Tag Archives: Urbanguild

Summer Spirits Reviewed

Christopher Fryman and his friends put on a splendid show with Summer Spirits last Sunday. Opening with a fanfare of trumpets the musicians and dancers paraded into Urbanguild before settling into a carnivalesque performance of what Christopher calls “structured improvisation”. Basically he gives the musicians some loose musical themes to play with and then they take it where they will. The rather heavy symbolism of this performance (money, rockets etc) was a little too pat for me, but this was more than made up for by the joyous and colourful performance of the dancers and the array of profound talent among the assembled musicians. In the second half the team got together again for a free jam session. Unfettered by scripts they let their hair down in a celebration of free expression. Christopher himself belied his years by singing and dancing as well as playing his signature trumpet. Ever youthful, it is astonishing to me that he was celebrating his 71st birthday. Long may he continue to sing, dance, play and create ever more wonderful shows!

Fake JuNkroom Vol. 2

Sean Roe may have departed these shores, but the spirit of JuNkroom lives on!

Our friend Bridget says,

I hope you have been enjoying your summer.
I came back from two weeks volunteering in Tohoku with IDRO, a Kyoto based NGO. It was a very fulfilling experience.
Now I’m back in Kyoto my dance life begins again with a performance at Urbanguild on Friday, September 9th.
I am lucky to be performing with a very good contra bass player, Morisada Michihiro. It will be the first time we have worked together as a duo.
I’m looking forward to see what happens.
Here is the information below. I’ve been told that we will be second or third in the lineup.

Thanks Bridget! Here’s that lineup.

http://sewingmachine.jp/Andrew Couzens (sound, image) × みすず (dance)

Bridget Scott (dance)+ 森定道広(コントラバス)

Mauro Arrighi (from Venice)

Aroma Soul

DJ Jiro Fukunishi

DJ Rrryyyooo

OPEN 18:30 / START 19:00

Advance tickets: 2000 yen with 1drink / On the door: 2300 yen with 1drink

From Sanjo Dori go down Kiyamachi Dori. This is the narrow street running alongside Takase stream. Urbanguild is on the east side (left hand side as you walk down from Sanjo). Walk approximately 150 metres. Its on the 3rd floor of the New Kyoto Building – access by elevator or stairs. Here’s a map.

Bix & Marki’s Original French Pop Jazz – Live in Kyoto!

This picture taken from the Bix and Marki website.

Former Kyoto residents and musicians Beatrix Fife and Mamoru Katagiri (aka Bix & Marki) have returned to Japan and are playing at Urbanguild this Friday! And I do believe their old friend the trumpeter Christopher Fryman will be joining them on stage. From their website:

Beatrix(vocal&flute) and Mamoru Katagiri(guitar) have come back to Japan after 10 years spent in Belgium, then formed a group “Bix&Marki” in Tokyo. Original songs are composed by Mamoru, words are written in French by Beatrix. Intriguing harmony and melody with soft whispering voice and simple warm guitar sound, which are influenced by bossanova and jazz, express a rather poetic and sensitive atmosphere. LINK

Click on the links for the musician’s profiles: Beatrix Fife & Mamoru Katagiri.

You can listen to two of their tunes here.

Date and Time: 29th July · 19:30 – 21:30
Charge: ¥2000 with one drink included
Location: UrBANGUILD. From Sanjo Dori go down Kiyamachi Dori (This is the narrow street running alongside Takase stream Urbanguild is on the east side (left hand side as you walk down from Sanjo). Walk approximately 150 metres. It’s on the 3rd floor of New Kyoto Building. Here is a map.

Thanks to Mayumi Kawaharada for spreading the good word!

Images & Sound from Bliki Circus

On Monday I saw Christopher Fryman‘s gypsy/klezmer/cabaret band Bliki Circus play at Urbanguild. That show is a lot of fun!

In addition to the band there was a pole dancer!

And a fire dancer!

And more music from the band!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay to see the final act but I enjoyed the show a lot and definitely want to see them play again! Here are some more images from the show:

Incidentally, Christopher sent me a video of his extraordinary performance with Bridget Scott a couple of weeks ago and you can view that here.

Images from Schale Vol 8

Bridget Scott at Schale 8

Last Friday’s eight installment of Schale at Urbanguild was a splendid night of vision, sound and music. In five collaborative multi-media acts, the various dancers, artists and musicians inspired each other into exploring the boundaries of their arts before a very appreciative audience. It was a packed house and not one of the acts disappointed!

Christopher Fryman (trumpet, electronics) × Bridget Scott (dance) × 小板橋慶子 (silk fiber art)

Too dark to video but certainly one of the more photogenic pieces of the night, this was the best performance I’ve seen from Bridget Scott and I’m hoping to see her collaborate with Christopher Fryman again. Keiko Koi’s beautiful handcrafted silk works gave Bridget plenty to play with. At times she shrouded herself in the material, at others the material became an extension of her body, and finally she used it as a starry bridge between the audience and the performance.

きんとと (dance) × 鼓人cOtO (sound)

The welcome return of the gold painted ladies! Rather overdressed compared to the last time I saw Kintoto but a great performance none-the-less and at least this time the photos and video are safe for work!

ぼーぼーず (歌と演奏) × あたしよしこ (脳想パフォーマンス)

Another bonkers performance from the marvellous BoooBooozz girls this time with conceptual performer Atashi Yoshiko.

PSYCHEDELIC DESERT (sound) × 長沢美紀 (映像)

Nagasawa Miki’s mental lanscapes inspired an intense musical meditation from Pychedelic Desert.

Andrew Couzens (sound, image) × caitlin coker (dance) × みすず (dance) × PROBLEMATICA (sound, voice)

The final act of the evening: caitlin coker and Misuzu danced to a melange of haunting music, industrial sound and a jagged sliver of scrumpled up colours from Andy Couzens.

Coming soon from Urbanguild: Fake JuNkroom Vol. 1 ~ July 8th 2011

Images from Di-vaP vol. 1

Before I get to the main point of this post here’s some links that you may find useful. NHK is streaming news live in English here. You can also follow the news from the BBC here but NHK is more up-to-date I think. For those of you worried about radiation leaks in Fukushima this post from Janne In Osaka should help to put it all in perspective. And this post from a lady up in Sendai should help to cheer you all up too.

Anyway, as I wrote yesterday, life must go on, and hopefully a post about music and you know – fun will help take people’s minds off the incessant bad news coming from up north.

Overshadowed though it was by the disaster two days before, the Di-vaP event last Sunday at Urbanguild was still enjoyable and every musician gave 300% in their performances. Highlights for me were the first act no;ches (amazing sound!), Booo Booozz (of course), the awesome drummer and the trumpet player in ZION (they could do with a better vocalist), and the cheerful racket of red ill princess. アイス wasn’t really my cup of tea – cosplay and “visual rock” just doesn’t impress me I’m afraid, but I know a lot of people do like it so their video is included below too. Pictures follow the videos – enjoy!

no;ches – I love this!

Booo Booozz – the song is called Donyori Shimai which translates as “The lacklustre sisters”.


red ill princess

アイス(Jet Pepper Tower‘s AI & Alicesailor)

A Short Interview with Booo Booozz!

Psyche rockers ぼーぼーず,who made such a big impression on everyone at the “Voices for Umekoji” event back in January, have a gig coming up in Kyoto this weekend. It seemed like as good an excuse as any to find out more about the wondeful world of those wild haired rockers: K子 and Y子.

DK: Where and when did you meet? And how long have you been performing together?

K子: I was a fan of Y子’s previous grindcore band “Hope”. I often went to see them play live and before we knew it we were on speaking terms. ぼーぼーず’s first live performance was in the summer of 2003, but we started to play more regularly together from 2004 so… Wow! It’s already been seven years!

DK: Which famous musician would you most like to meet? What would you say to that person?

Cliff Burton and that Misfits tatoo

Y子: Cliff Burton (the former bassist for Metallica). Though I can’t meet him because he has passed away, I’d like to meet him in heaven! That stinging sound he made really influenced me. I’d like to tell him, “I got into the Misfits because of your tatoo!”


K子: If it’s somebody famous it has to be Robert Fripp of King Crimson. When I first heard the album “In the Court of the Crimson King” I felt giddy, as if I was falling in love for the first time. I’d tell him, “When I heard you had composed the sounds for Windows Vista, I hooked up my PC to some speakers so I could listen to it at work.”

DK: What other bands have influenced you? And which songs in particular?

Y子&K子:DODDODO. We love all her music. Her warmth, energy, courage – she gives us power in so many ways.

DK: If you could play in another country, where would you perform?

Y子&K子: Europe. In France or Germany. Apparently, Japanese sub-culture is very popular in France. We’d like to check out that scene.

DK: Please describe your own music in your own words.

Y子&K子: “Satanic Enka”. Enka’s impact is in its disconsolate feelings and passions. Our songs release those same sentiments. If we were to compare it to a colour, it would be fluorescent jet black.

DK: When is your next live show?

Y子&K子: This Sunday (March 13th) at Urbanguild, Kyoto!

This picture by Sean Roe

Well, I’m sure you, like me, have a fair few follow-up questions you’d like to ask the ぼーぼーず girls, but as the gig is only a few days away I’d recommend attending and asking them in person. They are quite friendly. And not scary at all.

And their show is fantastic.

Here are the full details of the event at Urbanguild:

Di-vaP vol.1
The very first gathering of divas at Urbanguild!

アイス(Jet Pepper Tower‘s AI & Alicesailor

ぼーぼーず – Booo Booo zz


red ill princess


Opens: 18:30 / Starts: 19:00

Advance tickets: 1800 yen with 1drink
On the door: 2000 yen with 1drink
Location: UrBANGUILD. From Sanjo Dori go down Kiyamachi Dori. This is the narrow street running alongside Takase stream. Urbanguild is on the east side (left hand side as you walk down from Sanjo). Walk approximately 150 metres. Its on the 3rd floor of the New Kyoto Building – access by elevator or stairs. Here’s a map.

Images from the JunKroom Special Event

My apologies to all for the tardy posting of these images. I was trying to retrieve some footage I took on my i-phone but for technical reasons beyond my ken it appears to be GONE. I do however have a lot of photos and some video clips I took with my regular camera. Sean Roe deserves congratulations for organizing yet another very successful and enjoyable event. A lot of people came and the atmosphere was good-humored and contemplative. There were also a lot of wacky looking instruments that provided visual entertainment during the musical acts. My own favorite performance of the evening was Fujita Yosuke and his homemade pipe organ. I mean, seriously, he made it himself! From scratch! I was so impressed I bought both of his CDs. Here’s a clip:

Mitsu Salmon performing with ryotaro also gave a bravura performance. As Sean said later “She was on fire tonight!” Here’s a short clip but you’ll have to take my word for it, immediately after this part , she went wild!

Here also is a clip from Sigbjørn Apeland and Espen Sommer Eide on harmonium and Espen’s self-made concertinome (a combination of concertina accordion with a monome style keyboard and electronic air pressure sensors). Their performance was an improvisation with folktastic overtones.

Sean Roe, ieva (Samuel Andre) and Alexander Rishaug all gave equally contemplative performances. I felt at one point that we should all be sitting in zazen before them. Here’s a clip of Alexander Rishaug in action, photographs of the event follow after.

Pictures & Video from オトエホン-21

Another video today and some more pictures from the オトエホン-21 event at Urbanguild on Monday night. Here are the artist Ashida Mellow and musician Okuda Satoko experimenting, playing, and generally messing about.

I’m happy to say that the musician Okuda Satoko will be taking part in the Kyoto Musicians Against the Aquarium event I am organizing for January 21st. I’ll post more details about that as I work them out! Here are more pictures from the event.

Miimo @ JunKroom Vol. 16

Gary and Bridget get down!

JunKroom Vol. 16 was a hell of a lot of fun. But undoubtedly the highlight of the night was the post dub three man band Miimo. Combining drums, bass, electronica and steel drums (yes! steel drums!) their sound is unique yet instantly likeable. “How could you not dance to this?” I asked myself and turned around to find my friends Gary Bloom and Bridget Scott had already answered that question by cutting a brand new rug of their own.

I was so impressed by what I saw and heard that I immediately bought TWO of their CDs. And I never buy anything…

Here is a small sampling of Miimo’s performance in three videos followed by details of JunKroom Vol. 17 which is coming up this Friday. Do take a look.

JunKroom Vol 17 will take place on 1st October at the usual venue Urbanguild.

Click on the picture to read the details....

Starts at 7.00pm Ends at 1:00 am
1500 yen in advance 1800 yen at the door (includes 1 drink)
Students: 1500 yen (with ID)

Featuring the following Performers:

Problematica + Bridget Scott
Christopher Fryman (trumpet) + Misuzu (dance)
Harikozue (Harico + Kozue Sugiura)
Hamah Moh
Sseeaann Rrooee
surprise guests and Videos

Further details and pictures can be found here on the JunKroom blog or here on facebook (with links!).

If time allows I may post other videos from JunKroom #16 later in the week…