gsj1977"s Profile Page

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


So, how do you follow SHIFT? Final act Sau'beach were clearly the main draw of the evening, the tiny floor space in front of the stage filling up as it drew closer to their start time. Taking the stage wearing a namahage demon mask vocalist Kazunari Hounoki was perhaps trying to match SHIFT for sheer visual flair, and the first song, a hypnotic number driven by Johnny Marr-like guitar justified the anticipation that had been palpable before Sau'beach started. They were probably the most accomplished and professional sounding of the bands on the bill, but like FDA, lacked the spark and the charisma that separates the great from the very good. Their opening song was their best - mesmerising guitar, thunderous drumming from the two drummers (one on a typical set, the other attacking a pair of tom-toms), perfectly pitched vocals - separate threads of a complex tapestry. The danger of starting a show with something that good is trying to maintain those heights for the duration. Sau'beach's other songs were OK but they had raised the bar way beyond that so that the rest of their set seemed to mark a retreat into more mundane territory. Still, it's clear to see why they were such a big draw: like the other bands on this bill they deserve to much more widely known. Keep your fingers crossed.