Jul 112010
 

After attending Gothic Bar Heaven 25 I decided to go to more Artism events in Tokyo. So I visited Gantai Alice 3 (眼帯アリス) at Live Inn Rosa in Ikebukuro this Sunday. As expected, it was mainly an event with several bands playing for about half an hour each, with some DJing thrown in in-between. However, the headliner of the evening was the popular Japanese comedian Minoru Torihada (鳥肌実) who gave one of his famous spoken-word performances. The bands consisted of サンドイッチで120分? (Sandoitchi de Hyakunijūpun?), GPKISM, 桃尻東京テレビジョン (Momoziri Tōkyō Terebijon), 遺伝子組換こども会 (Idenshi Kumikae Kodomokai) and Mu☆Mu.

The first performer was “Maria“. Unfortunately, I missed most of his gig, so I got only few photos. Overall, it was a kinda weird a cappella performance with singing, screaming and talking.

The singer "Maria" performing at the Gantai Alice 3 event.
The singer "Maria" performing at the Gantai Alice 3 event.
Although his stage persona came on as pretty weird, "Maria" was actually a pretty nice guy.
Although his stage persona came on as pretty weird, "Maria" was actually a pretty nice guy.
Part of "Maria's" performance was playing with an improvised flame­thrower made from a spraycan and a lighter.
Part of "Maria's" performance was playing with an improvised flame­thrower made from a spraycan and a lighter.

 

The next performer was Mu☆Mu. They played minimalistic electro pop-rock filled with chiptune-like digital samples. MuMu also had good crowd participation as the audience was invited to dance along — which the people did, so it was a quite fun performance.

Mu☆Mu is the solo project of the singer and musician MuMu. Here he is playing guitar.
Mu☆Mu is the solo project of the singer and musician MuMu. Here he is playing guitar.
MuMu was supported by a guest drummer wearing a top hat.
MuMu was supported by a guest drummer wearing a top hat.
MuMu's style was a combination of decora and fairy tale fashion.
MuMu's style was a combination of decora and fairy tale fashion.
MuMu invited the crowd to dance along with him, which the people did.
MuMu invited the crowd to dance along with him, which the people did.
MuMu's performance was quite entertaining.
MuMu's performance was quite entertaining.
The singer of the one man band Mu☆Mu singing at the Gantai Alice 3 event in Ikebukuro.
The singer of the one man band Mu☆Mu singing at the Gantai Alice 3 event in Ikebukuro.

 

The 3rd band of the evening was 遺伝子組換こども会 (Idenshi Kumikae Kodomokai), whose name could be best translated as “club of genetically-engineered children”. They were pretty unique insofar they did short Doraemon-inspired sketches before each of their songs, which was really fun to watch. Their music was fast and powerful pop-punk rock which was loved by the audience, who danced along to the instructions of the band.

Singer Nobita of 遺伝子組換こども会 giving a powerful performance at Live Inn Rosa.
Singer Nobita of 遺伝子組換こども会 giving a powerful performance at Live Inn Rosa.
The female bass player Ura (裏) of 遺伝子組換こども会 performing next to the singer Nobita.
The female bass player Ura (裏) of 遺伝子組換こども会 performing next to the singer Nobita.
The guitarist Kojirō of 遺伝子組換こども会 wearing his Doraemon cosplay while playing.
The guitarist Kojirō of 遺伝子組換こども会 wearing his Doraemon cosplay while playing.
Nobita (ノビ太), Kojirō (コジロー) and Ura (裏) doing a Doraemon sketch between their songs.
Nobita (ノビ太), Kojirō (コジロー) and Ura (裏) doing a Doraemon sketch between their songs.
The Japanese punk rock band 遺伝子組換こども会 (The Club of Genetically-engineered Children) giving dance instructions to the audience.
The Japanese punk rock band 遺伝子組換こども会 (The Club of Genetically-engineered Children) giving dance instructions to the audience.
The singer Nobita of 遺伝子組換こども会 in one of his quieter moments.
The singer Nobita of 遺伝子組換こども会 in one of his quieter moments.

 

The fourth music group was +桃尻東京テレビジョン+ (Momoziri Tōkyō Terebijon), which means Peach-bottom Tokyo Television. They were pretty popular, too, and their punk rock music was supported by the audience moshing and waving fans. Overall it was another great performance by a energetic and well-rehearsed band.

The orange-haired bass player Yogore (ヨゴレ) of 桃尻東京テレビジョン performing.
The orange-haired bass player Yogore (ヨゴレ) of 桃尻東京テレビジョン performing.
The singer Alps (アルプス) of Momoziri Tōkyō Terebijon singing at the Gantai Alice 3 event.
The singer Alps (アルプス) of Momoziri Tōkyō Terebijon singing at the Gantai Alice 3 event.
桃尻東京テレビジョン's guitarist Masashi (マサシ) in his polka dot suit.
桃尻東京テレビジョン's guitarist Masashi (マサシ) in his polka dot suit.
The green-haired singer Alps of 桃尻東京テレビジョン was wearing gloves with glow-in-the-dark fingertips.
The green-haired singer Alps of 桃尻東京テレビジョン was wearing gloves with glow-in-the-dark fingertips.
The line-up of 桃尻東京テレビジョン (Peach-bottom Tokyo Television) on stage at the Gantai Alice 3 event.
The line-up of 桃尻東京テレビジョン (Peach-bottom Tokyo Television) on stage at the Gantai Alice 3 event.
MGR-G100 of 桃尻東京テレビジョン playing keyboards and background singing.
MGR-G100 of 桃尻東京テレビジョン playing keyboards and background singing.

 

GPKISM from Australia was the fifth musical performer. Their loud and gloomy gothic rock was quite different from music of the other bands, so the audience was less interested in their performance. I think they missed out on an up-and-coming Visual Kei band.

The Australian Visual Kei band GPKISM on stage at the Live In Rosa.
The Australian Visual Kei band GPKISM on stage at the Live In Rosa.
The guitar player Kiwamu (究) of GPKISM in his baroque fantasy uniform.
The guitar player Kiwamu (究) of GPKISM in his baroque fantasy uniform.
GPKISM was supported by a guest bass player dressed in black.
GPKISM was supported by a guest bass player dressed in black.
The male singer-songwriter GPK (Gothique Prince Ken) of GPKISM was singing both in Japanese and English.
The male singer-songwriter GPK (Gothique Prince Ken) of GPKISM was singing both in Japanese and English.
GPK is the singer of the EBM/gothic rock band GPKISM.
GPK is the singer of the EBM/gothic rock band GPKISM.
Another wide-angle shot of GPKISM playing live in Tokyo.
Another wide-angle shot of GPKISM playing live in Tokyo.

 

The last band of Gantai Alice 03 was サンドイッチで120分? (Sandoitchi de Hyakunijūpun?) = “120 Minutes for a Sandwich?”. They played hard, loud and fast punk rock which turned many of the cute and harmless-looking Japanese girls in the audience into headbanging fiends.

A shot of the wild and powerful performance of the Japanese pop punk band サンドイッチで120分?.
A shot of the wild and powerful performance of the Japanese pop punk band サンドイッチで120分?.
Bassist Tsuna Morikawa (森川ツナ) of サンドイッチで120分? headbanging.
Bassist Tsuna Morikawa (森川ツナ) of サンドイッチで120分? headbanging.
Bass player Tsuna Morikawa (森川ツナ) of サンドイッチで120分? when he was not playing.
Bass player Tsuna Morikawa (森川ツナ) of サンドイッチで120分? when he was not playing.
Sandoitchi de Hyakunijūpun?'s guitarist Hamu Takemura (竹村ハム) dressed in a red jumpsuit.
Sandoitchi de Hyakunijūpun?'s guitarist Hamu Takemura (竹村ハム) dressed in a red jumpsuit.
The singer and bandleader Retasu Matsuoka (松岡レタス) of サンドイッチで120分? singing.
The singer and bandleader Retasu Matsuoka (松岡レタス) of サンドイッチで120分? singing.
Again the concert goers were dancing and waving their arms according to the instructions of the band.
Again the concert goers were dancing and waving their arms according to the instructions of the band.

 

The final performer was Minoru Torihada (鳥肌実). He is an underground comedian, satirist and actor who uses an extreme right-wing persona to make fun of imperialists, the uyoku right-wing groups and current events (like the 2010 FIFA world cup). He gets taken way too seriously by the general public, but he has garnered a cult following among the more open-minded young people looking for shockingly absurd parodies of humorless Japanese realities.

Minoru Torihada (鳥肌実) dressed in a serious suit covered with outrageous patriotic slogans.
Minoru Torihada (鳥肌実) dressed in a serious suit covered with outrageous patriotic slogans.
Part of his performance is the impersonation and ridiculing of far-right activists.
Part of his performance is the impersonation and ridiculing of far-right activists.
Minoru Torihada (鳥肌実) talking very seriously and earnestly about the ills affecting Japanese society today.
Minoru Torihada (鳥肌実) talking very seriously and earnestly about the ills affecting Japanese society today.
Many consider Minoru Torihada the most brilliant and sarcastic stand-up comedian of Japan.
Many consider Minoru Torihada the most brilliant and sarcastic stand-up comedian of Japan.
Behind him was an oversized Japanese national flag and a banner reading Torihada support meeting (鳥肌翼賛会).
Behind him was an oversized Japanese national flag and a banner reading Torihada support meeting (鳥肌翼賛会).
At one point of his performance Minoru Torihada undressed and continued with his parodies.
At one point of his performance Minoru Torihada undressed and continued with his parodies.

 

The Gantai Alice 03 event was surprisingly well attended and not just by the regular Tokyo goth. Although it was far from sold out, each of the bands had their faithful followers who made every performance exciting and entertaining. Many members of the audience were dressed up in cosplays or other elaborate fashions, so I found many interesting subjects to document the personal styles of Japanese party people.

Two patrons of the Gantai Alice 3 event wearing Ronald McDonald cosplays and holding various signs.
Two patrons of the Gantai Alice 3 event wearing Ronald McDonald cosplays and holding various signs.
The Japanese goth guy Eren wearing a jester-like outfit with horns and white hair.
The Japanese goth guy Eren wearing a jester-like outfit with horns and white hair.
A shot of the crowd (mostly) enjoying the performance of Mu☆Mu.
A shot of the crowd (mostly) enjoying the performance of Mu☆Mu.
The Japanese DJ Manik (HimemaniK) and the girl named Chokomelo (チョコメロ) on the dancefloor.
The Japanese DJ Manik (HimemaniK) and the girl named Chokomelo (チョコメロ) on the dancefloor.
DJ Manik (HimemaniK) with Chokomelo and Mochi posing for the camera.
DJ Manik (HimemaniK) with Chokomelo and Mochi posing for the camera.
Two Japanese goth girls dressed up for the Gantai Alice 3 event.
Two Japanese goth girls dressed up for the Gantai Alice 3 event.
Japanese girl dressed in a sailor suit and wearing a blue wig with colorful decora accessories.
Japanese girl dressed in a sailor suit and wearing a blue wig with colorful decora accessories.
Goth girl Kurau with white facepaint and Japanese cyber fashion.
Goth girl Kurau with white facepaint and Japanese cyber fashion.
Artist and singer Naoki Tamamushi (玉虫ナヲキ) with a My Little Pony in her hair.
Artist and singer Naoki Tamamushi (玉虫ナヲキ) with a My Little Pony in her hair.
Kei dancing to electro music.
Kei dancing to electro music.
Yogore of 桃尻東京テレビジョン portraited with a cuddly toy after his performance.
Yogore of 桃尻東京テレビジョン portraited with a cuddly toy after his performance.
Yogore and a female admirer posing together.
Yogore and a female admirer posing together.
Two Japanese girls dressed as some scary nurses with huge syringes.
Two Japanese girls dressed as some scary nurses with huge syringes.
Alps of 桃尻東京テレビジョン enjoying a cold beer in private.
Alps of 桃尻東京テレビジョン enjoying a cold beer in private.
"Maguru-san" making the peace sign.
"Maguru-san" making the peace sign.
This blue-haired girl was holding a sign with "7 o'clock" written on it for another photographer and I grabbed a shot while he was chimping.
This blue-haired girl was holding a sign with "7 o'clock" written on it for another photographer and I grabbed a shot while he was chimping.
A very beautiful young Japanese lady at the Gantai Alice 3 event.
A very beautiful young Japanese lady at the Gantai Alice 3 event.
Another good-looking Japanese girl with a unique style.
Another good-looking Japanese girl with a unique style.
DJ Sumata-Q (素股Q) behind the turntables.
DJ Sumata-Q (素股Q) behind the turntables.
A Japanese guy with dyed hair and colorful facepaint including the kanji "heroic self-sacrifice" (玉砕).
A Japanese guy with dyed hair and colorful facepaint including the kanji "heroic self-sacrifice" (玉砕).
Chokomelo and a female friend wearing summerly fashion at the Live Inn Rosa.
Chokomelo and a female friend wearing summerly fashion at the Live Inn Rosa.
 Posted by at 23:59
Jun 252010
 



 
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.
Singer Sylph of Mario † Child reaching up.
Both Sylph and Mogu were wearing white ruffles and lace outfits.
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 kneeling on the stage while singing.
Sylph of Mario † Child performing at Club Crawl.
Sylph of Mario † Child performing at Club Crawl.
Guitar player Mogu of Mario † Child.
Guitar player Mogu of Mario † Child.
Sylph and Mogu's performance was supported by a masked dancer.
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.
ManyCuRe with frontman Gou Tragedy at Club Crawl.
Supporting female bass player of ManyCuRe.
Supporting female bass player of ManyCuRe.
Singer Gou Tragedy of ManyCuRe performing.
Singer Gou Tragedy of ManyCuRe performing.
Male guitarist Tozie Comedy of ManyCuRe wearing a polka dot dress.
Male guitarist Tozie Comedy of ManyCuRe wearing a polka dot dress.
ManyCuRe on stage at Club Crawl in Shibuya.
ManyCuRe on stage at Club Crawl in Shibuya.
ManyCuRe's support bass player moshing while playing.
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.
A small part of Ray Trak's line-up on stage performing their Gothic Rock.
Lynne Hobday and her fellow Ray Trak bandmates.
Lynne Hobday and her fellow Ray Trak bandmates.
Ray Trak's female saxophone player.
Ray Trak's female saxophone player.
The belly dancer Neo dancing and batting her fan.
The belly dancer Neo dancing and batting her fan.
A close-up of Neo.
A close-up of Neo.
Singer Lynne Hobday of Ray Trak performing.
Singer Lynne Hobday of Ray Trak performing.
Belly dancer Neo in front of bass player Hayashibe of Ray Trak.
Belly dancer Neo in front of bass player Hayashibe of Ray Trak.
English-born singer/songwriter Lynne Hobday of Ray Trak singing.
English-born singer/songwriter Lynne Hobday of Ray Trak singing.
Ray Trak's saxophone player with black and white facepaint.
Ray Trak's saxophone player with black and white facepaint.
Belly dancer and singer of Ray Trak.
Belly dancer and singer of Ray Trak.
At the end of the "Gothic Fusion Belly Dance".
At the end of the "Gothic Fusion Belly Dance".
Bassist Hayashibe of Ray Trak wearing a maid costume and a white rabbit mask.
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.
Friendly party girl Asuka on the dancefloor.
A male patron of Gothic Bar Heaven making a face.
A male patron of Gothic Bar Heaven making a face.
The late hour took its toll on this anarchy girl.
The late hour took its toll on this anarchy girl.
DJ.U(a.k.a Slave No.1) and Asuka posing in Club Crawl.
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.
Two tough Japanese goth guys discovering their love for pink bows and hearts.
Another cross-dressing guy with a blonde wig and white gloves.
Another cross-dressing guy with a blonde wig and white gloves.
The sleepy goth girl and DJ Manik (HimemaniK) behind the turntables.
The sleepy goth girl and DJ Manik (HimemaniK) behind the turntables.
DJ Mikan with blue wig and plastic hair extensions.
DJ Mikan with blue wig and plastic hair extensions.
Another set of DJs at the Gothic Bar Heaven 25 event.
Another set of DJs at the Gothic Bar Heaven 25 event.
 Posted by at 23:58
May 292010
 

When my friend Nekoi of Psydoll informed me that her band was playing this Saturday at a small venue in Shinjuku, I didn’t need asked twice. The underground rock club Urga was celebrating its 10th anniversary and for about six weeks tons of live acts were performing there almost every evening. Psydoll and some bands they are friends with were among them.

When I arrived the the band Neurotic Doll was already playing. Their music style was quite unique — a blend of industrial and what I call “death metal”. Very unusual for Japan.

Guitar player Tak of Neurotic Doll.
Guitar player Tak of Neurotic Doll.
"Neu!-r-v-verderber" and Tak of Neurotic Doll performing.
"Neu!-r-v-verderber" and Tak of Neurotic Doll performing.
"Neu!-r-v-verderber" and Tak of Neurotic Doll performing in red backlight.
"Neu!-r-v-verderber" and Tak of Neurotic Doll performing in red backlight.
Tak of Neurotic Doll playing guitars.
Tak of Neurotic Doll playing guitars.
The singer "Neu!-r-v-verderber" of Neurotic Doll performing.
The singer "Neu!-r-v-verderber" of Neurotic Doll performing.
"Neu!-r-v-verderber" and Tak of Neurotic Doll at the Urga club.
"Neu!-r-v-verderber" and Tak of Neurotic Doll at the Urga club.

 

Next came Psydoll. They were playing a number of classics and some stuff from their latest release 10spyglasses. As always the performance was energetic, loud and very powerful. Unfortunately, they did only play about 30 minutes, but I managed to get a couple of nice pictures.

Ucchi of Psydoll playing guitars with Nekoi in the background.
Ucchi of Psydoll playing guitars with Nekoi in the background.
Nekoi Psydoll singing with Ucchi in the back.
Nekoi Psydoll singing with Ucchi in the back.
Uenoyama/Loveless of Psydoll playing the Theremin.
Uenoyama/Loveless of Psydoll playing the Theremin.
Another shot of the Theremin player Uenoyama/Loveless of Psydoll.
Another shot of the Theremin player Uenoyama/Loveless of Psydoll.
The Japanese cyberpunk industrial band Psydoll: Uenoyama/Loveless, Nekoi, Ucchi.
The Japanese cyberpunk industrial band Psydoll: Uenoyama/Loveless, Nekoi, Ucchi.
Another shot of Nekoi and her band Psydoll playing at Urga.
Another shot of Nekoi and her band Psydoll playing at Urga.
The singer Nekoi Psydoll raising her hand.
The singer Nekoi Psydoll raising her hand.
Nekoi of Psydoll singing.
Nekoi of Psydoll singing.
Nekoi Psydoll at the mike while carrying her keytar.
Nekoi Psydoll at the mike while carrying her keytar.
Guitarist Ucchi of Psydoll clad in black leather.
Guitarist Ucchi of Psydoll clad in black leather.
Nekoi Psydoll with percussionist Uenoyama/Loveless in the background.
Nekoi Psydoll with percussionist Uenoyama/Loveless in the background.
A stylish Japanese girl with glow-in-the-dark cat's ears I photographed in the break between the performances.
A stylish Japanese girl with glow-in-the-dark cat's ears I photographed in the break between the performances.

 

The last band for the evening was C.H.C.system. The music were not really my cup of tea and visually the performance was not that exciting — just a couple of guys behind their keyboards and turntables with very little singing or movements.

Seki of C.H.C.system in a rare moment of singing.
Seki of C.H.C.system in a rare moment of singing.
Else Seki of C.H.C.system was mostly just standing behind his synths.
Else Seki of C.H.C.system was mostly just standing behind his synths.
The C.H.C.system line-up at the evening consisting of Seki, Joe and Kawahara.
The C.H.C.system line-up at the evening consisting of Seki, Joe and Kawahara.
C.H.C.system's bass player Joe.
C.H.C.system's bass player Joe.
Kawahara of C.H.C.system adjusting his headphones.
Kawahara of C.H.C.system adjusting his headphones.
Kawahara of C.H.C.system working his magic.
Kawahara of C.H.C.system working his magic.
 Posted by at 23:33