Introducing: Midnight Moon Theater

We first discovered Midnight Moon Theater (yes, in this instance it is spelled correctly) many moons ago in the hot summer heat of a Battle of the Bands in a strange underground arts and music venue called Super Deluxe. Existing underneath the hustle and bustle of the trendy Roppongi streets in Japan, Super Deluxe hosts some the trendiest and most obscure acts in the land and that Battle of the Bands was no exception.

Sadly on this particular evening Midnight Moon Theatre were marginally beaten to the top spot by the final act but although they didn’t win that night they certainly captured our attention. The band is a lively, vivacious act who concentrate their talents on providing an animated, swinging street style of 1930s jazz that is simultaneously relaxing, invigorating and enlivening. The bands unique sound is driven from a deep double bass that seems to tick over like an engine while a raucous saxophone bursts to life around it, piercing the air. A French styled accordion floats through their songs serenading you and mingling with a dextrous and playful guitar.

They are a truly superb and light-hearted band and their skill and jokey nature can be heard on their album with ease. But to see them play live is an entirely different experience. Hopping about the stage, instruments swinging, bassists climbing all over their instrument without ever missing a note – they are the perfect showmen. Of course, topping all of their immense musical skill off is the fact that they are fronted by a strong and smoky set of vocals that pervade the room, lifting their tunes and spinning them around.

Midnight Moon Theater are a versatile and fun band with an overabundance of talent and dedication to their craft but with all of that said it is increasingly difficult to obtain any of their albums outside of their native Japan. But all this really means is that when you do track down a copy, it makes for a rewarding experience because you can never be disappointed.

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Review by Joe Knipe

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