Shugo Tokumaru followed up his Friday night show at Naeba Shokudo with an appearance at Gypsy Avalon this afternoon.
Having the coolest stage set up of all the smaller acts I've witnessed so far, Tokumaru's drummer played on a miniature children's drum kit, while another musician crouched down and tapped a child's-size combo instrument that included a xylophone, tiny cymbals, and wooden blocks. Too bad a third show wasn't scheduled at Kid's Land to let the countless little tikes milling around the festival grounds try their hands at both! His backing band was rounded out by a female accordionist who also performed shakers, whistle, and variety of other neat little plastic toys that added interesting sounds to his pretty, dreamy folk songs.
Avalon was packed with Japanese people and foreigners for Tokumaru's 45-minute set. Highly praised at home, he's rightfully attracted attention abroad thanks to opening stints for top-rated underground acts such as Animal Collective, DeerHoof, and Iron & Wine. He's released three albums since debuting with 2004's Night Piece and re-created a handful of selections from his most recent effort, last year's Exit (which will come out overseas in early September). All of the tracks went over well with the audience and showed off Tokumaru's strong voice and remarkable ability to turn out a continuous flow of gorgeous, intricate melodies. I've wanted to see Tokumaru live for a long time. I'm glad I finally got the chance to do so.
Photos by Terumi Fukano
Reported by Shawn Despres (2008.07.26 / 22:54)