5 Awesome bands you’ve probably never heard of!! pt.1

In this year of 2017 where you can find out the latest news by clicking on your phone, download anything you want in an instant and experience different cultures in seconds, there are still a lot of Bands that people have never heard of from all over the world.

I’m not just talking about new bands that have suddenly popped up, of course you wouldn’t have heard of them if they formed whilst you were having your afternoon tea. Actually I’m talking about groups that could have been together for nearly a decade or two, bands that are super popular in their own countries to the extent that it would be weird for natives not to have heard of them.

To begin this chain of ‘Bands you may not have heard of’ I’ll start with the kawaii country of Japan.

I would love it if people in the comments would tell me some of the Japanese bands they think are really popular and underrated in the west that I have missed out on in this post.

P.S All these bands listed still exist as of when this has been written.

B’z 

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B’z are one of my favourite bands ever. They have an energetic sound that is reminiscent of the rock we get from some of the legends such as The Scorpions or Alice cooper. Every time I listen to them I admit I go a bit crazy.

According to Wikipedia they are ‘one of the best selling music artists in the world’. They have had ’46 consecutive no.1 singles, 25 no.1 albums and sold more than 100 million records’.

B’z was founded by Koshi Inaba and Tak Matsumoto in 1988 and they’re still playing strong, they’ve been around for a whopping 29 years. They have performed with bands such as Aerosmith and are, in my opinion, legends. Now I’m sure that some people in the west must of heard of them but I’m putting them on this list because they are freaking awesome.

L’arc en Ciel

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L’arc en Ciel is one of my all time favourite bands. Hyde (the lead vocalist) is just gorgeous, his voice, his face, his soul I just love everything about him. They have this really unique psychedelic or soft rock indie sound.

They formed in 1991 when Tetsuya, bassist, recruited Hyde and then the miracle that is L’arc en Ciel began. Ken and Yukihiro joining later (replacing the original guitarist and drummer) and they’ve been going strong since. They have sold over 40 million records and were the first Japanese band to headline at Madison Square.

Janne Da Arc (1991-2007) / Acid Black Cherry (2007- Ongoing)

Janne Da Arc was formed in 1991 with the members Yasu, You, Ka-yu, Kiyo, and Shuji. They released 3 indie albums, 9 major label albums, 26 singles and 14 DVD’s, They have been on haitus since 2007 after their last album Heaven.

After that the lead vocalist Yasu created his own solo project called Acid Black Cherry.  He works with other artists from other bands and has created some of the most awesome albums and music ever. ABC, for need of a better word, are freaking awesome. Their music honestly gives me the chills and Yasu’s voice is just euphoric.

Mr. Children 

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Mr. Children are one of those bands that you can listen to when you’re feeling happy or melancholic. They can accommodate to your every mood with their soothing and uplifting rocky sound.

They formed in 1989 and have sold over 50 million records and have had over 30 consecutive no.1 singles, they are truly a brilliant band that you will love listening to.

Glay

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Formed in 1988, Glay have a very special rocky tone that I can never quite get used to and can put me in all kinds of moods. They were originally a Visual Kei band but over the years they’ve implemented so many other genres of music into their sound that they’ve drifted away a bit from the genre. Wikipedia isn’t really up to speed with how many records they’ve sold but at least we know that they have sold over 51 million since 2008.

And there we have it for ‘5 awesome bands you’ve probably never heard of’ Japan edition.

Thank you for reading! Stay tuned for the next edition which will be Chinese bands. 😉

Extra Recommendation!!….

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An awesome Sensei of mine recommended the great ‘BABYMETAL’ to this list to address the gender imbalance of my other entries.

BABYMETAL are crazy popular. BABYMETAL is a band made up of three teenage girls; Suzuka, Yui, and Moa. They began in 2010 and after their song ‘Gimme Chocolate’ went viral in 2014 they definitely became a very internationally popular Japanese band.

They have won consecutive Loudwire Music awards, Kerrang awards and even won ‘Women of the year’ on Vogue Japan.

A Hyper Japan Journey! (2017)

 

This Summer I had my first ever journey to Hyper Japan, an event that I had been highly anticipating for over a year, and it most definitely lived up to my expectations.

For those who don’t know what Hyper Japan is, it is a festival held in London, it is the UK’s largest event that celebrates Japanese culture and cuisine. It is held twice a year, in summer (Summer festival)and winter (Hyper Japan Christmas market.) At Hyper Japan you can experience live concerts by Japanese celebrities, and experience Japanese food, anime, Japanese gaming and clothing.

The day was the 14th of July. My Sister and I woke up especially early that Friday Morning so as to iron our outfits, put on our contact lenses and be super extra and kawaii for the day. The journey began as I ran to the train station with my sister and bought my London day travel card. Whilst waiting at the station we took cute selfies and then headed towards London. We got off at Limehouse and then took the DLR to Shadwell.

It was at this point that google maps told us to to walk to the venue and that it would take 4 minutes or less, however since my sister and I are hopeless at directions we had no idea which way google maps was taking us until I saw people that were dressed in cosplay or just had that ‘I-am-going-to-a-japanese-convention-vibe’ around them. We were so hyped we practically leaped on them, asking them whether they were also attending ‘Hyper Japan’ and we were delighted when they said ‘yes’.

We began exchanging names as we walked, two of the people we met there was a lovely girl that I’ll call C and a tall boy with green hair that I’ll call S. They both seemed so much more composed then my sister and myself that I assumed that they were older than us. So you can imagine my face when they told us they were 16. They were such wonderful people, so much so that we became instant friends and ended up spending the entire day together.

When we eventually reached Tobacco Dock we lined up, and I must tell you that in comparison to other events which I’ve attended the line for Hyper Japan went very quickly and smoothly. I think we barely stood for 10 minutes before the line started moving and even when it stopped it was brief.

The first thing that you’ll see when you get into Hyper Japan are the super Kawaii merch stores. They sell Japanese influenced designed shirts, anime posters, hair pins, accessories, pins, DVD’s you name it. Also as you walk around you can also see a lot of decora fashion trends and Decora girls and boys. I love Decora girls I think they’re so cute, I myself have never had the time try out the fashion trend, and I’m not sure if I could do it as successfully as I lack the experience and my make-up skills still have a long way to go. I am quite annoyed because I only attended Hyper Japan for the Friday session and I really wanted to meet Kurebayashi (an instagram star and famous Decora girl) however as much as I searched for her on Friday I wasn’t able to meet her.

There were also many cute cosplayers and general people milling around that came to enjoy the culture of the event which I met and had a great time with.

I myself bought a lot of posters, t-shirts, sake, chopsticks, pocky and some CD’s of some of the Japanese artists that I like such at the Gazette, The Age of Civil wars, and Toriena. I was especially excited that I got to meet The Age of Civil wars and Toriena at Hyper Japan, they performed live and it was so amazing, in the pictures above you can see me posing with them. I also met the lead vocalist for a band I like named Broken Doll, Sachi was so lovely and she took a group picture with myself and my friends.

Then there were the Tokyo Rickshaws!!!! They were the kindest people ever, they were so talented at singing, dancing and they were all so handsome (taking my mind out of the gutter) they were so awesome and lovely. The Hyper Japan official website describes them as— “Visit the traditional neighbourhood of Asakusa in Tokyo, and you’re sure to see rickshaws rolling around, snug tourists being pulled along by strong young men known as “shafu.” Tokyo Rickshaw is made of of four such men, who have taken the art of being “shafu” to a whole other level. Combining exciting music and acrobatics, this dance/music/acrobatic unit presents an unforgettable stage show embodying the spirit of Japanese-ness! “

Then there is also Toriena, I am mentioning her again because I absolutely love her, I don’t listen to trap or dubstep music often but when it comes to her I am all over it. Her music is just so fun to listen to and she is so kind!!! When she autographed my CD she said she liked my hat and that I was ‘kawaii!!’ I nearly died.

Then there was SHIN, former vocalist of the Visual Kei band ViViD. I was really looking forward to seeing him there on Friday, and I not only got to see him live I also got to get his autograph and he is amazing. I didn’t get a clear video of his performance but this is a very good one that an amazing human uploaded.

You know that moment of tranquility you have when you’re at home, you’re heart is at peace and you feel like you found the destination you truly belong. That is how I feel every time I attend a Japanese or anime-related event. When I am surrounded by people of like-minds, where you can freely express your interests without being judged, where you can have a good time and embrace a new culture. That was the thrilling tranquil part I loved about Hyper Japan.

And as I went home with the new friends I made that day (and my sister) I found myself determined to enjoy such an event again. When the sun set on July 14th it also set on a satisfying and fantastic day.

This was supposed to be a more controlled piece of writing, but as I’ve been busy working lately I didn’t have much time to post lately or spend writing this, so it has ended up being more of a fun post listing the great things about Hyper Japan. But I hope these list of experiences show you how fun Hyper Japan is, and you can put it on your list of festivals you want to attend.