JAPANESE VOYEURS LIVE REVIEW: Bristol Academy 25th February 2011

This was a strange gig, the only gig I have been to where the crowd is less animated and smaller in number at the end of the gig than at the beginning! It just goes to show the interest in the Japanese Voyeurs at the moment and the anticipation of their new album.

This gig was in the small room upstairs of the Academy with a capacity of about 350.  The show started early due to the curfew in operation to clear everyone out in time for the nightclub.  I still can’t get used to these “curfew” nights at the Academy and Thekla, where the bands come on so so early it is hard to have time to have a beer before they launch into their final songs.  Hey ho.

The Japanese Voyeurs are Romily Alice (vocals, guitar), Tom Lamb (bass), Johnny Seymour (guitar), Rich Waldren (keyboards), Steve Wilson (drums), from London.  Some regard them as a grunge outfit, but they appear to have a little more in their locker than a simple label like this.

The Japanese Voyeurs came on stage about 7:30pm, the place was about three quarters full, the atmosphere was good and Big Jeff had his place at the front of the crowd, ready to go.

They came on stage with the explosion of their guitars and quickly they were animated enough to do some head banging in unison, perhaps we should have this instead of synchronised swimming at the Olympics, it would suit me!

The set quickly moved on with some favourites like ‘Milk Teeth’, ‘Dumb’ and ‘That Love Sound’. Romily has had some problems with her voice recently, with a few cancelled dates, but you would not have guessed it tonight.  Her voice, some would regard a shriek! was in fine fettle and sounded great.  As did the band as a whole.  The crowd was enthusiastic, the saddest part of the evening was the extremely short set.  No sooner had they got into their stride when they had to leave the stage.

Their sound is awesome and powerful yet the strength of their song writing shines through and I can’t wait for their debut album.

Next up were Dinosaur Pile Up.

The crowd were very enthusiastic and the mosh pit was well and truly banging when they came on.  They are supposed to be an indie/grunge/rock band and they originate from Leeds, England, yet they sound like a far more American tub thumping rock band.  Plenty of fists punching the air and a lot of fun.

By the time the third band came on, the XCerts, the place was half empty.

The crowd was still enthusiastic, but it was a lot less of a tub thumping rock experience.  They were not so impressive.

By far the best band of the night was the Japanese Voyeurs, they have something about them that sets them apart from the crowd. I can’t wait for their album, expected in March.




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