Half Japanese exclusive UK show at London Scala May 31st

 In Tippex misc

Upset The Rhythm presents…

Tuesday 31 May
The Scala, 275 Pentonville Road, King’s Cross, N1 9NL
7.30pm | 12.00 | http://www.wegottickets.com/event/105945

Facebook event : http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=202318666469845

HALF JAPANESE last toured here in 1993, so we’re thrilled to be hosting this exclusive return show to the United Kingdom. Founded around 1975 by brothers Jad and David Fair, Half Japanese was quite probably the most wonderfully amateurish rock band to make a record since The Shaggs, all but ignoring musical basics like chords, rhythms, and melody. Jad Fair is well-known for playing his untuned electric guitar. After 30 years he still doesn’t play in a traditional manner; in the documentary ‘The Band That Would Be King’ he states simply that “the only chord I know is the one that connects the guitar to the amp”. It’s this attitude that’s seen Jad collaborate with many like-minded musicians including Daniel Johnston, Thurston Moore, J. Mascis, The Pastels and R. Stevie Moore to mention a few. The brothers Fair turned this DIY approach into a guiding aesthetic, steadfastly refusing to progress in their primitive musicianship over a career that’s lasted decades. Proponents of Half Japanese (who most notably included Kurt Cobain) see them as the epitome of a pure, unbridled enthusiasm for rock & roll, the ultimate expression of punk’s dictum that rock should be accessible to anyone who wanted to pick up an instrument and play. Detractors found them gratingly noisy, borderline unlistenable, and too self-conscious and willful about their naïveté. That naïveté extended to their lyrical outlook too, when they weren’t singing about horror movies or tabloid headlines, most of their songs were about girls, veering between innocent longing and wounded sexual frustration. Half Japanese have gone on the record stating that all their songs are either “love songs or monster songs.” Early on, with less outside influence, the band was more chaotic and cathartic; as time passed, David Fair became a sporadic contributor, and the prolific Jad (who has also released 11 solo records!) built a core of semi-regular backing musicians who brought a rudimentary sense of songcraft to the proceedings.

In 1980, Half Japanese became the first band in history to release a three-record box set as their debut album; ‘1/2 Gentlemen/Not Beasts’ collected some of their earlier home recordings, while throwing in barely recognizable covers and sound experiments cobbled together from guitar noise, electronics, and odd effects. Yet their primary influences were clearly the minimalism of the Velvet Underground and the innocence of Jonathan Richman, with some Iggy Pop angst at times. Over the years, ‘1/2 Gentlemen/Not Beasts’ has become something of a cult legend and foreshadowed the lo-fi movement of ’90s indie rock. Since then Half Japanese have gone on to record a further 12 albums, with highlights including 1988’s ‘Charmed Life’, 1990s ‘We Are They Who Ache With Amorous Love’ and 1995’s ‘Fire In The Sky’ which saw Velvet Underground drummer Moe Tucker lending vocals to the mix. Over the years the band have also featured Fred Frith and John Zorn in some capacity in the band too and when longtime fan, Kurt Cobain invited Half Japanese to open Nirvana’s ‘In Utero’ tour in 1993 the band’s profile reached new heights. Most recently Half Japanese signed with Alternative Tentacles who to date have released ‘Bone Head’ and latest album ‘Hello’ too, a triple CD Jad Fair retrospective is planned this year on Fire Records also. This show at Scala sees Half Japanese return to play on English soil for the first time in 16 years, so imagine 100ft tall letters spelling out SPECIAL SHOW for this event!

LET’S WRESTLE met years ago and bonded over meat and records, and after a while, a band was formed. Let’s Wrestle have influences as vast as Black Flag, Faust, and Edith Piaf but are ultimately trying to be as raw as possible. They aim to write songs that make your soul crumble as well as make you smile, sing along, and clap your hands. The songs for debut album ‘In the Court of the Wrestling Let’s’ were written in bedrooms and arranged at soundchecks over a period of two years. Though originally intended as a punk record, it developed into more than that, with songs influenced by rock-and-roll ballads by Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly and the psychedelic rock of Barrett-era Pink Floyd. Let’s Wrestle tend to write about strange subjects, some favourite topics including a faceless woman inside your head that you are in love with, getting a job so you can buy girls drinks at clubs and how bass player Mike Lightning’s hair looks like Princess Diana’s from the point of view of a man in love with the dead princess. New album ‘Nursing Home’ is released this month on Merge and Full Time Hobby.

THE LOVELY EGGS are a two piece surreal pop band from Lancaster, consisting of Holly Ross (guitar, vocals) and David Blackwell(drums, vocals). The band formed sometime in 2006, playing their first ever gig in New York and then returning to the UK to play nationwide shows. Their first EP ‘Have You Heard The Lovely Eggs’ met with rabid acclaim and even became XFM’s single of the week, a year later in 2009 the band released their debut album ‘If You Were Fruit’ on Cherryade Records. Following this, the band collaborated on a limited edition cassette release, with an all girl band from Manchester, Hotpants Romance, with songs that were won in a raffle by audience members whilst the two bands toured together. The Lovely Eggs were invited to perform at SXSW last year, where they recorded a live video collaboration with musician and artist Jad Fair. Earlier this year The Lovely Eggs released their single ‘Don’t Look at Me (I Don’t Like It)’ which featured a guest appearence from John Shuttleworth as the man with the sausage roll thumb in the video! New album ‘Cob Domino’s’ from which the single came was released on valentine’s day, since then the band have been touring Europe non-stop.


19/05 Alex Tucker – Stag & Dagger festival / Macbeth
20/05 The Lovely Eggs – Prince Albert Brixton
24/05 Chain and the Gang – The Dome
25/05 El Boy Die – The Social
31/05 The Oscillation + Disappears – Borderline
31/05 Half Japanese + The Lovely Eggs – Scala
09/06 Civil Civic – Victory
12/06 The Monochrome Set – Dingwalls
14/06 Kellies – White Heat / Madame JoJos
10/07 Trans Am – Corsica Studios
17/07 Black Devil Disco Club – Lovebox festival

Julie Tippex – Girls, glasses, good bands
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Roster : www.julietippex.com

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