Post Tsunami Tokyo Decadance

Originally, my Tokyo dates coincided with Japan Fashion Week, but meant I missed out on Tokyo Decadance. However, due to the tragedy on March 11, Adrien rescheduled (whilst having some R & R in Thailand) – meaning I got to go!

The first part of my evening involved me going to see one of my fave Japanese paddy punk bands, the Cherry Cokes (who I’ve written about before here and here). I’ll save them for another post all their own :)

Home from Shimokita after the gig, I changed and got ready for Midnight Mess – also the first after the earthquake and tsunami.

Well, I expected it to be a little quiet and I was right.   BUT the faithful few, both Japanese and western residents, gathered for their first time to party after 2 weeks of mourning and gloom.  How good it was to catch up with old friends like Tara (see below), Kenny, Maya of course, and meet some new people too, like Lily. It was like old times listening to Selia of Seileen sing…

 

But, I had other old friends to see, and the splendour that is Tokyo Decadance to experience for 2011, so off I went to the Christon Cafe, swapping my D Squared skeleton heel shoes for flats for the 10 minute walk through Kabukicho.

Tokyo Decadance

The theme for this TD was white and yellow (white for White Day that it was originally scheduled to celebrate; yellow for giving or charity). This meant you were supposed to dress in white or yellow :/

Easier said than done for those of us of the gothic persuasion! Although I did have that fluoro yellow/green belt, I opted for my favourite white corset with the ribcage on the front, and white tights, hoping this would earn me some discount off the price. It did.

But I tell you, if I wasn’t dressed to the nines as I usually try to for Tokyo Decadance, the other party goers went all out as they always do. I was staggered yet again, at their ingenuity and creativity.  Whether just amazing make-up & outfits, or actual costumes, everywhere you looked, people looked fantastic – in the truest sense of the word!

There were these three, for example, in some kind of cyber-militia space suits:

When I first walked in, I had barely scanned the entrance when I got leapt on and given a big bear hug by a guy with an eyeball hanging off his face – yes, Ryo, of Sexpot Revenge fame! Here we are below left, and right is us last year at the White Decadance (see more at my post here).

 

OK, so yes, I used to dress up quite a bit more…this time I don’t even have a wig on or fake hair attached to my head! But having come from a punk gig and with little time to change much, it just had to do :)

One old friend down, and a few to go! Next up was Suzanne and Jab – but doh! Suze had just left to go looking for me at Midnight Mess! But before long, we were reunited, and photos were had.

Soon we were joined by the swoonalicious Kenny, also clad in white like the others:

And let’s just see those shoes of mine that I wore, shall we?

I stayed until almost the end, but headed off just before as I had to get some shopping done the next day before heading to the 13th Moon gig. Hey, it was  after 5am!!

I should really have got lots more photos – including some of Jab who took all these ones, and Kenzo, Coco, Adrien, Kengo and all the familiar Decadance bods. But I really just went to enjoy myself and catch up with friends, chatting with them about how it was for them the day of the quake and since, hearing their stories. That I achieved in spades.

Sometimes for me, just being a person takes precedence over finding content for the blog. If I happen to get a few good pics on the way, fine, but be sure, I’ll always have had a good time, and have given my friends my time and attention. So yah, I ended up pretty cheery, and with a few pics that were too blurry to post, and video that wasn’t really useable. Hey ho – maybe next time!

Coming up soon – Cherry Cokes, Haggis and 13th Moon gigs.

Midnight Mess, March 2010

Since I waffled on with my Kabukicho story last time, I thought I might just let the pics speak mostly for themselves.

After the hairdresser visit I gothed myself up for Midnight Mess, a club held monthly in the Shinjuku Marz.

Details:
Mini-bowler hat on headband – Closet Child, Japan
Striped jacket – Cue
Claw Collar – Surgeon-X
Studded bar top – Juliet in Stilettos
Corset – Gallery Serpentine
Striped high-waisted skirt – Peace Now, Japan
Faux-fur scarf – somewhere in Sydney
Lashes – Takuya Angel lashes
Angelic Lenses – Clearly Contacts

I’d not even got in the door when I spotted the lovely Yukiro
Soon after I ran into Jab and Suzanne, 2 funny and lovely people from Ireland who I’d met at Walpurgis the previous week. Of course he turned out to be best mates with an irish friend of mine in Sydney – small world. Spooky sclera lenses!
Akie
Fuschia and Hurley from the band Bella Lune likewise were really awesome people I’d met at Club Walpurgis, who were great to talk to.
They are originally from Arizona, as is Emery.
And there was the usual array of peeps who’d dressed up and made themselves up in spectacular fashion. This is Kenzo B – not his real name, but he always hangs with Kenzo A, the fashion designer I posted about a few weeks ago. I also snapped him in my Tokyo Decadance pics – he always looks spooky and cool :)
John, aka Count de Sang with a lovely lady.
G-sus is another new friend from this time around.
A cute lolita, whose name totally escapes me.
There were quite a few performances, though I missed a few by rocking up after midnight. But for me, it was all about chatting to people, and the occasional dance. Yes, things got messy,
as they always do.
I also met Sara Hochuli from Plastikhaar, on her 4th visit to Japan, co-incidently the same as me. Sara is a fake hair genius and has been a hair hero of mine for years. As I said to her, I have 2 Plastikhaar wigs, including the red one with the leopard print you’ll have seen me wear on this blog. (See her fab styled wigs here, and unstyled wigs here).  Alas, I didn’t get a picture with her, or Sisen. But I’ll be back; there’ll always be other times.

There’s more Tokyo gigging coming up, so do check back :)

More upcoming Tokyo punk & goth gigs. My great big Tokyo itinerary – clubs and bands galore.

So I’m off to Tokyo again in a month - woohoo!

Last year I went for 3 weeks and had the BEST time (see my post on the Wild Rover punk festival here and Tokyo clubs here).   But onto this upcoming trip.  As usual music and clubs form the skeleton of my itinerary, with fashion, friends and sightseeing all fleshing it out, as it were. This time it’s just over 2 weeks, from ~12th to 28th March.

 So this is how my dancecard is looking (actually it looks like a lot of club posters).

13/3  King of Evil 13 gig (and possibly Decadance?)

Starring:
 Baal (I’ll be doing a post shortly on this band, who are great people to boot), Auto-Mod – of Tokyo Dark Castle fame, P.I.M.P and Destruct System, as well as DJ’s Raveman (from Aural Vampire, also here), and nAo12xu (from 13th Moon -  on whom I did a post earlier)

Unfortunately I won’t be there for March 6th, but for those who are, remember the next Tokyo Dark Castle:

14/3 Theatic Alamode Sunday 4.30 – 10pm

With the usual  array of bands, performers, dancers, DJ’s, it is also the Alamode Magazine Vol.06 Release Party.

So I’ll be picking up the new Alamode Magazine. The previous one looks like this (with friends GPKism on the cover):

20/3 Club Walpurgis

This isn’t a Visual Kei type gothic club in the way the others are, but is definitely one that plays alternative music, probably much closer to what I hear in clubs at home. It began in Shinjuku in 1983! So it’s pretty bleeding authentic.

Every Saturday was UK Alternative Positive Punk Nite.
Every Sunday was UK Alternative Hyper Kitsch Nite.
Every Wednesday was Psychedelic Nite.

 

The resident DJ’s and what they play: 
  • Zinny Aerodinamica (GOTHIC/UK/US/GERMAN PUNK, THROBBIING ELECTRO, DARK FRENCH WAVE, BATCAVE & More/a.k.a.ZIN:Vocalist of ZEUS MACHINA, ROMEO MIRROR, Madame Edwarda)
    (Mixture of Gothic & 80′s Dark Pop & Underground Negative/Positive Punk, GLAM)
  • Sato M. (WAVE, POSTPUNK & More/Ex: UK Edison, Paranoia Night)
  • Naoto (BATCAVE, DEATHROCK, INDUSTRIAL, GLAM & More)
  • TAIZO (GOTHIC/GOTH, COLDWAVE, FOLKLORE & More)
  • NARIKI (POST PUNK, 80′s Goth ) Ex: Phaidia, Coma, Mephisto Walz: a Christian Death side project

This will be a first for me, and I can’t wait!

22/3  Wild Rover - Monday from 3pm

Paddy Punk, here I come! See my earlier post on the Wild Rover festival.

26/3  Gothic Bar Heaven – Friday night midnight til 5am.

I don’t think I’ve been to this club before either, but it’s run by D’s Valentine, who also runs Alamode.

27/3 Midnight Mess - Saturday night midnight til 5am.

Maya and the MM crew are fantastic, and I know I’ll have a fab time.

On top of that, Japan Fashion Week is 22-28 (not that I can attend – could I crash something?), and Hanami should happen around then as well.

The last Sunday I was there last year saw a HUGE number of Hanami parties/picnics happening all over, and especially in Yoyogi Park.  Sisen invited me to the Decadance Hanami party last year, but when I arrived I was too late, and he and Takuya were going back to the shop, and Adrien was filming his big dolls for the next event. Next time, gadget!

I’ll fly out Sunday night the 28th, very tired from all the clubbing, probably hungover, and definitely with too many clothes and boots stuffed in my bag!

Do you know of anything on in that time that I should get myself to? Anything you’d particularly like to see pictures of ? Let me know, and I’ll pencil it in :)

Tokyo Decadance and Midnight Mess

My final night in Tokyo did not disappoint.

I knew that it was Tokyo Decadance‘s 4th anniversary as well as being Halloween. I duly spent hours getting ready; blending the make-up, putting on the fake lashes both top and bottom, and adding other accents. Then the issue was deciding what to wear out of the numerous options I’d packed. I was interrupted by a short delightful visit from U-tarou and Miki (from the band Baal) who’d come to say goodbye to me – awww!!!

I met up with 3 Aussie girlfriends and we headed to Tokyo Decadance around midnight. There was already a long queue of assorted night creatures, decked out in huge pouffy wigs, short skimpy jumpsuits, lolita gear, scars and blood spattering, huge platform boots, masks, uniforms…even a penguin!

I was gagging for a beer, and the wait seemed interminable. I realised that only so many people can go up in the lift at one time – and the Christon Cafe is on the 8th floor! A spunky chick in barely-there turquoise shorts lessened the pain of the waiting hordes. Later it became apparent that there were more surprises in store, that would also take time.

We finally got into the lift. The doors opened and…. we promptly joined another queue. Man, this was getting to be a drag, but I knew the wait would be worth it. Finally our turn came and a few of us were ushered through the door…to darkness.

“Why did I go first?”, I asked myself, as I saw cobwebs and surgery tables in the darkness. The hairs on the back of my neck began to prickle.

LOOK RIGHT! It’s a Japanese ghost girl with long flowing hair hanging mid-air. Then – LOOK LEFT! A personage with a huge Skull loomed ahead. Screams ensued. Well, mostly mock ones to aid the atmosphere…but it WAS a bit scary, and by now I was having fun.

When I finally made it to the entrance, I found myself at the top of a wide staircase, from which I could survey the opulent grandeur of the room below. High ceilings were topped by an enormous chandelier, crosses hung everywhere, niches in the walls held statues of saints; it was like an Orthodox or Catholic Cathedral. And it was PACKED! See for yourself:


It was truly impressive to see how much effort people had gone to with their appearance. There I was, thinking I’d done OK , feeling like a peacock…I was but a sparrow compared to these veteran Tokyo decadent freaks. They really know how to take their appearance to the nth degree. Some were beautiful, some grotesque, others funny.

My lashes (bottom and on cheeks) were purchased that day from Takuya Angel in Harajuku. The top purple lashes are from Shu Uemura. The mask on my top hat is from In Visible Light in Sydney. The top hat itself is from Village Hat Shop. The Victorian collar/manteau is from no:wear fashion from Camden in the UK. I’m wearing green Rave lenses that glow in blacklight. They’re from Clearly Contacts.

My friend Briony always looks fantastic, with lashes and lenses and fab make-up.
Lashtastic!


Yukiro and Jim looking alarmed (or is that alarming?)


Yukiro and I both dig the blue-and-green-mixed-together fashion aesthetic, obviously.

My reflective gauntlets are from Melbourne Gothic label Vicious Venus.
My turquoise sparkly corset with reflective trim is from Sydney Gothic label Gallery Serpentine.

Naohiro from 13th Moon with another deathrock friend.

(Is that hawk held up with glue, or are you just happy to see me?)
 Yes. She IS sucking on a penis lolly.

Impressive mask. Either that, or he was burned in a fire.
.Um…Pretty in Pink?

More pictures will come to hand as people who attended the event post them. An online blog friend who I totally failed to meet up with at TD, did a great write-up here. Valerie is a photographer – so naturally, her pictures are WAAAYY better than mine. Another great post is by Samurai Dave aka Roving Ronin here.

I really enjoyed Rolly – give me glam and I’m always happy!! He sang Rocky Horror stuff and looked and sounded Bowie-esque. But lawdy, I had no idea he was 46!! I thought I looked good for my age! I got NOTHIN on him. A bit of research indicates his full name is Rolly Teranishi, and in addition to being in bands and having his own TV show, he played Genesis in Suicide Club (a really intriguing film if you haven’t yet checked it out).

I didn’t mind the DJ but the music wasn’t really hard enough for me. Pity I’d missed Sisen‘s set earlier! The crowd also made it hard to get around, see people, and get to the bar!

By 3.30 I decided I’d better get to Midnight Mess , and was immediately rewarded with warmth and recognition from people I’d met last time. MM didn’t have the glitz and glam of TD, but it sure had heart. It didn’t have amazing robots, but it played cool music (like Joy Division and Siouxsie.) There weren’t that many people there, but those who were, were really friendly. It was a goth club as opposed to a dance club.

I was originally intending just to drop in and then head back to TD, but I got caught up in the fancy dress contest, and then in talking to people, like Aki here:


The pic was kindly taken by photographer Kousuke who remembered me from last time, and told me to look on his website. Lo and behold, there I am in the Goth section.

I also ran into Jim (who’d come from TD), Takuya (who recognised me from the lashes), Maya (of course – she runs the club!), Count De Sang, a few new friends, and last of all, Sisen! He appeared at the very end, having scampered from TD.

When I finally looked at the time it was 6.23am – no point going back to Decadance now, with my hotel only a few minutes walk away. So I bade everyone goodbye, and toddled home in my platform boots. Both clubs had been really engaging and enjoyable in different ways, and I was only sorry that I didn’t have another weekend to meet up with some of these fab people again.

Oh well, next year!

Tokyo Decadance Halloween 09 and Midnight Mess

I’m going back to Tokyo on a whim too.

I knew I had a week free in my work schedule if I swapped a shift around. It was when I heard that Tokyo Decadance was having its Halloween Party on the 24th, in Shinjuku, that I knew I had to go.


I LOVE the goth clubs in Tokyo. On my first visit I went to Alamode Night, on my second I went to Alamode, Midnight Mess and Tokyo Dark Castle. But I’ve never been to Decadance!!

While DJ Sisen is more widely known as the face of Tokyo Decadance, Adrien is actually the creator of the club. And I have to say, I was expecting him to be really effeminate based on the pictures I’ve seen, but in real life, the man is GORGEOUS!! I mean, in the “hunka-hunka-burnin-love” category of man. But I digress.

As Adrien says, “Tokyo Decadance is an unforgettable party where various arts, fashion tribes and music styles are mixed. You can easily meet colourful people, dark performers, gogo dancers, fetish, gothic, cyber, punk, funny people as well as gothic and lolitas, cosplay, visual kei fans, drag queens, gyaru…” And it’s now so successful that it tours throughout Europe.
Midnight Mess is on the same night, but as it’s also in Shinjuku, I can go to both! Wheee!!!


Honestly, just about THE best guide you will ever read in English on the club scene there is by La Carmina, here. Check out her blog with all the different tags, cos there’s a wealth of information there.

Here is my account of my first Alamode night.

What I love about the clubs I’ve been to is the theatricality. Firstly, there’s the numbers of people who make a huge effort to dress up in exquisite costumes, wigs and make-up. Many of the people you see in the pages of the Gothic Lolita book attend or are involved.

Then there are the performances at each club: bands, fashion shows, mime, and even rope suspension at MM! So there’s always something to see. I can heartily recommend a visit to one of these clubs; just wear black or alternatively, mega-bright colours to be assured of entrance (no jeans, t-shirts and trainers, orright?)

I’ll write more on the specific clubs I’ve been to, with pics of the gorgeous performers and attendees, but I just had to gloat a little. And hopefully pique your interest so that you check ‘em out too!