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:


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.

Japan Underground and Peko Peko Unite!

Japan Underground is very pleased to announce a new partnership with the Japanese street kitchen Peko Peko for our next two music shows!

Peko Peko will be bringing a new element to the club night by offering authentic, fresh and tasty Japanese dishes for all in attendance at Japan Underground’s show with ASIDBLOW and Jake Emlyn on Saturday 24 March at The Pipeline, and Japan Underground’s Expo Afterparty at The Bloomsbury Lanes on Saturday 26 May.

“‘Peko Peko’ is a Japanese phrase we use when we’re extremely hungry! We are a Japanese Street Kitchen that aims to provide affordable and authentic Japanese food in a setting where people only have to wait minutes to fill their ‘peko peko’ stomachs!” says owner Sandy Watt.

“We first found Peko Peko at Hyper Japan this spring, where we tried everything on the menu (numerous times) and loved it all! We’d just arrived back in London after a trip to Japan at the time, and their food transported us back to the streets of Tokyo. While Japan Underground is one of the driving forces of the Japanese music movement in the UK, I believe Peko Peko is a driving force for authentic Japanese street food within the UK” comments Japan Underground’s founder Tom Smith.

The kitchen’s special Japan Underground menu will be made available soon – this page will be updated when it is. The Pipeline venue also offer Japanese beer Asahi on tap.

Besides Japan Underground, Peko Peko can be found on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at Tachbrook Street Market near Victoria Station.

Related Stories:
Japan Underground: 24 March, ft. ASIDBLOW and Jake Emlyn

The Peko Peko team are ready to keep the Japan Underground goers fully fed on authentic Japanese food

Japan Underground ft. Tokyo Pinsalocks, GalapagosS & HONDALADY!

 Bloomsbury Lanes, Bedford Way, London, WC1H 9EU. [map]
When: Saturday 15th October
Tickets:  Adv. £10 [Buy Online]
Facebook Event Page: [Click here]
Last.fm Event Page:
[Click here]

Japan Underground is back, bringing with it the energy and sparkle of Tokyo’s alternative night life – and this time three electronically charged bands from the Tokyo indie scene too! Plus tracks from J-rock, visual kei, metal and quirky pop scenes until 3am! (And that’s not forgetting the karaoke room, bowling, pool and ping pong fun available too!)

The bands performing live are;

Tokyo Pinsalocks are a psychedelicious three-girl groove-pop outfit who have toured the UK and US several times. In step with the Tokyo music scene, their latest album, ‘KURUKURU TO GURUGURU’, takes on a more electronic sound, and the trio’s fun live show pits bass and drum grooves against Naoko’s ice-cool modulated vocals.
www.pinsalocks.com / http://www.myspace.com/tokyopinsalocks

GalapagosS is the brand-new project of Sharaku Kobayashi (vocals/guitar/sequencer), from the internationally successful chiptune unit FLOPPY. The new group’s name reflects the insular evolution of Japan’s society in isolation from the rest of the world, tapping the zeitgeist to inform their 8bit-soaked fusion of techno pop, new wave and punk. They perform as a full band, giving blisteringly aggressive live shows, and borrow as much from anime, manga and videogames as they do from music.

Techno-rock unit HONDALADY have history stretching back to 1996 but have performed as a two-man outift since 2002. Their 8th album, ‘Sneaker mon amour’, has been an underground hit in Japan, and the duo have also written music for videogames on Nintendo Wii, growing them a fanbase among gameheads in Europe and the US. Gamers may recognise member Yusuke Kozaki, he designed the characters of the super insane video game ‘No More Heroes’.
www.hondalady.net / www.myspace.com/hondaladyjapan

Japan Underground: September in London & Birmingham

Click to enlarge

Where: Bloomsbury Lanes, Bedford Way, London, WC1H 9EU. [map]
When: Saturday 3 September 2011.
Cinema Tickets: Free (read about the screenings here)
Music Club Night Tickets: £8 – 7pm-3am
The Facebook event page: [click here]
The Last.fm event page: [click here]

The UK’s leading Japanese entertainment night returns to its home at the Lanes in London, bringing with it free Asian films by day, and a fantastic Tokyo club night experience by night! Featuring live music from Unshin, a J-pop act based in the UK who combine contemporary beats with the soothing sound of Japan’s national instrument, the koto.

The unit will also be launching their debut CD Waltz for Broken Dolls at the show,  a concept album telling the story of a young girl’s journey struggling under the pressures of Japanese society but holding steady to her path. The album has already been hailed as “Amazing” by Japanese music website JaME and “Top notch!” by Music Maker Magazine. Below is vocalist Megumi Miyoshi’s charity single for Japan:

The will also be music DJed throughout the night from Japanese music journalist Tom Smith, selecting the finest tunes from Japan’s rock, indie, electronic and metal scenes. Don’t know much about Japanese music? Don’t worry! He’ll be throwing in some familiar western tracks to keep the floor dancing till the 3am curfew. Which songs depend on the audience, so be sure to let him know what makes your body rock.

We’ll also be joined by the guys at Nintendisco for night-long retro gaming tournaments! And if you have a Nintendo 3DS, bring it for a bit of street pass action!


Where: The Victoria, 48 John Bright Street, Birmingham, B1 1BN. [map]
When: Thursday 29 September 2011.
Tickets: £6 adv (WeGotTickets)
The Facebook event page: [click here]
The Last.fm event page: [click here]

Don’t worry Birmingham, we’re including you in on the action too! Our music night will be returning to the city along with the first British J-pop star, Bentley Jones! With over 5 million Youtube hits and 8 million units shifted featuring his music, Bentley Jones has now returned to the UK in an attempt to hit charts here. Gamers might recognise his tunes from the Sonic the Hedgehog and X-Files franchises.  His latest work sees him collaborating with Curtis Young, son of Dr. Dre. Below is his song used as the SEGA All-Stars Racing theme, So Much More;

Japan Underground: Cinema All Dayer

Where: Bloomsbury Lanes, Bedford Way, London, WC1H 9EU. [map]
When: Saturday 3 September 2011.
Cinema Tickets: Free (first come, first served)
Music Club Night Tickets: £8
The Facebook event page: [click here]

On 8 August the Sony DADC distribution centre in Enfield burnt down during the London riots. Over 1.5 million CDs were lost, stock of more than 150 indie record labels destroyed. It also affected the film industry with a number of indie film labels losing their entire stock as well, including two of our personal favourite film companies; Third Window Films (publishers of Confessions, Kamikaze Girls and our resident DJ’s favourite film of 2009, Love Exposure) and Terracotta Distribution (Big Tits Zombie, Breathless). Originally we wanted to pull of a fundraising show for these companies, but after discussions with the labels, the most important thing to their continued survival is awareness of their products. So! We’ll be doing just that by presenting a day full of fantastic Asian films, screened entirely for free at Bloomsbury Lanes‘ cinema in the heart of London on Saturday 3 September. At the moment two films are confirmed. This page will be updated when the remaining screening slots are secured.

From 3pm: Fish Story (Third Window Films)
Based on a novel by Kotaro Isaka, Fish Story weaves together several seemingly separate storylines taking place at different points in time over a 37-year span to explain how a little-known punk rock song can save the world.

From 5:30pm: Red Light Revolution (Terracotta Distribution) 
China’s first sex shop comedy follows an unemployed Beijinger who risks it all to open an adult store, sparking a sexual revolution in his conservative neighbourhood.

Japan Underground [London]
As evening kicks in on 3 September, our notorious Japanese music club night will kick off in the venue’s Kingpin-suite from 7pm until 3am. On top of DJ sets featuring some of the biggest, most exciting tracks to emerge from Japan’s electronic, rock, indie and visual kei scenes, it will also play host to a special live performance from the Japanese pop-rock group Unshin, who will be launching their debut album ‘Waltz for Broken Dollsat’ at the event. For more information on what to expect at our club night, see our entry here.

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