Thursday, 8 August 2013

Saiin Music Festival 2013 西院ミュージックフェス 2013

Last Saturday we headed down to a little intersection south of Kyoto to see some of the most maniac bands in the region play a host of tiny venues around the town. There was music everywhere, in live houses and cafes, but also in temples, kindergartens, izakayas and even in the local Mos Burger.
The Flier

Unfortunately, having to earn a crust we arrived a little late, missing plenty of quality stuff. However, due to the massive scale of the event and the huge number of venues (19 gigs on simultaneously at 6pm), we had to accept that we would miss a ton of stuff.

So we decided to start at the aptly named Saibaba (it sounds like "cyber-bar" and was playing electro - go figure). There we saw USK (5gene) pounding out some new style chiptines. I said saw, but it was so packed that we heard in a mass of dancing bodies in this tiny hallway of an izakaya. USK is a very witty and engaging performer, constantly changing it up and keeping the audience on their toes, going from pleasant and silly melodies to harsh breakdowns and complex arythmical harmonies.

Fruits in Jelly were next on our hitlist. They play fun electropop new-wave fairytale music. Feet tapping and mouths grinning is the order of the day. Taking their cues from everything that was fun from the 1980s with a bit of Chicks on Speed and circus fills thrown in for good measure.

We had to rush to get a great place for the next band. 溺れたエビの検死報告書 - The Autopsy report of Drowned Shrimp, if their name doesn't tip you off: this is a unique band. 11 giant musical shrimp with glowing green eyes grooving to what can only be called Shrimp-Rock. A mix of Godzilla soundtracks and mental glockenspiel virtuosity the whole band is led by the charismatic boss shrimp, Yamamoto Yoshi. It is really an alien and inexplicable band. The feeling of all these beady eyes and ocean sounds. It's almost prawn-ographic.

The shrimps went on late and finished late and so we had to rush over to see emotional comedy pants hardcore one-man-band クリトリックリスClitoric Ris, but alas it was packed out with fans singing along and we couldn't even poke our noses through the door.
Sorry we missed it, mr Ris.

All in all a very impressive day, for quality and for scope. 22 venues, countless bands of every genre imaginable and all for free (they did pass a hat/ask for tips at the end of shows which I guess were part of the performers payment). Amazing opportunity to see some amazing bands!

Performers mentioned:

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