On November 7th, after performing in Yarmouth, NS during Music Nova Scotia Week, Sydney based trio Slowcoaster boarded a plane in Halifax and landed in Tokyo, Japan where the band played 8 shows during Japan Music Week. Below is a first hand report from WGO’s Tokyo correspondent Jeff Eagar.
Just as the big sign in the arrivals terminal of Tokyo’s Narita airport says, “Yokoso Nippon – Slowcoaster, Welcome to Japan!”
I have been living on and off in Tokyo for the last 8 years and been just waiting for the day Slowcoaster added Japan to their tour schedule; this week it happened! The bags under my eyes, hoarse voice and sore head (booze) and muscles (dancing) are testament to their first – and undoubtedly not last – tour of this country.
I arrived at Slowcoaster’s first show a little late because I had trouble finding the RockWest ‘live house’ in the tangle of back alleyways in the center of one of Tokyo’s craziest neon scarred entertainment districts, Shibuya. How the lads found the place is beyond me. But they did, and Steven and Brian were rocking it out on the stage of the funky little club to a small but excited crowd of Japanese and ‘gaijin’ faces. They had just arrived that afternoon but the jet lag and huge cultural leap didn’t seem to bother them a bit. The adrenaline and excitement of playing their crazy mix of ska/salt water funk/rock/reggae to an Asian audience in the world’s biggest city was keeping them at the top of their game. If there were any doubts about whether their style and brand of music would transcend cultures, they were blown out the window with the whoops and yells from the pumping crowd. But, there was one thing missing, their bearded bass player was nowhere in sight. Later I found out from the boys that he had arrived at Halifax airport with an expired passport! Way to go Mikey!
It’s now Saturday and it’s been 7 incredible shows in 5 days, and the momentum just keeps building with each crazy set the boys perform. Mikey finally made it safely to Tokyo (way to go Mikey!) and the boys (and their gorgeous and talented manager Meghan), have been winning the hearts and minds of the Tokyo fans all week with their ripping shows! Since the first show, I have begun to see the same faces appearing each night as Slowco’s Japanese fan/groupie posse just keeps growing. And last night I saw another first for the boys as a stage posse of 20+ rabid fans stormed the stage engulfing them in sea of flailing Japanese arms and legs!
Tonight the Japanese-Cape Breton madness continues under the blazing heat of Tokyo neon, and it being Saturday means that tonight will no doubt be the boy’s biggest and baddest gig in Japan to date. Talking pigeon English to their fans, sprinkled with lots of hand gestures and big smiles there’s been a connection between Slowco and their newest fan base that is blossoming into a reciprocal love affair that will no doubt last a long time. After a week of ripping it up in the darkest of discos in downtown Tokyo, I’m afraid the boys might deliberately pull a Mikey on the way home and miss their flights so they can just keep right on ripping it up in Tokyo. I wouldn’t be surprised if you ever see this talented trio of rockers home again!