red eye, blue sky

11Sep10

From a review of the Modified Toy Orchestra’s Town Hall gig by Stephen Dalton in The Times;

Highly enjoyable…part of the MTO’s appeal lies in their evocation of half-buried childhood memories, but there was no whimsical naivety about this sophisticated show, which included boomingly cinematic eco-anthems and ghostly robotic symphonies. Toy instruments are nothing new in pop. The difference with the MTO is that these tiny joy machines are the core of their creative process and are mostly used to playful and idiosyncratic effect…

I took great delight in reading this as I boarded the flight for Tokyo. Twenty four hours later the advance party from Stan’s Cafe (Jake, Jack, Charlotte and myself) have been bedazzled by the bright lights, futuristic intersections and teeming mass of hip youth in the Shibuya district. Thankfully, our on-the-ground local guide (and soon-to-be rice-worker) Atsushi led us like lambs through this wonderland of illuminated shops and bars. Our first official engagement – a site visit – is tomorrow evening, so we have a day to adjust to the 8-hour time difference, though I suspect the red-eye may not have been completely removed by then.

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