see what’s up with the current Tokyo goth scene. It was a very lightly attended affair, but the performers and bands gave their best nevertheless.
First came Mario † Child (Mario Cross Child), a Japanese duo making a powerful mixture of metal, classic and synthesizer music. As you can see, not only the music, but also their costumes were influenced by Moi dix Mois and similar Visual Kei bands.
Singer Sylph of Mario † Child reaching up.
Both Sylph and Mogu were wearing white ruffles and lace outfits.
Sylph of Mario † Child kneeling on the stage while singing.
Sylph of Mario † Child performing at Club Crawl.
Guitar player Mogu of Mario † Child.
Sylph and Mogu's performance was supported by a masked dancer.
The second band of the evening was ManyCuRe, also a duo, but they were supported by two guest musicians. They played very loud, very energetic punk rock in a rough and entertaining performance.
ManyCuRe with frontman Gou Tragedy at Club Crawl.
Supporting female bass player of ManyCuRe.
Singer Gou Tragedy of ManyCuRe performing.
Male guitarist Tozie Comedy of ManyCuRe wearing a polka dot dress.
ManyCuRe on stage at Club Crawl in Shibuya.
ManyCuRe's support bass player moshing while playing.
The headliner of the event was the Gothic Rock band Ray Trak with singer Lynne Hobday. Their music reminded me a lot of Faith and the Muse and typical 4AD bands, which is quite a compliment. Their beautiful music was underlined by a strong performance by the band and the supporting “Gothic Fusion Belly Dance” by Neo and Min.
A small part of Ray Trak's line-up on stage performing their Gothic Rock.
Lynne Hobday and her fellow Ray Trak bandmates.
Ray Trak's female saxophone player.
The belly dancer Neo dancing and batting her fan.
A close-up of Neo.
Singer Lynne Hobday of Ray Trak performing.
Belly dancer Neo in front of bass player Hayashibe of Ray Trak.
English-born singer/songwriter Lynne Hobday of Ray Trak singing.
Ray Trak's saxophone player with black and white facepaint.
Belly dancer and singer of Ray Trak.
At the end of the "Gothic Fusion Belly Dance".
Bassist Hayashibe of Ray Trak wearing a maid costume and a white rabbit mask.
Between the music acts several DJs played electro, EBM and goth music to entertain the patrons. As so often, these were dressed up in elaborate goth and cyberpunk fashion and were fun to photograph while they were dancing on the dancefloor or relaxing in the anteroom.
Friendly party girl Asuka on the dancefloor.
A male patron of Gothic Bar Heaven making a face.
The late hour took its toll on this anarchy girl.
DJ.U（a.k.a Slave No.1) and Asuka posing in Club Crawl.
Two tough Japanese goth guys discovering their love for pink bows and hearts.
Another cross-dressing guy with a blonde wig and white gloves.
The sleepy goth girl and DJ Manik (HimemaniK) behind the turntables.
DJ Mikan with blue wig and plastic hair extensions.
Another set of DJs at the Gothic Bar Heaven 25 event.