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Catching Up
Wednesday, 3rd January

Christmas and new year's came and went - neither were particularly eventful, but they were fun.
I went to the Asahi beer factory a while ago - look at some pics here. Here is a review for the Polysics gig that I should have finished writing ages ago.

Gig Review: Polysics
Thursday, 7th December
Originally published in Batt Off Magazine

Venue: Club Junk Box, Sendai
Time: Monday, 4th December, 7pm

Hitting the stage at a very prompt 7pm, Polysics opened with a blistering set that didn't let up on air-fisting passion or robotic energy for over 2 hours. Lead singer Hiyashi, though quite literally drenched with sweat from about the 5th song onwards, didn't show a sign of tiring throughout the show. Slower numbers, like the melencholic 'Commodoll', (with it's hypnotic refrain, 'what is life - what is it?') allowed slight respite, though, not much really.
Kayo, on synthesizer, remained virtually frozen in place the entire night, with an expression that wouldn't look out of place behind layers of geisha make-up. Obviously this was all part of the aesthetic - as was her duties on vocoder; the sight of a tiny Japanese woman breathing out deep, robotic vocals a charming incongruity. Kudos must also be given for her recorder work on 'I My Me Mine'.


POLYSICS are:
FUMI Bass, Synthesizer, Voice
HAYASHI Guitar, Voice, Programing
KAYO Synthesizer, Vocoder, Voice
YANO Drums
The setlist, full of barely pronouncable titles, was a collection of hits young and old, and allowed a stage show full of frenetic antics - the perpetually grinning Hiyashi had the fingers of at least three people in his mouth during one venture into the crowd, and half way through the show his glasses were literally 'rocked off'.
Despite their current line-up only being together for less than two years, Polysics were tighter than a taiko drum, and as excitable as kids on Christmas. I'm not sure if this boundless energy is the same at every Polysics show, or if this was a one-off for the lucky punters of Club Junk Box Sendai. Either way, I think it is safe to say everybody went home happy chappies.

Fortunately, Polysics were able to strike that essential balance of sounding faithful to the CD yet providing a rougher, 'live' edge. Also entertaining were the audience themselves, who's gesticulations and gutteral exultations were in perfect unison with the band. If the term 'cult' can be attributed to bands, then Polysics are certainly deserving of the title.
Three encores later (the third being Kayo and Fumi taking Polaroids while Hiyashi and Kano hit people with electronic inflatable mallets, hooked up with some drum-machine like amplifiers that exploded in a satisfying 'PICHOW' sound on contact), a spent Polysics, and an almost equally spent audience returned to whence they respectively came. Remarkably, the whole concert ended at a sensible 9:20pm - just in time for the last bus home.
Highly recommended.

Pertinent links:
Offical site: www.polysics.com (English available)
Hiyashi's Blog thing (English, though a bit old)
Recommended Music Videos:
Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto
Black Out Fall Out
I My Me Mine

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Images (most of them anyway) and words Matthew Strain 2006.
Additional translation by Shitagi Dorobo