Friday, 10 August 2012

Protectors in Fukuyama, Japan

Reporting live from Japan is your Fukuyama correspondent, Chris Cooper

When I first heard from Bomb head honcho Dean that a Wakefield band were playing just down the road from me I was pleased. When I heard it was Protectors, I was delighted. I used to love watching Pylon and Dugong gigs back in the day and have been listening to the Protectors album recently, having downloaded it from Bandcamp.
First up were some decent support bands. 下町マンドリル (Shitamachi Mandoriru or Down Town Man Drill if I'm reading it correctly) and Anti Clockwise (above) were pure balls of energy. Technically brilliant with shouty hardcore vocals for good measure.

Sandwiched between the two were Minor Aura, girl fronted perfect pop punk. They ended with an excellent cover of Toots and the Maytals' Pressure Drop. Wasn't expecting a Japanese band to cover that, nice.

I managed to watch Protectors literally once or twice before I departed the Kingdom of Wakefield for the Far East. In England I thought they were good, in Japan I thought they were amazing. It may be that they have got better as a band or it may be they were buzzing off the crowd...I don't know but it was simply a fantastic gig.

Apparently the promoter apologised that the gig would be empty because it was a Thursday night. From where I was standing though, it was pretty full and the people who were there were dancing, maybe even singing a bit and definitely having a great time. The smiles on the faces of Protectors were echoed in the crowd and from start to finish everyone was in high spirits. The band's use of a bit of Japanese here and there (good evening, thank you very much, cheers) endeared them even further to the audience.

They played a mix of songs from the album and some newer ones. What I like about Protectors is the spot on harmonic balance of the music, driving drums and the tuneful power of the vocals. They are clearly a band that have been playing together for years and play, move and breathe as one.

About halfway through they played a cover of The Cure's Push. I had always thought Protectors were influenced by bands like Dinosaur Jr, Teenage Fanclub and Pylon. I'd never really thought of The Cure before but it fit perfectly. Imagine pulling Robert Smith's head off and replacing it with a yellow smiley face and you're just about there I reckon.

They finished with a cover of a song by Wakefield legends Chopper. They were a bit before my time, but members of the crowd even seem to know them, awesome. I have written in the past about the notion of Big in Japan being a myth. Maybe it isn't, or maybe it's more like 'Big But Just A Little Bit in Japan'. Either way, I'm glad I drove down from the mountains where I live to enjoy a wonderful performance.

I have always wanted to start a band in Japan, now I will definitely get on it, Protectors you have inspired me. Other Wakefield bands, or British bands in general get yourselves out here if you get the chance. There may not be loads of money in it (I really have no idea about this – maybe ask Protectors) but it's an amazing experience. 

Japan Loves Protectors!

No comments:

Post a Comment