I had the privilege of being at Trash Bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn last Sunday where I happened upon the power trio Bo-Peep. I know many of us out there have our issues with the live music scene today. In general there is a lack of enthusiasm at shows on the stage and in the audience. It seems that if the current music scene needed a word to coin it, it would be “medium music for a medium crowd.” Bo-Peep, however, sparks a flash back to a time before the Facebook generation, when live music mattered.
Bo-Peep is an all female band from Tokyo, Japan with more balls than every resident of Bedford Ave. combined. Their songs are a raw and savage celebration of life. Though they walked into the club almost completely unknown, Bo-Peep managed to possess an entire room of Brooklynites into breaking the norm: We all got our asses up and danced.
Instrumentally Bo-Peep was magnificently tight but with an ease that allowed them to run around the stage like maniacs. Bassist Kaori Takebayash was all spirit. She jumped, spun and kicked while executing precision bass lines. At one point in the set Kaori made a great save when her bass cable got unplugged. In an instantaneous swoop she re-plugged her bass in and continued the line mid-phrase like nothing had happened!
Shortly after that she out danced the kimono she was wearing revealing a black dress
and a layer of “I’m rock’n my ass off” sweat. Later in the set Kaori chose to jump into the audience and dance with us while still keeping the bass line going and managed to return to the stage safely without missing a note.
Singer guitarist Mika Yoshimura was completely nuts. For most of the set her eyes were obscured by a mess of hair.
The few times when I did get a glimpse
they were rolled far back as if in a demonic trance. Mika’s voice screams and wails
with passion. She attacks the guitar with a tribal fierceness. In the finale Mika jumped
on top of the drum set and held one hand in the air. This could seem silly in the wrong context but in this room the energy was there. The entire audience was won over and responded by throwing their hands up in the air.
Drummer Ryoko Nakano appears to be the center that holds the band together. Her drumming was steady and hard hitting. Keeping the beat going from one song to the next, I think she may have only stopped playing twice in the set. Ryoko was also the spokesperson on stage, thanking the audience while the other two tuned between songs.
The only negative of the night were all the photographers in the front row. They were killing the vibe and blocking the view. Who were those guys? Was this a rock ‘n roll show in a dirty ass Brooklyn bar or an MTV shoot? If they were going to block the front row couldn’t they have at least taken turns or something?
So that’s basically it. Bo-Peep schooled New York City on its own curriculum. They have that NYC rock ‘n roll sound and spirit down more so then 95% of the bands in the New York scene today.
Check Bo-Peep out at bo-peep3.com or myspace.com/bopeepjapan. They have just released their 3rd album Vibe on the British/Japanese, indie label Flight Path Records. It is available on itunes.