Shinohara Tomoe's Ultra Relax Day 2010

Text by Patrick Benny for Tokyo's Coolest Sound

Last Wednesday, July 14, was a show celebrating the 15th anniversary of Shinohara Tomoe's debut album "Super Model". The album was reissued just recently with bonus tracks and an added DVD of rare footage.

This show was held at Liquid Room and featured a dozen of guest musicians, some who collaborated with her through her career and other close friends. People who came wearing "shinorer" fashion (two watches or more, colorful bracelets, shorts, stickers on the face, etc.) were given a ¥500 cashback. Of course I participated in the fun. :)

It all started with a video first showing Tomoe posing as the Statue of Liberty holding a mic, and then some funny old self-introductory footage from her debut. The white curtain opened and the show began with her accompanied by agraph (a young electro artist who I had seen a year ago opening for Sunahara Yoshinori) and percussionist Steve Etō. Members of dance unit Condors appeared for "yaruki Sensation" and "Kurekure Takora". Keyboardist Asakura Daisuke also joined from "wasurechau mon".

kurukuru Miracle / yaruki Sensation / wasurechau mon / Alphabet de B.A.S.S. / Shinohara Tomoe no Kurekure Takora

Next was time for a costume change, during which was shown Tomoe's photos from throughout her career, selected from some 20000 photos and arranged into a fun slideshow by VJs team DeviceGirls. The BGM was marumouke (Shinoland Punk).

Then we had right to some comedy with actor Issey Ogata, who did as he was in his car changing radio channels (improvised by Steve and tablaist U-Zhaan), until he found the song kokoro no usagi that Tomoe played on her guitar. Issey later accompanied on ukulele.

See photos of the show up to here on this post on Tomoe's blog (part 1/3).

The next part was to be with a full band featuring guitarist Shimizu Hirotaka (The Cornelius Group), drummer Araki Yūko (mi-gu, The Cornelius Group), bassist Clammbon's mito, and keyboardist Hosomi Sakana, still with U-Zhaan and Steve. They performed 3 songs that Tomoe had written lyrics/music for.

An Audio (music written by mito) / Anything / Story Book ("Happy Point" B-side)

Then the stage was left empty for Tomoe to come back alone. She sang Stereo Phonics, a song she had written together with Kagami with who she had a unit called Tokyo Flash. For those who don't know, Kagami died just recently at a very young age. The upbeat song ended with tears in her eyes as she pointed to the video behind that said "Tomoe X Kagami". She left the stage for a few minutes while the audience never stopped applauding. I really hoped Kagami would hear this from above...

See photos of the show up to here on this post on Tomoe's blog (part 2/3).

agraph and Steve came back on stage for jam along samples from Chime, her debut song produced by Ishino Takkyū (Denki Groove). After a few minutes Tomoe came back dressed up looking more Shinorer than ever! Takkyū was listed as a guest to the show and I had been expecting him to show up at electronics in the back, but agraph remained there, until Takkyū arrived on stage with nothing but one of those South African horns!!! That was just too hilarious! Laughter wouldn't stop for the whole song.

The next song was Ultra Relax! Tomoe announced the secret guest which turned out to be Pierre Taki (the other half of Denki Groove) dressed up as Shinorer just like Tomoe, down to the red schoolbag with angel wings, except that he's a really big guy! Again there was nothing to stop the laughter. Through the song he and Tomoe threw lots and lots of colorful bracelets in the audience. Takkyū had switched to play the cowbell..!

That was it, but there was a one-song encore featuring again the full band, plus guitarist Naka Shigeo (The Surf Coasters) and singer Moriwaka Kaori (Go-Bang's) who wrote the song rararu Rainbow! That was a really powerful ending to an amazing show!

See photos of the show up to here on this post on Tomoe's blog (part 3/3).

Thanks for all the great entertainment Tomoe, and here's looking forward to the next 15 years!

Tags: clammbon, Denki Groove, HOSOMO Sakana, Kagami, mi-gu, MORIWAKA Kaori, SHIMIZU Hirotaka, SHINOHARA Tomoe, The Surf Coasters, U-Zhaan (click for more info)

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I had a second try at the ¥500 yen off. I had 3 bracelets, a Tomoe made T shirt for the cast of "Die Dreigroschenoper" and the analog LP of "Blue, Another Side of Megaphone Speaks", then a guy appreciated semi-rare vinyl and loaned me a blow-up Shinorer doll. But it was of no avail. And I came all the way from NYC too.

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