Gig Review: Fujiya & Miyagi, Thekla

fujiya_and_miyagi_3_low_res_credit_paul_heartfieldFujiya & Miyagi, neither Japanese nor a duo, are one of those bands that perhaps deserve a little more attention than they receive. The Brighton four-piece have been making consistently catchy, foot-tapping rock-pop  for 14 years and five albums, the latest being ‘Artificial Sweeteners’. Their name befits their quirky sound, Fujiya being Steve Lewis (synths), Miyagi David Best (vocals and guitar) and the Ampersand being Matt Hainsby (bass).

The band’s musical output veers between memorable bass-driven pop tunes and what could best be described as game console music. “Rayleigh Scattering” in particular could provide backing for a racing game, and would be perfect  for racers taking on the Bristol to Bath cycle path, with it’s pulsing rhythms and wiry guitar melody.

Other tracks on show tonight include the Breaking Bad-soundtracked “Uh”, which very much epitomises the band’s sound. Second track “Knickerbocker” aptly demonstrates Fujiya & Miyagi‘s leaning towards abstract lyricism, including the phrases “I saw the ghost of Lena Zavaroni” and “Hans Christian Andersen plays musical statues”. David Best seems to enjoy flicking disparate utterances – when a rock band is no longer able to sing thrustingly about sex and partying, then abstractism seems a good route to take.

Conal Dougan