Monday, 5 March 2012


Thanks to catching the lurgy and generally being an unhealthy, brain-fogged human being, I haven’t posted anything for a couple of weeks!
My last post was the 11-question tag game, posted the day after Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day!). I didn’t eat any pancakes that day, however…

Instead, I spent hours standing in a line out on a cold London street in order to go to a concert!

The acts I saw were Kaya and Satsuki, musicians from Japan. I have been a fan of both for many years, including their previous bands. Japanese acts that I like seldom come to the UK, so I was happy they played here!

Unfortunately, I don’t have any live photographs to share with you, since we were asked respectfully not to take photographs (as far as I know this is a general rule in Japanese concert venues).

However, there are a few live photographs on Electric Bloom Webzine’s facebook!

Of course, the first thing I did when I got into the venue was hit up the merchandise table...

Whilst Kaya goods (CDs and DVDs) are easier to buy, I’ve found it harder to get hold of Satsuki goods, so I was glad there was so much available! I bought a CD of his beautiful music, a photo book, and two signed ‘cheki’ (that’s the little polaroids--one for me, one for a friend!).

Naturally, I had to buy tour T-shirts, too!

The concert itself was fantastic. I was close to the front with only 1-2 people between me and the stage, so I had an excellent view!

Kaya was up first; the stage was set with lit candelabra and he danced as he sang. Kaya’s voice is utterly incredible, very strong and rich. He did a costume change halfway through his act and returned to the stage in an outfit inspired by traditional Japanese dress, and danced with a paper parasol.

His music is difficult for me to define; he has dabbled in quite a few genres ranging from pop-rock, industrial, electronic, jazz--he has even released an album of chanson!

Here is a YouTube video of one of Kaya’s Japanese performances. You can see that he has some very striking and very beautiful costumes :) This song isn't completely typical of his music, but I love it and it shows off his voice! This is from the Salon de Chocolat DVD, so it's quite a few years old now. If anything, his voice has become stronger since then.

The second act was, of course, Satsuki. Unlike Kaya, Satsuki plays with a support band. I missed the name of the drummer, but the support lineup was completed by Reeno on guitar and Ena on bass. The whole group was very energetic! Reeno especially spent most of the set smiling and high-fiving people.

Satsuki has a beautiful voice, though in a different way to Kaya. Many of Satsuki’s songs involve high-pitched vocals, which he carries off well. I’m not a musical expert at all but would guess his range is a good three octaves, if not more.

The style of Satsuki’s music fits much more comfortably into the rock genre. There are upbeat-sounding songs, songs with more of a hard rock feel to them, and songs to chill out to. Lovely!

I hunted around YouTube for a live video of Satsuki, but couldn’t find anything of a good quality. Instead, here’s one of his music videos instead. The guitarist and bassist in this video are the same guys that played the European tour! :)

As an encore, Satsuki, Kaya and the support band returned to the stage, and the two vocalists performed a couple of duets--one of Kaya’s songs and one of Satsuki’s. It was a real treat to hear them perform together and although their voices are quite different, they compliment each other well.

What language barrier?
Both acts were brilliant in their interaction with the audience. Kaya clearly didn’t know much English, but still spoke a little in a very sweet, nervous voice! He’s a bit of a chameleon on stage, with his personas changing from ‘cutie’ to ‘dramatic’ to ‘dominating’ along with the songs. Kaya smiled a lot at people, kissed a few hands and often held his mic out to the crowd.

Satsuki knew a little more English and tried to get his support band to speak English to us as well. It seemed he’d set up Reeno to say something silly, which made everybody laugh!  During his set, Satsuki frequently stood on top of the speakers at the front of the stage (there were no barriers), leaned into the crowd and high-fived a lot of people! He also taught us an English line from one of his songs, Innocent, and got us to sing along. :)

Overall it was a fantastic live! The venue was only small and the turnout wasn’t huge, but I was able to see two musicians perform that I’d never dreamed I would see! Although I went alone, I got talking to some lovely girls in the line who were also big fans :)
After the concert there was a signing session, but I was unable to stay as I had to catch my last train home. This was a little disappointing, but I was still glad that I could have gone to the concert.

Kaya’s most recent single is Vampire Requiem whist Satsuki’s is FATE / INSIDE. 
Both available on iTunes!

...well, so much for this being a crafting blog! I can ramble on an awful lot when it comes to this kind of thing :)

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