It was the first weekend of this year’s ‚Wassermusik‘ festival at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. And before I report on Dengue Fever and the Meridian Brothers, let’s get straight to the best concert I’ve ever seen (and probably will ever see) – the mighty Shibusa Shirazu Orchestra.
Now, if you can imagine Frank Zappa’s ‚Best Band‘ joined by Funkadelic AND Parliament you get only half the picture. On Sunday evening nearly twenty musicians entered the stage, led by the mad genius Daisuke Fuwa, who (one hand in his pocket, smoking a jazz cigarette, and taking mobile pictures of the crowd) more or less conducted. Two drummers, full brass section, plus a Theremin player in the first row, they were joined by Butoh dancers, go-go girls in Manga or Geisha dresses, and a half-naked frontman. They played what turned into one continuous symphony/jam/collage that included free jazz solos, epic Eddie Hazel-like guitar solos, ferocious riffing, always supported by a mighty funk rhythm, at times reminding of „Lotus“-era Santana – one climax following another. As their press release says, „We start with an earth quake, and build up from there…“
Halfway through they were joined by a 15-meter flying ice dragon (Photo by Harald Weißman, from the Haus der Kulturen Facebook page) that floated above the audience.
Oh, and they had a ‚live painter‘ on stage, too, who filled a canvas with Mati Klarwein-like doodles during the gig. Fantastic.
They returned to the stage for an encore, which consisted of a three-second riff. Followed by a second encore, an old japanese fisherman song apparently (which nonetheless sounded like „Lonesome Cowboy Burt“ played by Ornette Coleman and George Clinton…)