Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Cloudberry Jam at Shibuya Duo
Shibuya Duo, where Cloudberry Jam played.
On Friday night in Tower Records Shibuya before heading to a club, I found the new album 'Movin' On Up' by Cloudberry Jam, and a sticker on the cover saying they were playing in Tokyo on Tuesday and Wednesday. I rushed home to reserve tickets on Pia's web page. This Swedish pop band was a group whose show I didn't want to miss. They were a favorite band of advantage Lucy and probably a lot of other Japanese musicians who were into Sweden's pop music.
Cloudberry Jam was playing at a club called Shibuya Duo, which I had never heard of. It was in the corner of the Dogenzaka love hotel district that contains the Shibuya-O rock clubs. The street in front of the clubs always fills up with music fans once shows end, the fans mixing together with couples walking toward their destinations in the neighborhood.
As soon as we entered Duo, we knew it was a class joint. First, there were tables and chairs. Waitresses took your drink orders, and you could order food too. In normal rock 'live houses', by contrast, you stand in basement-like rooms and order drinks from bartenders exhibiting varying degrees of job apathy. Duo was like the dinner club in GoodFellas that Ray Liotta took Lorraine Bracco to in order to impress her. All the class didn't come cheap though: the tickets alone cost about $70 a piece, and that didn't include the charge for food and drinks.
Cloudberry Jam was seven people -- the singer, guitar, bass, drums, keyboard, sax and trombone. The female singer Jennie Medins had a full, deep voice and R&B stage moves. I wondered whether she grew up listening to American music like Motown, soul and R&B. If that's the case, it would mean the Swedish singer who influenced Japanese musicians herself got her inspiration from American pop. Though good musicians are usually influenced by many types of music, not only one. The chains that bind musicians together wind around the world in complex patterns.
Love hotel street outside of Duo.