Japanese Punk Rock Bands You Need To See Live

Musicians who’ve toured Japan recommend the best live punk rock bands they saw over there: this a one-stop list of Japanese punk recommendations you need to check out.

Article by Sarah Williams. Cover photo: Shames taken by Cold Front Photography.

We’ve made a playlist of all the bands featured in this article – listen on Spotify.

For UK bands, touring Japan is the Holy Grail of punk rock. Success in DIY music cannot be quantified by financial gains or commercial exposure, but it can be measured by how far you’ve travelled to share your music with excited fans.

With the assistance of dedicated organisations like RNR Tours, increasingly more UK and European bands are playing Japan. We’ve covered them in Tree’s Fair Do’s tour diary and Tom West’s Japan Tour Survival Guide. Although many tours have been cancelled recently as a result of COVID-19, PMX made it over just before the global travel restrictions.

As more UK and European bands are receiving attention from Japanese crowds, we thought it time to reciprocate and give column space to the Japanese bands making waves over here. No doubt a knock-on effect from Anarchistic Undertones promoter Ian ‘Tree’ Robinson’s trip to Tokyo with Fair Do’s last year, Manchester Punk Festival this year had booked four incredible Japanese gems: SHAMES, Stone Leek, Green Eyed Monster and Gibberish (who have one Japanese member). Although MPF’s fallen foul of the Corona catastrophe, there’s no doubt that the same bands will be invited again for a future event. Beyond these, there is a whole culture of uptempo, angry, exciting bands that many of us are yet to discover.

I asked UK artists who’ve toured Japan to recommend their favourite acts, to give you an trustworthy overview of what Japanese punk rock has to offer. Continue reading “Japanese Punk Rock Bands You Need To See Live”