button Asakusa Jinta @ Yoyogi Zher The Zoo (12th May '07)

Great Expectations

Asakusa Jinta
      Despite having never heard Asakusa Jinta's music before tonight's gig, as soon as I saw them setting up for their performance I expected big things. When all seven members of the Tokyo ensemble finally filed out I quickly discovered that my early assertions were 100% completely justified.

      Armed with a three-piece horn section, accordion, keyboard, drums, double neck guitar, and stand up bass, Asakusa Jinta tore through a fantastic 30-minute set that combined elements of vintage jazz, brass band, rockabilly, punk, and even a bit of polka into a style they can truly call their own. The two hundred or so Japanese spectators of all ages in the hot basement bar eagerly danced along to the glorious, upbeat rhythms being turned out.

Asakusa Jinta      Not wanting to miss out on the party (they were the hosts after all), every one in the band sang along (regardless of whether they had a microphone or not) and showed off their wide array of two-stepping skills. Hunched over his stand up bass, cool and stylish vocalist Osho led the charge as the group made their way through choice cuts from this year's Sky Zero. Bopping around while holding his large instrument, he leaned out over the audience while singing in Japanese as sweaty attendees screamed their delight.

      Although the entire horn section excelled, it was Mikachinto's lively playing that made her a crowd favourite. Standing next to accordionist Hiro, she performed with the energy of a dozen musicians as she spun around, pumped her fists, waved her arms, clapped, and screamed while grinning ear to ear and creating an amazing array of wonderful sound.

      Well-oiled from their recent U.S. dates, which included an appearance at Texas' renowned SXSW music festival, Asakusa Jinta displayed remarkable musicianship and stage presence at Zher The Zoo. More importantly, they made certain that everyone had fun. One of those rare bands that can sweep even the most jaded of critics off their feet, the originality of Asakusa Jinta's music and live show definitely stands out as a true alternative in Tokyo's indie scene.

      Judging by how easily they won over Zher The Zoo, it's evident that Asakusa Jinta would have little trouble wowing much larger audiences at any one of Japan's top-notch summer festivals. With sunny skies pushing them on, you can bet they'd definitely create something memorable for the tanned, slightly intoxicated masses to happily groove along to.

The photos are from Asakusa Jinta's show at South by Tent, Brush Square Park in this year's SXSW in Austin, TX.

report by shawn and photos by sam
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buttonmag files : Asakusa Jinta

buttonGreat Expectations (07/05/12 @ Yoyogi Zher The Zoo ) : review by shawn, photos by sam
buttonphoto report (07/03/15 @ South by Tent, Brush Square Park ) : photos by sam
buttonreview with no title (00/10/29 @ Musashino Art University) : review by nob

The official site

Asakusa Jinta


The latest album

Asakusa Jinta

previous works

Asakusa Jinta

"あしゅらの道のまん中で/猫目小僧 "
with 楳図かずお

"芸協音づくし " with 落語芸術協会(国内盤)
"浅草音頭 " with 東海林良、ビートたけし、ダイナマイト和尚(国内盤)

百怪ノ行列 "ここは浅草、恋の番外地"(国内盤)
"浅草キケン野郎 "(国内盤)
"今日は凶です恐怖です "(国内盤)

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