I think there are two types of music fan. The “serious” fan who is always looking for new things and relishes a musical challenge and the “fashionista” who flits from band to band and tries to gain status that they have failed to accrue on their own merits, by being first to listen to the newest thing. Both sets have their flaws but I am happy to plant my flag in the “serious” music camp because I have become utterly bored of the clamouring of blogs and websites who are offering up your “new favourite band”. I realise that liking a new artist doesn’t preclude you from also liking established acts but the sell by date on artists is getting ludicrously short. People are not given time or space to develop themselves or their ideas, so instead they develop their haircuts and their sense of timing, jumping on whichever post-dubstep, chillwave gravy train is most lucrative this week. And while this was always the way with pop bands, it is increasingly the case with all music. The causes of this blinkered perspective are many and varied but the ramifications are obvious. With less time to get your message over, your message needs to be absolutely obvious and recognisable and unthreatening. Goodbye subtlety and depth. Hello McMusician.
So I come to write my first thoughts on Toquiwa. It doesn’t look like its going to go well for them does it ? This all girl Japanese “punk” band certainly look the part; all spandex and toy keyboards and big hair. So the fact that they blunder from cliché to cliché and never articulate an original or interesting idea shouldn’t hold them back. They’re on tour with The Wedding Present which makes sense because they are clearly trapped in the early 90’s in terms of musical development which must make The Wedding Present feel at home. If I was raiding a member of Toquiwa’s iPod I’m pretty sure that they’d have The Levellers, Shampoo, Green Day and Avril Lavigne on there along with a host of other disposable shit. This isn’t music to listen to. It’s music to soundtrack other things or to be sold for film rights or adverts because when you look at it without paying any attention, it could pass for real music. But if you pay even the slightest bit of attention, or change your perspective a fraction it becomes clear that this is a musical hologram with no depth or weight. Just image.