Nothing Ever Happens Here have been consistently bringing world class acts from near and far to perform in our vibrant little city for a while now. This concert was no exception. Japanese New Music Festival are a raucous revelry of the absurdity of noisement – charming, engaging, and relentless.

If it makes a noise, they’ll make music. Having bombarded us with high energy prog they collapse as one. Tatsuya Yoshida (Ruins) and Tsuyama Atsushi (Acid Mothers Temple) introduce us to a plethora of their ‘brand new musical instrument.’ They play a jaunty house number on their amplified fly zippers, a snippy techno ditty on a couple of pairs of scissors, an enigmatic traditional piece on the classic egg slicer ensemble, and finally – taking a brief respite to quench their thirst –furnishing them with the found sound for their Jethro Tull pastiche Plastic Bottle (Recycled). 

Japanese New Music Festival are hilarious. There is a relaxed atmosphere and their natural comedy timing is a great soundboard for some serious silliness. This was no deadpan performance; the band never even tried to keep it together. They cracked themselves up along with the audience throughout the evening.

Makoto Kawabata (Acid Mothers Temple) then treated us to some effects heavy loop and bowed guitar, building an intense soundscape and almost absent-mindedly twiddling away on his musical knobs . The infectious humour and great musicianship of Japanese New Music Festival continued to wow and woo the assembled mammalian humanoids.

There followed a beautiful solo set of traditional folk songs from Atsushi sung in Japanese, bringing Tibetan throat singing (overtone singing) into the mix for eerie harmonies throughout. I’m pretty sure there was a version of Both Sides The Tweed in there to boot.

‘We are Japanese New Music Festival’ was the mantra, called out in unison at the start of every piece, and met with whoop, applause, and anticipatory pause. Next up was their re-working of ‘A very famous song’, Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water, in the style of Captain Beefheart… and Bob Dylan. As I’m sure you can imagine, this was a driving maniacal machination and immensely enjoyable. They followed this up with the creepiest version of Immigrant Song I think I’ll ever hear.

Sixty six and a sixth of Japanese New Music Festival announced ‘Tatsuya alone’ and disappeared into the shadows. An epic drum solo, sample triggers set to accompany each hit, chunky riffs and beefy bass built to an epic aural onslaught. They returned for some seriously satisfying shoegaze prog with driving rhythms and tenacious modal madness. These guys were fantastic; a great line up of accomplished multi instrumentalists. If they come to a venue near you, and you like things that come to venues near you, I would highly recommend these creatures.

They finished us off with an a cappella assault, all ataxia abandon and alacrity. They then marched around the audience sporting tables, drums, and objects of indescribable origins as headgear serenading us with their swansong: ‘CD’s Ten Pounds’ (studio version unavailable at present). This show made my face hurt. Thank you Summerhall, thank you Nothing Ever Happens Here. {And goodnight…}

For more on Nothing Ever Happens Here and Summerhall’s programme click here.