JAPANESE TRICKS: Starring DEDE MOUSE + Kobayashi, Minami & Sputniko. [November 24, 2009 - London]
I will remember this event fondly for a long time. As I was with the organizers from early afternoon chatting and getting the inside scoop, I wanted to get close to the genius that is DEDE MOUSE and understand what makes him tick.
I prepared myself for what I thought was just another gig…..wrong! I’ll start from the afternoon though. Here we go: Everything was perfect DEDE was very polite and very “open” to chatting. One thing I found out is that he does not drink beer so my bonding skills did not work well in the beginning (obviously been knocked back by him when offering a beer made me realize I was over stepping the line) After a little time bowing and saying thank you a dozen times we had to get ready. While waiting for the main event, the support band just finished sound check at 7,15pm on the dot and by then I saw loads of people cueing outside the venue and waiting for the doors to open at 7,30pm.
So here we are……spotlights dim, and the tiny colorful lights create a really cosy and intimate atmosphere in this small venue. A beautiful video projection was the settings for the ambience as 80′s Japanese pop music was being played. The venue filled up very quickly, and at some point I saw people worried that they might not be able to get in…. but still, the atmosphere was very relaxed as this was the most polite gig I ever attended.
It’s 8pm, everyone’s calm and ready to embrace the first opening act: Ken Kobayashi, a fresh acoustic/pop act with Japanese, English and German influences…..great tunes and very confident on stage this young lad. Then it was time for Sputniko! a solo artist who mixes music and theatricals together. A perfect project that made perfect sense. Everyone in the venue was smitten by her. Funny, hot and a true star of the future. Keep an eye on her. A quick change over and at 9,30 we have Rica Minami’s Band. Her solo project has recently risen up from the ashes of Hanjiro, the Japanese Pop/Rock band that was getting much attention from the Japanese community and beyond but had to be cut short due to members’ commitments in Tokyo’s underground music scene.
At this point everyone in the room were still trying to find the last available square inch because they didn’t want to miss the DeDe Mouse show… ..10 pm sharp and the loud cheering was the cue: The dimunutive genius was on stage with his drummer. DEDE introduced “East End Girl” as the first song of the night. After the first minute, I knew the crowd was in for a real “electric” show. Amazingly, (to me at least, as I never witnessed such admiration from any crowd) DeDeMouse made people jump and cheer until the very end with a smile fixed on their faces. A solid 50 minute set that had me and another 200 people sweat with a proper dance workout. At one point I saw girls dancing on the chairs. At the end of this performance, the shy, tiny giant himself said “I love You London” and waved good bye. In parting with us, I could tell in his voice he had all the emotion and true passion for what had just happened: A real connection between himself and us.
From all of us “DEDE DANCERS”: Aregato DEDE MOUSE. Please hurry back to London
[Review and picture (c) event organizer Walter Combi]