Nosa Reina release party w/ Portable Rock, Nomiya Maki, Takanami K-taro

Text by Patrick Benny for Tokyo's Coolest Sound

野佐怜奈On November 30, I went to the release party for Nosa Reina's first album "don't kiss, but yes". Producer Takanami K-taro was on stage too part of the band, more on that in a minute!

The event's opening act was Portable Rock, Nomiya Maki's 80's new wave band that's been getting active again since this year. The 3 members of Portable Rock appeared on stage, Maki wearing a dress of thick black and white horizontal stripes, a black beret and glittery black gloves. The set was shortish but full of great songs. Also played were the two songs that resurfaced this year after having been sleeping for about 20 years, both have lyrics written by Konishi Yasuharu.

I love the dynamics of Portable Rock on stage, the three definitely seem to have fun and you can feel a tight complicity of having been friends for so long. Also they said that they had planned to write new songs this year but time flew away, however they seemed positive about doing so next year! I'm crossing my fingers! :)

Set list: Cinemic Love / Idol / Edie / Dance Volunteer / Green Books / Sweet Renaissance

After a DJ set by Hashimoto Toru (Café Après-midi), it was already time for the event's main show, Nosa Reina. Her band had an all-star lineup of many musicians that participated to the recordings. There was of course the guitarist and bassist of Portable Rock, and also keyboardist Nakayama Tsutomu (Sally Soul Stew, also of P5 Sony days fame), Kawaguchi Yoshiyuki (Kuricorder Quartet), drummer Irikura Ryō, on chorus the two cute girls of Tarte Tatin, and of course Takanami K-taro was there on guitar the whole time too! There were also going to be several guests throughout the show.

Reina looked very beautiful in a black dress, and her singing on stage didn't disappoint. Listening to the album I thought many times that her voice has something in common with Nomiya Maki's, probably a reason why she ended up with K-taro

The show started with 3 songs from the album, and then the first special guest was called. Marianne Shinanome of Kinoco Hotel sang in duet on the album for "Lambrusco ni koi shite", and also on a 7"-only special version of the song "Scat". Both of these songs were sang, followed by a cover of the funky "shiroi kobato" (originally by Shuri Eiko (1974)). For two songs, bassist Sally Kubota (Sally Soul Stew) and Nakamori Yasuhiro (Hicksville) also joined.

Set list 1: Heart no Signal / koi suru ressha / sōgōkasa / Scat (w/ Marianne Shinonome) / Lambrusco ni koi shite (w/ Marianne Shinonome, Sally Kubota and Nakamori Yasuhiro) / shiroi kobato (cover) (w/ Marianne Shinonome, Sally Kubota and Nakamori Yasuhiro)

Next was another very special guest, Nomiya Maki, now wearing a pink dress! And of course Maki and K-taro means... Pizzicato Five! We were treated with some really rare songs too. There was first a cover of the beautiful and soft "Eclipse", with Maki and Reina singing in duet. Then Reina left the stage for a while, leaving Maki and K-taro for some more P5 songs, "They All Laughed" and "Peace Music". When I got home later I dug out "Bossa Nova 2001" and realized for the first time that Maki wrote lyrics for "Peace Music" (and also a few others on this great album). Actually, Reina's album reminds me of this era of Pizzicato Five.

Set list 2 (Pizzicato Five covers): Eclipse (w/ Nomiya Maki & Takanami K-taro) / They All Laughed (Nomiya Maki & Takanami K-taro) / Peace Music (Nomiya Maki & Takanami K-taro)

野佐怜奈Then Reina was back and it was time for more songs from Reina's album, starting with lead track "usotsuki Rouge" (see the video clip below). The closing song was "mi no hodo shirazu", a fun track that makes Tarte Tatin's chorus stand out.

Set list 3: usotsuki Rouge / michi no kioku / natsu no kioku / mi no hodo shirazu

There was an encore, with the last song from the album, "sayonara Rouge" (a different version of "usotsuki Rouge" that opens the album). And then all guests were called back on stage for a cover of Pizzicato Five's "Sweet Soul Revue" for which Reina, Maki and Marianne shared the lyrics! It was quite a funny contrast to hear Marianne sing such a fun pop song, her character usually tame and ironic.

Set list 4 (Encore): usotsuki Rouge / Sweet Soul Revue (Pizzicato Five cover)

This was truly a unique and wonderful event. K-taro said himself that having all these members on stage is not likely to happen again.

Live schedule
12/11 & 12: Kuricorder Quartet @ Kichijoji Star Pine's Café
12/18: Tarte Tatin @ Shimokitazawa Garden w/ & Hanae
12/20: Nosa Reina and Kinoco Hotel @ Shimokitazawa Club Que

"usotsuki Rouge"

Tags: NOMIYA Maki, NOSA Reina, Portable Rock, TAKANAMI K-taro (click for more info)

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I don't know the details on the split, but is a Pizzicato Five reunion with K-Taro, Maki and Konishi a possibility? Maybe I'm reading too much in-between-the-lines with them playing P5/Portable Rock songs that Konishi co-wrote... :)

Posted by Mark on

I doubt that would happen... Personally I've been happy enough with each member's projects. :)

Posted by Patrick on

Konishi seems to be somehow dissapeared from the scene...and Eclipse, Peace Music are K-Taro's songs, right?

Loved your review, Patrick, as usual... K-Taro and Maki together again, makes me wished I was there with some tears in my eyes...

Also, enjoying the Nosa Reian album. Does K-Taro write the music or does he just produce the album?

Posted by Damian on

Oh, and I was lucky enough to get the limited edition wit the extra instrumental CD :D

Posted by Damian on

Sorry Damian, I had missed this comment.

That's right, those P5 songs are all K-taro's!

And yes, K-taro wrote and produced all the songs! And he also sings duet on the "Scat" tracks. :) Truly a great album!

Posted by Patrick on

No problem at all! So sorry for me 'cause I can't read japanese. I can visually identify how you spell K-Taro's name, but I was really interested in knowing if he just produced or also, wrote the music. After giving a few deep listens, I could tell it was K-Taro's style definitely, but I needed a confirmation! ;)
Happy new year, Patorikoru-san!

Posted by Damian on

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