Allegedly this is the only time tonight’s headliners get to tour, it being Golden Week, Japan’s longest national holiday, but Otoboke Beaver are the band that will set aside these rules, these guys are destined to play much further than Japan and not just on the holiday’s from their day jobs.
Glasgow’s Breakfast MUFF open proceedings tonight and they’re a suitably fitting opening act blending elements of DIY pop and punk much like tonight’s headline act, albeit in a much more lo-fi sense.
This endearing trio’s constant instrument swapping and three way vocals are engaging as ever, however there’s something a bit awry about tonight’s set, the crowd seem too static early on and as the result the band seem drained of their usual addictive energy.
Still, even if the venue’s tall ceilings don’t particularly suit their lo-fi aesthetic, all the usual charms are there and as Eilidh Mcmillan takes lead vocal duties on final track, and one half of recent single, ‘R U A Feminist’ all faith is restored and the crowd are left wondering why they didn’t get into it from the start.
Korean darlings Say Sue Me are up next and bring a much more mellow sound to proceedings as they meld 60s surf sounds with the summery end of the C86 era vibes to produce a truly enchanting performance.
The label mates of tonight’s headliners produce endlessly lovable harmonies and will surely have won over the hearts of many in the audience tonight.
Then it’s Otoboke Beaver’s turn, and with a deft “shhh” to the audience frontwoman Accorinrin let’s loose a high pitched scream and they’re off it a haze of flailing limbs, crazy guitar poses and highly addictive, break neck tracks, all delivered in their native Kyoto slang and dressed up like 60s party girls.
There’s something very special about this four-piece, when they play they carry an energy that you can’t help but get carried away on, not to mention the high level of musicianship on display, and with acts like the legendary Shonen Knife suggesting they could be the act to carry the flag for Japanese music worldwide you can’t help but stand up and pay attention.
And their seniors at Kyoto University’s music club might just be right; Otoboke Beaver’s garage punk sound is loud and fast, and although the lyrics are in a different language you can’t help but feel you’re on the same page as these girls.
Each member looks the part as they catapult about the stage and later on into the crowd.
It’s a performance that it’s difficult to draw any comparisons too, the band claim take their influences from 70s/80s Japanese alternative acts, although without the familiarity it’s hard to confirm, what we can confirm is Otoboke Beaver are a gobsmacking live proposition and you should see them as soon as you possibly can.
Words: Iain Dawson