2012.12.22 蔵フェス (Kura Fes) vol 20 & Natsumen @ O-nest
蔵フェス (Kura Fes) is a super-DIY music festival that takes place inside a shed (kura = shed or storehouse). It’s organized by Matsuda Kotaro: drummer of the band デロッピードロッピー (deroppy doroppy). Kotaro chooses six or seven bands that he really likes and invites them over to his dad’s house to play with deroppy deroppy for a music festival in a tiny shed in the backyard.
He does this event about 4 to 5 times a year and on Dec 22nd, 2012 he held the 20th edition. Kura Fes vol 20 may have been the most interesting and fun music festival I’ve ever experienced!!
Kotaro’s sister Hikaru plays bass in deroppy doroppy. They both live at home with their parents and their house is a 30 min drive from Narita Airport but waaaaaay out in the boonies in the middle of a small forest.
The house is almost impossible to find even with GPS and a map and the closer you get to the house the more narrow and treacherous the roads get. Oftentimes guests who come to Kura Fes take a train to Narita Airport but rely on Kotaro’s dad to pick them up at the airport for a drive to the Matsuda estate. Kotaro’s dad must make 8 or more return trips to and from Narita Airport (30 min drive each way x 8 = 8 hrs!!) in one day every single time Kotaro throws a Kura Fes.
The shed itself is somewhat dilapidated and big enough to hold at most 30 people. So with up to eight bands participating there usually isn’t enough room to fit everyone in the shed. Here are a couple photos that show what the inside of the shed is like in between sets when it’s more or less empty:
Kotaro’s mom is famous for making tremendously delicious curry. She spends hours on end making both traditional Japanese style curry as well as Thai green curry in volumes enough to feed about 40 people throughout the day/night. Even though both versions are vegetarian I would have to say Mrs Matsuda’s Thai green curry may be the best damn curry I’ve eaten anywhere… for sure the best curry eaten at a music festival.
Here’s Toshi of ランランランズ playing a comedic acoustic set during one of the breaks between band performances in the Kura.
The “むかつく” irritated as f*ck expression on matashita89 Ajima’s face is priceless. I guess she’s not a fan of ランランランズ
Here was the schedule for Kura Fes vol 20:
And here’s some video footage of the bands:
I was late for the start of Kura FES and グーミ delayed their set as much as possible just for my sake. I had to get picked up from the airport by Kotaro’s dad (along with the band サーティーン）and we made it just in time for goomi’s last song… one of my favorites: ”50年”
ahme put on an incredibly tight, impressively technical set with a lot of emotion. Unfortunately I didn’t get good footage of them from my vantage point in the uber-cramped storehouse.
1000 pounds’ emo-tinged punk got the crowd moving:
あいつのアフォーダンス (Aitsu no Affordance) were good when I saw them the night before at Shinjuku Nine Spices, but at Kura FES they absolutely KILLED it!!!
Unfortunately, I had to leave Kura FES early in order to return to Tokyo for NATSUMEN who were playing at Shibuya o-nest.
But before I left I got a photo with Shinmen from Happy!Mari who had just arrived at Kura FES. Both Tobita (グーミ) and I were proudly wearing Happy!Mari T-shirts.
Kotaro’s dad drove me back to Narita Airport… and picked up someone else who was on his way to Kura FES. lol.
A music festival in a tiny shed inside a forest in the middle of nowhere with a small group of close-knit bands and friends playing loud, soulful music while drinking ice cold beer and eating delicious curry makes for a magical atmosphere that is UNBEATABLE. It was easily one of the best music events I’ve ever been to!
From Narita airport I booked it by train as fast as I could to Shibuya o-nest where BP. were holding their record release show. NATSUMEN and ATATA were the opening bands and my main reason for going was definitely to watch NATSUMEN.
ATATA performed first. I would describe their sound as a fusion of electronica and funk metal. I can respect them for having been around for ~20 years and sticking to their core sound but unfortunately their style of music despite being loud and energetic doesn’t quite mesh with my tastes.
NATSUMEN batted 2nd and hit it out of the park with everyone in attendance in a state of nirvana and awe. These guys are the funkiest, most badass band on the planet and their music would be pure bliss even at 150 dB.
I couldn’t take any video but this was their setlist for the night:
Everyone bugged AxSxE about when the new album would be released but he was equivocal. The album was fully recorded well before they came to Canada for NMFT3 (Oct 2011) but AxSxE is unhappy with the mixing/mastering and wants it absolutely perfect before the new album/CD is pressed.
Kura FES was such a fresh, fun and exciting experience and watching NATSUMEN was a perfect way to cap off the night.
After NATSUMEN, I watched a bit of BP., chilled a bit with the NATSUMEN massive, caught up with Yoshida of Zazen Boys and then met up with my brother, and my friends Sharon and Ryotaro to have a late dinner at Tonchang.
Mariko Goto (ex-ミドリ) actually took these pics of me and AxSxE. AxSxE was about to tell me something big when Mariko said “No! You can’t tell him yet!” I don’t know what the big secret is but I hope it’s something along the lines of a ミドリ reunion. I doubt it but would love for that to be the case.
We need a Tonchang in Toronto!