Hot off the release of their debut EP at the end of March this year, Japanese band Qu are coming to Hong Kong to play a heavy rock gig at Hidden Agenda. Founded in Kobe, Japan, Qu are led by beatboxing frontman GINE, and the quartet will be joined by local group GDJYB, a math-folk indie outfit.
Japan’s self-described ‘human beatbox’, Junpei Fujita aka Gine, fronts prog rock outfit Qu (pronounced ‘cue’), as the band hit Hidden Agenda this fortnight. Formed in 2012 in Kobe, Japan’s math rock capital, Qu combine elements of numerous different styles into one eclectic instrumental rock show. Riding high on the back of their debut album, last year’s Switch, and new EP, Laundry, the group continue to demonstrate a certain fearlessness when it comes to delving into dynamic extremes, somehow balancing restrained electronica with driving metal chords.
But, first and foremost, Qu are a live act. One that has routinely played more than 50 gigs each year since getting together. And it shows. On bass guitar, Shinya Matsuyama capers across his fretboard with virtuoso speed. Masayuki Misaki pilots complex time
signature changes on the drums. Lead guitarist Yone fashions a shoegaze fuzz with jazz chords, narrative solos and far-out synth sounds. And colourfully clad frontman Gine’s beatboxing adds an extra dimension to their sound, throwing old school hip-hop and scratchy drones over grungy power fifths and mathematic drum fills.
Their massive live presence and video artistry make Qu very much the image of the Japanese underground scene. They’re guaranteed to keep you glued to the stage until Hidden Agenda shuts its doors.
Local heroes GDJYB open the night, and it’s well worth getting down there to catch the math folk girl group. Seasoned by two years of playing shows seemingly nonstop around
Asia, including Clockenflap and their own mini festival in Taipei, GDJYB’s Honglish songs are quickly gaining popularity across East Asia and are deserving of the attention. Jules O’Brien