The Man brings the heat to the Shokudo!
The Man was back at Fuji Rock and Ready to bring its brand of Ska, Rockabilly and Rock to the tiny Naeba Shokudo stage. The Man is led by Sax player Tatsuyuki Hiyamuta. Cold Muta Ryuno as he is known by was a former member of famed Japanese Ska group, Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra. In 2012 he decided to break out on his own and along with seven of the best ska rockers he could find, formed the The Man.
The Man opened the White stage last year, but I think they are better suited to a smaller stage like here at the Shokudo, where they can have a more intimate interaction with their audience. While there are similarities to other Ska bands like the obvious comparison to TSPA, there are subtle differences that make The Man shine. For example, TSPA is known for wearing fancy suits or tuxedos and having a classy image, whereas The Man has their members wearing leather jackets and slick backed hair, harking back to the greaser look of the fifties. Their sound also is not as polished, it’s more rockabilly, and rough around the edges.
So, how did they do closing down the Naeba Shoku stage on Saturday night? Simply put, they had the place jumping for the entirety of their 40 minute set. Some highlights were band leader Muta Ryuno going off on sax, then jumping on the mic to get the crowd shouting and screaming along with the heavy ska rhythms. Kazuteru Nakamura on Guitar was also a standout, as he dropped blistering solos and gave the band their classic rock and roll edge. He showed particular virtuosity on their ska take of “Miserlou”. Keita Aoki also drove the small crowd into a frenzy as he jumped down among the audience and went wild on his Tenor mere inches from the fans.
Overall, this is a ska band that doesn’t quite have the history and fame of some of the other big ska bands in Japan like TSPA or the Ska Flames, but they sure have the talent. Give them a few more years and another original album or two and we’ll have no trouble mentioning The Man among the Japanese ska greats.
Photo by JulenPhoto Text by James Mallion
Posted on 2015.7.26 01:19