Kansai Scene Magazine


Chihiro Yamanaka

Young Japanese Acclaimed Jazz Pianist

Mar 6-7

Billboard Live, Osaka

Described as 'fluent and quick-thinking improviser with a strong touch at the keyboard and a sure rhythmic sense'. A jazz piano fan could quite easily close their eyes and be drawn back in time to the same improvisational skills that crowned the late Bill Evans as the king of this genre.

After first taking up the piano aged just four years old Yamanaka went on to study at both The Royal Academy of Music in London, England and Berkley College of Music in the US and is now based in New York. Winner of HMV's Award for Best Jazz Album in 2004 she also was voted Best New Artist in Japanese jazz publication Swing Journal in 2005.

Since turning professional she has performed with many great jazz musicians including George Benson, Herbie Hancock and fellow pianist George Russell. Russell in fact hailed Chihiro as "a very gifted and imaginative musician".

Touring Japan in 2003 with her Jazz Trio Chihiro drew packed audiences and after a successful European tour with rave reviews at the beginning of this year she returns again to her homeland to thrill audiences with her hypnotic blend of improv-jazz piano.

Time: 6:30pm/9:30pm • Entry: ¥5,000/¥7,000
06-6342-7722 • Jazz Piano

KT Tunstall

Scottish born singer-songwriter

Mar 11

Big Cat, Osaka

Brit Award winner, Grammy nominated singer-songwriter KT Tunstall burst into the public domain after appearing on the popular British television music show Later with Jools Holland.

KT was Born in Edinburgh in 1975 to a half Chinese half Scottish mother and an Irish father, but was adopted eighteen days after birth. She has a smooth and alluring vocal that is harmoniously complimented by her immense songwriting talent. Listen to her new album Drastic Fantastic and you'll find that each track holds a different charm from the commercially catchy single 'Saving My Face' to the Fleetwood Mac-esque 'Funny Man' to the dreamy and laid back 'Someday Soon'.

KT's debut album 'Eye to the Telescope' was released in late 2004 and went on to reach number 3 in the UK album charts as well as being nominated for a 2005 Mercury Music Prize. Drastic Fantastic is KT's second album and like her debut it too reached number 3 in the UK charts.

Japanese fans may or may not be aware that KT Tunstall appeared on the 2006 album Wave by Japanese singer Yuki writing two songs 'Yume Miteitai' and 'Birthday'.

Time: 7pm • Entry: ¥6,500
06-6535-5569 • Folk/Rock

The Pigeon Detectives

UK energetic pop-punk newcomers

Mar 26

3/26 @ Club Quattro, Osaka

Riding high off the back of their debut hit album Wait For Me, UK pop-punk band The Pigeon Detectives make a brief visit to Japan before returning home to kick off an already sold out UK tour.

Formed in 2002, by 2006 they were filling support slots for Dirty Pretty Things and The Kaiser Chiefs. Whilst influences are easily recognizable within their music (The Rolling Stones, The Cure, and The Stooges) they have managed to succeed where many fall short by developing a sound that is their own. A great live band full of passion and energy, vocalist Matt Brown cons- tantly throwing himself around the stage, and tagged 'primeval and appealing' by one critic. The Pigeon Detectives are the latest in a line of impressive bands coming out of the North of England (dubbed the New Yorkshire Scene) in recent years.

Speaking about the band's name drummer Jimmi Naylor said "It came from an Australian guy we met … we were discussing band names and he came up with The Pigeon Detectives. We thought nothing of it, but when it came to our first gig the pro- moter was saying 'What's your name?' we were like, 'Oh, um The Pigeon Detectives.'"

Time: 7pm • Entry: ¥5,500 • 06-6535-5569

Monkey Majik

Canadian/Japanese Quartet

Mar 30

3/30 @ Zepp, Osaka

Named after the song 'Monkey Magic' by seventies J-Rock band Godiego, the band consists of Canadian brothers Maynard and Baise Plant on guitars and vocals (they both sing in Japanese and English), drummer Takuya Kikuchi and DICK on bass.

Guitarist/vocalist Maynard Plant first arrived in Japan just over ten years ago as an English teacher, his brother Blaise joined him soon after in 2000 after performing solo in his native Canada.

In 2002 the band kick-started their musical career in Japan with a self-financed EP titled Tired, this was limited to 1,000 copies and was only available in the Sendai branch of Tower Records.

Commercial success finally came their way in 2006 with the hit single 'Around The World', which was also tied in to a television drama. Musically they seem to be somewhat Jekyll and Hyde for want of a better phrase, in that their Japanese language songs are straight forward commercial J-Pop tunes and the tracks that they sing in English tend to have a little more depth, in some ways resembling a pop Jamiroquai. Whether this is intentional or accidental is something that remains to be discovered.

Time: 5pm • Entry: ¥4,800 • 06-6281-8181 • J-Pop Band

Live Listings March

The Wombats

3/2 @ Club Quattro, Osaka
6pm • ¥4,500 06-6281-8181 • Indie

Crazy Ken Band

3/3 @ Namba Hatch, Osaka
7pm • ¥6,300 06-6882-1224 • J-Pop/Funk

Ian Brown

3/4 @ Big Cat, Osaka
7pm • ¥6,500 06-6535-5569 • Indie

Chihiro Yamanaka Trio

3/6-7 @ Billboard Live, Osaka
6:30pm/9:30pm • ¥5,000/¥7,000
06-6342-7722 • Jazz Piano

Fusanosuke Kondo

3/8 @ Billboard Live, Osaka
6:30pm/9:30pm • ¥5,000/¥7,000
06-6342-7722 • Blues

The Collectors

3/9 @ Taku Taku, Kyoto
5:30pm • ¥4,500
075-351-1321 • J-Band


3/10 @ Namba Hatch,Osaka
7pm • ¥6,300 06-6535-5569 • Rock

KT Tunstall

3/11 @ Big Cat, Osaka
7pm • ¥6,500 06-6535-5569 • Singer/Songwriter

Celine Dion

3/11-12 @ Kyocera Dome, Osaka
7pm • ¥6,000/¥15,000
06-6362-7301 • Vocal

Arch Enemy

3/11 @ Namba Hatch, Osaka
6:30pm • ¥8,000/¥9,000
06-6233-8888 • Death Metal

Manhatten Transfer

3/17-20 @ Billboard Live, Osaka
6.30pm/9:30pm • ¥10,000-¥12,600
06-6342-7722 • Jazz/Chorus Group

Blood Red Shows

3/19 @ Club Quattro, Osaka
7pm • ¥5,000-¥5,500
06-6281-8181 • Rock Duo

Jimmy Eat The World

3/21 @ Namba Hatch, Osaka
7pm • ¥6,000 • 06-6535-5569 • Rock


3/23 @ Taku Taku, Kyoto
5:30pm • ¥4,500
075-351-1321 • J-Rock

Manhatten Jazz Quartet

3/24-25 @ Billboard Live, Osaka
6:30pm/9:30pm • ¥7,000-¥9,000
06-6342-7722 • Jazz

The Pigeon Detectives

3/26 @ Club Quattro, Osaka
7pm • ¥5,500 • 06-6535-5569 • Indie Rock


3/28 @ Taku Taku, Kyoto
7pm • ¥3,000 • 075-351-1321 • J-Rock

Karla Bonoff

3/28-29 @ Billboard Live, Osaka
6:30pm/9:30pm • ¥6,500-¥8,500
06-6342-7722 • AOR

Dinosaur Jr.

3/28 @ Club Quattro, Osaka
7pm • ¥6,800/¥7,300
06-6535-5569 • Rock


3/29 @ Zepp, Osaka
7pm • ¥2,500 • 06-6535-5561 • J-Rock

Monkey Majik

3/30 @ Zepp, Osaka
5pm • ¥4,800 • 06-6233-8888 • J-Rock

John Butler Trio

4/5 @ Club Quattro, Osaka
7pm • ¥6,500 • 06-6535-5569 • Folk/Blues/Rock

Foo Fighters

4/15-16 @ Zepp, Osaka
5pm • ¥8,000 • 06-6535-5569 • Rock

Compiled by Phillip Jackson

:: Online Articles


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A meeting of minds across cultures


My life as an expatriate
Kansai's diverse expats in their own words

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:: profile

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:: Kansai Listings


Up to date cinema listings guide so you always know what's on, where and when!

:: ART

Best exhibitions & listings


Best events & listings


Best gigs & listings


All the hot picks

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:: Food

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Best festivals & listings


New releases & recommendations


Best films & cinema listings


'Tis the season to be poorly

:: travel

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The digital Swiss Army Knife
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:: Food

Gourmet Girl
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