One advantage of living in a city as rammed with people as Tokyo, is that you can organize any kind of event, safe in the knowledge that people will show up, no matter how weird or esoteric it is. In a city of twelve million people, you could throw a German polka music party, and expect a full house.
One place which proves this theory is Shinjuku’s excellent Club Acid Tokyo, where each night is themed around a completely different kind of music. Over the weekend I went to “Bowie Night,” where they strictly played only songs by David Bowie for the whole night. This is a fantastic concept if you’re into The Thin White Duke, but it’s like Guantanamo Bay if you’re not. Fortunately, I’m partial to a bit of Bowie, and had a fine time grooving to “Heroes” on the dancefloor.
It’s a credit to Bowie’s long and varied career that I wasn’t bored by the music once. I left the club with a renewed respect for the dude- there aren’t many artists who could fill up a DJ’s six-hour set-list without getting repetitive. I’m a big Ramones fan but I’d grow tired of hearing “126.96.36.199!” after a couple of hours. (…Or perhaps not.)
You couldn’t get away with an event like Bowie Night in most countries, but such is the obsessiveness and dedication of Japanese fans (who eagerly blow their savings on rare B-Side compilations and T-shirts of their favourite musicians), that the crowd in Club Acid were loving it.
Once, Club Acid even had a night entirely dedicated to the 80s Goth group Bauhaus, I kid thee not. That is very obscure indeed, but it must surely have brought smiles to the faces of the small cluster of Bauhaus fans living in Tokyo, (perhaps for the first time in their miserable lives.)