I’ve already mentioned that The Twilight Sad released my favourite album of 2019, but surprisingly they didn’t, for once, provide the best live experience of the year.
Step forward Otoboke Beaver. As I said, last May in a review of the gig:-
But nothing had prepared me, or indeed Aldo or Mike G, for Otoboke Beaver. I’ve been going to watch live music for more than 40 years now, and so I will have been to at least 1,000 shows in my time. But I have never experienced anything quite as dynamic, uplifting and plain bonkers as the hour of entertainment provided by these four ridiculously talented women, Accorinrin (Lead Vocal & Guitar), Yoyoyoshie (Guitar & Vocals), Hiro-chan (Bass & Vocals) and Kahokiss (Drums & Vocals). The studio recorded stuff is fine, but it doesn’t come anywhere close to capturing the magic of actually seeing them and picking up on the energy they generate with each performance.
It was a genuine jaw-dropper of an evening.
Here’s the thing…..I’ve listened more and more to the studio stuff and it is more than fine. The live experience was such a mind-fuck that it was impossible to be properly objective about the album Itekoma Hits that I purchased at the end of the gig.
14 songs in 27 minutes. If you’re not fond of something, then don’t worry as something else will be along before you know it.
Otoboke Beaver first released music as long ago as 2011 but it wasn’t until Damnably Records signed them in 2016 that their material became more widely available beyond Japan. All the band members held down full-time jobs which restricted their abilities to record and tour – indeed their visits to the UK have been for what they have called Golden Week tours, using up precious annual leave from their employers. Such tours were underatken in 2017 and 2019 while other holidays were used for shows in the USA at events such as SxSW in Austin, Texas.
They are coming back to Glasgow tonight and I’ll be there again. There’s a major difference in that the band have now all quit their jobs and are going to have a real go at making a success of their music. I’m fairly confident that they will, not just based on the live shows and the compilation album I picked up but that some newer material, in the form of a 5″ red vinyl single, released at the end of last year, was equally wonderful. And at 1 minute 40 seconds, it faithfully followed everything that had gone before.
I’ll just post one song from Itekoma Hits but offer up a few videos so that you get the idea:-
At 2 mins and 5 seconds, it’s one of their longer efforts!