The first night of Tokyo Jet Daze – A Punk Weekender delivered a high energy night of punk rock excess. Featuring the manic ferocity of Tokyo punk band, The Jet Boys, and the cool, garage rock sounds of Japan’s legendary The 18.104.22.168’s, the show provided ample evidence that primal rock music will never die.
The headliners, The 22.214.171.124’s, added to the bill after Adelaide Fringe guides had been printed, have been churning out treble-soaked guitar rock since 1986, and along the journey, inspired Quentin Tarantino to give them a cameo in Kill Bill, Part 1, back in 2003.
The band’s line-up for this tour, long-time members, Akiko Omo, and sisters Sachiko and Yoshiko Fujii, strolled on stage dressed in classy beatnik librarian-chic and after some time finessing with their instruments went straight into a wonderful version of the old Joe Meek instrumental, Telstar – which immediately set the scene for a performance filled with snatches of familiar riffs and hooks, all filtered through the band’s own unique cultural sieve to create new hybrids of old standards amongst their sparky originals.
The band’s set was strangely sequenced however, sometimes sputtering for pace and energy in some spots, yet joyously and cartoon-popish in others.
The performance finished with a noodling free-form jazz guitar piece which, at its conclusion, seemed to surprise all three musicians so much in its improvised strangeness, that they could do nothing else but hastily leave the stage.
A compelling and original performance from ‘Three Cool Cats’!
Earlier, a visceral short set from The Jet Boys had many in the crowd pogoing like it was 1977 all over again. Frontman, and untameable wild spirit, Onoching, threw himself around the stage for half the set, before stripping off his red jumpsuit, and pouring a carton of milk over his drummer, Seki. He then threw his guitar to the sticksman, and he pushed him off his stool pushing him to the microphone. In this new configuration, the band ripped through the Ramones classic, Blitzkrieg Bop.
Later, bassist, Kodama, repeatedly threw his bass out into the crowd and the excitement level mounted, as the band worked their way into an excoriating version of My Way that actually made Sid Vicious’ first punk version seem choirboy tame.
It was a committed and inspired set.
Earlier, the night opened with a set from Stabbitha & The Knifey Wifeys who raced their way through a set of Janovian primality that, whilst it may have been good therapy for the participants, was a tough listening experience for the uninitiated.
By: Ken Grady
Rating: 4 stars
Tokyo Jet Daze – A Japanese Punk Weekender, Night Two feat. Guitar Wolf & The 126.96.36.199’s will be presented at LVL 5, The RCC on Saturday 29 February at 9:30pm.
Tickets are available here: Tokyo Jet Daze Day 2