Beneath the radar of concert promotion juggernauts
like Smash (which produce Fuji Rock), Creativeman (which bring
us Summer Sonic), and a few others are a number of independent
players that bring smaller acts to local rock venues. One
of them is Clover Records, which is producing this week's
mini-Japan tour by Australian chamber-pop group The Lucksmiths.
The tour came about after Shintaro Kiyonari, a music industry
translator who plays bass for another Clover band, Pervenche,
toured Australia a few years ago and developed a relationship
with indie groups there, helping them to arrange Japan tours.
A trio hailing from Melbourne, The Lucksmiths are comprised
of vocalist/drummer Tali White with guitarist Marty Donald
and bassist Mark Monnone, both of whom also provide choral
backing. Since forming a decade ago, the band have carved
out a niche for themselves with a string of thoughtful releases,
including their new album, Naturaliste, for Australian indie
imprint Candle Records.
With a simple, unadorned production and unassuming manner,
The Lucksmiths pen songs that resonate with the realities
of day-to-day life. "What You'll Miss,"
for instance, is full of gentle yearning, while "Midweek
Midmorning" celebrates life's simple joys. Through
such material, The Lucksmiths convey a sense of connecting-not
with a demographic that a record exec may have decided to
target-but with individual human beings.
It's an approach that the band have honed to perfection
over the years, and one that has led them to undertake a number
of small-scale world tours, including two previous Japan visits,
as well as inviting comparisons to high-profile chamber-pop
bands like Belle and Sebastian.
This week's tour brings The Lucksmiths to three of
Tokyo's intimate "live houses," where
they'll play in company with Japanese acts signed to
Clover (including Pervenche on Saturday) and, on the last
date, with fellow Melbourne lads Art of Fighting. These cozy
venues should provide just the right atmosphere for The Lucksmiths'
The Lucksmiths play Grapefruit Moon
on August 15, Penguin House on August 16 and Nest on August
18. See concert listings for details.
credit: Clover Records
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