Japan Underground VS NEO Magazine: The Halloween Party ft. Budo Grape, Karaoke and More

When: Saturday 27 October 2012 from 8pm-3am.
Where: Bloomsbury Lanes, Bedford Way, WC1H 9EU. (map)
Nearest Tube Station: Euston and Russell Square Stations.
Tickets: £5 with a flyer or costume. £8 on the door.
Event Pages: [facebook] [last.fm]

It’s going to be one hell of a weekend. We’ll be at the MCM Expo during the day, supplying the UK’s masses, cosplayers – and maybe Dr. Who‘s Matt Smith – with Japanese music CDs by day, and then rocking with you lot and some ace bands from Japan by night! Come join us! There will be two live bands from Japan, karaoke courtesy of OnBoard Karaoke, arcade machines, fun, games and ace music until the wee hours of the morning. Plus, if you come in a decent costume, we’ll let you in for £5!

The bands:

BUDO GRAPE:

This zany bunch of purple-shirt wearers are a catchy, high-energy avant-garde pop band from Nagoya, Japan. According to tour agecy It Came From Japan, Budo Grape is fronted by model and radio personality Quminco on vocals, and has Nagoya music legend Nagai (formerly of The Shockers), the group’s chief songwriter and guitarist. Check out a recent interview with them here.

Formed in 2001, Budo Grape released their first full album KOIBITO WA KOUSHITE TSUKURU in 2005. The album was a hit in the Japanese underground scene, and was followed by a number of other albums. The band’s cred soon spread, and they were invited by overseas fans to play in the United States, performing their debut live tour there in 2008 and releasing a best-of album, JUICE!, via a US label. The band also participated in a tribute album for French singer-songwriter Claude Francois, released in Japan as well as France.

New keyboardist Naho joined the band in 2012, bringing with her an edgy synth sound that has given the band’s sound a boost. They released their sixth album, KARE NO NAMAE WO OMOIDASENAI, the same year.

The band, whose members all have Grape as their last name, claim to come from “Neo-Nagoya”. They continue to tour Japan with their crazy live show and catchy songs, and in October 2012 they will perform their long-awaited debut concerts in the UK.

Ken Kobayashi:

Ken Kobayashi is a singer, songwriter and a producer based in London. Ken was born in London in 1988 between a German father and a Japanese mother. Spending childhood in Tokyo, Berlin and London, Ken was exposed to a wide range of range of music genres and movements. Ken started writing songs when he learnt to play the guitar at the age of 16. In 2009, He released his debut album My Big Foot Over the Sky.

About Tom Smith
Some say he's fuelled on nothing but energy drinks, and that when he visits Japan, he spends the whole time engaging the ground in an all too familiar way. But what we do know is that his words on the country's entertainment and culture find their way into NEO Magazine on a monthly basis, while everything else finds its way here. Be it quirky news item from the Land of the Rising Sun, or a story so gruesome it'd be rude not to pass it on, you'll find it here along with his general posts about life, work and most importantly play. And yes, he has had articles printed in the likes of MCV, GamesMaster, 360 Gamer and more, thanks for noticing.

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