The Samurai Music Makers


On an unexpected Friday evening in May, Kate and Joe came to us with an idea; going to a concert in Shimonoseki.

We have been to one music gig, Time Masters, and it was wonderful and very intimate with and audience of only around ten people. This gig, on the other hand, was taking place in a theatre inside Shimonoseki’s infamous Dream Ship (library and community / arts centre). Who were we going to see? Something along the lines of ‘Samurai Music’ (it was written in Japanese, but Samurai was in English…)

We entered the room with what seemed to be the whole population of Shimonoseki. These guys were popular. After some harsh warning alarms (you know how the Japanese are obsessed with things being on-time…) the mysterious Samurai group came onto the stage.

My first thought, and it seemed this was shared with Joe, was Harry Potter. I mean, often this is my first thought. In fact, if I can connect anything to HP, I will. However, these guys made the connection for me. They were all wearing suit tops with wizard like bottoms and each sported a different HP house colour. We had green for Slytherin, red for Gryffindor, blue for Hufflepuff, and finally yellow for Ravenclaw. I appreciate these are also just prime colours, but these guys were about to unleash magic which clearly put them in the realm of Harry Potter. They also each appeared to have the head of Voldemort on their arms…

What happened over the next 90 minutes was like some insane trip. Sometimes the music was reasonably normal, with a bit of flute and violin, and some soft swaying. Other times, it was and insane wall of sound with every percussion instrument on earth being utilised. Turns out, the Samurai aspect of the music came in the form of one of the musicians voicebox. It made sounds only usually heard during the mating season of the very mysterious Crumple-Horned Snorkack. Deep, guttural, noises that have since returned to haunt me in many confusing dreams.

The show got more bizarre as at one stage Mr Voice Box joined the other musicians at the front of the stage in a little dance, donning a pair of very fancy sunglasses, and dropping to the floor in some very Beyonce inspired moves. None of us could quite believe what we were witnessing, but more to the point, enjoying. Turns out, mental music with fantastical animal sounds is rather fun!

So, it was a concert to remember and certainly one I seem unable to forget.

Thanks Shimonoseki: the #DreamShip really lived up to its name.

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