Sunny Side Up-beat Ska
I have a few theories about Kemuri. One is that singer Fumio Ito is some kind of beneficent psychic vampire who feeds off of good vibes, as evidenced when you see him hold out his hand to the crowd while singing as though he could tangibly grasp that energy and snaffle it away in a pocket for later. My other theory about the ska legends is that there should be some sort of prescription for them – whenever you’re feeling a bit down in the dumps, there’s nothing like the infectious sensation of being surrounded by other people having a great time to great music to make you feel better. On second thoughts, that last idea could also be someone’s idea of hell and warrant more of a punch in the teeth than a smile.
Kemuri’s brand of ska is irrepressibly up beat and that’s why the Fuji Rock crowd loves them so much. In my notes for the show, I wrote down PDA instead of PMA (Kemuri’s short-hand for Positive Mental Attitude), but I think that slip up was actually more accurate as there was very much a sense of affectionate good feeling between the crowd and the band.
All this comes from the music, of course. “New Generation” had everyone wailing along to the sing-along sections, and working up a joyful sweat two-stepping in the sunshine. Other songs like “Ozora” had a rockier edge to them, and there was even a bit of down-tempo dub adding a groovier cool-down mid-way through the set.
“Fuji Rock is great whether it rains or shines,” Fumio addressed the crowd before starting the next song, “but I think you guys prefer the sunshine, eh?” He then instigated a massive, whole-crowd circle pit embracing the sound tent and far out into the depths of the White Stage boondocks while the band covered a Less Than Jake number. He then ordered everyone to speed things up and do it again for the Kemuri number that followed. While they all ran about the place, Fumio looked out over the crowd with a look on his face like it was the best thing he had ever seen.
The band finished off with “Sunny Side Up” a silly, cheerful song which demands much dancing and waving of hands, and which also required the participation of people from back-stage to partake in an ska-style choo-choo-train. It was impossible to walk away from that without a smile plastered across your face.
Kemuri – uplifting therapy for your jaded festival soul.
Photo by JulenPhoto / Text by Laura Cooper
Posted on 2015.7.25 19:09
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Ryuhei Koike+ Emerson Kitamura+Takashi Numazawa
Posted on 2015.7.30 11:23