Anamanaguchi - Live at King Tut's REVIEW

Halfway through the opening DJ support for Anamanaguchi, who played at King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent in Glasgow, I wondered if it was really worth enduring a set that sounded like this for two hours to see an hour long set by a primarily electronic band. The last electropop band I saw live were Chrvches, who aside from some pretty lights and nice stage design, were rather underwhelming live. By the end of the gig though, I was so glad that I had stayed in the front row.

Chiptune isn’t a new genre but recently has been gaining more and more fans mostly because of the growing success and popularity of Anamanaguchi. Those artists who classify themselves as chiptune make electronic music of a variety of styles using the sound-chips of old video game consoles. Anamanaguchi’s music for instance is influenced by not only video games but also progressive house, drum and bass, J-Pop and power pop to name but a few of the sounds of their latest double-LP Endless Fantasy.

Although Anamanaguchi started as a garage band trio, they eventually went on to write the soundtracks of several video games, embarked on US and European tours and even appeared at a Korean music festival.

Despite their new-found love for traveling however, the last time they had performed in Scotland was in 2008, so this gig was their first performance in Glasgow in 6 years! This made it one of my most anticipated gigs of all time, as I started getting into their music around that time and finally my wait to see them live would be over.

By the time the DJ had finished the building anticipation could be felt in the room. This was only heightened by members of the band turning up to tune their instruments and check the sound. Then finally the band appeared on stage to play and kicked off into their first song with an explosion of insane drumming patterns, a twin attack of distorted electric guitars and infectious basslines accompanied with a chiptune backing. The stage lights accompanied this with several tubes that showed a blinding display of colors accompanied with two clear cubes that had images projected into them. As a result their performance was an insane sensory experience and the audience were incredibly enthusiastic in response.

The setlist consisted of mostly songs from their latest album but there were a few surprises, including one song from their debut EP which the crowd reacted ecstatically to and also a few new tracks which will hopefully be appearing on an upcoming new album. The surprise of the night for me came from the drummer of the band who showed off insane skills and endurance and brought to life some of the pre-programmed beats on Anamanaguchi’s songs. The rest of the band also put in stellar performances though dashing all of my fears of the songs sounding dull live.

Overall, the gig was incredibly fun and I was not disappointed after waiting 6 years to see them. If they’re ever in town, you won’t regret going!

Patrick Cartlidge

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