A surprise package: Tokyo indie band Go!Go!7188
Julian Worrall and Erez Golani Soloman prepare a lecture on the wonders of modern Tokyo architecture. More here.
Plus find out why Tokyo's graffiti pros are now being offered huge public canvases. More here.You can also see how Mademoiselle Yulia, the fashion icon and DJ in-demand, temporarily trades in her trademark multi-colored image for plain white. More here.
Japanese indie rock is hardly a music genre I know well. The same holds true for the Japanese language. I know only a few words. “Hajimemashite. Watashi wa Alex desu. Yoroshiku onegai shimasu.” That’s about it.
And it’s safe to say that there was little rapport between myself and Yuu, Akko and Turkey -- real name, Takayuki -- the members of Go!Go!7188.
Following translation, my questions about the Tokyo music scene were met with blank stares. It was three- or four-word answers at best. The band’s bassist Akko did eventually take the lead, handling the bulk of the questions.
We weren’t delving into the meaning of life or discussing the rotating political leadership in their homeland. It was more, “Who’s your favorite band?” But it was tough going. After 10-15 minutes, we graciously thanked each other. And I let them get back to rehearsing for their gig later that evening.
I guess interviews weren’t their thing. And admittedly, my being a Gaijin with a very limited knowledge of Japanese couldn’t have helped. Still, this threesome didn’t strike me as dynamic rock stars.
We went to grab some dinner before returning later that evening for their performance. It’d been three exhausting days of filming in Tokyo. So when we returned, the plan was to film a few songs, and then head for the exits. Then Go!Go!7188 took the stage and set the place on fire, musically speaking.
They were relentless, and had their throngs of fans surging and pumping their fists. Before we knew it, we were racing around the packed house to cover the action. For 30 minutes, Go!Go! hardly paused for a second. And I caught myself wondering if this was the same reticent bunch that I spoke with a few hours ago.
Our 59 year-old Cameraman, Jiro, echoed the same view. “Same kids? Amazing!” before he snapped his camera off the tripod and raced to the foot of the stage.
Needless to say, we were the last to leave. And I was convinced that we’d found the soundtrack for our next show.