If your a regular Japan Underground go-er you will recognise the indie beats of Ken Kobayashi. Ken’s a singer, songwriter and a producer based in London. Ken was born in London in 1988 between a German father and a Japanese mother. Spending childhood in Tokyo, Berlin and London, Ken was exposed to a wide range of range of music genres and movements. Ken started writing songs when he learnt to play the guitar at the age of 16. In 2009, He released his debut album My Big Foot Over the Sky.
In need of a new drummer and bassist she put together the set with stand ins and cardboard cut outs of Bananas and tuna which are her most hated songs. Irony is I quite enjoyed the Tuna song and the dance random audience did with the card board cut outs! Once you get over their innocence, the second most striking thing about No Cars is their gimmick – it’s a sheet music stand in front of the stage. On it are about 10 cards with illustrations on them. After each song, they pull the cards off to reveal cartoons, maps, and weird doodles. Which may well be very ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ – but it’s twisted too. The band play 1950s heartbreak classics with the odd screaming breakdown thrown in to keep the punks happy.
It was my time seeing the popular band Area 11, classed as a ‘gaijin rock’ band from Bristol, England. Area 11 currently consists of four members; Sparkles*, Alex Parvis, Jonathan Kogan and Leo Taylor. Their debut album All The Lights In The Sky was released 31/1/2013. They named the band after the anime Code Geass and fans of the band have come to be collectively known as ‘Elevens’. They have written songs based on the storylines of Japanese animated productions, such as Code Geass, Death Note, Gurren Lagann, Naruto, Elfen Lied, Bakuman and others. They have also been known to write songs about video games, such as the Dota 2 parody. Also released their latest song ‘Shi no Barado’ ft idol Beckii Cruel.
Fresh from supporting the likes of Muse and Kasabian in Japan, Tokyo’s hottest new indie band [Champagne] venture to London to pay homage to the country that originally inspired them to create music; the UK. In Japan they’ve topped the indie charts, played major festivals such as Summer Sonic and become one of the most talked about new pop-rock bands of the last few years.
Led by Yohei Kawakami (vocals and drums), who grew up in Syria, and Hiroyuki Isobe (bass and chorus) who grew up in America, [Champagne] manage to fuse the best from western and eastern music to create unique and catchy pop-rock songs. Since forming in 2007, they have released three albums; the first entitled ‘Where’s My Potato?’, followed by Oricon Indie Chart topper ‘I want to go to Hawaii’, and then ‘Schwarzenegger’, with a fourth hit album expected to be released soon.