Monday, June 4, 2018

Gambarre Kagoshima

I'd seen a little advertising around Amu Plaza a few days earlier, so I knew something was going to be happening on Sunday (1-day event). Nothing else was going on over the weekend, so on Sunday I went up to the main train station to see what was there. Turned out that they had upwards of 6 music stages in and around the area, but I only found 3 of them. One was in the big open space in front of the station, where they had a few games set up for the kids, plus the jump room. The event was sponsored by Barrier-Free Kagoshima, an NPO to get businesses to make things more wheelchair accessible.

They had a similar event a year or two ago, and one of the keyboard players was in a wheelchair. The stage didn't have a ramp, and crew workers needed to hand lift her up and down from the stage. I think the irony was lost on the organizers. I didn't see her playing this time, and no one else had physical disabilities that I noticed.

Most of the music was traditional folk songs, which was alright, but didn't attract much in the way of crowds. I didn't recognize the names of most of the people performing. I think the above woman is Konomi Arigawa.

Amu Plaza had a couple food stalls set up, but mostly it was souvenir tables, and advertizing for the Rebnise basketball team.

They also had a few foamhead mascots working the crowds. The main stage events were hula dancers from one or two of the local dance schools.

A foamhead for the Ministry of Defense.

The woman who paints kitsune (fox) masks was also out here somewhere, and her husband led the ever-growing kitsune parade through the plaza at one point.

The third stage that I found was at the west side of the station. Each stage had about 10 performers. This guy is another traditional folk singer, named Kouto. While I had made kind of a big deal in a previous post about wanting to talk to more performers now, there weren't any real opportunities this time, in part because they were usually surrounded by friends and family when not playing. That, and they weren't playing my kind of music.

The Kayo-chan Band.

Of all the players, there was one that was the most photogenic. Unfortunately, she played really screechy protest songs that were hard to listen to. She did have one of the larger audiences, though, and she was definitely playing her heart out.

She very conveniently had her name spelled out for anyone that wanted to book her - Maka Narita. Her sign also advertised her March 12th release of her first CD.

Another city mascot, but I'm not sure which one. He was posing for photos near the hula dancers.

Back over at the west side, we have O-ruda-za (Olders), a folk band fronted by an old guy that didn't want people calling him old.

Finally, I lost track of who was playing when. I needed to do some work in the apartment, and none of the music was really grabbing me at this point. It was nice to have the event here to listen to it all, so that part was ok. I just wish that at least some of the music was harder rock, or that they were anyone I knew.

At least, the weather was nice for a while.

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