Kansai Scene Magazine


Japan Blues Carnival: Koko Taylor and Lurrie Bell

Legendary Chicago blues musicians

July 18

Namba Hatch, Osaka

Koko Taylor

Seventy-two year old, Grammy nominated blues singer Koko Taylor is popularly known as the Queen of the Blues. Her vocal style is rough and powerful, true to her Chicago roots.

She began singing the Chicago blues circuit in the 50s playing nume- rous small clubs. In1962 she was spotted by the legendary bluesman Willie Dixon and signed to the famous Chess Record label.

Whereas her early career seemed to flow along smoothly, her later years have been full of ups and downs. In 1989 she suffered a near fatal car crash but once back on her feet she ventured into the world of movies appearing in Blues Brothers 2000 and David Lynch’s Wild at Heart among others

Koko is still resident in Chicago and can boast that she still manages around 100 live shows a year.

Lurrie Bell

Son of Blues Harmonicist Carey Bell (famous for playing with Muddy Waters) Lurrie Bell first started playing the guitar aged just 6 years old. Due to the circle of friends that his father kept, many great names were frequent visitors to his home, which no doubt influenced him to follow his father footsteps in to a musical career.

By the age of 17 Lurrie was already sharing the stage with Willie Dixon and quickly became known for his adaptability to blues styles.

Lurrie Bell and Koko Taylor first toured together in 1977 before Lurrie went on to form a band with Willie Dixon’s son Freddie.

What Bell is known for is that as that though the blues has changed over the years and many musicians have opted for a more rock style he has stuck to its traditional roots.

Time: 7pm • Entry: ¥6,800
Tel: 06-6362-7301 • Genre: Chicago Blues

Sonata Arctica

Finnish power metallers

July 20

Namba Hatch, Osaka

Originally formed in 1996 as a hard rock outfit called Tricky Beans Sonata Arctica, the current sound falls more comfortably in to the power metal genre. Just one year after inception the band changed their name to Tricky Means and began adding more emphasis to keyboard melodies and high pitch vocals (this change of style came about after the band were influenced by fellow Finnish band Stratovarious who are quite regular visitors to Japan).

Their first ‘real metal’ demo was recorded in 1999, a recording contract quickly came along and the band then changed name again to Sonata Arctica.

In 2004 the band was lucky enough to be offered the opening slot on Iron Maiden’s Japanese tour so many Japanese metal fans will already be well acquainted with the band. The latest album Unia was released in spring of this year and Japanese fans will be the first to hear the tracks played live outside Finland. Unfortunately though, the band have had to recruit a replacement guitarist as regular strummer Jani Limataine has to been drafted to do his national service which is still compulsory in Finland.

Time: 7pm • Entry: ¥6,500
Tel: 06-6344-3326 • Genre: Power Metal

The Soft Machine Jazz Rock Super Group

Seventies jazz prog- rock fusion reunion

July 23

Big Cat, Osaka

John Etheridge: Jazz fusion guitarist John Etheridge, who was born in London in 1948, started out as a prime figure in the Canterbury Scene, the name given to the group of progressive rock, avante garde and jazz musicians based around the city of Canterbury during the late 60s and early 70s.
Etheridge first picked up the guitar aged 13 and eventually went on to find fame with the Soft Machine in the 70s. In 1999 he quite surprisingly formed a Frank Zappa tribute band called the Zappatistas, and, as well as reforming the Soft Mach- ine every now again under various similar band names, he has recently been touring in a duo with guitar legend John Williams.

John Stanley Marshal: Marshal was born in wartime London in 1941 and was a founder member of British jazz/ rock group Nucleus in 1969. The band continued in various forms up until 1985, and then did a one-off gig in 2005. Marshal started playing the drums whilst at school, playing with some friends who were interested in New Orleans jazz. Marshal wasn’t particularly taken with this style of jazz but it did at least serve in getting him to take the stool and pick up the sticks. Marshal’s first professional gig was with the jazz great Alexis Korner in the early 60s and later went on to be a member of the Soft Machine with John Etheridge.

Hugh Hopper: Another Canterbury Scene musician born in the mid 40s, Hopper started gigging in his late teens with a band called The Wild Flowers and then with the Daevid Allen Trio. Hopper also recorded with late Pink Floyd guitarist front man Syd Barrett. His first project under his own name was released in 1972 and was titled 1984 after the George Orwell novel. The album was quite a non-commercial offering, full of lengthy solos and tape loops.

Theo Travis: Sixties-born Theo Travis received a degree from the University of Manchester in saxophone and flute. His 1994 album View from the Edge was voted best British jazz CD and in 1996 his performance at the Glasgow International Jazz Festival won him the Scotrail Award for Outstanding Concert as Voted by the Audience.
Signed to 33 Records, his third album release featured the guitar playing of John Etheridge and in 2006 he replaced the late reeds man Elton Dean in the Soft Machine. Incidentally, Travis has been acknowledged by author Nicholas Royce as an inspiration to his novel Saxophone Dreams.

Time: 7.30pm • Entry: ¥7,500/¥8,000
Tel: 06-6535-5569 • Genre: Jazz Rock Fusion

Live Listings June


7/3 @ Namba Hatch, Osaka
7pm • ¥5,500 Tel: 06-6233-8888 • J-Hip Hop

Jia Peng Fang

7/4 @ Blue Note, Osaka
6.30pm/9.30pm • ¥5,000/¥7,000
Tel: 06-6342-7722 • World Music

Fried Pride

7/5-7 @ Blue Note, Osaka
6.30pm/9.30pm • ¥5,000/¥7,000
Tel: 06-6342-7722 • Acoustic Guitar Duo

Bennie K

7/7 @ Zepp, Osaka
6.30pm • ¥5,500 Tel: 06-6341-3525 • J-Urban Female Duo


7/7-11 @ Osaka Jo Hall, Osaka
6pm • ¥7,800 Tel: 06-6357-8500 • J-Pop


7/13 @ Namba Hatch, Osaka
7pm • ¥4,700/¥5,200
Tel: 06-6341-3525 • Rock

The Good-Bye

7/14 @ Zepp, Osaka
6pm • ¥5,500 Tel: 06-6357-4400 • Rock

Hekiru Shiina

7/16 @ Zepp, Osaka
5.30pm • ¥5,000 Tel: 06-6233-8888 • Seiyu & J-Pop

Zazen Boys

7/17 @ Club Quattro, Osaka
7pm • ¥3,300 Tel: 06-6341-3326 • J-Pop/Rock

Makoto Ozone Big Band with Kimiko Ito

7/17-19 @ Blue Note, Osaka
6.30p/9.30pm • ¥6,400/¥8,400
Tel: 06-6342-7722 • Big Band Jazz

Japan Blues Carnival: Koko Taylor & Lurrie Bell

7/18 @ Namba Hatch, Osaka
7pm • ¥6,800 Tel: 06-6362-7301 • Chicago Blues

Ryota Komatsu

7/20-21 @ Blue Note, Osaka
6.30pm/9.30pm ¥6,000/¥8,000
Tel: 06-6342-7722 • World/Bandoneon

The Neatbeats 10th Anniversary Tour

7/20 @ Club Quattro, Osaka
7.30pm • ¥2,500/¥3,000
Tel: 03-3470-9999 • J-Rock Pop

Sonata Arctica

7/20 @ Namba Hatch, Osaka
7pm • ¥6,500 Tel: 06-6344-3326 • Metal


7/21 @ Club Quattro, Osaka
7pm • ¥6,300 Tel: 06-6344-3326 • Asian Rock

Monday Michiru

7/23-24 @ Blue Note, Osaka
6.30pm/9.30pm • ¥5,000/¥7,000
Tel: 06-6342-7722 • Acid Club Jazz

The Soft Machine Jazz Rock Fusion

7/23 @ Big Cat, Osaka
7.30pm • ¥7,500/¥8,000
Tel: 06-6535-5569 • Jazz Fusion Rock

Stranger Cole

7/26 @ Club Quattro, Osaka
7pm • ¥3,500/¥4,500
Tel: 03-3477-8750 • Reggae

The Fuji Rock Festival

7/27: The Cure/Muse/Kings of Leon/Jarvis Cocker
7/28: Beastie Boys/Iggy & The Stooges/Kula Shaker
7/29: Chemical Brothers/Joss Stone

3 Days ¥39,800 • 1 Day ¥16,000

Adriana Evans

7/28 @ Blue Note, Osaka
6.30pm/9.30pm • ¥6,400/¥8,400
Tel: 06-6342-7722 • R&B


8/1-2 @ Blue Note, Osaka
6.30pm/9.30pm • ¥5,000/¥7,000
Tel: 06-6342-7722 • Jazz Vocal

Sadao Watanabe/Blue Note Final Closing Down Show

8/3 @ Blue Note, Osaka
6.30pm/9.30pm • ¥7,500/¥9,500
Tel: 06-6342-7722 • Saxophone

Compiled by Phillip Jackson

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