Katteni Shiyagare at Shimokitazawa Basement Bar(3rd Feb '02)

勝手にしやがれ 勝手にしやがれ 勝手にしやがれ 勝手にしやがれ 勝手にしやがれ 勝手にしやがれ 勝手にしやがれ


Come on up, hipstars!



Calling all swingers, hep cats, and rebels without a cause. For those nostalgists out there in need of more Bennie Goodman and Chubby Checker in their workaday routine, I may have found your niche and your band. A rainy Sunday evening had me in Shimokitazawa, to check out Katteni-shiyagare, a group of zoot-suited hipsters with thick lips, big mouths and brass balls. Heavily influenced by jazz greats like Lester Young and early Miles Davis, these guys crank out tight and tantalizing tunes laced with rockabilly and hard bop.

And Shimokitazawa's basement bar is surely the place to relish it. Somewhere between a boiler room and a mini roller-rink, the place's charm exuded from the walls and its retro-looking denizens. I was early for the show and lucky enough to hear the DJ spinning some classic 50's rock and roll, with one couple seriously cutting a rug. Complete with a poodle skirt for her and slick-back hair and a rolled-up white t-shirt for him, the jumps, swings and other maneuvers they managed made me feel I was on the set of West Side Story or Back to the Future than instead of a tiny Tokyo nightclub.

After a few more numbers, Katteni-Shiyagare (loosely translated as "do as you please") took the stage. This seven-piece is dressed to the nines, with more pinstripes than a mafia convention. Without wasting time, the tenor sax and trumpet lay down a "Pink-Panther" melody for the trombone and baritone sax to dive into. The stand-up bass and keyboards joined the melee' while the dapper drummer kept it all in check. For the next seventy minutes, these guys blasted their way through the set.

The next tune, "Downtown", was a crackler, reminiscent of the mid-90's American swing revival that gave us bands like The Mighty Blue Kings and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. They then slid into a spirited version of Miles Davis's "Milestones", with a heavy emphasis on early-Herbie Hancock keyboard vibes. The pace went from full-on swingin' to after hours at the blue note, with an interesting cover of Charlie Parker's "Soft Peanuts" thrown in.

With short and concise solos for all, the horn section fueled the fires of their conspicuous fans (the fedoras, pomade-slicked ducktails and general hooting and hollering gave them away). The notes were clean and tight, which only someone with talent can play. Syohei Muto, the drummer, writer and vocalist of the band, paid homage to jazz classics while giving them his own distinct spin. Obviously a huge fan of Gene Krupa, Muto had the drumming legend's dress, demeanor and drumming style down to a T.

For the encore, they played Commanche, by the Revelers, a tune made famous on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack (don't make me describe the scene it was played in). The bleat-and-whinny style of saxophone here was almost perfectly re-created. It made an excellent capper for the show. So now I know where to go on a cold drizzly night in Shimokiazawa. Where? To the Basement bar, of course, where the beer is cold and the music is served piping hot.

Katteni SHiyagare The next gig will be at Shinjuku Loft on the 28th of Feb., entitled ROCKIN'THE COCKTALL featuring MAD3, RETROGRETION, CABARETS, SWINGIN'BOPS as well as Katteni Shiyagare. Don't misss it!

Also they will appear at Shibuya Tower Records on the 9th of March as their new album wiil be out soon. If you wanted to check the details of this wicked band, please visit their official home page,http://www.h3.dion.ne.jp/~katte/.

report by jason and photo by hanasan

無断転載を禁じます。The copyright of the text belongs to Jason Jenkins and the same of the photos belongs
to Koichi "hanasan" Hanafusa. They may not be reproduced in any form whatsoever.
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