Japan's sister sweethearts of gypsy/folk accordion music deliver!
Opening the Field of Heaven stage at Fuji Rock this year was none other than Japan’s sister sweethearts of gypsy/folk accordion music, Momo and Koharu Matsunaga, otherwise known as Charan-Po-Rantan. The pair last appeared at Fuji Rock 3 years ago. In between they have upped their game and recruited the talents of all female busker/brass band Cancan Balkan.
The group gave us a preview by playing a set at the pre-party Thursday night. As I had never seen this group live before, but heard good things, I was left satisfied but with a longing for more. This morning’s Field of Heaven set delivered and then some. The two sisters are very comfortable on MC duty, playing up their cuteness and sexuality, while also screaming at the audience and calling them perverts. Momo particularly, playing the role of front-woman, seems to have a lot of fun singing and dancing around in her frilly outfit all while clutching her stuffed pig the whole set through.
While their banter and expertise on the mic is top notch, it is equally matched by their musical skill. Momo displayed her skills in cabaret tradition, taking her vocal range from quietly playful to belting it out full on with a power that surely made its way up the mountains and beyond. Koharu for her part, put on a master class on the accordion, an instrument that rarely gets much love in Japan and abroad.
As I mentioned before, Charan-Po-Rantan now plays together with Cancan Balkan. All together it makes seven young ladies up on stage. The 50 minute timeslot almost wasn’t enough time to let them all shine. But shine they did, everyone was given time to solo and showoff. If that wasn’t enough, to close their set, Sweden’s gypsy punkers, Räfven joined the ladies on stage. They jammed out, soloed and invited the ladies to play with them on their Saturday morning White Stage set. It’s sure to be a good one. If thus far you missed the pure joy, fun and entertainment that is Charan-Po-Rantan, make sure to catch them playing with Räfven tomorrow on the White stage.
Photo by Ryota Mori Text by James Mallion
Posted on 2015.7.24 17:48