Life in Japan, food, music, whatever…

out demons out 3 February, 2009

Filed under: customs,music — johnraff @ 2:13 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Anyone remember the Edgar Broughton Band? Back at university it seemed like they’d be there at any festival, event or concert with those Beefheart vocals and wild distorted guitar. I hated them at the time, them and another bad penny, the Third Ear Band who went in for interminable atonal wailings. (Subsequently changed my mind completely about them, and probably would have liked the Broughtons too if I’d heard them a couple of years later.)

Anyway every year I get reminded of Edgar Broughton’s anthem “Out Demons Out”; today is Setsubun, the coldest time of the year which, as everything contains the seed of its opposite, means the beginning of Spring. You’re supposed to throw beans around the house shouting “Demons out,  luck in”  or something. (Demons, or oni represent evil influences, generally, and have horns just like the Western variety.)  I wonder how many people actually do it now – maybe another generation and most of these customs will have died out…

You can check out Edgar Broughton’s rendering of “Out Demons Out” here – real 60s stuff! I keep meaning to have a go with Daihachi Ryodan but it will have to wait till we have a gig at the beginning of February some year. (Probably noone would enjoy it but me anyway.)


Haru Ichi Ban! 7 May, 2008

Filed under: music — johnraff @ 5:16 am
Tags: , , ,

I got back from the Haru Ichiban Festival in Osaka delirious with enthusiasm – and fired up to finally get this blog off the ground. We in Daihachi Ryodan were already pretty psyched up as it was maybe our most major appearance since the “No Olympics” concert in Nagoya all those years ago.

Anyway from the time I arrived on Sunday afternoon it was magic. All the music was so nice, there were no ego trips on display and everyone seemed to be one big family – I was taken back to a Grateful Dead concert in the Europe 72 tour. Probably responsible for a lot of that was the impeccable organization – things worked perfectly, the sound system was excellent, the schedule went on time and everything seemed arranged so that there would be no pressure on the musicians, who responded with some great performances. I have to respect the huge team of volunteers who have obviously got it down to a fine art over the years they’ve been putting this festival on.

I certainly hope we get to play again next year, and recommend Haru Ichi Ban to anyone within range of Osaka around Golden Week. It’s pretty much a Japanese scene, i only saw a couple of other foreigners, so if you don’t read the language you might ask a Japanese friend to help you figure out the data.
It’s worth it!


%d bloggers like this: