Monochromoon: Tabuchi Jun, Nosa Lena, Nacional, DeliciouSweets

Text and photos by Patrick Benny for Tokyo's Coolest Sound

田渕純On March 6 was event "Monochromoon!" at yumemiru kimiomou (aka Moon Romantic). I wanted to go there for at least 3 reasons. The first was to see Nosa Lena, a band featuring singer Nosa Reina who released a solo album last year. Another reason was to see Tabuchi Jun, lately also active in band Love & Revolution with Sally Kubota which I saw a little while ago (report) and really liked the singer's voice and personality. The third reason was that I had never been to this venue, and I was attracted by the large moon that shines over the stage, which I had seen in photos many times before.

I arrived as Tabuchi Jun began his set. When entering you find yourself on the upper floor looking down to the stage, and it took me a minute to find the stairs on the opposite side, which I took to get a table seat on the main floor. The singer's repertory goes from folk to G.S. (group sounds) oriented rock. He performed mainly covers, and for a few songs he was joined by guitarist Kitamura Katsuhiko of G.S. band The Skeleons (later known as Lemon Roots). The set had a hilarious break where the singer shows off his imitation skills. At the end of his set he sang the theme song from "otoko wa tsurai yo" (original), complete with narration, to close with original song "yoru o makimodose" during which he walked through the audience throwing his own advertisement pocket tissues with his phone number on it (he said his parents got thousands made when the single was released). A really funny and charming guy!

田渕純 田渕純

Next on stage was Nosa Lena, which I had been most waiting to see. The 60's style rock band seems to be led by harmonica player and MC Koha La Smart, who narrates the show and plays non-stop harmonica solos. Except for the instrumentals at the beginning and end of the show, singer Lena (aka Nosa Reina) appears in her stylish original outfit (better photos here) to take control of the audience. The sound is closer to early The Lady Spade than to Reina's recent solo album. Great show!

Set list: Supermarket / uwaki na Rhythm / Body Touch / asu e no Melody / eiga no Mascara / Wake Up Coffee Maker

ノーサレーナ ノーサレーナ

Side-story: I strangely found myself becoming fan of the singer twice, without realizing for some time. She used to be known as Ruby, the original singer of The Lady Spade. Shortly after the release of Spade's first album, she left the group and I lost track of her. And then at the end of last year came out Nosa Reina's solo album produced by Takanami K-taro (ex-Pizzicato Five). I bought it first to hear K-taro's latest work, and found myself really liking the singer who also gave a wonderful show in December. It's only a few weeks later that it all struck me like lightning..! I then found out that she had meanwhile been also active as Hibiki Reina and then with her ongoing band Nosa Lena.

Next up was monster-ish band Nacional. The half-scary characters give an energetic rocking psychedelic show, but every now and then it turns into synth-led disco dancing idol time where the all-male band's girl fans come to dance along. Quite unique and surreal! The sound was good, a bit too hard for my usual taste, but I sure don't mind seeing a show like this now and then.

ナショヲナル ナショヲナル ナショヲナル

The last act was by DeliciouSweets, a band fronted by 6 girls who entertain with song, dance, comedy and magic tricks, with a hint of sexiness. I had seen them before dancing on stage part of a Nagisa Yōko recital (report), and also once doing a sort of freak show at a summer festival at Yasukuni shrine. It was my first time seeing them as a band though. The craziness reminded me of Modern Choki Chokies, though DeliciouSweets doesn't sound quite as pop. The show is sure to make everyone in the audience smile and laugh. One song at the end was about white underpants, and the girls took off their undies (actually thick cotton short pants they wore over their outfit) and went to distribute them around the audience. Somehow I ended up with one in my hands. :)

デリシャスウィートス デリシャスウィートス デリシャスウィートス

That was a quite good show with a lot of variety, and I hope to go back to this nice venue again soon. I'm still curious about the moon, whether anything can be projected on it or only the moon image.

Larger sizes and more photos at Flickr

Live information:

3/30 - Love & Revolution (Tabuchi Jun, Sally Kubota et al.) @ Kōenji Green Apple
4/29 - Nosa Lena, The Tramp, Saitō Neon Sign, etc. @ Higashi-Kōenji U.F.O. Club
6/8 - DeliciouSweets @ Shinjuku New Japan

Tabuchi Jun "yoru o makimodose"

Nosa Lena "uwaki na Rhythm"

Nacional "Cyber Girl"


Find out more about: DeliciouSweets, Nacional, Nosa Lena, NOSA Reina, TABUCHI Jun

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