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all words and photos: Nick Balleza

Its been almost 4 years since I last saw this band who are known for pretending to be Japanese. Fujiya & Miyagi first caught my attention when I heard the song “Collarbone” on the website of parisian fashion/lifestyle store Colette back in 2006.

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I got to see them live in 2007 when they toured with Peter Björn and John and Au Revoir Simone, playing a show at the 9:30 Club. Since then they’ve released two albums, Lightbulbs (2008) which I thoroughly enjoyed, and Ventriloquizzing (2011) which I got a chance to familiarize myself with about a week before heading to the show.

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I got to the Rock & Roll Hotel with enough time to catch vocalist/guitarist David Best (Miyagi) writing up the set list for the rest of the members and he let me get a snap of it before the start of the show. I felt like mentioning we had a pleasant exchange over on MySpace back in 2006, but didn’t want to look like an ass if he didn’t remember.

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Plus speaking with Brits tends to intimidate me anyways, I’m always self conscience about falling into a british accent mid sentence. I’ve watched too many Guy Ritchie films and BBC comedies over the years. However, I’m asian and can speak Japanese, so maybe a bit of british imitation would be forgivable seeing as they’re impostors as well?

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The crowd that was there was not thick, yet not sparse. I was able to travel about getting photos without annoying anyone. I felt like I was in the know, been into this band for 5 years, and I can enjoy their show without being squeezed out to the edges of the venue. If you enjoy their music, then they don’t disappoint when played live, they give you what you came to hear. They played a good mix of songs from the last three albums, all quality and noteworthy tunes laden with minimalist beats, bass lines, synths and whispered/spoken lyrics peppered with french rolled R’s.

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Setlist:
Cat got your tongue
Minestrone
Uh
Photocopier
Ventriloquizzing
Knickerbocker
Collarbone
Pills
Cassettesingle
Yoyo
Tinsel & Glitter
-Encore-
Sixteen Shades of black and blue
Ankle Injuries
Electro Karaoke

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