Photo by Yusuke Kitamura
Making friends with the local wildlife
“We were a bit nervous before playing the Green Stage,” says Wanima frontman Kenta towards the end of their first appearance at the festival. Playing to huge crowds is nothing new to the group, who formed in 2007 and have in recent years played at Punkspring and SiM’s Deadpop festival, but if the show was daunting perhaps the only sign of it was Kenta’s over enthusiastic name dropping of Pizza of Death records throughout the show.
Wanima worked the crowd up with humorous little musical ditties to get the crowd jumping before any proper song had started. The band deal in a mixture of pop punk which occasionally takes a turn towards ska, something along the lines of Offspring but recognizably the brand of punk that Japanese bands do so well. Wanima are a little different however, if only for the infectiously good mood they seem to permanently exist in. With all three members of the band grinning like Cheshire cats throughout the set, it is easy to see why the band attracted such an excitable crowd so early in the morning. The songs are catchy and have great sing-a-long moments, with enough breakdowns to give the audience a chance to mosh about and crowd surf.
With plenty of breaks to chat to the audience, comment on their recent appearance in a deodorant commercial, and even point out the wayward cricket that had found its way onto Kenta’s leg, Wanima not only won over the crowd with their music but also set the day up perfectly with their massive stage presence.