Thursday, 28 July 2016

Spotted in the crowd

Here's a short documentary about the music scene in Tokyo. This really captures the mood here in some ways.

Spot me in the crowd head banging to Cyclops just after 14 minutes:

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Leaving so soon?

I traveled up to Zarbaraki (AKA Ibaraki) for Rachel's leaving thing. 

A journey if timed well can take 3 hours to get from Shimokitazawa to Yamagatajuku in the north of Ibaraki.

A couple of Saturdays didn't really go down like that. 

Left my place at 11am. Missed the hourly rapid train at Tokyo station so caught the bus to Mito. Arrived in Mito around 2. Missed the hourly local train to Yamagatajuku. Met up with Taku whilst waiting. Got on the train at 3. Missed our stop because we were distracted by ukuleles. Got off the train at some random little town with a trinket shop and nothing else. Waited 40 minutes for the next south-bound train, arrived just after 5. Took over 6 hours to get there. 

Missed most of the food at the BBQ... but Lawson got me covered. Shout out to walking across a misty inaka grave-yard in the middle of the night for a snack run with Hummy. Futon sleepover party with 10 people followed by Sunday drinking in sunny Kairakuen park. 

Nice wknd ね


Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Where's Wally

More like where's Zara.

These pictures were from a genuinely fun night.

杯音圏 SHAPE YOUR CITY presented by dos・ing [01.07.2016]

How young and free we truly were. Now I'm ill, bitter and grumpy. 

Saturday, 9 July 2016


This was really awesome:

My housemate Colin took me to see some of his favorite local bands at the UFO club in Koenji.

It's a really fun little underground space. Very 60s/70s deco vibe.  At the start of each set, a long curtain draws opens to reveal the opening of each act.

I took a short video of the opening of THE CHOCOLATES:

These guys were pretty nuts.

Following this performance I stole the drummers glasses for a little end of the night selfie action:

I think the most insane act were headliners, the Texaco Leatherman. I filmed a little bit of this on my phone. I knew the quality would be bad, but I was more or less in disbelief, and phone cameras were created for those exact moments:

Its pretty fun to know this stuff is available in Tokyo. I found their Twitter account too: Texaco Leatherman Twitter

Woop. Now I better get out of bed and head up to Ibaraki to see some old chums, its raining like crazy though.....

Also, last night was really fun I went to another Heineken sponsored event at the UltraSuperNew Gallery... meaning free beers, music and entry. After everyone got kicked out and was told to move it along because Harajuku is apparently a residential area and we were making selfish gaijin noise, about 30 of us congregated outside of a 7-11 for about 45 minutes. What can I say? The air was warm, the drinks were cheap and the toilets were clean, minus the music its got everything you need. Eventually a police car pulled up and we got ushered along. We then walking about 5 minutes down the road to where there was another combini, and congregated there too. TAKE THAT the super nice, ultra reasonable Japanese police and system.

What a hoot.

NEWAYZZ... I was never gonna leave you without something to keep it funky fresh....

If you're gonna funk, it better be for Jamaica.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Down to the Congo

Your vibe brings your tribe

I couldn't really wait to attach this to a different post.... just discovered this amazing old reggae track by The Congos and needed to post it:

Monday, 4 July 2016

Air plant

I bought an air plant. It was an impulse purchase.

As the vendor in the Yoyogi park market stall explained, the trick to caring for air plants is to put them in an ultra wabisabi container. Minimalism and creativity is key to the livelihood of air plants.

Drawing inspiration from modern Japanese design I experimented with a variety of places to store my new air plant. One can only hope it lives long and prospers. 

Speaking from my soul:

Friday, 1 July 2016


The UK continues to be a tricky mess, but Japan is on fire.

Drunk utterances. Something about a weeks worth of tension unloaded through some rough dancing and finally getting the musical release you'd been reading about. 

I attended a party last night that was finally just fun and no flashy nonsense. Everyone was on form and I could feel it. The night was  [Shape Your City event party at the 杯音圏 POP UP in Harajuku]という it ran early which might have been my favorite thing about it. 

Probably due to being hard beaten by a strict 9-5 routine, I no longer have the energy for all-nighters. Ruining the next 2 days and spending all your disposable cash on drinks in a desperate attempt to maintain the good vibes is no longer worth the squeeze.

Regrettably I missed the first two DJ sets, which is sad because those are some lovely chaps, but I certainly got there in time to enjoy the sweet sounds of LLLL. 

LLLL is one of my unspoken (but certainly written) Tokyo musical heroes. It was through discovering his music, among a few others that inspired me to make the move to the big city. Here's a little flavour:

dos・ing  sorted out a free party with free drinks and free friends. Not just the opportunity for those with a strict budget to enjoy a guilt-free event, but the lack of costs created a lack of expectations making everyone a winner. The catch is that the event was sponsored by Heineken, everyone was given drink coupons upon entrance for two free Heineken beers. This was just before the close of the night. Sorry for the crappy snappy quality, but I think it sums up the mood:

Finishing early enough, those who needed to could catch their last train home and those rising to the challenge of night time warriors stayed out to fight their demons. Despite my retreat back to the comforts of good 'ol Shimokitazawa life, I was still able to catch a glimpse of the full nights action through Snapchat footage.

Here's some pictures my housemate sent me this morning. These were all taken post-Heineken consumption:

I never knew what I looked like from behind until I was sent this. Sorry for being egotistic:

I'm so hyped by the quality of my new housemates JJ and Saori:

Its a Saturday morning, Tokyo is hot and 40 years too late I discover Blood, Sweat and Tears.  How many degrees of separation is 70's American blues from contemporary Japanese electronic dance music? If it sounds good then that's all that matters.