I’m not entirely sure how I first came across this band. Probably the rabbit hole of social media, maybe through Soundcloud, who knows. It was definitly earlier this year and around the time that their 3rd album ‘Forest of Lost Children’ came out. They seemed to me a perfect storm of well referenced psychedelic sounds, edgy prog influenced guitar,eastern influenced back story – sitar, rising sun myths – and taking all this in, still contemporary and unique.
Only the third album was easily available way back in the spring and it took my a couple of months to get the first eponymously title album and the second release ‘Mammatus Clouds’ At least one of these arrived in a package bearing an Athens – Greece mailing stamp having been release on a small indie label.
I was equally excited and glum when a small UK tour was announce as the original five dates didn’t get close to my home town. However, due to the unfortunate illness of Damo Suzuki, Kikagaku Moyo (translates as ‘Geometric Patterns’ the ones that hide behind eyelids when you approach a dream like state) picked up the slot at the Jam Cafe.
The Jam Cafe is a fairly small independent cafe, bar & entertainment venue in the Hockley / Cultural Quarter in Nottingham. It’s not a venue I’ve been to before but they have lots of micro beers, home made cakes, decent coffee and DJ’s with eclectic tastes it seems. No Red Bull but hey ho.
The band arrived in their tiny tour bus around 8.00pm and stayed to watch the two supporting acts. The stage is a couple of square meters of raised floor and there was crowded gear changeover between sets.
The band is a five piece;
Vocal/Guitar: Tomo Katsurada
Guitar: Daoud Popal
Sitar: Ryu Kurosawa
Drums/Voice: Go Kurosawa
Whilst I’ve read that on some occasions they don’t always have the sitar player on board, fortunately he he was in attendance this time. The instrument really rounds out the bands sound and takes it out of the rock space for the better.
They played a pretty full selection of songs from the first album and the ‘Forest of Lost Children’ (Mammatus Clouds is a quieter album with more long form jams). As the venue is intimate and as the two guitarists set up on the main floor in front of the raised stage, I ended up standing next too Daoud Popal as he ripped some amazing sounds, playing barefoot, from his guitar and multiple effects peddles.
Their calm and methodical demeanour underpinned their incredible ability to let go and fly. There were passages that bought to mind Hawkwind or Sabbath and others that had more of a Mahavishnu Orchestra tone about them. They are an incredible example of a sum of their parts, an incredible unit working together with great individual skill.
One of the other aspects of the band I’m really impressed by is their sense of design. From album covers, vinyl stylings to posters they have keep a sympathetic theme in place with impressive illustrations, earth colourings and subtle shimmer.
They really have everything going for them. I hope that they get increasing recognition for they commitment and achieve a wider audience. Their performance at the Jam Cafe was one of the most impressive gigs I’ve seen in a while.
A few links here.