Hijokaidan brings the oi in noize!

Last weekend I went to the 30th year anniversary party of the legendary noize collective Hijokaidan in Namba Bears Osaka. There is an extensive story about their history on the following link with some crazy facts like shovels on stage and carcasses thrown into the audience. Hijokaidan released for their birthday a 30 cd box named “The Noize”  with a lot of their live recordings.

The evening started with Hijokaidan as 3-piece on stage with Jojo Hiroshige on guitar, Takeshi Ishida on drums and Toshiji Mikawa making some electronic noize. This was some kind of introduction, it was good not too extreme and no earplugs needed yet.  Next up was a dude on guitar playing some mellow Japanese folk songs. First I was a bit dissapointed, but later I started to appreciate the subtle songs and good guitar work. Later singer Junko joined him. She didn’t really sing, but made short hellish screams full of fear. Most of it seemed improvised and the dude was totally tearing appart his acoustic guitar to make all kind of weird noizes, like slapping on it with two hands, but it suited the screaming of Junko very well. Good intense stuff.

Then Hijokaidan came back on stage companied by jazz saxophonist Akira Sakata.  A really good musician who studied to be a marine biologist. I always like it when people end up doing things far away from their original field, like Japans most famous architect Tadao Ando used to be a truck driver and doesnt have any qualifications to  be an architect.

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With Akira Sakata on sax, Hijokaidan even sounds more like a free jazz band. Especially at the start of the set, where I made a video of:

Later on the sound gets more dense, the saxaphone only produces dissonant tones, Jojo trashes his guitar and the drummer is smashing his fast complex patterns with a deadly accuracy on his kit.

After a short break Akira Sakata and Hijokaidan come stage again. Hijokaidan is now on full strength with Junko and Mikawa. Especially with Junko her haunting voice this set is more intense. Akira his magnificent play drowns a bit in the noize. Haha, yeah this is not summertime. “Oi, oi, oi, oi” , screams Jojo into the microphone, while holding his guitar up in the air. The show is building up to a climax. Jojo and Mikawa launch themselves into the audience. Jojo puts himself on a crate and shouts again: “oi, oi, oi”. The audience screams along with the fists in the air.

 Then Jojo lifts his huge amplifier in the air: “Oi, oi, oi”. He jumps with the amplifier into the audience and works his way through to the end of the hall. I almost get pushed to the ground as well. Soon after this act of desctruction , that was part of the climax of noize the show ends. The small fanatic crowd, most like me younger than Hijokaidan, shout for an encore. Hijokaidan comes back on stage with only Jojo, Mikawa and Kosakai. Jojo thanks the crowd and cracks a joke that I dont understand because I speak only “chotto chotto” Japanese. They play a short set more analog kind of noize, not unlike the Dutch FCKN’ BSTRDS wihtout masks. The guys launch themselves in the crowd again, madness. I love it. One of the better shows I have seen in the last years and definitely a good anniversary party! Oi oi oi!

Oh yeah within a week I’m leaving Japan and I have some of my horror noize punk zines left with interviews with Integrity, Adolf Butler and including personal stories about nightmares. The 40 pages zine is unlike above post language edited. For only 400 yen I can send  a copy to you in Japan.

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