Photo Diary: Life in Japan with Aussie band The Lagerphones

Photo Diary: Life in Japan with Aussie band The Lagerphones

The group have been spending a lot of time in (and loving) the land of the rising sun.

Introduction by The Lagerphones' promoter Vaughan, captions by The Lagerphones.

I was super pumped to bring The Lagerphones back to Japan for the 4th time in the summer of 2018. No one, including us, believed it would ever come to this.

We have continued to do what we’ve done from the get-go, forging this unprecedented path amidst the Japanese music landscape, shining a light on the forgotten scene of trad jazz to audiences of all shapes and sizes. We bounced from kissatens to furniture shops to live houses. This year we stepped it up a notch and caught the bullet train to Kansai, debuting in Kyoto and Osaka.

The music scene for us has been so inclusive; there's no genre people consider unfashionable. Whatever trends may exist in other countries are entirely irrelevant here. If you're good at what you do, that's all that matters. Although the band's members are spread across the globe, the home for The Lagerphones is definitely Japan. This is where their fans, creative collaborators, and best mates live, here's a family photo album of their most recent visit.  

During the tour, the stars aligned, enabling us to play at the respected venue Urban Guild to play a double-headline show with Kyoto local trio Zahatorte. I fell in love with Zahatorte at that gig. I've decided to bring them to my home nation, Australia for what will be an exciting debut tour - playing the likes of Petersham Bowling Club, MONA, and Northcote Social Club (check the dates at the bottom).

The Lagerphones v Japan

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The boss, the bass and Maki san

Vaughan is the crazy genius behind The Lagerphones’ success in Japan. He’s taken us through Tokyo four times now. In the middle is Marty our bass player, formerly from Melbourne by way of Adelaide, he now lives in Tokyo too because he loves the place so damn much. Maki is our mate.

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There are hardships and there are delights!

We played back to back shows both days of the Tokyo coffee festival in Aoyama; this guy came out with his pups in tow.

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Karaoke wind down

The lyrics to Sobakasu go by so fast, especially when your Japanese is a little rusty. Marie and James love Japanese 90s rockers Judy and Mary!

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Toshimaen family/formerly Ramen club

Toshimaen is one of the city’s most overlooked suburbs but by far one of our absolute faves. We’ve all lived here on and off for short periods of time. What makes this place so great are all the locally run cafes and bars in the area. So easy to make mates.

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Over Mariya Suzuki's shoulder

Mariya Suzuki is an incredible illustrator, she has murals across the city and her work is in magazines thoughout Japan. We’re lucky enough to consider her part of the Lagerphones extended family, sometimes she comes to our shows and does lil illustrations of us.

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Jon really is excessively photographable

Our clarinet player, Jon, is a beautiful man and this is a beautiful photo.

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Kamakura wedding

Not all venues leap out at you as though from an old film! A beautiful chateau in Kamakura. Situated about an hour from Tokyo, Kamakura is a laid back beach town. We played at a wedding here. The weather was tragic, but the place was incredible.

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We love Tawa san!

Tawa is our incredible sound engineer from Tokyo. She’s a profession of the highest calibre; she’s also a whole load of fun. She’ll be coming to Australia with Zahatorte, a band from Kyoto, can’t wait.

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Honorary Lagerphone, Chiyumi Nogami, holding a lagerphone

A lagerphone is actually a long stick-like instrument made from nailing a whole stack of beer stubby lids on a piece of wood. We’ve all seen ‘em, but maybe you didn’t know what they were called. Proudly Australian invention, but now a total hit in Japan.

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Snack bars are the best

Snack bars are cozy little family vibe bars where ‘Mama’, the lady who runs the bar keeps watch on all the activities making sure everyone is having the very best time.

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Thanks to Truck for having us in Osaka!

This was the first time we made it to Osaka. One of the best places we played was Truck - an amazing furniture store run by the best people. To accommodate us they moved all the furniture out onto the roof; the place looked like an outdoor bedroom.

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Man and machine

Just a casual snap of the everyday colours of the city.

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The Looseman joining us at Hiromi's

Yusuke the guy playing the trumpet in this pic is one interesting character. He turned up to one of our shows during our very first tour. Since then he’s been to almost every single one of our shows here in Tokyo. He even learned how to play the sax just so he could play with us at this very private Roppongi penthouse party we played.

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We loved The Worthless!

The Worthless, are one of our current favourite Japanese bands, we played with them during this tour. They’re super fun and incredibly talented, if you’re want to catch them in action, wader around the streets of Shimokitazawa, that seems to be their natural habitat.

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Kanako and Tada

Two of our best buddies, half the fun of playing in Japan is hanging out with our Japanese friends. Tada-san (left) is an incredible PHOTOGRAPHER, and Kanako (right) runs a killer indie publishing label called PULL THE WOOL.


Zahatorte oz tour poster

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