Saturday, March 19, 2005
Advantage Lucy; Nekobed
Nekobed at the Shibuya Cyclone.
It’s been getting clear recently that Tokyo rock band advantage Lucy’s very, very long-awaited new album is nearing completion and release .
You can tell by the way they’ve been scheduling their shows – rather than playing with other guitar pop bands of friends, as they usually do, they’ve jumped into events with unfamiliar groups in different genres, to make a wider audience of people that might buy their album interested in their music. Last Sunday it was the Que show with Kawakami Jiro and the Robots. Tonight they performed with a few rocking bands including Nekobed (literal translation: ‘cat bed’).
They also seem even more focused when playing live, to show their new audiences their best face.
Appearing tonight at a venue called Shibuya Cyclone, advantage Lucy were spectacular. No band is quite like Lucy at their best. They occupy a pleasant place in the middle of musical extremes: Lucy rocks harder than most pop bands, but they are classier than hard rock bands. They are like a rocking chamber orchestra, the sound of each instrument distinct (two guitars, a bass, drums, and recently, keyboard played by singer Aiko) but coming together to form a beautiful musical whole.
Aiko’s singing is superb. Shyly friendly in person, she seems to come fully to life only on stage, where, with her singing, she squeezes out all her emotions and intense love for her music.
The show – a feast. It was a six-course meal of their most well-crafted songs, including rousing renditions of ‘Citrus’, ‘Chikyu’, ‘Goodbye’ and a new, melancholic ballad called ‘To-Ii Hi (‘A Distant Day ‘, my translation)’. I still feel happily stuffed.
The last act of the night was Nekobed, a sextet that plays music that combines elements of 50's rock, rockabilly, ska, R&B, and Japanese popular music. It’s hard to dislike a band where the two sax players and singers are beauties and the three all stand at the front of the stage during the show, dancing and having fun.
UPDATE: I should have added that the members of advantage Lucy themselves said the new album is likely to come out in the summer.