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Japan Rocks Singapore at Music Matters Live with HP

They brazenly call it “Asia’s #1 celebration of music discovery”, and they back it up by inviting over 50 bands from over 20 countries to play in Singapore over the span of just three days. Exceeding 160, there are few other music festivals in Asia that can match the scale of the annual Music Matters Live with HP, which comes back for its fourth year to excite both the locals and viewers of the live Youtube broadcasts all over the world.

From 22 to 24 May, Singapore was treated to an endless barrage of music ranging from soul (Carlos Castano) to rock (Fluorescent Hearts) to R&B (Lena Park) to musical acts that just refuse to be classified in any predetermined genre (DR EGGS), among others, bringing together music lovers of all shapes and sizes, nationalities and religions, and genres, into a massive pool that craves for music in its purest form.

But among all these acts, a particular group of Japanese bands stood out. A group that boasts a healthy fan base in Singapore, who came fully armed with placards, signboards fitted with neon lights, and a fervent anxiety that filled the air with excitement at the Fountain Stage in Clarke Quay on 23 May. Flumpool, a four-piece band that has gained a respectable repute following their debut only six years ago, Weaver, a rock trio that debuted later in 2009, and SID, a visual-kei band celebrating its tenth year of existence, form the three bands participating in “J-Rock Matters Live Presented by BARKS”, a showcase dedicated to Japanese music currently in its third year. The showcase lasted a full hour at the Fountain Stage and spilling over to Beer Market for another two hours.




Only six years old, Flumpool has already amassed a whole lot of supporters in Singapore with their lively and easy-to-listen pop rock. Coming here for the second time (their debut here being last year for J-Live Asia together with Weaver), their popularity is at its peak and the crowd went nuts when the quartet went on stage to play “Kakusei Identity”, “Touch”, and “OAOA”.

Their passionate attempt to engage the audience was evident, as they made every attempt to ensure that the crowd was getting into the music as much as they were. When they announced their last song, members of the audience could be seen mumbling “no don’t go please” to themselves, while others started wiping their eyes on their sleeves discreetly, too embarrassed to let their friends know they were tearing up while unable to contain their emotions at the same time.





Sounds of “Awww” echoed across the crowd at the Fountain Stage when Flumpool went off the stage, but that was short-lived in anticipation for SID’s debut. Fangirls and fanboys started screaming at the first sight of the visually outstanding members waiting for their turn backstage who were easy to spot with their brightly coloured hair and outdo.

If the antics of SID were to be described in one word, it would probably be “mischievous”. Dancing around flirtatiously, blowing kisses to females in the crowd and throwing bottles of water into the audience were just some of the tomfoolery the members of SID pulled, all while throwing out loud catchy tunes in the form of “Monochrome no Kiss” and “Uso”. No one even cared (or possibly noticed) when Shinji, the lead guitarist, ran into some problems with the amplifiers; SID and the crowd were having too much fun.



While the J-Rock showcase came to an end at the Fountain Stage, the party continued at Beer Market as Flumpool and SID brought round two to a smaller and slightly more intimate setting. But the star act at the bar definitely belonged to Weaver, the three-piece rock band without a guitarist. With Yuji on vocals and piano, Shota on bass, and Toru on drums, their unique sound brought a change of pace compared to the other two bands with melodic tunes such as the famous “Hard to Say I Love You ~Iidasenakute~” and creative harmonies added to the mix.

Unfortunately, many were not able to enter the bar that night due to space constraints and sadly had to miss out on Weaver’s brilliant performance, but we’re pretty sure they’ll be back again. Surely they can’t write us off their checklist, not after all the applause and cheering we gave them, right?




Text by: Bjorn Teo
Images by: Bjorn Teo & Jotham Yeo

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