henrytennis@ Roppongi Super Deluxe
When I was asked to come down and review henrytennis at “Minna no Senkan”, a 2-day indie festival, I must say I was originally a little hesitant; after all, my taste in music tends more towards the growlier end of things. Watching the bands that came on before them, I can’t really say there was anything out the ordinary that took my fancy, but as soon as henrytennis started setting up and I saw a saxophone and (more importantly) a glockenspiel, my interest was immediately piqued.
The band are rather an unassuming bunch, taking to the stage with little fanfare and only the briefest of banter. They prefer instead to let the music do the talking, and they pulled the audience in with guitarist Okamura’s chilled-out picking over some atmospheric synth. As the rhythm section kicked in, opening song “Holy Ghost”, took on a psychedelic and proggy edge, smoothed out later with a good dose of sax.
Over the course of the show though, the style varied throughout. While “Holy Ghost” was much more progressive in its timing and overall trippy atmospherics, “Luster Brain” harkened back to me more towards 60s British jazz musicians like Mike Taylor and Michael Garrick with its` meandering sax at the forefront of the song, backed up with some hypnotic bass and warm yet rangy guitar.
New track “Free City” gave the glockenspiel a chance to shine, lending the song a very upbeat and whimsical feel, while “Hydration” was heavy on the funky keyboard and picked up the pace, with a frenetically busy “chorus” punctuated with extremely tight rising breakdowns that garnered whoops of appreciation from the crowd. “Jesus” finished off the band’s 40-minute set with a very dreamy meander, run through with soaring saxophone.
Overall, henrytennis were completely not what I was expecting, and the better for that – progressive, dreamy, and rather nostalgic sounding, they are the kind of thing you could imagine kicking back to at home on a summer’s evening on a record player with a few beers.
- Holy Ghost
- Luster Brain
- Free City
- The Electronic Flute
Having been on hiatus for a long while, henrytennis are definitely a band it’s good to have back around as their brand of mellow yet groovy indie rock is something very unique and very well worth checking out. In fact, you can check out their whole show at Super Deluxe here:
Thanks to Kyoko Oabayashi for photos from the event!
henrytennis homepage: http://henrytennis.com/wp/