I first heard of Otoboke Beaver when they opened for Shōnen Knife a few years ago during a tour. A couple of things caught my eye/ears – a band dressed in what looked like short cheongsams[1] fronted by the sultry Accorinrin belting out loud punk/noise rock. I was supposed to then catch them in Nottingham on their own headlining tour but that plan fell through. So, when I saw that they were supporting their current record, Itekoma Hits, I bought a ticket for their show at the Brudenell Social Club[2] in Leeds.

The openers comprised two South Korean bands under the same Damnably label – Drinking Boys and Girls Choir, playing pop/punk numbers, whilst Say Sue Me performed a more sedate shoegaze-y set which lasted about 45 mins, which made me wonder if this was a co-headlining set, as it did go on for a bit.

I was at front row slap bang in front of the pouty Hiro-chan who was on bass and backing vocals. Accorinrin placed a pale blue guitar on a stand and proceeded to place a sticker on its back. Yoyoyoshie was tuning her highly hung Gibson SG and their new drummer, Kahokiss, sorted her Canopus kit in preparation for their set.

Which was this frenetic high octane performance that felt kinda non-stop, and unfortunately same-ish at times, but it didn’t matter as they were tight. The audience was a mix of people of various ages and they were moshing. I was ashamed that I was thinking “get a hold of yourself, old man!”.

I was flashed a couple of times (if you can call it that) but make no mistake as they looked like they’d sooner kick your arse if you think of taking a second look. Highlights of the evening included Don’t Light My Fire, 6 Day Working Week Is A Pain, Bakuro Book and the first song on Itekoma Hits, Datsu. Hikage no Onna.

During their encore, the band actually hit the floor. Literally. Playing Binge Eating Binge Drinking Bulimia. From their song titles I am sure there is some social commentary in there somewhere, touching on issues that are current/pertinent in Japan, eg working hours, sexism etc. When they got back onstage, I helped Hiro-chan with her mic stand, she then clasped my hands and gave me her pick that she used that night. Later on, I got to briefly chat with the band and had a photo taken with them.

Would love to see them again if they decide to drop by Sheffield for a show.

Brudenell Social Club, Leeds 3.5.2019 set:

[1]No idea what you call a Japanese version.
[2]I’m sure that my friends and I had played some covers at a gig organised by Malaysian students from Leeds Uni at this very venue 18 years ago.